Recently I connected on LinkedIn with someone from a past life – someone I worked at my job with.
Would they wonder why I left my job after such a long time?
Probably not, as no conversation ever followed. That’s okay, because I don’t owe anyone an explanation, but I’m more than happy to talk about it.
On May 27th, 2016, I left my full-time job (with benefits, paid sick time, paid vacation time) and stepped into the unknown, with a massive sense of relief, and a distinct sense of “OMG, I hope I can do this!”
A long-time employee always notices when everything begins going downhill, however gradual. I was tired of the negative changes I saw and complaining about them, to no avail. I knew that I would continue to feel worse if I stayed. Even though I wanted things to improve, suggestions often fell on deaf ears.
I was forced to look elsewhere for things that should be in every workplace.
As a VA, I’m a part of a team (several, actually). I am given a set of tasks to do, training (if necessary) on how to complete those tasks and a timeframe in which to complete the work. It’s working together to get a job completed. My team is available when I need them or have questions.
True teamwork breeds honesty, communication and eventually, loyalty, once a client and I have worked together for a bit. And a few laughs here and there are just what the doctor ordered.
I have the authority to make family plans whenever I need to, while still being able to accommodate my clients. There’s no chaos when I return, and no excuses for why my job didn’t get completed in my absence.
This goes for sick days, holidays and when the kids are home from school, too. I no longer feel guilty about being a mom, or being under the weather, or taking a day for myself.
Brief chit-chat about the weekend and how the kids are doing is something I hadn’t experienced in awhile, except with a couple of close co-workers.
My job concerns are now considered thoughtfully, not brushed off. When my clients say they’ll “look into it”, they do. Then we work together to solve the problem.
Often, respect is in the little things. It’s communication and how someone makes others feel. It’s how tasks are delegated. I no longer feel like a number. I finally feel like a human being again.
This is something I love about being a VA. I feel appreciated, and I get regular feedback from my clients on how I’m helping them. I get a real, honest sense of what’s working and what isn’t. Together, we work together to change it if necessary, and then we celebrate success.
Reflections of The Job
An employee should never feel intimidated. Worth shouldn’t be measured by output alone. Intimidation and disrespect are not okay in the workplace. No one should feel miserable about work.
When someone asks how my job is going, or if I’m happy, most of the time, my husband answers before I can.
He’ll grin from ear to ear and tell you how my face lights up when I start talking about my job. And he’ll tell you about the night-and-day difference between my old job and my being a VA. He’ll tell you that he loves when I talk excitedly about my work, rather than coming home to the dismal details he used to despise hearing.
The biggest lesson I have learned on my journey is that you don’t need a traditional job to be happy or earn a living.
Happy business birthday to me!
To read more about my transition in becoming a VA, consider reading this post.