On the verge of burn out, eyes newly opened to economic reality, I received a welcome email from an old coworker. "We're hiring, it's work from home, and you know the team..."
I reviewed the company against my new standards:
1. High value sector? Yep.
2. Niche focus? Check.
3. Intrinsic competitive advantage? Definitely.
September of 2010, I started a new job - 40 hours a week, working from home.
Between a return to normal working hours and elimination of my commute, I found myself with an extra 15-20 hours a week. After a few months of decompression, I was able to use this extra time for all sorts of fun stuff. A few of the highlights:
1. A week visit to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
2. 6 weeks attending a 6am kettlebell boot camp class
3. Cutting my grocery bills from $100+ a week $150 a month
4. Completely automating my personal finances
5. Hosting a friend from out of the country
6. Finally attending my wife's family functions
7. Helping my wife to foster the biggest group of cats yet - 7 kittens!
8. Rediscovering my interests in video games, lifting and shooting pool
Amusingly, the net effect on my career has been improved professional growth. While I do not spend as many hours working, the time is more creative and the tasks are extremely well aligned with my strengths. Over the course of a year, I've learned quite a few new tricks and helped deliver some sweet projects.
Most importantly, my work and home lives are finally well integrated. With that foundation, I have regained the enthusiasm to set and pursue long term goals. It's going to be a fun year!