Not getting fired isn’t enough

Last week was the first day of my last semester before I get my degree, and I’ve already managed to miss two days of classes, one because I had the time wrong, and the second because my youngest was sick. The New Year has seen little activity at my day job, save for some scrambling around the end of life for Windows 7. And despite my best efforts, I’ve still managed to pick up a few projects to add to my already overloaded schedule.

Most of my side work right now is around website hosting. Maintaining domains, SSL certs, installing WordPress; nothing too complicated. I’m using Infinite WordPress to keep an eye on security updates and backups, and have a year membership for Envato to access all their premium themes and other assets. It’s low hanging fruit, I’ll admit.

I’m also close to closing a deal for setting up digital infrastructure for a local school board candidate. One of the perks for having run for office myself is the ability to get paid to do the same work.

Each day that goes by brings home the realization that I’m all but checked out from my day job. The last few months of 2019 I was busy furiously trying to find ways to automate operations as much as possible. Not now. There’s no urgency. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about core values, trying to figure out what kind of culture we have at my job, and the answers I’ve found have been lacking. I take a lot of the blame for the way I’ve acted that have led to a toxic work environment, which has caused any efforts to enforce discipline to fail.

Perhaps part of it is going on several years now without a boost in compensation. I’ve been working with the same salary for about five years now, which is crazy. I’ve told myself that I’m comfortable with this because of the freedom I have, I’m able to work from home and don’t have to worry about how many hours I actually work. It’s well under thirty five a week. Even the sparse goals that I’ve set for myself for billable time have gone unchecked.

There is an old adage: people work only as hard enough as to not get fired, and employees pay them only enough not to quit. It’s not enough for me anymore. My main concern right now is doubling my income before the end of the year. Wish me luck.

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