overemployed journal

Overemployed Journal: Week 2 – Elhapo#8226

The following is a guest post series from Guild member elhapo#8226 with some light edits. Catch up on week 1 if you missed it. You can reach them on the Overemployed.com Discord.

Day 6, Monday – Starting J3 With An “Accidental” Day Off From J1

Today I did something that I normally don’t do. I ignored someone completely. I found them annoying and didn’t think I had to respond to them. I can’t really say why I was able to do this but man that felt pretty good. An annoying person from last Friday is no more. Moving on. Oh, the freedom and agency from being Overemployed!

I went to J1’s meeting. No one else is there. I piece together it’s a holiday. That’s a relief because J3’s first day is today. What would have been an overlapping meeting now gave me some time back to play some video games and then attend onboarding for J3. I think J3’s first week will mostly be training, so I’m slow playing to finish everything by next Wednesday anticipating I’ll start getting some small tasks coming in after that.

J2 is much the same. I finished up all the training, and I think I’m going to be assigned actual work soon. I was nervous as hell on Sunday, but things went smoothly as silk today. The biggest challenge is I don’t feel like I can goof around anymore. Sounds like a stupid thing to say but I didn’t read any news, argue with random people online, work on my own learning projects, watch random youtube videos, you know, what a normal day has been like for the past 15 years or so. I am so used to filling my day with random stuff that I’m starting to notice is missing from my routine. Cheers to Overemployed and staying sharp and busy, and making more money.

I still feel like this is a temporary thing, but I’m going to take it day by day. Tomorrow has a few meetings that butt right up against each other but they have a bunch of people in them so will probably be fine. In fact, I used to avoid or ignore those types of meetings but that’s a great way to attend a meeting, completely ignore it, and get some work done. I need to be a bit more focused tomorrow for sure.

Day 7, Tuesday – The 3-Jobs Juggling Act Begins

The days are getting longer. I’ve been getting up earlier to make sure everything is in order for my morning meetings. I’ve been having some issues at J1 that are out of my control which is affecting my performance. It isn’t for lack of time but somehow I’m blaming the other jobs for it.

J2 is in cruise mode. Paperwork, paperwork, and more paperwork. Nothing is going on, people are talking and I just do my best to ignore the chatter. J2 is just all over the place, 20 people doing 1 job, everyone is confused and I’m trying hard not to care. Everyone acts like this is normal, except a few people who complain but they seem to be the minority. Basically, I could or could not be assigned a task over the next day or two weeks. Alrighty then.

J3 on the other hand is really well-oiled and very hands-off. Everyone here is trusted to do their job. I think they have tons of money as well but it seems like a club that you might get into after a trial period. There are tons of contractors, no one seems to care, but there’s a club here of the people who have made it. I do wonder if this is due to the fact that everyone here has to be a contractor first or if the super long training knocks people some people out by natural selection. Either way, J2 people seem happy in meetings. Just my observation.

I get this feeling that the smaller groups in J2 are soul-sucking. I’ve been in this type of environment before, and wondering what sort of freedom comes with a “do your thing” attitude.” I ponder all of this while thinking of the Overemplyed 12 Rules, Rule #5 Have An Exit Strategy.

What the heck am I doing all of this for? I’ve been doing Overemployed for only one week and it’s already feeling like I’ve been at this for much longer now. Am I planning for a wedding? Buy a car? Payoff a house? I think I got into this because I thought making more money sounded cool. Maybe I should think over this more.

I just had a day where I worked hard at J1 for six years to finally have a day that I do nothing. J1 ends unsatisfactorily. I’m going to wake up tomorrow to try to catch up. J2 ends, nothing further to do. J3 is also the same, even more hands-off. I went through onboarding, maybe a bit slow. But zero interruptions and no one hounding me. Is J3 going to become J2 on the priority list? Interesting.

Day 8, Wednesday – J4 Comes Knocking

I hustle with J1 in the morning. Got up way early, contributed to some group discussions, and got to work. More issues unrelated to actual work. Very frustrating. Remind me that this would have happened either way, but usually, I stay overtime to fix the issues. Instead, I figure a temporary way around the problem and get ready for the morning meetings. Meetings went fine but I notice I need to schedule some pre and post-meeting buffers as I started to hit some snags. Note to self, don’t be in “overachiever mode” when it comes to scheduling.

J2 is still on autopilot. People just like talking to each other. I keep wanting to engage and I just look at the 10 people on the email list and think, “someone else might say something first.” Sure enough, this happens all day and I only respond only when someone directly wants my involvement. Things seem to be going fine. 

