Making choices

Every post the last few weeks seems to be about work. I won’t promise this will be the last one for awhile, but I have made a decision that is both very exciting and mildly terrifying. That said, there will be no regrets, only always doing my best and learning new skills, sharpening things I already know.

I am going to pursue self-employment rather than accept another full-time job at this time.

Ever since I met with them, my heart and mind have been set on the small law firm. What they need, what they offer is a nearly perfect match with my skills and experience, although it is far from a perfect situation with their present octogenarian accountant, their blinders-on focus on their casework, and minimal interest in the health and welfare of their firm until a problem arises.

For better or worse, I have evolved into someone who is clear and direct when things disturb me. I need an open channel of communication, and there is no way I would survive in a job where my superiors are that tone deaf by choice and design. This does not mean I need staff meetings every week where the whole firm gets together for a group bitch-fest, but I do need the give and take of issues I am facing on the accounting/operating side of the firm and when I need a decision I do not want to have to calendar it for 6 weeks from now and on a Saturday because their billable client demands are too much. On the other hand, I’m very much a self-starter and can get shit done when I am empowered to do so, but the idea of being at a new firm, with new employers, and being given carte blanche to do whatever I want or feel is a best solution without input and wishlists is a disaster in the making. Trust must be earned on all sides, and until we all know each other better, it’s prudent we talk about goals, deadlines, and progress on a regular basis.

For them, they clearly recognize that that have empowered their present business manager with too much centralized control over their firm and are going to have to take painful steps to rectify the situation. It surprises me, because other lawyers I know are usually a lot more hands-on or at least overseers of what happens in their own offices. Contracting with me to set-up, test, train, and implement accounting and time and billing programs is a huge first step. I know what they want to use – both of which I have quite a bit of experience with setting up from scratch – and I see what they want as far as how their office runs. Rehabbing offices with morale issues is another thing I have experience with, and while I have yet to have any sort of in-depth conversations with their associates and support staff, I know this firm can be saved so to speak. I think a big, big step will be the updates in software, but the planned office relocation and equipment upgrades will also go a long way toward easing employee frustration.

These are the kinds of challenges and problems I am actually quite good at meeting and resolving. I may find it’s a lot worse than I expect, as is usually the case, but while I suffer from terrible social awkwardness, every anxiety about meeting with people tends to fade when it’s work and trying to fix broken systems.

The contract was signed on Friday and is for 6 months, through January 31, 2016, with guaranteed base hours. This will likely turn into a 40-hour per week type job, and I am okay with that. Some things will have to be done during regular business hours to meet with the partners, their staff, subcontractors and vendors, but a lot can and will be done from home. I already have a long list of items and it grows by the hour.

As I said, exciting and terrifying. Because this is a large job and with a law firm, I am taking steps to ensure I create an actual business entity with appropriate business licenses, upgraded business and auto insurance, health insurance, and retirement plans.

Despite this additional contract and boatload of work, I will continue with my arrangement with my other job through at least the end of the year or whenever they choose to terminate our arrangement. After week one the bosses seem to be settling down, and I am sent the local boss a promising candidate on Friday night, someone I know personally and have worked with in the past. She’s a recent widow (2 years) and looking for a flexible part-time job to get her twin sons through high school. Not an accounting type person, but a terrific office receptionist and assistant. She is also quiet, can think on her feet, and is not at all the type to suggest anything is outside her job description or beneath her – all traits that will appeal to the local boss. I also trust her completely and would recommend her without hesitation.

I already have some new goals for myself between now and the end of the year, but more importantly, I am fast-tracking myself to learn to manage my time and energy without the “at the office” guideline and standard of when and how I work. Outlook is my friend, sort of, and I expect I will be slave to my alarms and reminders about meals until I adjust to this new way of life.

As it is I have already screwed up. I have an appointment with my endocrinologist on Tuesday morning, only I thought the little reminder card said August 14, not August 4, or the August 12 that was floating in my head (vet appointment for the fluffybutts). I have not yet gotten my labs done for this appointment, so I have to call to reschedule, then plan on getting labs done either tomorrow or a week prior to our reschedule date. My habit of getting all my reminder cards out the last week of the month for the upcoming month is going to have to become putting it into my phone the moment I schedule something, or I am going to be scrambling. As it is I have been in touch with him about my most recent issues, so another week is unlikely to make a huge difference. I just know I am unlikely to get my prized first patient of the day or first patient after lunch spots. Oh well; such is the price I pay for not wearing my glasses when reading appointment cards.

I was thinking last week that when I started my 80 days of summer post series that it would be an interesting experiment in goal setting, tracking, and reporting. When I started, I had no idea how much things would change through the course of those 80 days. Big changes, good changes, but unexpected changes all the same.

I am very grateful that things have gone so well and so quickly morphed into something better for me. So many new things, so much blog fodder into the future. As if I ever worried about running out of topics to discuss here … so not happening anytime into the foreseeable future.

2 thoughts on “Making choices

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