The Day Job: One Year Later

Today is the one year that I’ve been working for athenahealth. More specifically, I work in an app they own called epocrates. It’s a medical app used by doctors and patients to look up drugs to find out information about dosage, prescription side effects, read up on medical news, and all that fun stuff. It’s a remote job that I currently work M-F 8:30-5:00. How is it going?

When I first started last year, I’ll be honest. I had NO idea what I was hired to do. I knew that it would involve HTLM coding (of which I had zero knowledge) but that was about it. Not only that, this life-long PC user needed to learn how to use a Mac and a whole slew of corporate tools like Teams and Sharepoint that I’d never used before. The learning curve was steep, to say the least. Because I was so green they knew that it would probably take two years before I was up to speed in my job.

And then, just a few months after I was hired, the woman training me got pregnant. At that moment, my training timetable escalated. When she left on maternity leave guess who was going to have to fill her role? Yep. Me. That meant I’d need to lead meetings, be the US point person for account managers, and push THE button to launch some of our products to the app. Oh, yeah, and learn how to code as well. So much for that two-year learning curve. Ha.

It’s now a year later and the maternity coverage will be over by the end of the month. And you know what… I’m doing okay. I know enough coding to do the tasks I need to do and will learn more once she’s back and can dive into more training. I’m handling launches, answering account manager emails, and leading calls. All while maintaining my book release plan, raising two teenagers as a single mom, and living with a chronic illness. I’m still a bit shocked at how far I’ve come in such a short window, honestly.

Work essentials: the Mac, my ergonomic mouse, my folder of notes, my work iPhone, my personal Android (which is taking the pic,) my coffee/tea warmer, and lip balm.

In April, I’ll be working a four 10-hour day work schedule which will likely throw my writing schedule off track until I get my groove back. The plan is to still try to do my power hour before I log into work, but that will mean basically writing the second I wake up, which will take some adjusting. It might be worth it though to have a weekday off. Working a 9-5 I never realized how hard it was to schedule simple things like an oil change or a doctor’s visit. (When you’re covering for maternity leave, getting time off is challenging.) Having a weekday off will be a great benefit to the work-life balance. Not just for errands, but for catching up on the writing stuff I might fall behind on.

So far, releases for this year are still on track. The first one is already out, and the second release (Vol. 5) is on target for May. The manuscript for my August release with City Owl Press is already in their hands. It’s just awaiting their final edits so that should be good. And my fourth release for this year is being polished off now. I tend to work about six months to a year in advance. That means I’m already working on projects for next year. That gives me breathing room and time to adjust to things that come up, like figuring out a new work schedule.

Speaking of writing, it’s time for me to get some words down!

Until next week, friends!

Danielle/Dani Bannister author and anniversary maker