Well, I haven’t posted much about the job situation because…it’s still pretty up in the air. The only thing we’ve dropped is working as an independent, because our city wants to get too far into our peanut butter on that. Permits, inspections, blah blah blah – even if you just want to do computer programming from your house. Sure, I could try the whole “I’ll just do it and hope I don’t get busted” thing, but the penalties can be pretty darned stiff.
Also, I have pretty high fixed costs out the gate, here. I can’t afford to have “bad” months, given the cost of childcare and so forth.
I’ve got an interview coming up for a regular salaried job. It’s Plan A right now, but could get derailed faster and harder than a skateboarder hitting a crack in the pavement if we have a major schism between when I need to earn and what they want to pay. It’s very appealing for two reasons: a reliable paycheck and (more importantly, frankly) we’re talking about doing an awful lot of telecommuting. Why yes, that would work for me, thanks for asking…
But the pay thing can be tricky. It’s easy to have a tremendous misunderstanding on that front. That’s the one thing about the IT field I’ve found the most frustrating over the years: the difference between a Level I and a Level III may seem obvious on paper, yet gets fuzzy both in practice and in the minds of the employer. So after the employer has gotten through describing how he wants me to be able to do Everything! All of it! Invent the Internet! Build the enterprise system from scratch using nothing more than a hair pin and a circa 1994 desktop nobody else is using! Create our marketing plans! Guide our research projects! And, get us the best price on office coffee!!, he’ll then turn right around and say, enthusiastically, “Yes, this is a great ground floor opportunity paying $55,000 a year! WOW!”
It isn’t that $55,000 is a rotten entry level salary. It’s a nice entry level salary. It’s just that what he’s asking me to do is more along the Level III category, which has a median of about $90,000.
(In case you’re wondering what I’m talking about with all this ‘level’ stuff, I’m using the definitions [and salaries] from www.salary.com for a Database Developer in zipcode 94102 – this is a cool resource, BTW, if you’re working. A great way to get a realistic take on what you’re worth in the open market, and awesome for ammo come raise time!)
Having had this kind of salary confrontation happen quite frequently, I’m nervous about it. Not in a ‘sitting up all night chewing my fingernails’ way, but more in a ‘man, I hope I don’t have to actually go out and interview again somewhere else’ way. I know the work is out there for me, at full pay. Mostly because companies hire Level I data geeks to do Level III work, and then desperately need someone to come in and fix the horrific mess they’ve left – FAST – because quarter close or something is coming up.
It’s just that I want to be working sooner, and I like everybody I’ve met at this company pretty darned well. I think it would work out beautifully overall.
Also, I hate interviewing. I hate having headhunters calling me day and night. “HEY! We’ve got a fabulous-fabulous-fabulous opportunity for you, dah-link! It is paying a fabulous $13.72 an hour doing data entry in fabulous Armpit, California!!”
Um. Did you read my resume at all? Even once? Did you glance at it? Armpit is about 85 miles from my house and EXCUSE ME, data entry?!
Dear God. I haven’t done data entry in so long that it has dropped off my resume altogether! But their keyword was ‘Excel’, and they just skipped over the fact that my ‘Excel’ is connected with ‘VB programming in’ and ‘reports presented via’.
Ah well. I love the work. I can hate the work-getting process, it’s only a small part of things. I love the work, and can’t wait to get back to it.
12 hours ago