The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 25, 2004

Opinions




Stay tuned

As we pass the summer solstice, Carlisle slows down. The big spring events and obligations — the Annual Town Meeting and election — are over; the budget for the new fiscal year is set; graduations and retirement parties are now memories and photos; the CCHS teachers' contract is settled; school is out. The Selectmen and other town boards and committees now meet less frequently or not at all.

While summer is slower, the town does not shut down. In fact, a number of important events and milestones are scheduled for July and August:

• Old Home Day, Carlisle's biggest community event, celebrates the 4

• The Open Space and Recreation Report, identifying and ranking all undeveloped parcels for their value to the town, will continue it's work.

• The Planning Board will complete its Community Development Plan for Carlisle in early July. Citizens should review it before it is filed with the state.

• Large and very large housing developments are progressing in surrounding towns.

• The school building committee must start the wastewater treatment plant project this summer or risk losing the promised 60% state reimbursement.

• And, maybe, just maybe, the North Road washout at the State Park will be fixed.

Collapsed section of North Road. (Photo by Rik Pierce)


Although we publish only every other week during the summer, the Mosquito will be following these stories, as well as on-the-spot news, cultural and recreational events, and a mix of historical, community and human-interest features. If you are away from your Carlisle mailbox this summer, check the current and back issues of the Mosquito on our web site (www.carlislemosquito.org) from your beach house laptop or some distant cybercafé. Stay tuned.



The Road to Self-Employment

There's a wide range of employment options for professional service providers — from full-time and temporary jobs to contract work, freelancing, self-employment and running one's own business. After ten years of working for the same company, I was recently forced to consider these options when my employer unexpectedly laid me off.

The shock of losing my job took some time to get over, and the initial search for new permanent employment seemed hopeless. Gradually, the idea of contract work became appealing, and my pessimism has turned to optimism.

The advantages of contract work include setting one's own hours, working from home, pursuing multiple interests simultaneously, and defining the services offered according to one's own skills and preferences. The major drawbacks are the lack of benefits and sometimes long hours to meet a client's deadline. I've decided that the plusses outweigh the minuses, even though health insurance will now be a major expense. It's ironic that in a nation whose spirit embodies individualism, the high cost of health insurance forces many to seek jobs instead of working for themselves.

Finding contract work requires many of the same activities as ordinary job-hunting — updating one's resume or portfolio, lining up references, printing business cards, perhaps creating a web site, getting some additional training, and most importantly, networking.

Networking involves telling everyone you know what you're looking for, attending professional association meetings, and joining online discussion groups. Recently, I've discovered that there are groups, meeting locally, which are dedicated to networking. Some are job-search focused, while others are for finding clients. I'm part of a group that actually changed its name to reflect the fact that several members were no longer looking for jobs but rather for ways to improve their own businesses.

The community is also a great place to network. A town the size of Carlisle, with its diverse and experienced professionals, is very suitable for networking. Last week, I registered a dba (doing business as) name at Town Hall, adding mine to a list of about 190 others. I'll make sure to bring business cards with me to Old Home Day!

I used to think that lots of employment experience was a prerequisite for self- employment, but new skills can also be developed while being self-employed, starting off with pro bono work if necessary. If I decide to work for another company again in the future, the experience I gain while self-employed will be a plus. Just as we change employers over our working lives, and perhaps change careers too, I believe it makes sense to try self-employment for another learning experience.

 


2004 The Carlisle Mosquito