I make my green smoothie each morning in a fancy glass blender, which reminds me of my old job every time. It was a gift from the world-renowned health and wellness publisher to celebrate my dedicated five years of service with the company. They were like that – somewhat old-school in the benefits they provided their employees.
Those soft benefits, like their onsite fitness facilities, daycare center, organic cafeteria, and tuition reimbursement program, were just the things that kept employees like me happy to come to work every day. And for eight years I did.
But after my second child was born, there was no place I’d rather be than home with my family. I enjoyed my time at home immensely. Each week was filled with trips to the science center and local zoo, the dairy and orchard, nearby cities, and to grandparents in the country. But four years later, my kids were either in school all day or would soon be heading off to kindergarten. That’s when I began to think about work again.
Naturally, my old company and my position as Senior Project Manager came to mind. But for all the great things my old company offered, there were two it didn’t. And those two things proved to outweigh all the others. What I wanted most was a part-time, work-from-home position.
I’ve had a career in Project Management, even earning a Master’s degree in Project Management a few years back. I had been promoted at most of my jobs and had always considered myself a team player. I was reliable, conscientious and a good communicator. I liked work and all the responsibility and fulfillment that came with it. I just wasn’t ready to dive back into it full-time. I had grown too accustomed to seeing those little milestones that working parents always lament missing.
Determined to find the right fit, I took to the Internet and did some research. And that’s where I found it, the hidden gem: Virtual Assistance.
I found a website dedicated to flexible, work-from-home positions, and I interviewed with a few companies, but nothing felt exactly right. I didn’t just want any part-time WFH position, I wanted one that utilized my background in Project Management or Marketing, one where I would be among other like-minded professionals, one where I could make an impact. I found a great company who offered just this.
So now I spend a few hours each day providing Project Management and Marketing support to my clients, from the comfort of my home office. I take my kids to school and pick them up each day, and I never miss a school activity, homework assignment or birthday party. My clients are mostly located on the East Coast of the United States, but really, it doesn’t matter where they are. Or more, importantly, where I am. Being that conscientious team player means that my co-workers know they can count on me to ensure their industrial-sized expansion joints make it through Customs and deliver to the worksite on time. Or that my client’s website in Philadelphia motivates and inspires her target audience in Jamaica. For now, I dedicate my time to a small list of clients, but as my children grow, I hope to increase my client portfolio. Who’s next on my client list…an online retailer in Albuquerque? An eco-travel company in Utah? Time will tell, and that’s part of the excitement!
As you can imagine, the transition from scheduling playdates to scheduling client projects was daunting, to say the least. After 4+ years out of a traditional office environment, gearing up for my new life as a VA was exciting albeit a touch scary. But that’s a story for next time.
Have you made the leap, too? Was it the right move? Post a comment below and tell us all about it!
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