Coming up on a year of working with Cerado. First time I’ve let a tech contract last that long. And still in love with them.
(via twitter)

Putting together my October invoice for Cerado this morning, I realized this month will mark a year with them.  I’ve been building websites for ten years and living in the Bay Area for four, and this is the first tech contract I’ve let last more than 6 months.

For the last however-many years, I’ve been clinging tightly to the philosophy that if I stay uncomfortable, I’ll grow faster. And I’ve found that shifting jobs every few months is an excellent way to stay uncomfortable. (So is avoiding monogamous relationships, but that’s a can of worms I’ll save for another time.)  I tend to do something for just long enough to learn it, get good at it, and it to my repertoire. Then I arrange for someone else to take my place, and I move on. Why stick around for things to get easy?  I’ve got too much more growing to do.

I’ve been told by various people that at some point, I’ll want to settle down and keep a steady job.  I’ve also been told that I’ll want to get married and have kids.  And that I’ll wish I had my degree.  And that I want to stop working when I’m 65.  And that Pluto’s not really a planet.

That’s nice.

Anyway, my point is: I prefer change to consistency, growth to comfort, and flexibility to structure.  And that’s why I’m still at Cerado.

We do cool stuff, and it’s different every month.   Since being there, I’ve taught airplane mechanics how to use social networking tools; redesigned BlogHer.com; created a monthly newsletter; built a viral online quiz; and managed the development of a new product that’s so fascinating, I’m still not sure I understand it yet (but it works).  It’s kind of like changing jobs every month, only without the “changing jobs” part.

I get to wear all of my hats.  I manage, I write, and I build.  Most firms would probably prefer that I pick one of those and do it consistently. Cerado, on the other hand, thinks it’s pretty cool that I jump around and do whatever I want to do on a project.  When I get to a spot where I need more help, I pick the thing I’m least experienced with and ask Chris to go hire someone for it.  So far, this strategy seems to be working just fine.

I get to do all my other cool stuff, too.  I’m not quite sure how I pulled this one off, but I seem to have landed in a company that thinks the more I do outside of it, the more valuable I am.  So I travel and go to conferences as often as I can, and I just take my work with me on the plane.  Even more miraculously, though, they’re incredibly supportive of my adventures in queerdom and sex geekery, and I’m getting lots of encouragement to make Genderfork, Queer Open Mic, and Boffery successful. This blows my mind.

I get to work with amazing mad geniuses. Hanging out with Chris Carfi and Mark Resch (and all of the other mad geniuses they tend to attract for lunch meetings) has created frequent surges of brilliance and a constant reminder to think.  Example: In the middle of a meeting one afternoon, Mark made a casual comment about something that would make his life easier.  He and Chris immediately jumped on the idea and started working out all the details for how they could design that product and bring it to production within a month.  Five minutes later, they were back on track with the meeting.  I blinked a few times, shook my head, and carried on.

So in case you were wondering why I’m still hanging out with this strange posse, it’s because they’re a perfect fit.