Monday, March 02, 2009

Big Changes in Life and Blog

Photo by Jacob Bøtter

Last week, I alluded to some big changes in my life. I finally have a few minutes to sit down and tell you about it.

My husband and I both lost our jobs. That's right. Both of our companies went out of business and laid everyone off. It sounds terrible - and it is. But, we are totally fine. Really.

Having worked in several high-tech startups, we are very used to ups and downs. When we had kids, we decided we couldn't both continue to work at start-ups. So we adopted a "diversified job strategy". I would work at big stable companies, my husband would work at startups. This gives us the best of both worlds. Me -- a high stable income with good benefits. He -- maybe salary, maybe benefits, but a chance at a payoff if things pan out. (Regardless of what you've read about everyone getting rich off of big IPO's, 9 out of 10 startups fail, so big payoffs are not the norm.)

Around late November, though, things at my company were not looking good. So, I immediately started to look for a job. I provide the stable income and heath benefits for our family, so it is *not* OK for me to be unemployed.

I worked my network (thank you LinkedIn!) and found a job opening within the largest, most stable company in my field. My colleagues on the "inside" told me that I should "get in quick" because a hiring freeze was coming down soon. So, even though I had my entire family coming for Thanksgiving, I flew to California that week for an interview. It went something like this:

Sunday night - catch last flight out to California arrive past midnight, drive to hotel. Remember to pull interview suit out of suitcase and hang up before collapsing into bed.

Monday - an entire day of interviews from 8am through dinner in half-hour intervals. I felt like I was on the Amazing Race. They don't give you the interview schedule ahead of time. The person you are meeting with tells you the office number of the next person. It's up to you to decipher the map of the buildings and get yourself there. It was exhausting and stressful.

Monday night - take the red-eye back home. Arrive 7am Tuesday morning. Sleep for a few hours, get up and go to work. That's right. What working mom actually has accrued vacation time? It cost me my last vacation day just to take that interview!

Tuesday night, get house ready for guests. Make Thanksgiving shopping list.

Wednesday afternoon - food shopping and more house prep.

Wednesday night - Welcome family. Smile and play hostess even though I want to crawl up in a ball.

I was pretty sure I had nailed the interview, but there was still the question about the impending hiring freeze. Would I make it in under the deadline? In the mean time, my existing company had given everyone layoff notices.

It took the new company several weeks to get back to me with a formal offer. I was on pins and needles up until I got the letter in-hand. It feels awesome to have scored a job at this company. I know they will weather this recession, and so it is a good place to be for the next few years.

But, there's always a flip side. Longer hours, more travel, and a *much* longer commute. It's pretty brutal, actually.

In the midst of all of this, my husband's company also folded. Thank God. Otherwise, I don't know how we would manage. With my new commute, there is no way I can get home in time to pick HB up from daycare. So, he picks her up and starts dinner before I get home.

What about his job hunt? Well, he is going to take some time off to decompress. Startups are very stressful, and so we've found that it helps to take some time to clear you head before jumping into the next one. In the mean time, I am loading him up with all those nagging to-do's that I never got around to, and things I no longer have time for, given my new job. In fact, he's writing my blog post for Wednesday. :-)

As a result of these new changes, I need to revise my posting schedule for this happy little blog. I had an editorial calendar planned out for this year, but I will not have the time to execute it completely. I don't want to publish "fluff" just to keep up with a certain blogging frequency. When I write about something, I want to take the time to do it properly, and make sure it is well-considered.

So, I have decided to drop back to two posts a week, on Monday and Wednesday. I will still be doing the Super Food series on Fridays, on the first and last week of the month. But, there won't be posts on the remaining Fridays.

This is a great opportunity to subscribe to my posts in a reader (RSS) or by Email. That way, you will be notified of new posts immediately, and won't have to keep checking back to see if there is anything new.

Hang in there with me as my family transitions to this new schedule. There are already a few great insights I've gained as a result, and I can't wait to share them with you.


  1. This is crazy! My boyfriend and I both work for start-ups and I can't imagine throwing a long commute and family into the mix. Bravo to you!

  2. @Rebecca - Yes, it's crazy. I don't know if 'Bravo' is the right word. Bravo would be convincing my new employer to let me telecommute a few days a week. Because this is just unsustainable.


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