Updated: Dec 15, 2019
When I tell people I work four jobs they look at me like I have four heads! I know it's shocking and sounds kind of crazy, but I've never been more content than with my current job situation. I worked full time in an office for years and although the benefits were good and it came with a certain amount of stability I could count on, I felt restricted. I've always been a free spirit, so being tied to a desk all day never sat well with me, but working from home didn't seem to be a realistic option. Then fate stepped in...
I had left this great position with a wonderful boss, to work with another association that offered one day of telecommuting and possibly more days in the future. The job was in walking distance from my home and my daughter's school. I thought I hit the jackpot, although, I had some serious reservations about accepting the offer, but low and behold that one day of working at home was calling my name and I answered. Big mistake! It was the worst job ever! I would shut the door to my office, get on my knees and pray that God would lead me to a different position. I literally cried every day. One day the frustration boiled over and I quit, I didn't know where my next paycheck was coming from, but I knew I couldn't bear another day in that environment. After packing up my office and sitting in the car, while it sunk in that I had no source of income, the phone rang. God works in the most perfect ways! I was offered a job working from home 4 days a week! It wasn't perfect, but oh the freedom was divine! It changed my life. I was hooked on telecommuting and haven't looked back in 6 years.
So, you may be thinking four jobs is absolutely ridiculous, right? I actually had 5, but one just ended after a 3 year contract. I know it is sounds overwhelming, but let me break it down for you. All of the jobs I have are a contract except one and all are part-time. I spend about 15 hours each a week working two of the positions, and the other two maybe 5 hours a piece. Why don't I just get one full time job, you ask? I'll give you three reasons:
1. Freedom and Flexibility- I have no specific set schedule. I choose when I start and end my work day. As a single mom with no family close by, this has always been super important to me. The flexibility is a blessing and allows me to be available for my daughter, whether it is picking her up after school, spending more time together, or taking her to extracurricular activities.
2. I Don't Get Bored! My contracts keep me on my toes and they allow me to grow professionally. My responsibilities are varied and it broadens my scope of experience. For example, currently, I'm designing a website, building a registration system, coordinating two events, and editing a training manual for major association. With one full time job I found myself bored and never thinking outside the box. Now, I'm more creative than ever!
3. Location, Location, Location! My office is anywhere I choose to go for the day. When I'm taking a meeting or need privacy I use my home office. But, my office has also been on my porch, at the beach, in a coffee shop or in another state. In the summer I can visit my mom who lives in Pittsburgh, stay for as long as I want without worrying about rushing back on Sunday evening. I'm hoping one day to work remotely overseas and telecommuting makes this goal a possibility!
Creating a lifestyle of flexibility and freedom came from me taking charge of my narrative. If I would've listened to the many people who doubted that telecommuting was a viable option, I'd still be commuting on the metro, making mad dashes to pick up my kid and feeling depleted. Does working 4 jobs come without its pitfalls? Absolutely not, but, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Working different contracts and telecommuting doesn't suit everyone, but it is nice to have options! Don't think you have to stay on one path because that is what's expected or normal. Create the narrative that you want to live! Don't be afraid to take a risk! Envision your best life and take the first step walking towards it. Eventually with each step you take you'll end up where you want to be and it will be better than you imagine!