Too Much Going On
Lately, I haven’t written anything in my blog. The basic problem: too much going on that I either can’t or don’t want to talk about openly.
The past few weeks, have kind of come to a point in both my work and home life where I need to make a change. This has caused a lot of personal stress, as you might imagine, as if the stress involved with a new baby isn’t enough. At least the “home” part of the equation is a bit better now. I still have to work on several things, but at least I recognize where I need to improve.
The work situation is a whole different ballgame and will take a lot more time to sort out. At the moment, I arguably own two of the biggest functions on my team — each of these functions needs at least one person dedicated to that role. Neither function I am tasked with has me all that excited. You really know that’s the case when your boss, who has been your boss for at least 6 years at two different companies, comes up to you and tells you that he knows you’re not passionate about your tasks. Trust me, he’s seen me when I’m at my most passionate, and this isn’t that time. One of the tasks I am just flat-out burnt out on and I’ve wanted to get rid of for a long time, the other doesn’t entirely fit with my background, though I am arguably the best person on my team to handle the task.
The good news is that the task I don’t care for is slated to be given to someone else. That does give me some light at the end of the tunnel, but in the short term, I still have two big tasks on my plate. That will depend on some structural changes within my team, partially driven by some newly established corporate objectives, but how we will assimilate those tasks hasn’t been fully articulated yet. At least my boss is being supportive, telling me “tell me what you want to do, we’ll find a way to make it happen.”
One of the biggest challenges I have in advancing my career right now is the fact that the office I work for is in the Silicon Valley, and I live in the Seattle area. This means I telecommute — and I have been through two different jobs over the past 6 years. This allows me to put my family first. It also provides a bit of a glass ceiling in the sense that I am somewhat restricted in what I can do and how far I can move up the food chain. Both of the tasks I have currently are perfectly suited for telecommuting. In almost any telecommuting arrangement, some travel is a requirement. For my job, it usually means going down to California for a few days. It appears I am also going to have to make trips to some of our other offices in other locations as well. If I change positions, I can guarantee a short-term increase in my travel for additional training/reorientation, if not a long-term increase in travel.
The problem is: my travelling is “not the best thing” for my family right now. New babies demand a lot of attention, and so does my son, who is days away from turning four. It’s been a real challenge for my wife to handle both of our kids alone, though she does have some help — her parents live three houses down from us. Even so, it’s not the same. My wife, though not happy with my travelling, has been understanding. She also knows that I’m not happy with my job right now and understands I may need to increase my travel, even if I make no changes in my job. She wants me to be happy, but she also wants me to be home as much as I can. Understandable, but it adds another dimension to my choices.
To add some more fuel to the fire, I’ve been doing an increasing amount of stuff for Voxilla. I have been working with Marcelo to do some technical stuff — installing a ticketing system for support-related queries and helping out with the SPA-3000 beta program — and I’ve also been working with him to develop his overall business. Some of the stuff we’ve been talking about could turn into an entirely new job where I am in control of my own destiny. That has some rather scary implications at a time where I need stable income — something my current job provides in great abundance.
One thing I am also doing in the VoIP space, I am helping Broadvox Direct test their new DTA device that they will utilize for their service instead of the Sipura SPA-2000s they initially deployed. The device arrived on Wednesday. I haven’t had much of a chance to play with the device since I’ve been travelling, but will spend some time with it in the coming days. Some initial kinks with the provisioning and the device need to be worked out, but that’s why it’s called a beta test.
As you can see, I’ve got a lot going on, and a lot to think about.