Today is Friday, which means I am working from my favorite gym juice bar… which happens to be overlooking Rockefeller Center, in the heart of The Big Apple. How is that possible, you may ask?
I work for a company that not only preaches culture, but practices it, and I have the honor of working remotely in New York City from our Charleston, South Carolina offices. Don’t get me wrong, as a millennial and first time recruiter, there have been many unforeseen challenges of being a remote worker. But I have found if you work hard, have unwavering respect for your co workers, and believe in the mission of your company, working remotely is a great privilege. I am on an adventure of a lifetime, and I owe it all to working for the type of culture based company everyone should deserve to work for. (If you check out our homepage, the tagline says it all.)
When I tell people I work remotely, a dreamy wistful look comes across their face. ‘You do what?’, they ask in awe. Just last night, I explained the nuts and bolts of my job to someone (first date- it went well!), and that’s when you realize how tricky it is to explain not only the recruiting aspect-- our fantastic clients, sourcing, and the general hot pursuit of the candidates-- coupled with how I am able to do this from my “New York Office,” aka any given coffee shop or coworking space. Recruiting is tricky. There are ups and downs with the work load, client engagement, candidate responsiveness, and when it seems you have finally summited the mountain of filling the trickiest job, you pull a ‘Sisyphus’, and have your stone roll all the way back down to the base of said mountain to start over again. Being away from colleagues in these instances, can make you feel isolated and alone with your problems. But this is why communication is key.
How do we communicate? Well, OneinaMil is run like an agile scrum team. That said, we all have full transparency on where each position stands, who could possibly need help, who is working on each position, and how we can all be most efficient. This most definitely helps remote workers, because you are always “live” with your team. We are constantly talking, with scheduled video meetings and impromptu phone calls alike, making it feel as though I am really just a desk in an office away. There is no such thing as oversharing when you are remote, and being in the loop, on even the smallest of office happenings, keeps you feeling a valuable member of the team.
This considering yourself a valuable member of the team, keeps you focused as well. The most rewarding aspect of working remotely so far is being able to take control of personal networking, going to events, and even tackling the acquirement of new sales. The city literally becomes your oyster, and by making yourself open and available, you never know who you might meet. Living in a city outside of the home office opens up a whole new world of possibilities, and nothing feels better than bringing in new business and expanding the company’s horizon. Sure it would be nice to have a wingman to some of the painfully awkward networking events, but knowing I could be opening up a whole new frontier, keeps you moving forward, one “hello my name is” at a time.
Working remotely brings immense freedom, but especially as a millennial, however, it is a balancing act and takes some practice. Were there days my ADD got the best of me? Yes. Were there instances where working from home turned into a dance party for one? Yes. But, I quickly outgrew the ”kid in a candy shop” syndrome of not being as productive as I should because I found, at the end of the day, my personal drive and desire to perform much outweighed the fleeting pleasure of being neglectful. I was able to take the challenges of working on my own, and put the millennial stereotypes to rest-- I was going to work hard, I was going to stay focused, and I was going to perform the way I knew I could. What helped the most in this game of staying on task, was being able to find similar minded people in coworking spaces across the city. Each week, I have been exploring a new site-- getting a feel for the space, and meeting the companies that habitat the space-- giving me the opportunity to see what a changing world it is out there for growing start ups. This has been eye opening, motivating, and so fun to report back any and all findings (also, to sprinkle OIAM swag around Manhattan).
By deciding work-life balance did not need to wait until I retire- let’s face it, that’s what it can feel like- I took the plunge to choose workplace culture as my priority. As a result, the experiences I have been acquiring since beginning this position, one year ago, have led me to be a whole-hearted, bandwagon following, culture driven groupie. I know now, I could never leave a company who just “gets it,” to work the corporate life. I have seen the light, and could not be happier.
From my corner NYC office,
Hey there and PS! - If you find your ADD is ever getting the best of you and need some guidance on how to stay focused while working at home, hit me up! I would love to chat. firstname.lastname@example.org