My Mom often tells me that when I was a kid, she could already tell that a traditional 9-5 job would never be my thing. Every morning she struggled to get me out the door to kindergarten. Even then, the idea of having to stay in the same space for X hours a day, day in day out didn’t seem appealing to me.
Although I was a busy, curious child and enjoyed playing with my friends, given the option between school and home, I’d much rather do my “work” (reading endless amounts of books, learning new things, drawing pictures, writing letters and creating imaginary worlds) within the comfort of my very own blanket fort.
It’s funny how so little changes.
After completing my degree at the University of Toronto, I spent close to a decade working in both the public and private sector, honing my skills as a communication professional. While I enjoyed the work, spending my days in a traditional office environment always felt like I was wearing clothes that didn’t quite fit. So, it should come as no surprise that in my late twenties, I became a cubicle reject.
I decided to move across the country and work remotely as a full-time freelancer—a decision I’ve never regretted.
Whether you’re thinking of making the leap into full-time freelancing or considering evolving your business so that you’re no longer tied to a specific geographic location, here are a few ways that working remotely has changed my life for the better—and can change yours, too.
1. It’s allowed me to do my best work.
As a creative, I do my best work when I’m able to create a schedule that keeps me energized. A typical day for me usually involves working from home in the morning, switching locations in the afternoon (i.e. to my favorite coffee shop), and possibly taking in a boot camp or yoga class before finishing up work after dinner.
My days may be longer than they were when I was working in an office, but being able to break up my schedule means I can stay focused, energized and produce my best work.
2. It’s afforded me the option to be geographically flexible.
Being able to work and travel at the same time is obviously one of the perks of freelancing. For example, I recently spent a few weeks living and working in Los Angeles—just because I was curious about the city. Working remotely has also allowed me to move across the country to be closer to my family.
If I ever wanted to relocate again, I could—without losing my source of income. Being geographically flexible means that I get to prioritize the people and experiences that are important to me; so I can build a life I really love.
3. It’s built my confidence as a professional.
One of the first things people always ask me when they discover I work remotely is, “how do you get anything done without someone there to tell you what to do?”
Well, you just do.
I’ve always been very independent and a self-starter, but working remotely has made me even better. Knowing that I’m very good at getting things done on my own has been a huge confidence boost.
4. It’s given me the opportunity to work with like-minded people.
You know what’s uninspiring? Complacency. I don’t want a job that I just “show up for.” I want to grow and be challenged.
Freelancing provides the opportunity to work with other ambitious, motivated entrepreneurs and forward thinking folks who see the world in the same way. It’s the complete opposite of just “showing up” and I love it.
5. It allows me to make a tangible impact on someone’s life.
When I worked for large organizations, I knew I was making an impact, but it didn’t feel very immediate. But, when a client I’ve worked with sends me a note that says something like, “I’m so glad you’re looking after my social media. I wouldn’t be able to do it without you,” I know that I’ve made a tangible difference in someone’s life and business.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.