Changes In My Work Life And What It Means

Changes In My Work Life And What It Means

Been thinking a lot about my life (or lack of) over the past year and realized there was need to make serious adjustments to it. Why? Because for at least the past 4 years I’ve been working full time, flat out, while juggling two kids, a husband and coordinating household /baby sitting rosters.

So I’ve now made adjustments to my work life which are important to share with my readers. James Farmer invited me to work for Edublogs, from home, approximately 6 months ago. At the time I declined because I needed to complete some important work commitments for my TAFE organisation.

My situation has now changed. I’ve explained to my managers at TAFE that I’m tired and in need of a break. While they’ve always been extremely accommodating with my work hours; the travel of 2 hours per day is draining. They have agreed to allow me to:

  1. Decrease my work hours to 1 day per week
  2. Undertake outside employment as a elearning consultant

What does this all mean? I will be working 3 days per week for Edublogs (and other elearning work if I desire). It means I can continue to support and help other educators learn how to use these technologies plus provide better support to Edublogs and Edublogs Campus users. But still continue working as an aquaculture lecturer by supporting all our off-campus elearning students and facilitating our on-campus fish genetics course.

I hoping you will be supportive of my decision as it has been extremely hard to make especially considering how accommodating my TAFE has always been.

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58 thoughts on “Changes In My Work Life And What It Means

  1. Congrats Sue. I’m *so* glad that TAFE were reasonable about this. I think that it is a very nice way to ease into freelancing, if this is where you end up.

    I think you’ll have a ball. In the first week, I want you to have a “pyjama day”, just for me. Don’t get changed and just do all your work in your ‘jammies….

    (I actually feel really uncomfortable doing that and (strangely)can’t sit at my desk and do official “work” unless I have at least had a shower, done my hair and are wearing clothes I would be happy to answer the door in)

    Tell you what….let’s do it on the same day. Let me know when …

    Congrats again – to you and clever James for employing you…

    1. Kathryn – a “pyjama day’ sounds good to me. I’ve got full work commitments for my TAFE through to the end of January so we will need to leave it until those are done. But when they are I will definitely let you know.

    1. Thanks Talia. I think they will just enjoy the fact that I won’t be soooo grumpy from being tired all the time. Off course the extra quality time may drive me insane πŸ™‚

  2. Kia ora Sue

    I think you have given wonderful sevice to TAFE from what I’ve seen and learnt. They can only repect your decision. Well done and cogratulations on making the right choice!

    Your family is most important to you and they too will appreciate your decision.

    All the best with the new venture(s). Take time out, put feet up at Christmas – I hope it is a relaxing one for you.

    Catchya later

    1. Thanks Ken – I would love nothing better than to put my feet up but have a big deadline on a project for TAFE that will need to be done during this time period. After all those are done I will definitely be putting up those feet.

  3. Congratulations Sue on your decision! It is very hard to be “all things to all people”, especially when you are a working Mum.
    Your roles for 2009 sounds so exciting! I’m especially excited to hear about your work with Edublogs – you know we are your number 1 fan! (Along with many others, I’m sure!)
    All the very best!
    Lucy πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Lucy – thanks for supporting my decision. Definitely was tough because I have a great job and my TAFE organisation are really good to me. I’ve worked there now for over 17 years.

      But the traveling, lecturing hours (at one stage I was working from 9 am to 9 pm) and project work for the last 3 years has been tiring.

      I’m pleased also to be able to expand my support role at Edublogs which means I’ll be able to provide more assistance.

  4. Good for you! People are too busy and it’s important to look after oneself and one’s family! Children grow up so fast and once the time has passed, you can’t get it back.

    It sounds like you have some wonderful opportunities coming your way! Best of luck!

  5. Congratulations on making such a life-changing decision Sue. It is relatively easy to see you life is not what you want it to be but it takes a lot of courage to change it . TAFE have obviously recognised the value of having you on staff and are willing to meet your terms. There should be more of that!

    Enjoy – and remeber it is more about balance and you really don’t have to be that busy next year (it’s a hard habit to break!)

