Guest Post – The Bullet Journal Saved My Lifestyle

Jack Hill is hands-down one of the most productive people I’ve ever met and a Day Job veteran who’s worked a bigger variety of jobs than even I have. The two of us spent a lot of time in grad school trying to make sense of how the writing life worked in the 21st century.  Check out his website or follow him on Twitter @xjackhill. … Continue reading Guest Post – The Bullet Journal Saved My Lifestyle »

Is Your Workplace Socially Toxic?

I’m an introvert, which means I gain energy from being alone and I exert energy whenever I’m around people, especially large groups.  This doesn’t mean that I hate being around people—in fact, a lot of people who know me will tell you that I’m at my most boisterous when I’m at parties or giving speeches. This relates to work (specifically Day Job work) in that … Continue reading Is Your Workplace Socially Toxic? »

Guest Post – Josh Bresslin: Corrections Officer/Writer

Josh and I met through a local reading series, and I was struck by how completely he was able to change his entire life to better focus on his creative work.  He’s written one novel already and working on a second, and you can find him on Twitter @Josh_Bresslin or at his website, joshbresslin.com.   Six months ago, I was working a county government job … Continue reading Guest Post – Josh Bresslin: Corrections Officer/Writer »

Stop. Checking. Your. E-mail.

I used to check my e-mail once, sometimes twice a day, usually after work or at the very end of the night.  (I know this is starting out all lame and nostalgic, but bear with me….)  I’d respond to anything that was important, then wait a few days for things that weren’t.  My back and forth conversations were usually separated by a day or longer, … Continue reading Stop. Checking. Your. E-mail. »

Every Job I’ve Ever Had, Part III

So this is the end of my three-part series spelling out my entire work history.  In Part 1 I covered my early years learning about work, and in Part 2 I moved on to post-college struggles to both scrounge up some money and get out of New Hampshire.   Goat and Horse Farm Worker Pay: $20/feeding (about 1-1.5 hours) I got back from Japan with … Continue reading Every Job I’ve Ever Had, Part III »

Every Job I’ve Ever Had Part II

This week I’m continuing my list of every job I’ve ever worked with my first four years after college.  If you missed the high school and undergrad years, check out Part I here.   Lake Protection Internship Pay: $11/hour This was the first post-college job I applied for while still a senior, the first one I interviewed for, and the first one I got—fortunate for … Continue reading Every Job I’ve Ever Had Part II »

Every Job I’ve Ever Had, Part I

I blatantly stole the idea for this post from one J. Money did a few years ago, since laying out people’s actual job histories shows how work doesn’t always form some straightforward linear path.  We tend to think of careers as a track that goes from College, to a Job, then to a Better Job, and then to Even Better Jobs that steadily pay more … Continue reading Every Job I’ve Ever Had, Part I »

Schedule Books and To-Do Lists Are Awesome

Staying focused is important—and hard.  My biggest faults in this area are procrastinating, getting distracted during worktime, and taking on too much and getting overwhelmed (especially when I’m supposed to be writing). Case in point: I probably should have started this entry an hour ago. As I’ve talked about before, structured Day Jobs make it easier to get things done because they provide goals, timelines, … Continue reading Schedule Books and To-Do Lists Are Awesome »

Why I Went to Grad School (and didn’t stay for more)

I get asked this question a lot. When I applied to grad school, I was at a crossroads (wanted to become a writer but wasn’t sure how) and had a Day Job I needed to get out of since I wasn’t yet at the point where I thought of it as a Day Job.  Years before, someone had suggested grad school as the main path … Continue reading Why I Went to Grad School (and didn’t stay for more) »

Set Your Own Goals, Not Somebody Else’s

When you’re a kid, life’s easy because you don’t have to make any scary, life-changing decisions.  Mom and Dad buy the food, decide where you’re going to live, take care of Christmas, and send you off to school.  All of your goals are clearly laid out, and until age 18, they pretty much look like this:   Finish Grade 1 Repeat Step 1 for Grades … Continue reading Set Your Own Goals, Not Somebody Else’s »

What I Learned From Working 70-Hour Weeks for Two Months

Writing about overtime hours last week reminded me of last spring when I took on the challenge of working 70 hours a week, every week, between three different jobs.  It was pretty intense. How did this happen, you ask?  Since there wasn’t much to do at my regular Day Job working at the research greenhouse, I sought out a work from home opportunity (a.k.a. my … Continue reading What I Learned From Working 70-Hour Weeks for Two Months »

Unpaid Overtime is Not Cool (and What You Can Do About It)

There’s a lot of things I hate (rude people, traffic jams, being called “buddy” in conversation), but not getting paid for the work I’ve done takes the top slot.  This isn’t because I’ve been stiffed on a paycheck, but because I’ve had jobs where I had to face off against my arch nemesis unpaid overtime. Check out this graph from the Economic Policy Institute showing … Continue reading Unpaid Overtime is Not Cool (and What You Can Do About It) »