I'm bad at math. It has never been a strong point of mine, but currently I am facing a dilemma that is less about math skills and more about discernment. We, as a family, are trying to figure out what life is going to look like post-pregnancy, post-Army -both of which are quickly approaching.
Last week during an acting gig at LifeSize Communications I had the chance to work with the director of marketing. On my first day I came home and told Brian, "You know, I could work there. It's a nice environment and seems like a very good company." That got our wheels turning... So the next day while working with the dir. of marketing I asked if they were hiring. It so happens that they are creating several new full and part-time positions doing something similar to what I was already doing -demonstrating the equipment via teleconferencing to prospective clients. Heck, I could do that -and it'd be pretty fun! So I gave her my contact info and in a flash she texted the head of recruiting about me. What's next? Well, I think the ball might be in my court.
Here's where the math comes in, but first a little backstory. It recently occurred to Brian that when he gets out of the Army in April he won't be enrolled in classes (because it's the middle of the semester) and therefore not receiving the GI Bill immediately. He'll have his EMT (emergency medical training) Basic and will try for whatever job in the medical field he can get with this new qualification. He isn't sure if he can start full-time at school in the summer, so it looks like we're going to start getting the GI Bill sometime at the beginning of the 2010 fall semester. So, here I am with my calculator trying to figure out how much I need to be working in order to help cover the gap. But it's not as simple as it sounds.
I'm looking at several things. 1) How much do I need to make hourly, 2) How many hours do I need to be working, 3) Will we make more if I work for someone else or if I work for myself? The last questions is the hardest to answer. Forgive me if I'm too detailed or sharing too much information, but I'm working this out as I write and it's SO helpful!
We can be supported by my photography and the classes I teach IF I can create enough of a demand for both. Even teaching 2 of the multiple week classes with very limited enrollment I can make nearly as much as if I was working 20 hours a week for someone else -plus I don't have to commute. That's basically working 2 nights a week instead of 3 full days. I'm seeing the benefits of self-employment, BUT that depends entirely on creating the demand.
Legwork, phone calls, networking, advertising = enrollment. All of those require time and lots of effort, plus a bit of an investment. Personally I think it's worth it, but being able to go to work and come home (making work and home separate) is very appealing. It's a steady paycheck and I can't say the same for either of my endeavors.
The big reason I am contemplating working outside the home, besides the income, is that Brian would be able to stay home with the kids. I can't stand the thought of putting them in daycare -just my personal feelings- when either Brian or I could be with them instead. It's a numbers game; being efficient with our work time so that we can still be a family.
If I could guarantee that I would have full classes, I'd say forget the corporate idea. What am I supposed to do? Yep, I heard that. I'm supposed to get off the computer and start having a serious one-on-one with God to answer that question. I know my dilemma and now it's time to discern the answer. God gave me a pretty good brain, I know he wants me to use it so I won't just sit on the couch and ask that everything simply fall in my lap, wrapped up real pretty with a bow on top. I'll keep moving forward, keep exploring options, and keep hold of my solid faith that wonderful things ARE coming our way and an answer to this big question is just around the corner to be revealed to me with perfect timing.