J3 is also in cruise but holy smokes there’s just a ton of training. I thought I had seen training before but this is next-level-five-course-meal of training. I’ve been in training for now for what seems like weeks. My J1 annual training was coincidentally right before J2 and J3’s onboarding. If you want an HR question answered, I’m your go-to person. But if you do, I might completely blank out or start lecturing you for 10 minutes.

Potential J4 calls. This place sounds like an awesome place to work. This was a place I would have swapped J1 with originally. I have no idea what to do if they send an actual offer letter. I don’t want to screw it. The only thing I can see hurting me would be a background check that turns up with them finding out I’m currently working 3 jobs…

Either way, another day ends with no incident.

Day 9, Thursday – Freedom And Agency With 3 Js

Very productive with J1 today. Not much really to report. I am amazed again at how little other people on my team do and have done, and there’s just been excuse after excuse and yet they still work here. I don’t honestly know why I haven’t seen it but after trying hard to delegate out tasks and having one person for the past two weeks accomplish nothing – it’s just amazing. Talked to their supervisor about it and they just said it has happened before. J1 was a lot of fun today. Lots of interesting things to figure out.

J2 is annoying for some reason. I’m doing almost nothing but it annoys me. Everything takes forever. I have no idea why this bothers me. I think about getting paid for the first time. I feel better. I remind myself that this is an entire organization with people just wasting time so don’t make it about you. I just play into the mass confusion and extend responses, and 1 task is completed the entire day. They let me know they have to start another background check on me. I don’t tell them that they just did that. Whatever. I almost forgot that J2 is there.

J3 might actually be a long-term contender to be the new J1. No-one contacts me at all. I get my work done. Well, training that is. I think I have about 2 to 3 more days full of training. I’m trying to take it seriously so things I don’t know I take my time, and things I do know I try to flip through and do actual work. I don’t know if they trust me, are somehow monitoring my progress, or just don’t care but not being bothered by what they “think” constantly is great. The only downside is that training all day is making my brain tired.

PJ4 doesn’t have any new updates. I just put it out of my mind. The day ends unceremoniously. I don’t have much anxiety although I do have to schedule breaks for myself now to make sure I get some sun and mild exercise to break up the day.

Day 10, Friday – Pay Day With A Small Splurge

I did some extra hours last week with J1 so it was a short day. I decide if I have some free time that I’ll do Monday’s work. I dig into J3’s training but I’m getting weary of this crap. J3 reaches out with some different tasks so instead of training I dip into those tasks. The people at J3 really know what they are trying to accomplish. It’s impressive. Imposter syndrome starts to sink in a bit. How will I be able to keep up with them? All sorts of stupid things start going through my mind about how unqualified I am. I slowly have to bring myself back to reality and get rid of the negative energy.

Oh wait, I got paid today! Not sure how this wasn’t one of the first things to check out. I check out the bank balance. Holy crap. I have tons of money just sitting there. After being terrible at money in the past, I decided to get serious years ago and have every dollar accounted for. This lump of money just stares at me. There’s no plan to do anything with this money other than some vague far-off things like pay off a house which seems so completely unattainable.

Guilt and anxiety set it. I have no clue why. Everyone at all jobs is very pleased with my work. Everything is going smoothly. I immediately think to send in resignation notices, or quit outright and go back to my regular easy-as-pie, no surprises single job.

J2 gets in contact with me, some actual work should be coming soon. We’ll send a meeting schedule over next week. Groan…meetings?! Great, more anxiety about that. This is new to me, I do not get anxious. I am mister chill, or at least I used to be. I really have to dig into why this is happening. 

Back to work. I have some fun with actual work with J1. J2 is getting me a project together, they’re on stand-by. I get through a bunch more training for J3. Everything is going just fine. I have a few surprise calls, everyone is super nice, and succinct. Everyone is super busy so they aren’t trying to waste any time. I appreciate that as I think things in the future are definitely going to become busier, at least with real tasks.

J1, J2, and J3 all end. I’m again counting down the minutes, work a little past my 8 hours, and then ceremoniously close all the laptops and look forward to the weekend. With my first real paycheck, I promised myself that I would go do some shopping to support my new endeavor. I’m mainly on the hunt for a KVM switch. I’ve been planning my new work setup all week and I need to make it happen. I end up overbuying supplies because I don’t want to make another trip back. I head for the checkout and then think, should I get something fun, some sort of reward? I typically have plans and save towards fun purchases. I end up getting myself a sweet expensive as hell wireless keyboard. The most expensive keyboard I’ve ever bought. Mechanical, wireless, and it’s got the led backlights of course. Didn’t even know they made these things. I head up to the register and the total comes out. I don’t even blink an eye, but dang that is not a small amount. In perspective, though it’s only a fraction of what I just got paid. Crazy.

