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Archive for August, 2015

Killed it.

August 31st, 2015 at 02:59 pm

Had an interview today for a better position at my current job. I killed it. They say they want to make the decision this week but we are notoriously slow at hiring so it might take awhile. I know two other co-workers got interviews so nothing is for sure. I heard through workplace gossip that one of them felt she bombed the interview, but maybe she was just trying to psych us out to make us feel like we don't have to put as much effort in. I don't really think she would do that, but I bet she did better than she thought.

I was upfront about the other position I accepted and they were jazzed for me and told me that other full time staff have part time jobs and they will be able to make it work. Especially because I asked for nights and weekends-the shifts EVERYBODY wants (sarcasm.)

If I get the job I plan on increasing my withholding. I should have about a $250 a paycheck more after all the different deductions and such. The biggest benefit is that my employer puts 4% of my salary in a retirement fund for me so that amount will increase with a new position.

I will be very disappointed if I don't get this position. But I still have a ton of options. It's a good place to be in.

Over budget

August 29th, 2015 at 11:50 am

I wrote a fairly substantial entry during the week but for whatever reason it never saved or published. Oh well.

This month I was trying to stick to a greatly reduced budget. I think I made a great effort and I tracked down everything I spent so I am more aware of where my money is going, but I am about $200 over budget and still have a couple days left in the month.

Expenses Actual Budgeted Remaining
Groceries $299.10 $300.00 $0.90
Going Out/Alcohol $297.12 $250.00 ($47.12)
Electric $97.55 $100.00 $2.45
Water $73.75 $50.00 ($23.75)
Gas $13.01 $25.00 $11.99
MISC $320.91 $300.00 ($20.91)
Pets $71.33 $50.00 ($21.33)
Insurances $164.09 $166.00 $1.91
Cell Phone $75.45 $75.00 ($0.45)
Roof $882.00 $750.00 ($132.00)
IRA $458.33 $458.34 $0.01
Savings $500.00 $525.00 $25.00
Total $3,252.64 $3,049.34 $203.30

We have enough food and leftovers so that I won't do any grocery shopping until Tuesday. We are almost out of coffee but my godmother sent me some k-cups for my birthday (oh yeah, I turned the big three-oh last week!) so we will use those up before I buy more coffee beans.

Going out it over big time. We started this month with my partner's mom in town so we treated her while she was here. We hosted a traveling song writer friend of my partner's for a house show and bought some alcohol and food for him and the guests. My partner's son is in a completely youth run theater production this week and we went out to dinner with friends last night before the opening show. Did we need to spend money on all of this? Probably not but we enjoy eating in the many fine establishments our town has to offer.

Pets was over because I had to take my old lady kitty to the vet; part of MISC is immunity boosting treats for her and a calming spray for both the cats (to the tune of $80). MISC also include cash to Chris Darby (songwriter friend- www.chrisdarbymusic.com if you are interested!) and gas for my car. It seems like $300 doesn't go so far.

Obviously I need to get a handle on my cell phone bill.

I made an early payment to the roof this month, and bigger too. My credit has taken a hit essentially maxing out 2 of my cards. They are 0% interest and will be paid off before they start to accrue any. But I wanted to get the smaller balance down to below 60% of the credit line, and the other card had a minimum payment of $82. These payments weren't due until Sept 2 and 3, so I probably won't make a roof payment next month and just try to sock whatever I would spend into savings, or more likely start paying for the renovation.

All in all this month has not been terrible. And most of the overspending is due to making an over payment early. And I still put money away into savings and retirement!

Next month I might increase groceries and going out by $25 each, just to give us a little more wiggle room. Insurance payments for the rest of the year will only be my car insurance and I have the option of paying it over 4 or 6 months. But if I keep the current payment amount it will only be 2 months.

Job decision

August 20th, 2015 at 11:42 am

I was having a hard time deciding what to do about a part time job I was offered. As Snafu said, it was a problem of timing. I decided to accept it and I start September 14.

However, August 31 I have an interview for the higher position at my current employer. Even if I get this new position I think I will still be able to swing both jobs, at least until the end of the academic year. My schedule will look like this: M-Th PT job from 8-12, FT 1-9, Friday: PT job for 4 hours; Sat or Sun FT job 7.5 hours.

