Decision Day

I had to make a big decision today. A position had opened up for a Project Manager at an off-site location in Indy. I'm taking courses towards earning my MBA, and I want my career to lead into project management. I thought this would be a great opportunity for me. I brought it up with several people at work, and we sat down a couple of days ago to discuss what the requirements for the position were. The work load didn't seem to be that bad. It was pretty much as I expected. The customer would pay for all of my hours, and would even pay for any training I would need. However, once I took the job, that is where I would stay for several years. The site is a one hour drive from our home too. I would still need to get to my classes every Monday night, and Jenn would still be having a baby in February. I spoke with several people who had been working on the team I would be managing. The general impression was: 50 hour weeks on a slow week, 80 hour weeks when it gets rough, poor office space, and what they do seems to have no impact on the organization. None of this was really selling me on the job. In the end, I decided to stop pursuing the position. It just seemed like the wrong time. Plus, there are a lot of fringe benefits that I had been taking for granted. Such as unlimited and unrestricted internet access, which means I can browse the web on a slow day, do research, and chat with Jenn. Having my own desk is a big plus. A 10 minute drive to work is a big plus. Additionally, I get exposure to several different clients in different industries while working from the main office. If I took the off-site work, it would be the same customer with the same issues for several years. I really enjoy the variety that I am exposed to right now.
Things have really slowed down at our office lately. Our major projects are wrapping up, and we don't have a lot of major projects coming up on the horizon. We seem to get these lulls in business from time to time. The downtime is great to kind of slack off for a while, but it is also a little worrisome as to whether we will have enough work to keep everyone employed. One potential customer we had spent a lot of time courting is not warming up to us as we had hoped. Our existing clients are not quite ready to request the next round of upgrades and changes yet. We have enough projects completed and in place that we should start getting follow up work in the near future. I'm hoping that when those jobs start to role in, there will be enough work for me to assume a managerial position. I still want to do technical work, including coding, designing, installing, implementing and all of that other fun tech stuff. But I can see that our biggest problem right now is proper project management. Our budgets and timelines are always blown. We do not do enough planning in the beginning, and we definitely do not set goals and monitor ourselves like we should to ensure that we get these projects done right, on time, and on budget. I'm hoping that I can do something to help change that. My classes are great. They are opening my eyes to a lot more things to consider once I get that role.
So for now, I'll continue doing purely coding work. Hopefully, in the not too distant future, I'll get my shot at leading a team.


Jade Mason