Backup Plan

Last week I described what I do for a living. It’s not a bad job, but it isn’t the career I want for the rest of my life. This is especially true given the fact that I’m technically not a full time employee. While I work 40 hours or more on some weeks, I typically pull 25-30.  Some weeks I don’t work at all. Such is the nature of an on-call employee.

Now that I have the dissertation all written up, I have a lot more free time on those days when I’m not working. Thankfully, those have been blessedly few lately, but I had Thursday and half of Friday off last week.  I used the time to apply for three other CRM jobs and one teaching gig.

Why so few? Because there isn’t much out there right now. Most of the teaching appointments available at the moment are for 1-year visiting professor appointments, and the bulk of CRM work out there is for field techs. I’ve been in the business too long to take a tech job. Most firms wouldn’t even hire me for that sort of work anyway. I do apply for the visiting prof jobs, but even if I do land one, I don’t know if it will be worth dragging my family and belongs half way across the nation for a one year gig. Not ideal.

Luckily for me, I do have a backup plan, and it’s been paying off. After I lost my full-time CRM job last summer I began to teach myself web design. Using a combination of books, online courses, and web design forums, I’ve been able to pick up enough to do some decent work. I opened up a business called Lamplight Digital Design Solutions, and I’ve actually made some money off of it. I don’t really do any marketing, nor do I have the self discipline to really run a business from home for a living, so I probably don’t make as much money off of things as I could (or perhaps should).  Still, between my semi-full time work, the occasional design contract, and my wife’s collections management job at Western Washington University, we’re somehow staying afloat.

A sample of my work: The main page for the Grip Tip Product Site (it will be going live in a matter of days)

But the search continues…


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