Workin’ NINE to FIVE. What A Way To Make A Livin’!

Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

Let’s just dive straight into the last one, shall we?

After a quick tea break, damnit.

That’ll probably turn into a chocolate break. And a walk around a bit cause the back likes it. And board the plane break. And get to the AirBNB. And eat dinner. And find any number of other distractions so I don’t actually do this until a month from now, hm?

But #DamnitTeaBreak


I’m not willing to wait a month.

I wrote a version of this story that’s full of anger and vitriole and blame and emotion and sent it to a few close friends, to my partner.

It helped.

Part of why I’m writing these stories – these three secrets – is because I’m dealing with this anger that is so high that I feel like the Hulk and just getting this third story out of my head and onto the screen – read by a very few close friends who don’t really care what it says, who don’t necessarily even have to respond – this helps alleviate the constant pressure.


Another part of me definitely wants to get this third secret out as well.



But first, #CONTEXT

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

I am a self taught nerd.

While I do technically have a masters in information technology, it’s a bullshit degree from a for-profit school. I didn’t learn anything there, I bought a piece of paper that made tech companies stop dismissing me when they saw my undergraduate degreen in DANCE.

I taught myself Visual Basic on a TI something something when I was nine or ten. I inhaled such and such programming language in high school. I worked in the computer labs in undergrad. I scooped up HTML, PHP, CSS, MySQL, and such after y2k. I learned enough about linux to call myself a LAMP stack developer.

And all the while I danced.

I didn’t care how much I made as long as I could dance.

Eventually I retired from dance and coded full time. I was over the moon to work for several wonderful companies and only one shitty one before I joined Red Hat.

Red Hat was everything I’d ever wanted and I didn’t care about the money – I was doing what I loved. Also my partner and I didn’t have any children and our student loans were reasonable.

Money was never an issue.

We had a son five years ago and money was still fine.

And then we had twins.

And damn, if money didn’t get TIGHT.

But we were okay?

As in, we have money for food. And clothing. And shelter.


Every month we’re dipping into our savings.

We’re okay for now, but it’s only a matter of time.

Around a year ago, a recruiter reached out to me via LinkedIn. This is very common in the tech world. And I mostly ignore everything. If the job description is particularly intriguing, I’d reply with, “Is it remote?”

Which typically ends the exchange.

But a year ago the recruiter responded that it was totally remote. The job description was incredible. I was qualified. I had an interview. Then another. And another. I spoke with peers, researched comparable jobs, and took a hard look at my experience to figure out where to start the negotiations.

I realized that I was undervalued.

A lot.

And I still I feel unappreciated.


I make €50k.

Photo by Filip Bunkens on Unsplash

For the past year, I’ve been passively responding to recruiters and following up recommendations with the very few people who knew my situation.

Now you know, too.

If you’d like to see my experience, my LinkedIn is up to date.

I need remote work or work local to the Groningen area. I need to double my income. I DESERVE to triple my income.

I am VERY happy doing what I do now – community / devrel / program management is the ideal balance of introvert (writing, coding, social media) and extrovert (speaking, events, social media) that I love.

I’m head over heels for open source.

I’d absolutely love to stay at Red Hat in the Open Source Programs Office under the Office of the CTO working with the OpenStack project.


My savings account is too low. My frustration and anger are too high. And I’ve been undervalued for too long.

If you know of an opportunity, I’d love to chat.







2 responses to “Workin’ NINE to FIVE. What A Way To Make A Livin’!”

  1. […] it’s important for context to read the original post here on “Workin’ NINE to FIVE. What A Way To Make A Livin’!” – if you’ve already read it or don’t want context, feel free to skip to the […]

  2. […] knew that I wanted to work within open source and within #DevRel and I knew how much I wanted to be paid, but, if I’m honest, I didn’t think I’d actually get there this year. Especially […]