After months of plugging away on a few different projects, I’ve decided that it’s time to get a job again.

It seems that I’ve been going through this cycle the last several years. I’ll work a job for a year or two and then I’ll get the itch to be my own boss again.

Usually it ends up being a premature decision. I eventually grudgingly jump back into the job market to boost my income. Then my side projects get pushed to the back-burner.

What Went Wrong This Time

When I left my last job, my website income was much more than I was making at my daytime job. Things were looking quite promising.

Unfortunately it was based on an unstable traffic source: organic search engine rankings.

Ironically, on my first Monday working from home my main websites were hit with a Google rankings penalty. That morning I had plenty of high page #1 rankings, but by late afternoon they all came crashing down. Ever since, those websites do not rank higher than page #5.

You might assume I must’ve done something pretty bad to lose all my rankings like that. I guess it’s a matter of perspective.

I had been doing some aggressive marketing and riding that momentum to the top of the search engine rankings. At the same time I had been neglecting improving my websites to be more than just affiliate portals. Basically my shortcuts caught up to me at the worst possible time.

Of course I didn’t lose all my monthly website income, but it was a big enough hit to affect my finances. Despite months of corrective work, I just couldn’t recover my rankings.

So Now What?

This week I will be meeting with some of my previous employers to discuss potential job opportunities. It sounds like they’d be willing to hire me again, but I need to make sure it is a good fit. If that doesn’t pan out, I’ll be polishing up my resume and looking for something new. It’s either that or start dipping into my savings to cover my bills.

This doesn’t mean the end of the Modest Money blog though. I will be doing what I can to still regularly post here, but I’ll have to scale down my activity on other blogs.

I also have some other side projects going that may evolve into bigger priorities. It shouldn’t be a problem juggling all that, but I may need to start recruiting some guest posts. Send me an e-mail if you are interested in contributing.

Education is another factor to consider while hunting for jobs. Some might land their dream job without a degree, but these situations are rare. The rest of us need to be able to prove that we have adequate knowledge of the field we’re going into, and there is arguably no better way to do this than by going back to school. If you’re in a situation like mine, you can earn a degree in a field like Network Administration online. Not only will this prepare you for the workforce, but you can balance classes with work, making it an ideal choice for anyone running their own business like me.

Have any of you recently had to decide between steady income and the risks of running your own business? For those of you with thriving businesses, did you ever have to step back and get a job while things build up?

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