I finally come to the conclusion later in the evening that I’ve put a ton of change on my plate and am super afraid of letting anyone down. Once I realize that everything gets into the perspective of “just do your very best.” It’s something I’ve lived by and I plan to keep doing.

End Of The Week – Food For Thought

I keep getting wrapped up in this mindset of me doing a bad job. I remind myself that it’s quite ok to quit or resign from a job if it comes to that. I also need to stop comparing myself to other OE people, it just isn’t fair to myself or them. Each job, each situation, each person is different. I feel a ton of sympathy for someone who reaches out in a chat describing how they aren’t getting any sleep, tons of anxiety, working a lot of late hours, really affecting their lives. I remind them that it is completely ok to not be working that much, scale back and reassess what the heck they are doing.

This isn’t normal, it isn’t the easy road, and once you go down this path you can at any time decide to not do it anymore. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure, you just need to find a better way to make this happen. Don’t let it affect your health, full stop, end of the story, no compromises. I think I need to come back and read this myself next time the anxiety starts to bubble up.

Stay tuned. Next week is week 3, another paycheck, and waiting to hear back about J4.

19 comments

  1. okay guys, this is amazing. Im doing 2 jobs full time at two different companies. Tech and engineer of course. Two laptops one for each. Can I get 2 HSA health insurances and 2 FSA and 2 401k ??

  2. Dude!–I knew a sales guy who did this about 20yrs ago for 2 different companies…1 for packaging supplies, 1 for uniforms/mats –both in the manufacturing arena. He’d sell both sides at every customer visit. I asked about his meetings, he said he’d just show up later, or tell the other job he’s got a meeting to go to and play it off. As long as he hit his numbers, nobody cared.
    What title/field are you doing?–I thought my higher paying salary job would require more work, but really, by installing processes/procedures…the only reason to be in the office is so my manager can see me & say hi!
    Kuddos! You’re killing it!
    Just for envy…can you post round numbers what your jobs are paying??

  3. Well I have j1 & j2 juggling them well, I took j3 and they found out about j1 so I got a “ letter of separation” oh well I got 4 weeks of pay from them. This is wonderful I have an interview Wednesday if I get it I am quitting j2. But I have to admit Covid was the best thing that could have happened for me.

  4. I’m really digging your journals and the daily insight, thank you for making these posts!

    I’ll be finishing a full stack boot camp soon and would love to jump into multiple jobs. This question is for anyone: Does it make sense to start 2 jobs right after completing my course? I would think the expectations from a new developer would be low, which will hide my potentially lowered productivity from 2 jobs. Or should I wait until i get more experience? Thanks

    1. As a fellow software dev, my opinion is that if you are a brand new developer you should wait a bit to get your bearings before diving into 2 jobs. Starting out, your productivity will be low enough without juggling multiple employers. Give it at least a few months, if not a year, to learn the ropes, then re-evaluate. IMO, juggling multiple jobs is a game for those that are very good at what they do.

    2. I jumped into two jobs as a junior. worked out well for me. No complaints from anyone. J1 and J2 absolutely loved me and I’m a parent working from home.

  5. So doesn’t HR J2 call your current employer to see if you are working there for preemployment checks? Won’t that tip HR J1 off and cause them to message your manager about what that was all about? Someone please enlighten me.

    1. I’ve never known HR to call another HR department. Usually they use a background check with the Employment Verification option. But not all employers do it. I’d also be worried, but you can always say it is a fluke 😉

  6. Just started my J2 this week, done 2 days so far. Had a wobble when bang on 4pm as I was due to join a call with my new boss, my boss from J1 calls me on my laptop! I had to ignore her as I didn’t know what she wanted and only had about a minute to spare. I rang back half an hour later and it was all fine, phew! I’ve already had to blag my way out of one meeting clash and get another from my new job moved, but I think once J2 settles down a bit and I can command my own diary more, it will get easier. I owe nearly £20,000 in gambling debts and this is by far the best way to get it paid off within a year, or even if I can just make a nice big dent in it that would be good.

  7. I’m faced with the same situation- I was offered 3 new jobs but want to hang on to my current job for a little while longer, so essentially 4 jobs. I’m mostly worried about schedule conflicts and LinkedIn announcements. I know one job will send me swag to wear which will be rude if I don’t post it on LinkedIn. Any advice?

    1. OE has a whole article talking about LinkedIn. Basically you need to get off LinkedIn for a bit

    2. Avoid LinkedIn like the plague. If you are worried about and pushback from not posting swag photos, tell them you are social media “shy” and don’t post anything else on LinkedIn. Make any other social media platform “friends view” only.

    3. I know someone who does not post their current job(s) on LinkedIn. So their profile just says ‘Senior Software Developer’ and not ‘Senior Software Developer at Comany X’.

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