How did you get here?

As a full-time, work from home employee, I am often asked  “how did you get here?”  We all have a journey, and for some it is a hard one, and for others, somewhat easy.  In my case, maybe it’s a little boring.  No big epiphany moments, or crash and burn stories.

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My journey begins after college with my first real job as  a field based salesperson.  I carved an office out of the dining area in my apartment that I shared with my brother and two others.  My desk was a piece of wood laid across some milk crates (real ones, not the ones you buy in Target).   I had dial-up email on a borrowed computer, a landline, and no cell phone.  I was young and excited!

As I grew in my career, my roles changed, but I was still in a travel-based, work from home (when home) situation.  The travel grew as well, and soon my personal life was being stretched.  At 13 years in, the rubber band finally broke, and I left for a desk job, in an office.  It was a nice change for me and my family, and it was the right choice.  After a while I was able to work a day here and there from home.  Eventually, the recession had hit, and my future at this company was looking bleaker every day.  So, I took an opportunity to return to my previous employer and get back into the work from home model.

This time around I was a remote employee with little to no travel and a desk job.  I would be working everyday in my basement with only a cell phone or SKYPE for contact with the outside world.  I thought I might really struggle with this, but as it turns out, it has been great.  I’ve been on this leg of my journey for 5 years now.  There are some downsides, but  more often than not, its been wonderful.

What has your journey to working from home been like?  Did you one day decide you’d had enough with the commute and office politics?  Did you find yourself in need of work, and tried a work from home job?  Were you a Mom who wanted to spend more time with her kids?  Tell us your story, how did you get here?

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5 thoughts on “How did you get here?”

  1. My story is pretty dang long, and I’m a little notorious for hijacking posts. I work from home full time, pretty much the same way you do (minus the basement work cave, plus my actual office/sunroom 3 feet from my bed).

    I’ve had the camaraderie of working on a team of waitstaff, the free-agent feel of doing whatever I wanted in the marketing department at MTU, the HBIC feel of managing a coffee shop full of college students, the nauseating feel of working with a team of snobby hipsters in a marketing agency, and the sheer nonsense of working in a traditional office setting doing data entry under the guise of “content specializing.”

    And now I sit in bed, or in my office, or in Starbucks, and do my work at my own pace, and usually around my schedule. I never made the decision, but after some trial and error, I’ve figured out how much I value being alone, sleeping in, and crafting my own past, present, and future job situation. Even with the unpredictability that comes with working form home, I’ve never felt more in control of what ends up on my resume than I do now.

    I’ve had some horrible experiences from when I first started out freelancing, and some that still taint how I feel about my career now. But I don’t think I can give it up, or go back to an hour long commute to sit at a desk surrounded by backstabbing idiots. The dream now would be a telecommuting job that has me as a W2 employee. I have to do my taxes soon and, well, I miss easy taxes!

    1. Just goes to show you that keeping connections is potentially career enhancing. I just talked with an old boss who is now working for a guy that worked for him 20 years ago. You just never know…

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