Lowest Common Denominator

Anxiety has started to set in as I begin to approach my leave date. It’s still three months away, but that’s basically tomorrow in anxious-brain time.

As I get closer I’m working through some worst-case scenario plans to hopefully put my mind at ease. For instance, if my projections are correct, I should be able to make it seven months (until the end of 2018) just on my cash earnings between now and my leave date. Which means, assuming I don’t make one red cent after I quit, I shouldn’t be moving “backwards” but just stuck in my March 2018 net worth. That feels like a nicer way of framing the situation than saying I’m drawing down my cash reserves.

Ideally, though, it’d be good to have some small stream of incomes coming in to buffer myself. For whatever reason, though, I never think of doing anything tech-y or managerial (my highest ROI skill areas). If I consulted at the market rate for my current work, for instance, I could probably live off of doing 10 hours/week indefinitely. No, when I think of generating small side streams, I think of: donating my body to science, participating in psychology studies, tutoring. All relatively low-ROI but easy things to do, like I’m a college student again strapped for cash.

The better way to approach this, obviously, is to figure out how to do high-pay work part time.

The first stop, I think, is to see if my employer would be willing to hire me as a contractor to finish up some of my ongoing work. This would let me build up a fat cash cushion and walk away from some of the internal dynamics that are making me unhappy, but may or may not pan out due to various state regulations. I have enough contacts that I’m sure I could dredge up clients on my own, but unfortunately, I can’t consult in my field outside my company for at least two years due to my non-compete.

The second stop, then, would be to retrain for a closely related but not identical area of consulting that I can probably get certified to do in a month.

The third stop would be, I guess, to find part time jobs that play to my skills (assuming I can’t get a full time job that plays to my skills?). This is where I start drawing a blank. Maybe if it gets really bad I could do some freelance coding, but it’s difficult for me to imagine scoring freelance coding gigs and not just signing up for a FT position at a start-up since the job market here is pretty favorable to employees. In any case, it’s an option and probably a better one than selling my eggs.

Do you have a list of Plan B jobs? Do they adequately utilize your high ROI skills?


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