In early 2021, I started working from home. I was excited and nervous about enduring this new challenge, but the stigma of working from home blindsided me.
I was finally going to work in the field that I had studied in college, and I was able to hide away from the pandemic in the comfort of my own home. I was nervous because what if I wasn't good at it. What if I went into debt to study a field I loved only to be bad at it? More importantly, I was concerned that I could not regulate my schedule and become lazy.
I work as a web administrator. This means that I help run a company website. My daily duties include posting articles, creating the newsletter, and providing customer service via email. We make and distribute polls or surveys that run every other day for our articles. Everything I do for work is done via email, and there are no zoom meetings or conference calls. My workday is deadline-based and can finish quickly if everything is prepped in the morning.
It did take me a while to get used to the pace of working from home. It was easy to try to do other things around the house or doze off when you're not busy, but I learned to be very attentive of the time. The logistics of working from home was a welcomed challenge, but the stigma that came with it was not.
When people hear that you spend most of your time at home, there is the instant assumption that you are lazy. It gets worse when people see you have time to do housework or plan birthday parties or, in general, do the things you want to do. People's ability to dismiss my occupation is made worse when they don't see me glued to my laptop as much as they anticipate someone who works full-time from it would. I get told my job is easy and that I don't do anything to earn my pay. However, the complete opposite is true. I have probably worked harder than I ever have in the last year.
I have managed to use my free time to begin my desired career. Along with my full-time job as a web administrator, I started freelance work as a media specialist. I created lyric videos, websites, business cards, and party invitations. I worked on any form of media I could. I realized my dream has always been to become a writer. This thought gave me the idea of starting a blog. I spent countless hours researching, developing, and designing my website and planning potential post ideas and ways to maximize web exposure through search engine optimization and social media. I'm still perfecting some things on the blog, but it's a work in progress.
I also started working on another career goal of mine. I want to be an author. I have known that I wanted to be an author since I was a little girl and someday dream of being on the New York Times Best Selling Author list. To achieve this goal, I started writing a book.
I did all of this while working full-time as a web administrator. I also did this while attending and planning birthday or holiday parties, moving across the state, having fun dates with my boyfriend, and maintaining the cleanliness of a home with five adults and three animals. I even went on vacation.
Consequently, 2021 was one of the best years for me. I finally took steps toward the career goals I have always wanted. More importantly, I did this while balancing a healthy social life and making strides toward financial independence.
So why does it feel like I never do enough to justify working from home?
People call me lazy, but I know I'm not. No, I don't do manual labor or use my computer to code or do sciencey things, but I work in media, and we consume media more than any generation before us. My job may not be something essential like food or healthcare, but it helps occupy our time and entertain us when we need it.
It can be easy to listen to others and fall into the trap of inadequacy. However, similar to how I just did, I want to encourage reframing your mindset. Working from home can sometimes feel like you're not making strides, but if you're doing it, it's for a reason regardless of what anyone else has to say. Just remind yourself why you love what you do and why you do it. Then say it loud until dismissive comments disappear into the background. I love writing and media because I love telling stories and adding beauty to the world.