I have been thinking really hard about what I want in a job. Here are the major must-haves:
- Long-term stability
- Challenges, so that I can learn and grow
- A great team of supportive people, who will help me learn and be fun to work with
- Reasonable compensation, including benefits
Here is a little bit more detail about all of those things.
WordPress: My major skill-set is WordPress, so naturally it makes sense for me to get a WordPress job. I have been thinking about what I would do if I were offered an amazing job that isn’t WordPress-related, and I don’t think I would take it… Not because I mind moving out of my comfort zone, but because I really like the WordPress community. I am already well-connected in the WordPress community, and there are a lot of really amazing people here. I like the strength of this community, and I don’t want to leave it.
As far as what kind of work I do within WordPress… I am good at both front-end and back-end development. I have pretty much maxed out on front-end development: that is, I don’t really find it challenging to build themes any more. I am really enjoying plugin development right now, and there is pretty much infinite room to do more and interesting things with plugins and learn more. So I’m content to do a little bit of front-end work, and certainly happy when plugin development needs my front-end skills, but I would like to focus on plugin development.
Remote: I have worked from home for most of my adult life. I work well from home – I have had a few gigs where I have had to work in on-site, and I really have trouble getting anything done when I’m in an office full of people. I like being at home where I can hunker down in my office and really concentrate on my work. I like being surrounded by my pets, and having a tea-kettle close by.
Long-term Stability: One of the reasons I want to stop freelancing is that I don’t like the instability: I really like the idea of knowing what my workload and income are going to be for the foreseeable future. I would love to find a job that will be interesting long-term. In fact, as long as I enjoy the work, get along with my co-workers, and feel like I am being reasonably compensated, I don’t see any reason to ever leave.
Challenges: I don’t want to do the same old thing over and over – I want to learn and improve and do new things. I am at my happiest when I am working at the far edge of my comfort zone. The projects that make me proudest are the ones that pushed me past my comfort zone. I want to continue to be embarrassed by the code I wrote a few months ago.
Team: One of the drawbacks of freelancing is that I almost always work alone. Of course, I’m an introvert, so I’m quite happy to work alone, but I would like to work with some smart people who can help me learn more. I am lucky to have some good mentors who can help me out when I need help, or just need to bounce ideas off someone. But it would be really neat to work with a bunch of smart and friendly people who will offer constructive criticism and teach me new ways of doing things (and hopefully I will have something to teach them too!).
Reasonable Compensation: Ah, the dreaded salary requirements question. I won’t answer that here (I might discuss it in a later blog post). But whatever job I have, I do want to feel like I am appreciated and supported, and being paid market value for my work is part of that. I have never had a paid vacation in my entire life, so I dream about paid time off. I would like a job that will pay my benefits, or at least pay generously enough that paying for my own health/dental/retirement isn’t a burden.
Naturally, there is give and take in any job, and I don’t necessarily expect to find a job that will fulfill all of these dreams. But I am hoping I can find a good balance of all of these features.