To answer some questions: I work in the public sector. I make far less than I should for my education, but for where I live and what I am doing I am fairly compensated. This new position will add some breadth to my experience and give me more options for employment in the future, should I choose to turn to more academic jobs, or try for jobs overseas.

Money isn't a real consideration with this- I am doing fine money wise but I am not going to lie that the extra income will come in handy. We are going forward with the basement renovation (that is a separate post I have to write) and it will be nice to have a little cushion. The university pays on opposite Fridays than my current job so it will be nice to have a paycheck every week Smile

I am not interested in obtaining a Ph.D. I might have been when I first entered grad school but after a semester I knew that path just was not for me.

There were two positions open at my current job but I only applied for one. I didn't apply for the second because it just wasn't the audience I wanted to work with. I am qualified and would have done an adequate job (to start with) and probably would have grown into doing a fantastic job, but it is not my passion. And I didn't want to pigeonhole myself into this type of audience for the future.

I have to add-when my new manager called my current manager as a reference (she was warned) he was absolutely glowing about me and said "How can you ever let her leave?" That feels pretty good. My current managers are absolutely fine with this new arrangement. For one, it makes it easier on them that someone wants to close every night (we are not a 9-5 M-F business, so it's hard to evenly share the least wanted shifts) and also they recognize that their staff has many interests and that a handful of us are being under utilized (in terms of education) in our current positions. They don't begrudge us the chance to further our careers. I did ask that they keep this quiet. I didn't want it to be a factor in the interview. The response I got was "I don't see why anyone has to know why your schedule has changed" so it's nice to know they'll be discrete.

So, job situation isn't completely cleared up, but I am feeling great about my decision. Working 60 hours a week will only be temporary, and I can do anything for a year.

Changing jobs advice

August 14th, 2015 at 11:48 am

I am not sure what kind of advice anyone can offer when I am going to be so vague but here goes.

I hold two masters degrees. My current job is full time benefited in a field of one of the masters, my position doesn't require me to have a masters, just BA. I have been here 6 years but have been in my current position only 1 year. When I was hired the position was considered paraprofessional, but in the past month has been downgraded to clerical. No changes in my day to day duties, but now I am no longer required to be certified by the state (but I am free to continue with certification if I want.)

I really enjoy what I do and feel like I am making a positive impact everyday-something I know doesn't happen in MANY jobs/careers.

A couple of weeks ago I saw that the university in town posted an ad for a position in an area that combines both of my Masters degrees. This is almost unheard of because my other MA is in something that not a lot of people go into, unless, of course, they go into academia. This position does not require a MA, only a BA, so it is not a step up necessarily, but it does get me a foot in the door at the university.

I applied for this other position, got an interview and found out that it is only part time (20 hours a week) and was offered the position yesterday at a higher rate of pay than the starting rate.

Back to current job. I have applied for a MA position at my employer. This is what I have been actively pursuing for the past 3 years and have tried to position myself the best I could- having a good working relationship with all the managers, showing leadership when it is needed, being flexible and a team player, looking for more responsibility, etc. It was originally posted in June, but then taken down, reworked, and reposted at the end of July. It doesn't close until Monday and then it will be AT LEAST a week, but realistically 2 weeks before interviews. I am confident I will get an interview, but as the position is open to everyone, not just internal, who knows if I will get it.

There are actually two positions open but I have decided against applying for the second one because I just am not passionate about departments it serves. I know there is one other staff member who is my biggest competition but I don't know if she is applying for both, or just the one I am. Either way, I know that I might not get this position.

In the 6 years I've been here this is the first time they've posted this position. People don't want to leave, and when they have they have just created more paraprofessional positions instead.

SO, recap: Offered a part time also paraprofessional job at the university, but I am holding out for the professional job at current employer.

My initial thought is this: Accept part time offer. Arrange full time work schedule to accommodate part time hours (very possible). Kick ass at interview and hope for the best. If I don't get the professional position I will be happy to have the other job and then I can see about going PT at current job so I am not working 60 hours a week. If I get the professional position then try to work it out so I can still keep PT position, and then quit PT position at end of academic year. If I can't work it out then apologize profusely and hope I haven't burned any bridges.

Thoughts?

It is just incredibly scary to think about changing career paths when I have been on this current one for so long. But I am so excited about what this part time job is, so I am trying to find a way to have my cake and eat it too.