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So you’ll, like me, have many opportunities to manifest new income situations.
After doing the starving artist thing for a while, I wanted to get back to a “career job” – or a job that utilized my technical programming skills. I used a mind-mapping technique and got very clear on what I wanted. I wanted a part-time job doing custom PERL-language web programming, on a W-2, at $40+/hour, with health benefits, and an office with a window (or at least not a cubicle). It had to be a job at a start-up, but one that did planning before implementation. I had to like and respect the owner and be excited about whatever the mission of this code was. Did not wish to work for the Defense industry this time, there had to be commercial work out there. Wanted a technical supervisor that helped me improve my tech skills. Wanted a place I felt welcomed and appreciated, a place that felt fun. Wanted to work ‘normal’ hours, 8 am – 5 pm. For this search, I didn’t just go to the typical job sites, I branched out into Craig’s List. And there I struck gold! Jerry wanted to hire someone full-time but the salary he was offering was lower than I had previously earned, so we compromised, same salary, 4 days/week. I took every Wednesday off for my own projects. It was great – I had an office with a wall-sized window to the parking lot, but there was a tree filled with yellow finches right beside me. It was a happy, sunny place. Every week contained two intensely productive mini-weeks. Eric, the Marketing Manager, greeted every morning by chatting with everyone and he made being there fun. Jerry, the owner, had successfully created several businesses and was full of great stories. We sold phone cards and licensed the e-commerce business software that sold them for several carriers. Our mission was to help connect folks with their families in other countries relatively inexpensively. We had a bit of a niche in the market (pre-Skype). The business was crazy profitable. It was a perfect arrangement for several years, until Jerry retired and his son (and Skype) took over.
Several months later, after taking some time to write, it was time for a new job again and I was feeling that curious, excited feeling that a new adventure was about to begin. I tend to take time to rest between gigs, because I like to take time to decompress from one set of circumstances before committing to another set. Once again, money was getting tight and I was feeling … compressed. I know it’s time to look again when I start getting restless and bored. I had complained to a psychic friend of mine that I didn’t know what to do next with myself – and he had the good grace to laugh at me. “Yes, you do! You don’t need me to tell you how to manifest”. It was just enough to get me to go “oh yeah… he’s right”. It was just the jolt I needed to shift me into feeling excited about creating a new adventure for myself.
So I went down to the park, sat down and took out my journal. I wrote down the date and did a little mind-map. After checking in on the other areas of life, I settled in to focus on my next income-generating gig.
This time, I was hoping for something a bit different. I didn’t want the frenzy of a start-up, but rather an established place. I wanted to work in downtown San Diego for one of the big web-based marketing firms. A big company, this time, with windows to the gorgeous city, surrounded by fun and festively collaborative work buddies. I had been doing my own projects, and missed having lunch buddies. I pictured going to all the cool restaurants downtown and enjoying them at lunch special prices. I pictured happy hour buddies. I pictured a very social place. That paid at least $85K/year with full benefits and matching 401K. I wanted it to be a fun place.
It was. For a short while… Sadly, I wasn’t as specific as I needed to be. I forgot to mention my desire for “regular hours” and my aversion to the “tyranny of urgency”. When I recognized that working late nights and weekends was the daily norm, rather than the exception, the social benefits lost some of their luster.