PS: It’s Not Just Admin Anymore!
When I first started seeking a remote position, it wasn’t for better work/life balance, it wasn’t to avoid a stressful commute, and it wasn’t for the opportunity to wear sweatpants all day (though I’ve now come to appreciate all of these advantages). I started seeking a remote position out of necessity.
My husband was in the US Army Special Forces and this required us to move frequently and abruptly. So after we got married, my choices were to give up pursuing my career, which I enjoyed and was passionate about, or find a company who would let me do it from wherever life took me – I quickly decided on the latter.
And so, I began to research. My whole career had been in marketing, and given the digital age we’re in, I had always known that I could easily do my job in a home setting. But when you work for a corporate company which I always had, there’s red tape and politics and old-school thinking you have to contend with when bringing up the option to work remotely. It had never worked out for me. I spent endless hours searching for already-remote marketing jobs, typed my fingers to the bone submitting countless applications to automated systems that would never see a human eye, and I began to lose hope.
Until, I came across a listing for a Marketing Specialist for a company called Worldwide101. I had never really heard much about virtual assistance, I honestly thought it was an industry that only existed offshore and consisted of simple or mundane day-to-day tasks. But the more I read, the more excited I became.
Virtual assistance has entered a whole new era and with premium companies like Worldwide101 is now more broadly a way for growing businesses to tap into “virtual talent” —with specialized jobs and positions in areas of marketing, project management, bookkeeping, executive assistance and more. This particular job was essentially just everything I had been doing in my previous marketing roles, but virtually, and for a host of different, exciting clients in various industries.
I applied, and after an in-depth but wonderful interview process, I was hired. Four years later, I’m still with the company, legitimately loving what I do everyday. And enjoying what I do at everyday work isn’t even the best part (whhhaaaa?!). The best part, is enjoying the new, flexible life it has allowed me to have. And not just with location – but with my schedule and work/life balance as well.
I work from around 7am – 3pm (my choice, I’m a morning person – I know, it’s an affliction.) I take my dog for walks over lunch, and I pick my daughter up from her childcare earlier than most parents can and get to spend the whole afternoon with her. I work from wherever I want – my comfy home office, the coffee shop, my parents house during deployments, the YMCA during my daughter’s swim lessons. And the kicker – I get more done than I ever have before. I feel more balanced and more productive in my new role. I have more motivation than I ever have before to do my best work because I love my job, and I love the life it provides me.
But, there were also a few surprising things I wasn’t expecting to learn in my new position, and they’ve now come to shape the way I’ll look at working for the remainder of my career.
- I have more motivation to do a better job. I hear from friends and family all the time, “You’re so lucky to have the flexibility to work from home!” And you know what, I am! I fully understand that many companies out there still have not embraced the idea of letting their employees work remotely, even after multiple studies have proven the benefits. Quality, respected, remote positions are not necessarily easy to find, and for me, this is a huge motivation to succeed in my current job. I’ve never felt happier in a position, because I’ve never been offered such freedom or trust, and this in-turn pushes me everyday to do my best work, to ensure that I can continue to live and work with this lifestyle.
- My work has improved, because I’m able to call the shots. I’m one of those hyper-productive morning people (partly coffee-related). I feel inspired in the morning, I’m flowing with energy and ideas and motivation to get things done. Like many other people I know, this energy usually fades after lunch. If I was in a 9 to 5 office, this would mean I only really have 4 hours of super productive working-time. But since I’m able to work remotely for a company that lets me flex my hours, I’ve found I do my best work between 5am – 1pm. Still a full-time schedule, but flexed around when I can be my best employee.
It’s a total win-win. Imagine the benefits companies could embrace and time-wasting they could avoid if they allowed employees to work only during their most productive windows. I know this is not feasible for all companies (such as brick and mortar stores)—but any organization who can make it happen should definitely be considering it.
- I’ll never go back. This is something I really did not expect to happen. To be completely honest, I thought working remotely would be lonely, boring, and maybe even unchallenging. I never thought it would be totally fulfilling, difficult but in the best way—the way that forces you to innovate, and make me feel healthier as a person and an employee. Now that I’ve seen the kind of work I can do while also enjoying a balanced life, I will never be able to go back to a constricting 9 to 5. It’s an incredible feeling to know I have control over the different parts of my life, and that I have been able to maintain and grow a successful career despite multiple changes in location.
I wasn’t expecting this type of contentment, challenge and work flexibility all wrapped into one position – but I found it. And you can find it too, you just have to look in the right places, and make the decision for yourself not to settle – you’re worth it!