butterfly emerging from cocoon temporary change

After a tumultuous few months (year, actually) where I have been through the wringer at my workplace, and ended up finding an oasis, my journey to freedom has been on hold for a while, waiting for the dust to settle. Breathing, and feeling a sense of both contentment and achievement that I haven’t felt for a long time. To cut a long story short, after bouncing back to my department (after being out for three years) and bouncing around from one job to another (because I’d landed back during a time of immense change, and the powers that be didn’t know what to do with me), I managed to manoeuvre back into a communications role. The good news is that I’m enjoying the work and I finally have current skills on my CV. The bad news is this role is still temporary. Or, so I’ve been told.

But when I think about it, everything in life is temporary. Even life—the one I’m living now—is a death sentence. I could tie yourself up in knots about this, but it doesn’t help. Temporary is the new black. I’ve learned that how we deal with temporary—our mindset and response—sorts the men from the boys, the women from the girls. We behave as if things are set in stone, that nothing changes. But it does. Everything in this world is in a state of flux. And when you think about it disruption and innovation—current business buzzwords—are all about capitalising on temporary situations, speeding them up.

This too will pass. ~ Hebrew proverb

Even ideas are temporary. I have constant flow of them in and out of my brain. Some I capture. Most I don’t. But that’s not the point. James Altucher advocates becoming an idea machine. In fact, he likes ideas so much that he suggests that ideas are the new economy. Of the ideas I come up with, 99.9% of them aren’t workable. I literally can’t do anything with them, or about them (and Altucher says that’s ok). But there are .1% of my ideas that are awesome, so I do need to do something about them. My ideas are mainly around creativity (books and photography projects and essay topics and blog series) and income generation (how I can make money without having to buy a lottery ticket and crossing my fingers and hoping that I’ll win big). Some of the ideas I have are for solving a few of society’s problems.

And I guess that’s the point of the WFA.Life. Anyone that yearns for and embraces this lifestyle—and the freedom it promises—must be nimble, flexible, temporary. We must be constantly generating ideas for working better, smarter and more lucratively. Collaboration and networking and solving problems is part and parcel of this way of working. But employers—and those who provide our work—must also come to the party. Too often “guns for hire” are treated disrespectfully, with a race to the bottom in terms of payment (which is why—for the most part—I’m against freelance job sites, where freelancers enter bidding wars for the work).

I’m still a big fan of portfolio work (a mix of freelance gigs and having a job) and diversified income streams (passive and active). I like the security of having a job—and, let’s be honest, a fortnightly paycheck that appears in my bank account as if by magic and sick leave and holiday pay and long service leave—but I’d like to be able to do that job from anywhere if I choose. Where I work shouldn’t make any difference to the quality of my work and my timelines for delivering that work. Being present and sitting at a desk is not an indication of my performance, or my ability to deliver results. Not today, when we have so many tools at our disposal that we can—literally—work from anywhere.

Practise always sprints ahead of policy, and this area is no different. It is my prediction that within the next five years (maybe sooner), big organisations, like government departments, will look to further cut costs by divesting themselves of bricks and mortar office blocks (and all the associated on-costs) and it will be the norm to employ remote workers. And by remote, I mean, workers who may be local, but work from a local cafe, or a business hub, or from a yacht in the Greek Islands. I would put up my hand and say pick me.

After all, it’s only a matter of time.

Last word

While I was writing this post, I did a bit of a search on Google (as you do) for companies that employ remote workers. If you are interested, there’s a list here and here.

Photo credit: Solar Mechanic via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC

Andy Willis
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Andy Willis

Andy is the founder of WFA.Life, he has a passion for unlocking freedom in peoples lives by finding, testing and sharing the tips, tools and advice to allow people to live the "Working from Anywhere" Lifestyle.
Andy spends his time away from the computer cycling or hiking up mountains or catching a wave on his SUP.
Andy Willis
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  1. Karen 4 years ago

    Love the thought about “constantly generating ideas for working, smarter, better, more lucratively”……we are becoming an “ideas society”. We can’t sit still or else we become irrelevant. Whilst not all ideas go ahead, I think it still is a positive that the thinking process is in place. The 1% that goes into action…. can make the difference. Just need to choose the right 1%! Keep going Di. I’m looking forward to the news of you striking the perfect balance oh so soon!

    • Diane Lee 4 years ago

      Thank you, Karen. I’m getting there! I read a fabulous post by Jon Westenberg today about binaries. You don’t have to do “either/or” things when it comes to work. You can do “and” stuff. I’m certainly drawn more to that paradigm the longer I tread the Freedom Road journey. Who says I have to choose? I can be an employee AND a writer AND an entrepreneur. I don’t have to choose. I know I know that, but seeing it in print was liberating. The only choice I need to make is about who I want to work for and how, and the projects of mine I want to work on and when. Liberating!

  2. Andy Willis
    Andy Willis 4 years ago

    I’m hoping your prediction timeline ends up being a conservative one “It is my prediction that within the next five years (maybe sooner), big organisations, like government departments, will look to further cut costs by divesting themselves of bricks and mortar office blocks (and all the associated on-costs) and it will be the norm to employ remote workers.”
    Granted it is harder and slower for big organisations and government departments in particular to move, lets hope they at least start taking the steps sooner rather than later for the benefit of all concerned.

    • Diane Lee 4 years ago

      Me too, Andy. Although government (in particular) tends to be old school, and doesn’t readily embrace the working from home—let alone working from anywhere—option. I think I could certainly start a movement, though! I think about my work: it could easily be done from anywhere… all I need is an internet connection. Government (well, the department I work for anyway) still does most of its communication via email! Occasionally, it’s necessary to make a phone call, but that’s quite rare!

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