In my previous posts End of Time at U of M – Regrets? and End of Time at U of M – Regrets? (Open Courseware), I talked a little about experiences with this newfound employment. I’m still glad I did it.

Why Am I Glad I Did It?
I’d been speaking quite a bit, over the past months, with other consultants who were also considering “going W-2” and they will all probably ask me if it ended up being worth it.

What I would say is this: I’ve had few W-2 positions in my life. I’ve spent most of my adult life working for myself and, like anything else, it has both positive and negative aspects. With that, the prospect of getting a W-2 position had some appeal because it seemed like a new adventure, plus all the other aspects such as this one being close to home and working with a new group of people on a system I had not previously worked on.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the best part – direct deposit. Get this, and I know it almost sounds too crazy to be true, but – every month on payday, money just shows up in your bank account. You don’t have to send an invoice, call anyone or check on anything – MONEY JUST SHOWS UP!!! Wow! This was just the best idea, ever. I LOVE direct deposit. I mean I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!!!! Do you get the picture that I like this? If so, let’s move along…

At the end of my first day back in my office, here, I was thinking about whether it was worth the six-month chunk I took from my business to do it and I will say this – I’m still glad I took the plunge. To those of you who offered me other jobs along the way, I still maintain that I had taken the idea into my head that I wanted to do this, was especially looking forward to it, felt a commitment to it and, if I hadn’t done it, would still be wondering “what if?” As great as some of your other jobs sounded, I can now look back and know that I gave it my full attention and that there was not much more I could have done, even with the famous human hindsight we all have.

The other part is this – as consultants, we work with other consultants and with employees. Employees have a very different life than we do. We can commiserate with them about that only to a certain extent but actually having a recent experience with employment really brings light to the types of things that employees deal with that we don’t. All of us have probably had at least truly toxic project. But the consultants know, no matter how bad things are, in the end, they escape. The employees don’t have that consolation. I think that makes a big difference in the way you react to the situation and it’s just useful to remember that.

My Paid Vacation
In addition to all of this, what I recognize is that I was at a point in my business where I did need a break. I needed a new perspective. I prefer to look at this period off as kind of like paid vacation, albeit a working one. Even so, I did get to step back from my business and see it in a new light and I believe that made it all worthwhile.

So, in all this time, I haven’t talked at all about the LIMS I worked on. I will write a little about that in the next blog post.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises

4 Thoughts to “End of Time at U of M – Regrets? (I’m Still Glad I Did It?)”

  1. Funny about that direct deposit thing. We have been paying our independent contractors eft on a weekly basis net 20 for many many years. We know about cash flow for contractors. Small businesses understand that. Big companies are either clueless or simply do not care.

    Do you have any tangible ideas on where you want to go or stick with the well known path?

    1. @John: Right now, everything is up in the air. I’m talking to a couple customers about potential LabWare work, but not everything is the standard things I used to do. I’m talking to someone about doing some Labvantage work. That’s still pretty new to me.

      Plus, I’m trying to work on the mobile platform items for iVention US. Yesterday, I spent a good bit of the day messing around getting the iVention colors on there, the logo, things like that.

      But nothing is set in stone, just yet. I’m still considering a variety of things. I did see your note about open source and I’m kind of interested but I’m also kind of interested in taking the health informatics course.

  2. sepner

    Life is full of options and opportunities. I know when I started a consulting business back in 1976 (the dark ages to some), I asked myself what was the worst that could happen? My answer: I would have to get a real job again. I also did not want to be 50, 60, or 70 and look back wondering “what if …” Now, 40 + years later, I am glad I took the plunge. It is not for everyone. But, if it fits, it can be a great lifestyle.

    Like you, I got an opportunity to take a W2 job. After my sale of the company and official retirement, I was offered an opportunity I could not turn down. Boeing asked me to be their Entrepreneur in Residence. It was a challenge I wanted. I am glad I took it. Still, being an employee in a very large organization is not for everyone. I tried retiring again, but instead, started another consulting firm. This time helping larger companies reignite their Entrepreneurial Spirit. I understand exactly what you are going through.

    Enjoy opening your mind to many possibilities. Life is so exciting, I only wish I had more time to try more things. Welcome back to the wonderful world of consulting and have as much fun as you can stand. :>)

  3. @Steve: Is retirement the only thing you haven’t succeeded at? 🙂

    Seriously, I know you’ve had great opportunities probably because everyone wants to work with you and that one with Boeing sounded hard to turn down.

    While the rest of us are talking about the programs we write, the documents we draft, and the data we verify, it’s a treat to hear from someone who is doing something so high-level as Entrepreneurial consulting.

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