The last week might be the third or fourth time in the last eighteen or so months that I’ve taken off at least a week’s worth of time from my day job. And you know what? Once again I find myself at the end of this “vacation” and I’m absolutely exhausted. You see, I haven’t actually spent my vacations in a vacating mode. Instead, I’ve either been traveling to different cities to fulfill my volunteer obligations as a member of my fraternity’s foundation Board of Trustees or spending time at my home office in New Jersey working on my website company, focusing on the classes that I’m teaching, or working on the public relations certificate program that I’m enrolled in right now.
After spending a few vacations in a row doing this type of stuff, it begins to completely wear a person out.
But I’m not complaining. Nope. Instead, I’m glad because – just like with my student loans – I can now begin to see some light at the end of this tunnel of constantly working around the clock. What does that mean? Well, let me explain!
I’ve chronicled on this blog many times in the past few months that I’ve been getting rid of some website clients for a variety of reasons. The primary reason that I’m spinning clients off is due to the misunderstanding that many of my [former] clients had about what my duties were as a webmaster (i.e. I’m not the guy to call when your computer has a virus) as well as my rates being so low that I wasn’t turning a large enough profit to keep these clients in my portfolio. Was I turning a profit with these clients? More or less. But it certainly wasn’t akin to what my time is worth in the market. So by clearing out some of these clients, I’m going to open up some more free time in my schedule.
On top of that, I began this public relations certificate program at the local college last year. Why did I start the program, you ask? Well, I hate loose ends and I attended this college as a graduate student for one semester before leaving to go to Rutgers University to pursue a different Masters Degree. In the mean time, during that one semester at the local college I completed one course for three credits. Technically, I’ve had those three credits outstanding and just hanging around at the local college for seven years – and that has always annoyed me. To remedy that annoyance, I started a certificate program during the fall semester of 2009. The program calls for 12 credits in order to receive the certificate and I now have (including those three credits from 2003) nine credits completed in the program. I’m currently taking an independent study (in an awesome topic, by the way) that will be completed by December 15th of this year. Once the independent study is completed and [successfully] graded, I will be a certified public relations specialist. And I won’t have those three credits hanging around or have to worry about studying and researching like a graduate student any more, either. More free time and a free public relations specialist certificate? Works for me!
My other big commitment that will be alleviated before Christmas is my face-to-face teaching obligations at the local college. Currently, I’m teaching one face-to-face course twice each week in the morning. This is the first time that I’m teaching in the morning and it definitely has been challenging on my personal and professional schedules. Once this class ends, though, I’m not scheduled to teach another face-to-face class until next September. In other words, my time commitment at a college campus that is about 15 – 20 minutes from my home will dramatically decrease until next fall. Not bad!
As for the online teaching gig, all of the courses that I’m currently mentoring will be over in the middle of December. To date, I haven’t been scheduled to teach any new classes in December or January, but that’s okay. There is an ebb and a flow to the demand for the niche courses that I teach for this online university and I expect that the demand will pick up again in the early spring. Although you never know with this online college – sometimes they assign a course out of the blue. However, right now it looks like that obligation on my time will be easing up in the middle of December.
Thinking a little bit longer term, some of you may know that while I serve as the Treasurer of the fraternity Foundation, I am also leading our strategic planning process. We are scheduled to complete that process by the first weekend of February 2011. Once that process is complete, a great deal of my time that I spend in my mini-home office will be opened up again for me to spend on my personal interests or… nothing at all!
So when you read entries like this on JerseySmarts.com, don’t think that I’m bitching. In fact, I lay out these types of entries because this is still a personal blog and it helps me to organize my thoughts a little bit. So thanks for reading through my thought organization process!