That "Day" Job
I have been in a bit of a struggle recently. Juggling the new website, family and my day job has been stressing me out. Mostly, the day job has been stressing me out. I have been a professor for over 10 years and I used to love it but the politics of higher education have taken that love and turned it into marginal like. The past two years have been especially rough and I decided it was time to look for brighter horizons. So, I looked for a way to parlay my knowledge into self-employment which is how I found WA.
When I enrolled, I was on a roll! So many ideas and courses and people. Building my site, looking for affiliates, sourcing my content so it means something, etc. I was loving it and then...that day job popped up. Many people think the life of a professor is easy and full of downtime to read, write and think lofty thoughts. Well, that's only once you have past post-tenure review about 15 years into your career. In the interim, it is a landmine of political wrangling, teaching, writing, presenting, networking, dealing with so many stakeholders your head will spin, and finding ways to stretch a 9 month salary over a 12 month time period (yes, I have worked every summer to make ends meet). All that was fine with me when I worked for something I believed it: my students. These days, I am working to bring more revenue into the university with less resources and marginal support. My "day" job eats a vast amount of personal and professional resources with little to no return on investment (and that investment comes was is a serious student loan payment each month) and the promise of security when tenure hits is blowing in the wind.
I have an escape plan. It's called my own business.
I want to jump in feet first to it and devote more time and resources than I have been while, at the same time, I acknowledge that I cannot. The day job is paying the bills, keeping the kid fed and clothed, and making life livable. The business is still struggling to walk. One day, the day job will be on its last breath and the business(es) will be taking care of making all the ends meet. Until then, I will work that "day" job like I am supposed to and that "night" job every second I can. The caveat here is that I, also, recognize that this moment is fleeting. I will look back on the lack of sleep and time spent working on the business in any spare moment I can find as just the road to the life I dreamed about. I will smile slightly about that day job that used to consume my life and make me unhappy. I will glance back, briefly, to acknowledge that in order to be where I am, I had to go through that place.
It will be good and it is good now and that helps keep that "day" job bearable.