Virtual vs. The Office: Which One is for You?
Undoubtedly you've come across many ads of people looking for writers. These postings fall under one or two categories:
1. "In-house" or on-site
2. virtual or remote
The question is, which one is best for you?
Sure, you don't care . You need some cheddar, some scrilla (that means money y'all).
Anything goes in self-employed "bills-gotta-get-paid" wonderland. They say you fake it till you make it, but writers hungry for dollars and experience will "take it till they make it".
I feel you. Believe me.
But if you're like me, one is a better choice.
If you're like me, there is only one choice.
I confess. I'm biased. I am a freelance copywriter (and ghostwriter) who works from home. So almost all my work is virtual. Even the ones where I come in to the office is 98% virtual.
And that's just how I like it-I mean, love it.
With that out the way, I thought it would be useful to have a little writer's chat about choosing which employment style of writing is best for you.
For me, working virtually is the best choice for the following reasons:
1. Bye-bye to bossholes. I prefer "Are we there yet?" to be left up to Ice Cube in the movies. Honestly, I perform best without someone hovering over my shoulder, asking me, "Are you done yet?"
The office is a petrie dish of insecure, immature and dysfunctional people. Different people have different ideas about everything, including what you do.
It never fails: I feel like pulling my hair out just writing about this....
Been there, done that. No thanks.
2. No more commuting. Due to various circumstances, including health issues and living in an extremely cold environment where snow measures in feet and roads get icy, working from home allows me the ability to work uninterrupted-which brings me to...
3. A DIY Office. I love working in the comfort of my own home. In the job office, for some reason, it's freezing in the summer and well, freezing in the winter, too. It seems the office air conditioning is always too high or the heat is too low. Either way, it sucks and I'm miserable, unable to concentrate and get any serious work done.
4. The world's best wardrobe. I really enjoy working in my jammies. It rocks. The End.
5. A flexible schedule. Having a flexible schedule is worth more than money can buy. When you are stuck in an office all day, with only a half hour for lunch, it feels like a prison sentence. In prison, you HAVE to be at a designated place at pre-determined time with your "free" time carved out for you.
At home, I can get my work done between naps or taking time to chat on the phone, going to run errands or out to dinner with a friend. Sweet.
6. Mobility. I work from home, but really I work from my computer. I can go out of town on vacation and still work if I take my laptop with me. Technology gets a high -five, back-hand slide for creating ways of making a living outside the office.
7. No more drama. I was telling my brother the other day that there's something about the office that seems to bring out the worst in people. In that setting, there is more backbiting, lies, and every other dirty, nasty little thing you can imagine taking place. People who smile at you in line at the grocery store will slit your throat in a second if they are your supervisor at work. At home, I don't have to suffer through the office politics. Thank goodness!
You've just read my reasons why working virtually works best for me.
So, what about you?
Are you best suited for the bathrobe or the corporate wardrobe?
How to tell:
I believe in part it's a personality thing. The alpha vs. beta, the independent spirit vs. the co-dependent spirit...
Then there's your strengths and weaknesses-how you work best and under what conditions. Think about agriculture. You can't take an avocado seed and grow it in a cold climate and you can't plant an apple tree in a hot one. Every type of seed thrives under different conditions.
We writers are no different. We are creatives, and creative people create their best work consistently under certain variables. For me, those conditions have been mentioned above. Under those 7 conditions, I thrive. When I'm in an office position, I fail to thrive.
You, fellow writer, or aspiring writer, may be "ambidextrous" in that you can vacillate between the office and virtual freelancing. Some of you may be best suited for a total "in-house" office position.
Here's a few signs working onsite may be for you:
1. You have a hard time working independently. You need structure to thrive and get work done. You may not like someone leaning over your shoulder, either, but you need it to work effectively.
2. You're a procrastinator. Virtual freelancing isn't for the faint of heart. You have to have self-discipline and self-determination to structure your own schedule to get work done on time-and done, period. If that's not you, then virtual freelancing may not be your "schtick".
3. You need company. Some of us work better independent, others work better with people around us. Nothing wrong with that. Interdependence is normal and healthy. If you're a social butterfly and need conversation and interaction with people on a daily basis to feel sane, BINGO! It's the office for you.
I try to make career choices that are in alignment with my own strengths rather than my weaknesses. It seems flowing with the stream is better that swimming against the current.
Whichever path you choose, be it one-or both-make sure it's what's best for you.