    Denise

    1. Thanks Denise. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work for an organisation who has always supported me by allowing me the flexibility to fit in with my home life. My biggest struggle has always been the 2 hour traveling time which is very draining.

      LOL I’m probably on one of those step programs. Where it is one step at a time. Not so good at balance. Watch for my comment below πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Penny.

      Now I know this is where I’m meant to ask more details about what day?, how long? How many people? But sure if I can fit it in my schedule I will do it (and off course you will owe me πŸ™‚ )

  6. Sue, Sue, Sue, remember that little word NO. You need to say it a few times over the summer, get those feet up and then be ready to say YES for the 2009 student blogging competition in March.

    Congrats on the new job and don’t let us all take advantage of you. Be prepared to say no – which is so difficult for a workaholic like you. I can see lots of chocolate being available at home now.

    1. Oh Miss W. you do make me laugh. Well how can I truly say no to Penny πŸ™‚ . I’m sure they will make sure they provide a nice lunch for me.

      It’s all cool plans are in place for the Student blogging and when you get time we shall talk. My focus at the moment is trying to clean the house while working on the project for work. And I suppose I need to fit in the Christmas shopping that I haven’t done.

    1. πŸ™‚ It’s all cool as I said last night I’m happy with my decision and this will give me the time to get much needed rest. While also giving me the time to reflect on what I want.

  7. Congratulations! Im sure you and your family are going to LOVE it! Im totally amazed at the personal attention you give to helping others with intergration of technology, troubleshooting, etc.!

    I totally agree with Mrs. W…practicing the word NO:) Which is hard to do when you love what you do, but oh so necessary with balancing a family. That was actually one of the first things my husband tried to teach me as a young couple…learn to say no. It took over 10 years to actually put it into practice:)lol

    Best of Luck!!!!

    1. @tidertechie I think Mr10 will totally love it, hubby will have increased expectations of more work to be completed while at home and Mr14 won’t be impressed. He has always been excited when I’m late home from work as it means he has more freedom.

      Off course always pays to tell your children before you tell the world not 12 to 24 hrs after πŸ™‚

      Saying NO is a hard trait for me to overcome — it is part of my nature to be helpful — which on the positive side is why I do what I do.

      1. @suewaters Maybe you can win over Mr14 with homecooked meals:)

        Ya I too have difficulty with that little two letter word:) But I can now usually tell now the difference between spread thin and “help I cant breath” LOL

        Have fun!

  8. Well done Sue!

    I’m sure this will work out to be a good decision for you and your family.

    Anyway life is all about change after all. Next year I will be writing my blog, updating my web sites, teaching (first time in how many years??!?) and doing three new software releases all from Tasmania.

    For my customers, friends and collegues though, none of that matters. The internet means I am accessable no matter where I might be physically located.

    That is the really cool part of the net in my view and I am glad it will be a bigger part of your work/life balance too. I think you will find both will benefit.

    Working in an office, or a fixed location all day, just seems down right strange to me these days. πŸ™‚

    Dan

    1. Dan – Definitely the best decision as each year has felt like exponential in terms of workload and therefore stress.

      Yes Frances told me you were moving to Tassie. Are you there now? So much change we are all going through exciting and a tad frightening.

      Off course I may miss talking to people? mmmm

  9. Very inspiring Sue. I love that you are focusing on the e-learning and Edublogging. Hard to imagine what you will be able to do without all the other work and travel distracting you…..but I look forward to seeing it.

  10. There is a saying that “You can’t look after others until you look after yourself”. I am sure that you have done the right thing.

  11. Sue, congratulations on this new direction that you are taking.

    I am sure that your work with James at Edublogs will benefit so many of us that are using Blogs in Education, and the multitudes of Teachers and Students that will follow.

    I hope that you can now spend the rest of this year winding down and spend some well earned time with your family.

    All the best for 2009 Sue,

    Andrew.

    1. Thanks Andrew – Definitely excited and looking forward to being able to help more people. Will be winding down while cleaning house, getting it ready for Christmas and complete work for my work πŸ™‚

      Hope you are going well?

