February 2018
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I Really Am Working Two Jobs Now

I have completely STUNK at updating all of my blogs except for Budgeting in the Fun Stuff.  I have finally decided that it is okay.  Even if I only update my exercise and weight loss goals here, that serves its purpose.  :-)

Here’s what I am up to right now:

  • Working my regular cubicle job Mondays-Fridays from 7:30am-4:30pm.
  • Posting daily at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff – there have been and will be a ton of guest posts for the last 2 weeks and next week since I have been going out of town every weekend with friends and family.
  • Posting weight loss updates here.
  • Staff writing for Sweating the Big Stuff.
  • Staff writing for Stupid Cents.
  • Staff writing for Passive Family Income.
  • Starting staff writing at another blog in May.
  • Running advertising for a different blog than any of the above.
  • Doing a side blogging project for yet another blogger.
  • Lining up another, very large, side project with someone else.
  • Answering comments at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff.
  • Answering emails for Budgeting in the Fun Stuff.

Sadly, I haven’t even had time to read other blogs for more than a week, so I haven’t been commenting either.  I will need to jump back on that horse after this upcoming final weekend of travel.

It feels better simply seeing my accomplishments in writing.  No wonder I am tired but proud, lol.  :-)

How Would You Use Your Vacation Days?

I’m getting 15 vacation days for the first time in 2011 and am wondering how I can best use those extra 5 days to my advantage.  :-)

I know that we’ll be using 4 days for our summer vacation during the week of July 4th.  I also know I will need at least two Fridays for two Saturday weddings I need to attend.  Lastly, I almost always take a day during Spring Break to hang out with my husband who gets that whole week off – it helps me make it through the 5 months between New Year’s and Memorial Day, lol.

So, I already have at least 7 days accounted for…here is what I have in mind for the others:

  • At least 1-2 days for a long weekend to meet up with a few other bloggers out there that I am dying to meet.  :-)
  • At least 1 day for a ranch house weekend with my local friends again.  That was fun this year!
  • Another 1-2 days for the board gaming weekend at the end of the year we always go to.
  • Spread out the remaining 3-5 days to make some 3 day weekends in long periods between holidays.

Do you get vacation days?  How do you spread them out?

Should Politics be Involved at Work?

I work at a VERY conservative company.  I would guess that at least 95% of the management and 85% of the employees are classic Texan Republicans.  This usually doesn’t bother me in the least…except around elections.

We are a privately owned company and our owner sees no problem in sending out propaganda emails and even mentions his politics at big company meetings.  In 2008 he told us all to vote against Obama.  I believe his exact words at this year’s annual company birthday party were, “It’s no secret that I thought our country was headed in a ruinous direction and these last election results have given me hope.”

I am constantly thinking two things:

1)  Isn’t it wrong to promote specific political views at work?  Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Green Party members, etc. usually agree that politics are to be left at home.

2)  Isn’t it odd to preach to the choir?  Almost everyone I work with is a Republican themselves (heck, this is Texas after all)…why is he going out of his way to only offend the few of us who rather not hear about politics on the job?

I know we are a privately owned company so our owner doesn’t have to worry about some things that public company leaders have on their minds, but to me, the legality of it shouldn’t matter.  It just seems rude.  I’m not a member of a specific party, but I don’t go around pushing my candidates on everyone.  I thought it was just common courtesy.

Do you think politics should be a part of your working environment?  Would receiving email propaganda at work tick you off?

3 Ways To Find My Balance

I may have overscheduled myself but I refuse to give up.  I am currently trying to find the correct balance between my job, my life, my contract work on the side, blogging, and staff writing.  These are the 3 things I’m trying to concentrate on right now:

1)  Prioritize

  • My husband, family, and friends are always my first priority but those relationships are pretty solid.  I just make sure to make time as needed. 
  • My second priority is everything I get paid for – work, contract work, and staff writing. 
  • My third priority is building all 3 of my blogs up so I will be able to blog full time by 2012. 
  • Dogs, chores, and everything else fall behind in my priorities, but don’t worry, the dogs are fed, medicated as needed, and much loved, lol.

2)  Budget My Time Based on Those Priorities

  • I have had to start blowing off some stuff to make time for the necessities. 
  • I no longer read and comment on as many other blogs as I did, but I still try to make the rounds. 
  • I also am slowing down with my writing, but guest posts have helped a ton. 
  • The ideas are still there thankfully, I just need to find time to put them on paper like I am right now.

3)  Schedule

  • It’s hard to make a set schedule since life has a way of popping up even when unplanned, lol. 
  • I am going to try to have set blocks of time set aside for at least catchup work as needed.  I’m tentatively putting aside 2 hours each night Monday-Thursday and a 3 hour block on Saturday or Sunday as available.

How do you balance all of your responsibilities?  What does your priority list look like?

Blogging Full Time

I have decided that not only do I absolutely love blogging, I want to do it as my full time job.  That seems like a big “duh”, but it took me several weeks to decide that it would be possible and I would enjoy it.  I was worrying that I may lose interest in blogging if I had to do it on a schedule, but I’ve been sticking to my set schedule for months with BFS, so I am going to pursue this like a dog after a car made of bacon…

I have tentatively decided that I can quit my day job after I get my blog income to more than $36,000 a year – $3000 a month.  Here’s my rough plan to make that happen:

1.  Don’t suck

If I let my writing slip or get lazy, you (my very awesome readers) will be oh-so-bored and give up on me.  So, I will try very hard not to suck.

2.  Post regularly

I post on BFS every day and post at least every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on here and It’s a Dog’s Life For Me.  I will keep to that schedule come hell or high water.

3.  Care a little more about SEO

I have been blowing off the idea of search engine optimization, but if I want tons of hits, I’ll need to dig in.  I promise not to give up my personality or to start writing boring SEO-only posts.  I’m just going to include more SEO-friendly titles and wording.  Heck, we may not even notice.  Let me know if it causes me to break the first rule above, lol. 

4.  Comment, comment, comment

Due to time restrictions, I haven’t been able to read and comment on as many blogs as I did before.  I’m going to have to schedule in a little weekend time or something because I cannot let that slip.

5.  Get my name out there

I will be guest posting as often as possible and accepting lots of guest posts too.  I hope that word of mouth will pass along how amazing my blogs are and that the wacky red-head that runs them is pretty funny too.

Okay, that’s my plan.  My goal is to hit that $36,000 a year mark by 2012.  That gives me the rest of 2010 and all of 2011 to build up some major traffic.  Look out, Crystal in out for as many readers as humanly possible!!!  :-)

Thanks to all of you for being a part of my life.  If you are reading this, I mean you.  Seriously.  :-)

Job Hunting Sucks

I am looking for a new job. 

I settled for an easy job that pays $35,000 a year because I was good at it and my work environment was pretty laid back.  Not anymore.  They fired 2/3 of the department and expect me and one other person to do all the work.  Plus, we’ve been on a 2 year salary freeze and they are now going to start charging us for some of our benefits.  I have been pushed over the edge.  I’m now job hunting.

As the title suggests, I think job hunting sucks.  Not only do I get to be judged by a ton of employers who never met me based on a resume and cover letter, but spammers also send you a ton of junk you are forced to sift through to find actual opportunities.  I get frustrated with every “Marketing Opportunity” that makes in through my spam filter.

So my awesome readers, how would you look for a job if you wanted to right now?  Would you go through Monster/Hot Jobs and deal with the spammers?  Would you look on Craigslist?  What would you suggest for someone like me?  I have 9 years of customer service experience and truly enjoy helping people!