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This is somewhat of a life altering week for me. Just to give a little feedback, I work for a printing company in-town and I am also a freelance graphic designer by necessity. I’ve been working at my place of employment for more than 6 years, the last 1 of which I’ve been working on second shift (1 p.m. – 11 p.m. 4 Days a week). While I really appreciated the fact that I got my Fridays off, my schedule was causing quite a problem for my social life and my sleep patterns. Just last week I was informed that starting Monday I will be making the switch back to first shift (7 a.m. – 3 p.m. 5 Days a week). While I love the fact that I will now be able to have a social life, and I also love the fact that I can will now have time to spend with my beautiful wife, I got a sudden revelation……This is going to be a major change to my freelance workflow.

In today’s economic climate I would suggest that everyone have a second, third and fourth stream of income. Unfortunately the time of working a single job for 30 years and retiring with a nice gold watch are no longer in effect. The rising price of everything and the poor reflection of the pay rate on inflation has made it a necessity to have a second job, or some other source of additional income. While I’ve taken the steps to increase my earning potential through getting more educated, I’ve also had a small side career as a graphic designer. While my freelance income doesn’t supplement my full-time salary, it does allow me to make ends meet. This current shift change will force me to restructure how I do freelance work.

I had a pretty sweet deal going. I was able to get up around 10 a.m. grab some breakfast, check my email accounts (of which I have too many) and post for some jobs. I also made it a practice to do the majority of my school and freelance work on Friday-Sunday. With that Friday being the day that I got the majority of my work done. Since I’ll be at work on Friday now, I’m going to have to figure out a way to consolidate everything and rearrange my workflow so that I’m able to do most of my school work throughout the week. With all of this being said I’m sure you’re wondering why the title of this blog post. I named this post “To Eat or Not To Eat, Is That The Question?” because I came to a realization that my move to first shift would cause a reduction in my hourly pay. I’ve got to eat!!

While the reduction in pay will probably end up being less than $50.00 every two weeks, it got me to thinking. What will keep a company from coming in and letting us know that they no longer need our services. What will keep us from being the latest in the long line of employees that have fallen victim to the whims of a corporate structure whose responsibility it is to make a profit. As I pondered this somewhat depressing reality, it hit me that I’ve got to be responsible for my eating. There is an old saying, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat”, I would like to point out that this statement said work, not work a job. As I thought about it I realized that in 2012 I have to make a concerted effort to increase my additional streams of income.

As a freelance designer I have a routine group of websites and job boards that I troll looking for employment opportunities. I also have placed ads in some of the local classified sites to no avail. I will make sure that in 2012, I make a concerted effort to decrease my dependency on my current employer. This by no means a new revelation, it’s just been hammered home by the fact that my employers decision to change my shift has cause a change in not just my money, but my quality of life. While this is currently a necessary evil, it’s definitely one that I’m not comfortable with. I don’t know about you, but I’m making a strong effort to change that.