The Everything Job

Day’s Verse:
God’s temple is sacred—and you, remember, are the temple.
1 Corinthians 3:17

OK, so it’s been a week since I posted, and in that week, I’ve repeatedly opened up this blog post and tried to write something. But what to write? I’m going to hit the highlights, and leave it at that:

Last Tuesday I started working for Veronica Smith, principal at data2insight. She does data collection, evaluation, and visualization. If that sounds confusing, check her website. Her actual business isn’t that important to me, because she does all the revenue-generating work and she hired me to do executive assistant work, (ideally) everything that doesn’t generate revenue. So far, I have:

  • Set up and gotten working all my own web accounts at sites she uses — Dropbox, Google Apps, T-Sheet, etc.;
  • Reviewed various web hosting companies and provided summaries and my recommendation for which to use;
  • Converted two documents she wrote into blog posts and troubleshot bizarre blog behavior;
  • Made some basic edits to text on her website;
  • Worked with her web person to switch her web host, and troubleshoot issues that arose from that switch;
  • Reviewed travel options for her upcoming trip to Boston;
  • Done in-depth copy-editing for a 100-page report she wrote (and will input those changes when I have time); and
  • Begun reformatting the Word document of said report.

Although I’m also slated to begin some rather intensive organizing and filing next week, this job won’t be just brainless phone-answering. I’ve already learned a bunch about web hosting (more than I ever wanted to know, frankly), and I’m delighted to get my sticky fingers back into report editing and formatting. I hope she has more of that to do. From what I can tell, “I’m bored” won’t have the chance to flit across my grey cells for quite a while.

I work for her Monday through Wednesday, commuting to her home office on Capitol Hill by bus and riding my bike home. For now I’m on a 90-day probation, which takes us through the end of July. At that point I’m planning on “going on maternity leave,” such as it is, and once The Boy is born we’ll figure out what I can do to continue helping Veronica out while being a new mom.

This job is an interesting amalgamation of jobs I’ve had before: It’s some Charles River scientific writer time management/project wrangling skills and that scientific/engineering atmosphere (Veronica has degrees in architecture and electrical engineering) combined with some AmeriCorps “go be autonomously productive” but also super-flexible on the non-essentials atmosphere. I think I’ll do well and enjoy the combination of the two. Oh, also, Veronica and I have alarmingly similar personalities — I could be Veronica in 20 years, seriously, except she doesn’t have kids — so either we’ll get along great, or sparks will soon fly and I’ll hit the road. I’m rooting and aiming for the former.

So that is my new job. I feel very fortunate to have found something that I can do before The Boy makes his appearance, and the potential for flexible work after he’s born appeals to me deeply. Biking is great for clearing my brain, but I think I’ll need stimulating adult interaction once The Boy’s born, and this could allow that but with working from home. I am hopeful.


Day’s Verse:
[Wisdom’s] benefits are worth more than a big salary, even a very big salary;
the returns on me exceed any imaginable bonus.

Proverbs 8:20-ish

I got a job.

At least, I got a job for a while.

Details! I’ll be working as an executive assistant to Veronica Smith at data 2 insight, her company. We’re starting with a 90-day trial period, which begins on May 8 and goes through the end of July. That’ll let us get to know each other and see how it goes before I have The Boy. By then it should be clear whether I want to continue trying to work, and if so, we can figure out what that might look like.

I’ll be working Monday through Wednesday, 9 am to 4 pm, commuting to Veronica’s home office on Capitol Hill. I can catch an express commuter bus there and bike home. It’s about an hour each way, biking or busing. If I stay on with her after The Boy comes along, we’d probably figure out a way to migrate more of my work home so I can work remotely.

To start with, I’m going to take on three major projects and a variety of other minor responsibilities.

I’m looking forward to this. It’ll be good for me to get back into having a regular work schedule, doing something interesting (the three projects are stuff I’ve never thought about before), and earning a bit of money. The pay’s nothing to write home about, but it’s reasonable enough for the work and my minimal experience as an assistant. I also appreciate that Veronica is willing to take on somebody who’s going to have a baby in just a few months, after which who knows what might happen. And she has a very sweet 11-year-old black lab named Bella who is clearly the supervisor in the office.

So that’s the exciting news.