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253: Q+A with my husband!

Working with your partner has some incredible perks, and some tricky parts. Listen in while my husband and I answer your questions about work, life, and fostering at TaraSwiger.com/podcast253

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Ever wonder what it’s like to work with me?  Or to work with your spouse? Today we, both Jay and I, are going to answer your questions!

Jay has worked in my business on and off for years, and in the last few years we have had a lot of new adventures – from working full-time in my business, to pursuing his dream to open a comic shop, to fostering babies!

In this episode we answer questions about guilt, what it’s like when one of us gets to follow our dream (and the other doesn’t), the hardest part of working together full-time, how Jay feels about me being in the limelight, the best part of foster care, why we rent, and the real work Jay has had to do as we make huge changes in our life. And yeah, we talk about how the patriarchy feels some kind of way about a husband working for the wife, and why we just don’t care. We wrap up with our advice for couples who want to work together.

Thank you to listeners who asked their question:

Are you following me on Instagram? Be sure you are so you can ask me questions for my next Q+A episode!

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
  • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

Find all the podcast episodes here.

Can you help?

This is Jay.
Jay, loving the pizza

He needs a job.
I have a theory that maybe you can help.

Since Jay got laid off, we've been talking a LOT about how one looks for a job. He's been shaving, getting dressed nice, going in and asking “Are you hiring?” or “Are you looking for help”, along with a pile of resumes. They all say “fill out our online application,” or send his resume to HR never to be heard from again.  There's little to no interpersonal communication, no talking to a real person, no getting to know each other. And this is rough if you're great with people but have a less-than-impressive resume.

But I'm all about the online. My entire business is based on meeting and getting to know awesome knitterly types online. Most of my newest friendships and collaborations have been formed online. Sure, I've now met tons of them in person, but we keep our relationship going online.

So I thought we'd do a little experiment and bring Jay's job search online. Not just an online application, but an online version of a getting-to-know-you chat. Not all those “What's your weakest trait” questions, but real, useful stuff about him.

After you read this if you think “Wow, I have just the job for Jay!”, leave a comment below or email him at jamison.swigerATgmail.com.

Jay is currently the shipping department, tech guy, graphic designer, head chef and dog walker at Blonde Chicken Boutique. Oh yeah, he's also my husband.

For a few months, he's been working in all those capacities full-time, but now he'd like to help other small businesses (or individuals), doing, well, anything they need doing. Here's a bit more about what he's done for BCB.

Tech Guy:
Jay makes all the decisions for the BCB's hardware and software needs. He maintains the network and fixes the printer before I throw it out the window. He regularly does something to my laptop that makes it run all smooth and happy and have more memory. He also researches and finds the best (usually free) software to meet the need of whatever new project I dream up.

I know he's good at this because I don't have to know anything or think about anything and he makes it  all work out, giving me time/energy to focus on the yarn.

Graphic Designer:
Jay just recently redesigned my product labels and whoa, they're awesome. He also designs all my ads and looks at the stats to see which one performs best. He designed my much-complimented business card, thank you cards and everything I've ever printed out.

He also built a website for our friend, Mama Beehive, and designs posters for the local wrestling company and youth groups.

Head Chef:
It's embarrassing, but most days I don't remember to eat until 6 or 7. Jay not only remembers that I need to eat, he whips me up tasty goodness. He's a vegetarian and makes the best burgers (no beans!), chili and enchiladas EVER. And his deep dish pizza crust. Legendary!

(This is the kind of skill that doesn't come up often in interviews but it is priceless.  When there's a “potluck” Christmas party, you are going to be glad that you have Jay's pizza and not another bacon/mayonnaise/peas “salad”.)

Jay has a bachelor's degree in History and almost has one in Political Science, and he's spent the past few years working full-time in restaurants. All that reading and learning and paper-writing seriously honed his critical thinking skills.

For example, everything you see at BCB, from the Yarn Mail to the (soon-coming) Learn to Knit Kit first starts like this:
“Hey, Jay, I'm thinking I could do X”
“Oh, good idea! What about Y & Z? “

It's not just idea-bouncing, it's stuckness-slicing. I've been trying to come up with a good learn-to-knit pattern to include in my kit. I think scarves are too long for new knitters, too easy to get bored. So I'm obsessing over this, giving the 50,000 pros & cons and Jay says “So, are you selling the item or are you selling the learning to knit? Which is more important?

*Ding!*

And now, in the grand tradition of Havi's Personal Ads,

What we'd like:
A job for Jay. Or even some freelance work until he gets a job.

How this could work:
You have something that needs doing and think Jay would be right for it. This could be dog-walking, graphic design, bringing you food or working for your fabulous company, located here in Johnson City or available online.

You'll either leave a comment below or email him at jamison.swigerATgmail.com.

If you don't have a job for Jay, you'll pass this around to people who might like it.

Thanks! I'll keep you posted on what comes of this!