My funemployment officially starts in September because I am still employed full-time as a graduate student through August. However, now that I am post-defense, I have the time to set myself up well to transition into funemployment.
I’m going to attempt to document my funemployment through a series of goal posts. Just after the start of each month, I will report how I did on my goals for the month that just ended and set out goals for the month that is starting. I also would like to report my income during these months, but I’m still negotiating with Kyle on how exactly to do that (he is more private than I am). Today’s post will serve as laying out what I hope to be the structure of these posts and to delineate my first set of goals.
The funemployment activities I plan to participate in fall into a few categories:
- career advancement
- online projects
- earning money
These should be relatively self-explanatory. I don’t expect service work to make me any money, although it could be good networking or cross-promotion with my online projects. Career-advancing activities and online work may or may not earn some money, but that is not their primary purpose at the moment. I want to get my ideas for my online projects out into the world (new websites, ebooks) so that I’m not distracted by them once I start full-time work again. Likewise, career advancement may be paid or unpaid but I hope it will all be good job experiences and/or useful networking leading up to my full-time job search.
There are plenty of other more personal goals like for friendships, our household, and my health, but these are the ones related to career and money that I’d like some accountability for here on EPF. I might set some concrete income goals in a month or two when I have some more certainty about my sources of income.
Goal 1: Finish all (possible) PhD-related work.
I don’t want to have any grad school stuff hanging over my head in September! I technically have until September 6 to turn in my edited dissertation, but I want all the is dotted and the ts crossed before the end of August. I need to clean out my bench and office and help the lab pack for its move mid-month. I also have to submit a paper so my goal is to have that done this month, although if my co-authors are a bit slow it might not happen in time.
Goal 2: Apply for a freelance position.
I have had it in mind to work for a certain company during or after my PhD on a contract basis that seems like a great fit for me. I never made the time for it during grad school (hello EPF!) but now I have the time and I’d like to bring in some money. Many of my friends from grad school have worked for this company as contractors and a couple currently work there full-time and I think it will be a good experience, though not terribly lucrative.
Goal 3: Apply for a fellowship.
I’ve had my eye on a sweet semester-long working fellowship in the DC area for the last 4-5 years but I didn’t want to pause my PhD to do it, especially since it only occurs during the school year. But this year would be great timing! The program starts in January 2015 and the deadline for applying is the end of August. It should be an amazing career-building experience if I’m able to do it.
Goal 4: Contact partners concerning volunteering.
In the past two years I have volunteered at my university and at my church in the area of personal finance. When I got into my crazy period of writing my dissertation and preparing for my defense, I let the people I was working with know that I was going to be unavailable for a few months but that I would be back full-force in the fall. Now I need to let them know that I’m willing to jump in again.
Goal 5: Ramp EPF back up.
I’ve missed posting on EPF so much during these last few months! I’m going to return to a regular posting schedule and keep an editorial calendar and all of that. However, I’m going to restructure my recurring posts and drop down to posting about twice per week to make room for my other writing projects. I want to have a regular presence on the blogosphere again in advance of FinCon14.
Goal 6: Buy two new domains.
I picked out two new URLs to buy last spring but didn’t pull the trigger because I knew I wouldn’t have time to work on the projects then. I’d like to secure them now so Kyle and I can start working on them. One is a sister site to the site we developed and only soft-launched last spring and the other is going to be an authority site.
Goal 7: Explore local internship opportunities.
I’ve already received a few leads in this area in the past few months that I need to follow up on. I’m not sure if I will ultimately do an internship but I certainly want to check out what’s possible this fall.
I think this is enough to get started with! I think my goals for September will be more numerous/deeper as we really dig into these new projects and I find work. Wish me luck!
What are you trying to accomplish this month? Do you use any productivity software that you really like? Would you report irregular income on a blog for accountability and motivation purposes?