  12. Bloody hell … I’d better read my Reader a bit more often. Well done, Sue. Maybe that means you’d be available for a spot at the annual CEGSA conference here in July? What would be your fees and requirements?

    1. Looks like you definitely do need to check out your Reader more often Graham πŸ™‚ .

      According to those above I’m meant to practice saying no. But can’t see it being an issue if you get back to me with a date? Email me more details and we can take it from there?

  13. Good on you Sue – You’re making tough decisions based on all the right reasons. I’m sure that TAFE’s loss will be a gain to your family, as well as all of your friends that you regularly help. You’re a breath of fresh air!

  14. Sue, I have often wondered how you were able to keep up the heavy workload that you have. You are such a wonderful caring person and a mentor to so many. Working online is a very time consuming pastime and although TAFE will miss you, I am sure, the online community will be so pleased to see actively working on their behalf and for them. Again, I thank you for the wonderful work that you do for all.

  15. Thanks Simon and Anne. It was tough but lets be honest TAFE is probably grateful for some quiet. They say that they can hear me when I leave home I’m that noisy. But they still have me one day a week.

  16. Congrats, excellent news Sue
    It sounds like this change is what was needed and choices are always good to have.

    Over east here we are, unfortunately, still waiting to see what our online DET NSW Tools will actually look, feel and sound like.

    They have been a long time coming but Tim Hand (TaLe Head Honcho developer) assures us our 1.4 million networked users will just love them. http://tinyurl.com/87njep It will still be a walled garden, albeit a massive one.

    Will be establishing edublogs for our QTL and JITLT and Year 7 Teams in 2009 so another 20 blogging teachers will be in need of support when I run out of ability.

    Extremely comforting to know you’ll be there. I think a f2f to Forster will be good for you at some stage in 09, I’ll investigate. All the best.

    1. Thanks Tony. I do really feel for you.

      From networking with people in NSW TAFE last year I’m fully aware of how restrictive your State has been. It’s a shame that some States are making is so hard for their educators.

      The other challenge is that our organisations often want the one size fits all approach which effectively restrains innovation.

      Let me know how I can help you with your teachers.

      Looks like I may be in Victoria in April – that may be a good time to try get me for 09?

  17. Wow, let me join the line of congratulators, Sue. You give so much to the community and it is encouraging to see that you are able to get this opportunity.

    Carry on the good work in ’09

    Maybe you will have time to twitter more πŸ˜‰

  18. Congratulations Sue, that’s great! I often wondered if you ever slept!!! I know how difficult it is doing the juggling; I’m really holding back (as hard as it is) from full-time work as I know that I’d be over-stretched with four kids at home so I have to remain half-satisfied with my work situation for now. I feel inspired by your choice that it is the right thing to do for now.

  19. Hi Sue. I have been reading your blogs for the past couple months and have often wondered how you manage to do it all!!

    As a TAFE teacher with an interest in elearning, I am soooo ENVIOUS of your new job with Edublogs.

    Congratulations and Merry Christmas, with a Happy New Year thrown in!!

    1. Thanks Eduspacelounge – it has been hard work so am glad to be slowing down (a bit). I had tried to leave a comment on your blog previously but your comment setting only allows registered users can comment.

      Best wishes to you also for Christmas and the New Year.

      1. Oh – I am new to blogging and wikis, so I am “learning by doing”. I am going to start up a new blog, so will “invite” you to join when I have it all setup.

  20. What a great opportunity Sue, congratulations! I have been a lurker with your blogs etc for some time now and am just finding my feet to actually comment. So here I am…you are an inspiration to myself and Im sure alot of people and I can not wait to get you latest RRS feed. Some advice please…I believe that I have have the knowledge of social software but not the confidence, how did you get the confidence to be a blogger, to put yourself out there. I want to be known as a e-consultant…how do I do that

    1. Hi Su – glad to hear you enjoy my posts.

      I’ve never struggle with confidence in terms of writing blog posts. My issue originally was why would anyone want to blog? Which now I know why. My answer has always been just to do what I do — if I don’t know the answer than my readers often don’t so I will blog about it. And hopefully people will enjoy the help I share.

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