I’m putting the nail gun down for a moment to talk about a big part of my life: work. Why? What does work have to do with home improvement and decor? In my case, everything: I work from home (WFH).
I started the WFH journey in early 2010 after years of wondering whether I could do it. I wasn’t happy in my current job and I knew the opportunity was there if I was brave enough to grab it. Six years later, I’ve built a full-time career with clients I love. If that weren’t reason enough, working from home works for me for a few reasons:
1) I hate pants. Isn’t this reason #1 for every WFH professional? Seriously though, it’s mostly what pants represent: comfort. I’ve worked in every environment imaginable, from corporate offices to laid-back lofts, and while each space was generally friendly, I could never harness the same inspiration I found in my own home. I like working here. It gives me freedom to find a place where I feel productive, and when I get restless, I can move to a new spot with no restrictions (like the sofa). And yes, wearing pj’s doesn’t hurt the process, either!
2) My market is America. Fun fact: None of my clients are located in my home state. My job pool isn’t limited by geography; my market is America. Employers are beginning to see the value of a virtual workforce. In fact, 3.7 million U.S. employees work from home at least part-time, a trend that is expected to increase in the future. My bosses don’t care where I work as long as the content is good. While we’re on the subject, would you believe I wrote half a website from this location? Believe it!
3) I have many hats (and I use them). I’m a full-time writer, a wife and a mom. In case you were wondering, I’m busy. Working parents don’t have the luxury of sitting around. We’re squeezing the life out of every spare moment and praying to score five hours of sleep each night. While Mister is having fun at school, I take advantage of the workday by splitting my focus. Some freelancers consider this habit forbidden, but I don’t mind mixing work and home tasks. A 15-minute breather to throw in some laundry? Sounds good. An hour lunch break to make some baby food and catch up on The Americans? I’m in. It all gets done, and it makes me a better writer and a better mom in the process. Everybody wins.
4) I don’t live and die by the clock. I remember the days of waking up a 7 a.m. in a panic. I’m going to miss my train! I won’t make that meeting! I don’t have time to shower! At least one day per week began in a hectic rush, and every evening was an internal battle of priorities: whether to leave work before traffic hit, whether to stay late to get one more task accomplished, whether family time was more important than work time, etc. It never got easier and I was always exhausted. While I do try to keep normal business hours, I can also partition my day or work after Mister goes to sleep if I have personal errands on the to-do list. Working from home gives me flexibility, something I never found while punching a clock.
5) My salary knows no limits. In year two of WFH, I earned more than $11,000 in a single month. Sure, I worked my ass off, but I also had plenty of time to focus on things I enjoy like writing for myself, working on home projects and generally living away from the computer. It wasn’t a stressful month. If anything, it was exhilarating to see how far I could push myself and how much I could earn. $11K per month isn’t the norm, but it isn’t out of the question, either.
If you’re looking for the final push to make a career change, working from home is an amazing option. It hasn’t always been easy, but I wouldn’t trade the challenges for a 9-5 job.
Interested? Good! Don’t quit your day job just yet, though. 😉 I plan to post on weekly blogs full of resources, strategies and interviews from other WFH professionals. Stay tuned!