During the course of my work career after college, now going on eight years (man, I’m getting old) I stumbled across working remotely. It never really occurred to me that full-time jobs really existed being able to work from home.
The first experience I had with this was right after being laid off from my job in December 2014. However, just before that layoff, I had got some side web and marketing work with a friends company. That work was done at home after my full-time gig ($ide hu$tlin’ baby).
Luckily for me, once I was let go, that part-time remote job became my lifeline while I figured out my next move. That also led me to another remote position at a music startup based out of California.
I’d say this was meant to be for a few reasons:
- Both those positions led me to realize how much I enjoy remote work
- Both those positions led me to a love of start-ups
- Both those positions led me to a stronger interest in marketing
- And both those positions happened upon a time when I was down about losing my job and was just starting to figure out a plan for my finances
That last point is important because I know working remotely helped me better organize my finances and helped me get on the right path with money.
Working remotely helped me with time management
When you work at home or wherever that is not an office, you can easily get distracted. You have access to the internet with no one watching you, easily sending you down a rabbit hole of Youtube videos.
You also have television accessible, books, magazines, even doing house/apartment chores. While it is okay to take a break and do these things, you need to value your company’s time and your own time.
With remote work, you are ultimately in charge of tasks, getting things done, and keeping track of your time on tasks. You have to be very self-sufficient.
And just like learning about money and finances, no one is going to hold your hand and tell you what to do next.
But more importantly, it taught me to value time in general. That although I may be young, the years do fly by.
Do I really want to be spending such a huge percentage of my life working, and well into my 60s? No thanks.
Working remotely showed me a different path to working, making money, and managing my time to be more efficient.
I learned how to prioritize what matters to generate best results
One of the most important aspects to career or finances – pretty much anything – is how to effectively prioritize to get the best results.
For most remote positions (pending the company and your position) you’ll be left with tons of tasks, some more important than others. It makes you learn what to focus on, what’s most important, and what will give you the best results in your job.
Being the head of marketing and sole marketer, I have a ton of various marketing tasks and things that pop-up. Yet, after working closely with the company for over a year, I got to learn what will move the needle for them and prioritize those tasks.
This is exactly how I started to learn about investing and educating myself financially.
There is a lot of information out there and easy to not know where to start. But, if you organize what it is you are trying to learn specifically to achieve certain goals, you’ll learn to ignore the other financial noise.
For me, I wanted to understand investing and having money work for me. So understanding how to invest in stocks, real estate, and getting into that mindset was important to me. Now, when I researched books and websites I knew what to look for that be best for my results in financial education.
Helped me become a leader instead of a follower
Whether you work for a company remotely with someone you report to or for yourself, you become more of a leader instead of a follower.
By this, because you do not have a manager directly by you or micromanaging, you learn to take charge. This could mean you are asking fewer questions, that might otherwise delay your work.
For my current remote job, it’s on me to do what I think is best to move the needle. Other than some weekly 1:1’s, I’m leading most of the marketing decisions. Before at other jobs, I’d follow who I report too, wait for directions, or ask questions which delayed things getting done.
Becoming a leader has helped me take charge of my financial well-being. No one is going to tell me to get ahold of it. If you want to succeed and learn more, you need to take the lead and initiative to do it on your own.
Nor, would I follow what others were saying or telling me to do. Anyone can blindly follow someone’s advice.
But being a leader meant researching and taking the time to understand the pros and cons of something. It’s exactly how I look at where I should invest my money or how to make more money.
Remote work taught me self-control
As I mentioned in the first point, remote work can lead you down a rabbit hole on the internet as well as other distractions. At first, when I started working remotely, I was tempted to do other time-wasting things.
I’d put on a music video, then would click another, then somehow that would lead me to the blooper reel of Dumb & Dumber. All of a sudden I wasted over an hour and got nothing done. But it doesn’t even have to be surfing the web (people still say that, right?), could be any distraction (phones, books, magazines, T.V.).
But by learning to develop a work routine and setting boundaries for myself, it was easier and easier to not get distracted. This developed my self-control.
And why was this important to finances you might ask? Well, having self-control helped save me a lot more money.
Instead of spending on new clothes, some new tech gadget, or whatever, I stop myself immediately when I get antsy about it. Then think back to my financial goals and instead of wasting the money for a temporary moment of happiness, I save or invest it.
Now, it’s so automatic it takes me a few seconds to write something off and save the money instead. The self-control learned from remote work, led me to be strong in making purchasing decisions that really aren’t going to benefit me in any way.
Remote work is not for everyone and is not the easiest job to land as a full-time gig either, but it is possible. Also, there are tons of contract and freelance remote jobs that can help you test the waters if you are thinking about remote work.
And while everyone is different, remote work taught me a lot of things that applied to the success I’ve seen so far in not only my career but financial well-being.
For me, remote work was crucial in developing the necessary skills that helped me be more successful with finances and saving money.
If you are interested in trying remote work, I recommend these sites for job listings and resources to help you succeed:
A version of this post was previously published on InvestedWallet and is republished here with permission from the author.
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