Thursday, September 3, 2015

Get to work

After being unemployed for just over two months, I finally received an offer (two actually), accepted it, and started a new job on August 10th. Being forcefully unemployed is quite possibly the hardest job there is. Between applying for jobs, updating your online profiles, applying for unemployment, updating your resume, applying for more jobs, having the kids home 2 out of 5 business days, interviewing, normal chores, home improvements, stressing about money, applying for more jobs, and having more interviews... things are far from relaxing.

But, I hung in there and pushed on through. And go figure - after not hearing diddly squat for almost 2 months, I received two offers within 24 hours of each other. The first offer was from my former employer Blackbaud, who wanted to bring me back on as an Enterprise Senior Project Manager. It was more or less the same job I used to have there, only in a different business unit and a much higher salary. The other offer was for a 9-month contract position with Equifax. Yes, the credit bureau - only I wouldn't be dealing with that side of the house. I'd actually be working for Equifax Workforce Solutions which has recently developed an Affordable Care Act eligibility application. Employers purchase and use the software to help them determine who is considered full time (and who is not) and therefor who they need to be offering health care coverage to.

At first blush, you would think it would be a no-brainer that I'd go back to The 'Baud because it's the "safe" route. But, as I told the recruiter who asked me for the pros and cons of each, I know how the sausage is made. I left Blackbaud three years ago for good reasons, and I have no way of 100% knowing that those same reasons don't still exist. And even though the Equifax job is technically only guaranteed for 9 months, there is potential for a permanent position at the end of the contact. And worst-case scenario would be if Equifax doesn't re-up the contract, then the IT recruitment firm that brought me on has to find me another job.

Since I'm a glutton for punishment, I decided to take the position at Equifax. I know so many people there (former Blackbauders who also left for good reasons), and the money is out of this world. What's even better is that because I'm a contractor, I get paid hourly - so anything over 40 hours each week is time and a half. Cha-ching! I know it's a roll of the dice, and I'm not much of a gambler... so taking this type of risk (again) is really not in my nature. It was an extremely difficult decision, especially since Blackbaud had really come up big in the salary department - which was a shock. But Mommy B sat down and made a list of all the pros and cons of each, and at the end of the day the Equifax job just felt "right."

But before I got started, there were a few things around the house I wanted to get done. And by "I," I mean Mommy B. Let me see if I can recount the items that I worked on while I was laid off...
  • Stained our master bathroom vanity and mirror
  • Installed pullouts on the faux drawers on the master bathroom vanity
  • Replaced all the oil-rubbed bronze fixtures with chrome fixtures in the master bathroom - including the two faucets, towel bars, toilet paper bar, and all vanity pulls
  • Replaced the light fixture over the sinks in our master bath - which required an assist from Pops because the idiots who built this house didn't run the electrical wire to a junction box where the fixture would have been.
  • Removed and replaced lattice under our deck that Scarlett had broken
  • Installed heat reducing film on two windows in our master bedroom
  • Painted the front entry way
  • Power washed the entire front porch - including all spindles and railings
  • Repainted all spindles and railings on front porch
  • Hung pictures of the kids in the hallway outside their respective bedrooms
  • Patched a few holes here and there - mostly in Alli's bedroom and our bathroom
  • Installed a new gutter on the far side of the garage roof to prevent flooding in the side yard
  • Fixed a few blinds that were "stuck" and wouldn't open and close
  • Hung a new calendar and key rings in the entry way
I'm proud to say that not once in the 2+ months I was laid off did I take a nap while the kids were gone. Obviously I didn't have time for that given the aforementioned home improvements and contact job searching. I did, however, run the bridge a few times to get reacquainted with an old friend. It had been a few years since I crossed the entire span of the ol' girl, and she still put up a good fight. Well, I think it was mostly the July heat and humidity - but the bridge is no joke either.

Alas, I've been back at work now for three full weeks, and I'm so glad that rough chapter is over with. Now it's time for Mommy B and I to recoup my lost earnings and put some money back in the bank. I couldn't be more proud of how we handled things. Mostly proud of myself for staying disciplined all those years and putting money away in case of an emergency. Going 2+ months without a paycheck would have been enough to put some people onto the street, but we had enough tucked away that it really didn't adversely affect us all that much. We made a few cutbacks (like getting rid of cable), and are probably better off because of it. It was a humbling experience to say the least, but I'm glad it's over. Now Mommy B can seriously say "Get to work," and I'll actually have somewhere to go.