New Opportunities

It’s official, so I can blog about it while files are installing/restoring to my new laptop hard drive.

I have been offered, and I have accepted, a job offer from the [Colorectal Cancer Coalition]( to be the organization’s Operations Director. It’s a fulltime job, as a salaried employee, effective September 6.

How about we do that Q&A format that’s so popular in press releases announcing big change.

What’s up with this? Were you looking for a “real” job?

Nope. It found me. I have been passionate about colorectal cancer advocacy since 1998, when my father was diagnosed with a terminal stage of the disease. Shortly after he died, I got involved with the [Colon Cancer Alliance]( as a volunteer. After I stopped volunteering for the group, I stayed in contact with a few of its key players. A few years later, one of the CCA’s former board members contacted me to help on a [website]( she was working on. Our friendship picked up again and we “spoke” often via IM. She has a lot of industry connections and is an amazing patient advocate, well known in cancer circles. She recognized that the key to fighting colorectal cancer (any cancer, for that matter) was to attack it at the research and legislative level. Push for science and good clinical trials. Push for screening legislation. Push for money to work towards a cure of a disease that is still killing so many people each year. I served as a sort of advisor for the launch of C3, helping to develop the logo, print materials, strategy, etc. Enough money was raised in the first few months to get an office going in Washington, DC and start some exciting projects. The Board of Directors understands that to make a nonprofit organization like this work you need volunteers and heart, but you also need folks working it fulltime. We hired an Office Administrator to keep things running in DC. I am the second employee.

What’s in it for you?

For starters, hello? Salary? Getting a regular paycheck is a good thing. It’s nice to know month to month how much money will be coming in. Even though the office is in DC, I will be working out of my home office in New Jersey. It’s only a 2.5 hour train ride from DC and I’ll make the trip once a month or so. Even better, the C3 office is literally around the corner from my sister-in-law’s house so I get to visit my new niece often. Eric telecommutes 3 days a week so I plan my DC trips around his schedule to travel on his “at home” days. It’s unusual. We’ll make it work.

Technically, I work well at home. I have a better setup here than what you find in most offices. We use []( to share files, contacts, tasks, calendars, databases, etc. IMs, email and phone to communicate. Not many folks get paid a salary to work in barefeet. I’m a lucky gal.

What’s in it for C3?

I do have a bit of experience in the nonprofit arena, dating as far back as 1995 when I sat on the board of the New York Mac Users Group. In addition to my involvement with CCA, I started [SCOPES](, a parent support group in Stamford that will be a nonprofit pretty soon (I hope). Most of my clients are nonprofit organizations. I work best when I’m working from the heart. There’s something about the nonprofit structure that I love. So I do bring some experience to the table. Where my skills are lacking will be made up with some courses at the local community college and on-the-job training. A big part of this job is relationship-building, and I’m good at that.

I am process and task oriented, and I can take projects from idea to execution. That is vital. My job will be to take the ideas and vision that are flying through the air and capture them in a bottle and develop the plan of attack to get it done. Set priorities, handle the paperwork, support the day-to-day. Exercise both halves of the brain.

But I thought you loved graphic design and Mom at Home Design?

I do. Still do. Hello? Salary? Seriously, if this offer hadn’t come along I would have continued doing what i was doing and I would have been happy doing it. I had some great clients. Business was going well. Very well. Truth is, with a little effort I would have made as much this year at Mom at Home Design as I will make as an employee. But I would also have the overhead, and the invoicing, and the worry that the next project wouldn’t come in. I’m attracted to the idea of working towards a single goal each day. The life of a freelancer is fragmented. One second you’re thinking widgets, the next second it’s gadgets. Every client has its own culture and you have to adapt to them all. I appreciate this opportunity for focus that I feel is missing in my life.

So that’s it for Mom at Home Design?

Kind of. I’ve informed all clients that my current projects with them are my last. We’re working out how we’ll handle the sites that I host and support. My guess is that I will continue to host those sites since it doesn’t take a lot of time, doesn’t cost me any extra and it keeps me in touch with an industry that I love. But that will be on the side, in my own time, and not as a business.

What about and this blog?

What about it? Nothing will change. I’ll still blog when the mood strikes. I’ll still be opinionated. I still love tech and I love talking about it. But don’t be surprised if I’m talking more [TechSoup]( than InDesign. Still, part of my new job description is the “deliverables” and as much as I possibly can I will design and execute them just as I always have.

Once I finish customizing my [Movable Type beta blog]( that layout will move over here. Notice the new non-business logo, no portfolio section (not that I kept it up to date anyway) and the categories may change to reflect my new interests.

Can you do my project on the side?

Feel free to [email me](, but likely not. I think I’d rather use my downtime, if I have any, to keep this blog going, volunteer in the girls’ school or in our synagogue.

What’s next?

Wish me luck, okay?


10 responses to “New Opportunities”

  1. Congrats and good luck! Hopefully you’ll be willing to talk a little about C3 things here — progress in research and whatnot. It’s been interesting to read your comments about life as a freelance graphic designer, and I’m sure it’ll be every bit as interesting to hear about your new job.

  2. In a world where all the bloggers I read are quitting their day jobs to freelance, it’s kind of refreshing to hear you going the other way. Although, I hope this doesn’t mean the end of your design banter which I so enjoy reading. =)

  3. Congratulations! I know it will be quite a change and I wish you luck!

    BTW- My mom just had 1/3 of her colon removed after cancer was found. Don’t know much more info yet. :-\

  4. Judi, congratulations on the new job! I wish you all the best with it. You’re a talented, smart lady with a great work ethic, and I know you’ll do well.

    I know it will make a huge difference to be working with something you’re so passionate about, too. I’m also so sorry about your dad, and now also your mom has it. Ugh. I’ll keep her in my prayers.

  5. Hi Judi,

    Great web site and congratulations on your new job. I found your site searching for info about the Inspirion 9300.

    I’m also a freelance web developer, and am looking into becoming a web hosting reseller – is that what you mean when you talk about hosting? If so, I was wondering if you could recommend a good web hosting reseller? I was looking into this one:

    I’m also wondering how I will do invoicing for web hosting. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


  6. Oops, sorry about that. I mean to reply and it fell off my radar. Been one of those kind of weeks. I guess you see now that I use Dreamhost for my sites. I don’t resell. I only host sites that I control. I will set up users with separate FTP access to different sites, but it’s not like everyone has their own control panel.