I went back to work in May.
I'm not sure how to word that in a non-ambiguous way. I've had a profitable artisan business since 2008 and a second one here at The Papercraft Lab since last August, so I've been continuously working (for real money!) even after I quit my "day job" as a software project manager in April 2013.
Not to mention that since 2009 when my first child was born, "work" has taken on a whole new meaning - just getting through the day with a preschooler and a feisty toddler is serious business on some days.
So what I mean to say is that I returned to my former employer as a consultant doing software project management work.
It's exactly what I was looking for - 15-20 hours a week of pure project management work focusing on collaboration with external partners. Working from home!
But wait, there's more! The team I work with is fantastic. I helped them with preparations for Sage Summit 2014, a conference for small and medium businesses, and they wanted me to come with them to Las Vegas in case they needed help on-site.
It took me about a minute to decide (a week in Las Vegas? Hotel room to myself? Hell yes!) and thanks to a very supportive husband and parents who are taking care of the girls while I'm gone, I made it work.
As a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), I have to earn 60 credits of continuing education every three years. I was hoping to squeeze in a few sessions at the conference to make progress toward that requirement.
I chose sessions that would help me learn more about my weakest area of running my own artisan businesses - sales and marketing. I'm an introvert. I'm not good at negotiation or persuasion or telling you why my handcrafted items are exactly what you need. My marketing strategy has been mostly to post products online and hope for the best.
I'd like to change this. I love the projects I'm working on for my Papercraft Lab clients and want to do more.
I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to attend Sage Summit 2014. Every session I chose had great tips and ideas. Each of those sessions I attended will also get me closer to renewing my Project Management certification. And if that weren't awesome enough, this whole week was spent meeting and working with great colleagues and enjoying precious downtime (and uninterrupted sleep!) in the evenings.
One of the speakers I met encouraged me to blog more and tell more of the good stories I come across in my work here at The Papercraft Lab. I hope you'll stick around and watch this space in the coming months!