Effective this week, I'm working. I've signed on with a consulting company based in the East Coast whose clients need help with international HR matters. The work so far is by email and phone, although the company is growing rapidly so other projects requiring face to face contact could pop up. For now, this is fine with me and I'm happy to be easing back into the world of work.
The company's prinicipal offered several options for how to work with them, including full time employment, but I decided that I would rather start out as an independent contractor and see how that goes. I set myself up as a limited liability company, got an employee identification number, and opened a bank account. All of this took under two hours, and voila! I'm something I never thought I would be: a consultant.. Now that I'm on this path, I'm also toying around with the idea of trying to teach part time as well--something I had put on hold with the idea that I would be working fulltime and possibly having to commute from another part of the country. But working from home opens that back up as a possiblity.
In the meantime, the job market has all but dried up here in Detroit. Searches are still going on and I continue to get 1-2 calls or emails per week from search firms, but companies are dragging their feet and putting things on hold until the economy picks up--which could be a while.
The other thing that I'm doing is volunteering for the Obama campaign. Although Michigan appears to be solid for Obama--in fact many of the paid staffers are being transferred to the battleground states and ad coverage is being reduced here--the campaign is taking the wise strategy that "no lead is big enough." I'm happy that Obama is ahead in the polls, but the lead is by no means a comfortable one yet. It's very nervewracking as we head closer to election day.