Posts Tagged ‘school’

Jack of All Trades…

…master of none…

I learned something from Adam Savage at The Last H.O.P.E. Prior to the convention, I had no idea there was more to that saying.  Hearing Adam complete it made me feel so much better about being a Jack-of-all-trades myself.

Jack of all trades, master of none,
though ofttimes better than master of one.

But the more I think about it lately, the more I’m not so sure. (more…)

Motivation and Opportunities

Things have been crazy lately. Due to funding problems they had to let a large number of people go at my company over the past couple of months. At first it was just upper management-types and people that we didn’t know what it was that they actually did. The last round they let go around 15 of the people in my office alone – many were friends and team members (we’re estimating somewhere around 1/4 of the company). So far I’ve been “safe” because I’m a jack-of-all-trades and they can put me on almost any team.

They let most of the people go with the hopes of bringing them back once we pick up more billable work. So far we’ve only brought one person back that I know of. That gave everyone hope at first – but we haven’t heard too much about new projects. I love the company, but things aren’t looking too good.

It seems like most of the people that remain don’t have enough to do. Perhaps it’s a short lull. Most of our billable work has to be done on the weekends, so a lot of people (including me) have had to shift their work schedule to accommodate. The rest of the time… we sit around waiting for emails or something else to do. There’s really no reason to come into the office most days.

Right now I’m split between two projects. One has minimal work during the week, but I make up for that on the weekends. The other has no management or direction. I’m left with having to read through a list of very dry documents, and do whatever I can to learn more about the application I’m supposed to start supporting. The only other guy left on the team is busy traveling to client sites and actually working. I have to tell ya, this situation isn’t very motivating – but I don’t want to think of the alternative.

I don’t feel comfortable actively looking for another job. I mean, just look at my websites! They’re hideous! What a time to start everything from scratch with a complete overall. And I don’t exactly have Photoshop installed on my work computer to clean them up when things are slow. My evenings are taken up by school work and house & garden work…

There’s a possibility of a great new opportunity in the Boston area that I would LOVE to have, but again, I’m not too confident because my portfolio isn’t up to snuff. After all, would you prefer to spend your time on school work, helping friends with their websites, or updating your own websites? My websites are the lowest priority. *sigh

Life is good

Things are going really well. My brother appears to be settling in well in his new place far from “home” and even making friends. His job is sounding like it’s requiring less travel, stress, and hours, and he’s even taking kung-fu classes!

My job changed, and I should be getting the full details of my projects tomorrow – I’m very excited. No more on-call. Yay! I have a life now. Yay again! I’m getting out and walking with the dog (it’ll be more often once it gets warmer outside). I’m working on a website with a friend for our favorite local restaurant in exchange for food. I have a growing list of design projects for another company to work on. One of the projects is a new logo design – and I think I’m finally on to something that will fit well. These projects will also help finally pay off some debt. Our taxes have been submitted and accepted – and are really nice this year because we bought the house. That should help give us a small buffer as well as catch up on a couple of things. I’m also actually making decent progress on my school work as well!

It’s amazing what some “spare” time can do.

Now to make progress on redoing the master bedroom. Ha!

Boston & Autumn Colors

Fall is here. The leaves are changing colors – but I’m afraid that it’s been so dry lately that the color will be extremely short-lived.

I’m still working on my Design & Comp class. It’s due soon and I need to finish it up ASAP. I also want to brush up on my basic Photoshop skills because I’m headed to my first ever Photoshop seminar next week. I’m very excited about it – I’m such a dork.

Things have been significantly less stressful at work since I’ve stepped down as Team Lead. Now I can focus on all of my projects and technical work instead of trying to figure out politics.

Misc. Updates; General Life Progress

I was finally satisfied with the majority of the website’s redesign (on my Mac), and then I checked it out on the PC this morning. I still have a bit of work left to do… (and the menu still needs a lot of help) But I have other projects that need to get finished first, so I’ll probably back-burner it again for a while. At least for now the general color scheme is more “me”.

I’ve been getting outside a lot these days and have been trying to keep the garden going. There’s a LOT of weeding to be done (ugh). We found out this morning that apparently the deer are eating all of our veggies (double-ugh!)!! And they’re not even fully grown or ripe yet! At this rate all the veggies will be eaten before they get a chance to fully grown. So we ran out tonight and got some deer netting and tried to get the garden covered until we can get a better solution setup – a taller fence? But, the sun had already set and we were working almost blind. That was fun! We’ll see how well it worked tomorrow. Hopefully we don’t end up with some deer actually caught inside it… d’oh!

School’s progressing really well. I wanted to wait for my first assignment to be graded to move onto the second lesson of my first class. I started to get impatient waiting for the grade and feedback – but I received my grade today – 95! As long as I can keep that up, I’ll be very happy. And I’ll be able to get reimbursed 100% from my company – an even happier camper. I should be reading up my next lesson tomorrow, and hopefully have the assignment submitted by the end of the week.

Lately I’ve been motivated and in an “improvement” mode. Self improvement and general all-around improvement. Weeding / keeping up the flowers and misc. plants as well. Making progress (slowly) on the projects around the house. Fixing up some of the trees outside. Reorganizing junk and sorting through / getting rid of junk (physical and electronic – heh). I finally went to the gym tonight (only 12 minutes on the eliptical machine, but after 8 months of no gym, it’s a great start).

I’m moving along with school work – while maintaining my day job. I’m trying to keep it as a day job and leaving work at the office (mostly) instead of making it take over my life (that’s pretty hard actually). I’ve decided what I want to do in life / where I want to be. I’ve identified what I need to do or have in order to get there, and I’ve laid out a plan and some goals (no set deadlines yet though).

Completing school is one of them. I’m hoping to complete 1 class each month (give or take depending on the # of lessons). That would be ideal for both progress and my wallet since I payed for the classes up front on my credit card and need the reimbursements. hehehe Building up a portfolio is the other main goal / necessity which means finishing up some projects – finding the time for this will be the hardest part of all. I have plenty of projects lined up, I just have to sit down and do them. I’d also really like to get certified by Adobe (ACE, “Adobe Certified Expert“). The day I can put that logo on my business card and website, will be a very good day indeed.

I’m trying to keep my weight down (losing some would be even better – but not gaining is good too). Heck – I’ve even been working on toilet training the cats! No joke – they’re coming right along too – gimme a couple more weeks and we should *knock on wood* be a litter-free household!

So things are coming along rather well, as long as I can keep up the pace. I think I can. I’m pretty motivated. Talk to me again in a year and we’ll see how far along I am. =)