Working From Home Part III: The Verdict

 My apologies for the delay, between traveling and starting a new job I’ve been busier than anticipated! This is the final installment in a blog on working from home. Check out Part I and Part II to learn why I wanted to work remotely and the stats on this recent working trend.

I set up a meeting with my seniors to talk and went over the following:

  • I was moving to Wyoming (see Part I for an explanation).
  • Several people in my department — including a person on my team — were allowed to work remotely despite living 30 minutes away. One person in my department lived in Fort Collins and worked remotely.
  • I was arguably the most successful, talented SEO person on our team (I phrased this a little differently, but my seniors agreed with how valuable I was).
  • The biggest accounts on our team assigned to me.
  • I had two years’ experience — it would be an easier transition for me to stay onboard and work remotely than train someone to take over my book. Plus, turnover is more expensive than hiring a new person.
  • Working remotely has proven successful for many employees (see Part II). I explained how working in an environment with less distractions would undoubtedly improve my productivity.

The verdict?

All my seniors were on board, but they needed to confirm it with the department chair. She said no.

As mentioned, two of the people in my department who were allowed to work remotely just so happened to be friends with the chair. They lived in Fort Collins or about 30 minutes away, I was moving 6 ½ hours away.

I put my in two weeks after that meeting.

The verdict after the verdict

The many perks of working remotely: flexing your schedule to do whatever.

Despite having no job lined up and nothing in the immediate future, I was unbelievably happy on my last day. So many of the best workers at the agency had quit or kept quitting after I left — we were all so incredibly burned out. 

It was sad to say goodbye to my friends, but I was ready for something new! I was ready to move in with my love and move on to a different career path.

I moved up to Wyoming and applied to jobs like crazy. I made a goal of applying to at least 10 jobs a week and got absolutely none of them. I worked as an after-hours tour guide for a couple hours a week at a museum. I basically ran out of money, but for some reason never felt stressed. I had a strange sense of calm that things were all going to work out.

  • I started working for my friend Jenny, writing ad copy for companies like Schwinn Bicycles and Mongoose Scooters — for the record, she’s the brains behind everything and I just help when needed, but it still felt great to say “I’m writing ad copies for Schwinn.”
  • At the end of July, two months after quitting the agency, I started blogging for my aunt and uncle’s real estate company.
  • Come August, I was one of the two finalists for a position with HomeAdvisor in Denver. I didn’t get the job, but they offered me a freelancing position instead.
  • By September, two people referred me to two more clients.
  • In early October, I got hired back at the museum as a part-time Skype educator.

Where I’m at now

I’m working remotely part-time and working at a museum part-time. I could not ask for a better schedule! Having flexibility is amazing, and I try to remind myself every day how lucky I am.

I know that working remotely probably won’t be a forever thing. But for anyone who wants to go for it, here is what I would recommend:

  • Look for companies with remote flexibility. They’re highly competitive and hard to get, but it’s worth a shot.
  • Apply for companies that aren’t remote, but you like the job description. In the event of HomeAdvisor, I was very drawn to the job even though it would have required me to work in Denver. Through them, I was made aware of remote and freelance opportunities.
  • Extend your services to people in need of them. Don’t push the issue, but offer your services where it makes sense and leave the ball in the others’ court.
  • Say yes to opportunities that align with your career path. “Tour guide” isn’t something I wanted as a long-term career, but I knew it’d be a great way to get my foot in the door at the museum. I was able to meet some of the amazing educators and learn about the Skype position, plus I got to pick up extra hours when tours ended.
  • Make sure you get paid. I provide audits and consults for free as of now, but have seen way too many freelancing opportunities that charge a pittance. Set your rates and stick to them.
  • Low-paying opportunities can be OK, but try to keep scaling up. My first freelancing job gave me great experience and a bullet point on my resume. I made less than $20 a post if memory serves. My next freelancing job was a little bigger and I made $35 per post — still hardly anything.
    But as my experience continued to grow, so did my rates (and my knowledge of what I was worth). If you have an opportunity that doesn’t pay exactly what you’re looking for but can help you build your experience and network, I say go for it — as long as it’s also worth the time.

Above all else, when you know what you want to do in life, you should go for it. If that means working remotely, I wish you all the best.

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