I have had a series of events unfold over the last few days that have been nothing more than miraculous to say the least.
I’ve been worried about how we are going to afford bills. We seem to fall short of our budget each month. We spend more than we earn. We have cut back a lot. It’s been hard.
I have been wondering if we should sell our house and downsize to find something cheaper and smaller. Rachel and I have looked at other houses. Nothing felt right. We even prayed about it and I had would I could best describe a “stupor of thought”.
Still, I didn’t know how we long we could last in this situation. Something as got to give. We just had to put $2300 on our credit card to pay for 30 pills. We’ll have to do it again next month until I hit my $5000 out of pocket max for the year.
When we bought this house I was making $4000 – $6000 per month extra with my direct-vs-dish.com website. Now that site brings in about $1500. It’s been on a steady decline since April when Google started dropping me from the top of the search engines.
So I have been worried about this for a while. Our house has been my biggest concern. We pay $2300 per month. We actually refinanced this summer and saved about $150 per month – not much of a difference really. We thought about renting out our basement, but it would cost too much to put in a sidewalk to get it ready for renters and we weren’t really fond of the idea anyway.
Last week I had a dream. In this dream I was talking to someone and telling them about how we sold our houses. (We still own our old house on Hillside Circle. We want to sell it to get the equity out of it. We actually make about $150 per month on rent from that property each month.). I felt good about selling our old house, but then when I said we sold our current house I got a sinking sick feeling and woke up. I immediately felt that it was an answer to prayer that we should not sell this house.
This sort of thing confuses me. It is like a conflicting message. I know we should spend less than we earn, but I can’t see us doing that in a home we can’t afford. This is a very nice house and I’m sure we would be just fine downgrading and getting less home and less yard. Why then would I get the feeling to stay?
Similarly, when we were looking for homes, this one was well out of our price range, yet one morning when I went to the temple and did initiatories I kept thinking about this house. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I told my father in law and he suggested that it was a prompting I should follow. This house had sat vacant for 2 years. Many people had made offers and the offers had all fallen through. We made a few offers and counter offers and everything went through. So obtaining this house was a small miracle too. Buy why?
Honestly, I still don’t know why we are here. Perhaps some day I will come to learn the answer. But I feel we are where the Lord wants us to be anyway.
After I had that dream I determined that perhaps this is not a money problem and this is not a house problem. It is a lack of faith problem. Certainly the Lord could bless me with the money to afford to stay here if He wanted me here. It was time to exercise faith.
Friday morning at work, my friend Dave Parkinson was showing someone around our building. He brought him near my desk to show him our slide. Later I was chatting with him over instant messenger asking if he was recruiting. He said his friend had just left Needle to take on a new job. I was familiar with Needle because they are a Django shop and have attempted to recruit me a few times that past year. He mentioned that he was making $120,000 per year at Needle. I quickly did the math in my head and realized that if I was making even $100,000 it wold help greatly in being able to afford my bills and get me back in the black. While chatting with Dave I got an email from at recruiter looking to find someone to work at Needle. I thought the timing of that email was very interesting.
The problem is that I love Neutron. They have treated me very well the past year. I found myself in the middle of a hard decision between good and good. I didn’t want to apply at Needle and get an offer only to use as leverage to try to get a better raise at Neutron. I’m not comfortable doing that. I worried about approaching my boss for more money because they just gave me a $5000 raise, moving me from 80K to 85K per year.
I mulled it over all weekend knowing that I needed to do something. I determined I was going to just be completely honest and share what I was feeling with my boss and go from there.
This morning I got in to work and Dave forwarded an email to me that Dan (the owner/CEO of Neutron) had sent to him and some of the managers at Neutron Friday night of last week. The email was a link to an article and slide show describing Netflix’s hiring and compensation practices. Specifically he pointed out two slides. One said, “The Keeper Test Managers Use: ‘Which of my people, if they told me they were leaving for a similar job at a peer company, would I fight hard to keep at Netflix?” The other slide essentially said they do yearly reviews and always pay at market compensation – not just when hiring.
Frankly I was shocked that Dan happened to be reading this stuff and forwarding it to his team when I was about to approach Neutron for a raise. CRAZY! Later Dave said he chatted with Dan about that slide presentation and Dan said its was the best thing he had ever read.
I composed a long email and sent it to Nicole just before leaving for lunch. I chatted with Nicole and she was very supportive. But she felt that I could probably get a better result by talking to Dan personally because she just had this conversation with Dan and was only able to get a $5,000 raise.
So after chatting with Nicole I had Dan’s assistant schedule some time for me to meet with him. I hung around so I didn’t have to think about it all night. When I went in to talk with him I was very nervous at first and it was obvious. My voice was shaking and I was having trouble breathing. But I calmed down enough to explain that I was thinking of applying at Needle simply because of the money. I explained that I really liked it at Neutron and preferred to stay, but the money was too much not to apply for.
Dan then told me he really wanted me at Neutron. He said he would talk with Shawn (his parter, our CFO) and take care of my salary requirements. We then talked for about an hour and he essentially told me that he has had his eye on me the whole time and he things I’m the perfect fit for Neutron because I’m not just a programmer but I also have lots of business experience and my attitude and collaboration efforts are what he appreciated most.
We talked about the company and the future of the company. Not only did he feel I was a perfect fit for the company, but I felt this company was a perfect fit for me because I finally felt I could bring any idea to the table and it would be considered.
I left our meeting on cloud 9. Honestly, I don’t know how my compensation will change or what kind of raise I can expect. I hope to be making 6 figures soon though and I’m excited for my future with this company. When I left he said he wanted to talk with me more – I guess an hour wasn’t enough. He said he would schedule a lunch meeting with me. By the time I was on the train home his assistant had scheduled lunch on the calendar with me for tomorrow.
I came home so excited and Rachel said it was so noticeable. Even though I don’t know what kind of raise I will get, I’m confident I will get a good raise and I feel a huge burden has been lifted from me. I am so overwhelmed with gratitude to God right now. Also to my friend Dave for his help and support and to Nicole and Dan who were both very encouraging and supportive. God is good!