I lived in New York for four years, first in Queens with the best roommates a poor, single girl could ask for, and later in Brooklyn with my husband, Austin. As most of our team members can attest, city livin’ ain’t for the faint of heart. I always professed a love/hate relationship with NYC—but for years the museums, theater community, and brunch deals made it all worthwhile.
And yet, between my work as Client Happiness Manager and my husband’s two full-time gigs in the theater industry, we were still barely making rent for a tiny one bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. And when it came time for us to start thinking about our future as parents, we were seriously weighing the pros and cons of turning our living room/home office into a living room/home office/nursery.
Meanwhile, every time we vacationed at Austin’s family ranch in the Rockies, we found it more and more difficult to return to Brooklyn. Both of us found ourselves trolling around online looking at real estate near the mountains, and Colorado stopped being referred to as the place we’d go to refresh and recharge, and started being referred to as “our future home.”
So with our long term dreams—and bank accounts—in mind, Austin and I made the leap. We bought a car, packed up our apartment, and moved back to his hometown in Colorado.
Moving is stressful for anyone, but thanks to my virtual gig, our migration from the east coast to the mountains was (mostly) painless. Here’s how virtual work simplified one of life’s biggest transitions for me.
Your Work Moves With You
My favorite part of our journey west was definitely moving into a big, beautiful house. But my second favorite? Always having an answer to the question, “Did you get a job in Colorado?”
Over the course of the month when we were packing and saying our goodbyes, I was probably asked this question a dozen times. And every time I was able to say, “Oh! My office is completely virtual, so my job just moves with me. As long as I have a computer and an internet connection, I can keep doing the job I’m already doing.”
Not only did this reduce my family’s anxiety by about a thousand percent, the proof of my consistent salary also made it possible for my husband and me to buy a home outright rather than rent for awhile while we got established in our new city — a blessing I do not take for granted.
Multitasking Is a Breeze
There is so much to do during a move! When you work a traditional job, you have to leave heaps of work behind at your house while you head to the office, squeezing your entire to-do list into your free hours between shifts. But with virtual work, you can double your efforts and save time.
Not everything is easy to multitask, but some mindless tasks can coincide with your work schedule when you work virtually from home. I spend a lot of my DPM hours on the phone, whether I’m delivering updates to clients or answering questions of my team members. So when it came time to move, I simply popped in my headphones and packed boxes any time I was on a call. I was able to bubble wrap dishes while I worked without sacrificing focus. It made packing less boring and kept me from sitting at my desk all day thinking about all the things I still needed to do for the house when I got off work.
Virtual Work Is the Ultimate in Flexibility
Time and time again, when I have faced a big transition in my life, the flexibility of virtual work has come to my rescue. Say you adopt a dog that howls loud enough for all the neighbors to hear any time she’s left in the apartment? Don’t worry; just work from home and crate train her in short bursts throughout the day! You are going to spend five days in a Budget truck while you trek everything you have ever owned to Colorado? Easy. Turn on your internet hotspot and work from the road. Love your job but want to stay home with your (future) children, too? Being a work at home parent is tough, but absolutely possible.
At DPM, we truly believe the greatest gift virtual work delivers is the benefit of flexibility. It makes dream careers happen, frequent travel possible, and provides unique opportunities for people who might otherwise be overlooked. And what a rare find, to have all those needs met simultaneously, and all by simply allowing team members to go to work on their own terms.
The boxes are unpacked, and things are starting to feel “normal” again for Austin and for me. As I settle in to this new season of my life, at my old desk in my new town, what a relief to have a career that simplifies big transitions rather than overwhelms. A rare find, indeed.