Last week I shared with you 5 Perks I Expected From Working Virtually. While I got what I was looking for in those, they’re not the only perks that come with the territory of this career path. The truth is, some of the perks I’ve since experienced caught me by total surprise.
It’s no secret I love this work, and though I’ve been doing it for several years now, there were surprises. There still are surprises now and again, but I’m going to share with you the 5 surprise perks I came across working virtually.
1. Meeting People All Over the World
From the comfort of my own home office, I’ve been able to work with, interact with, and serve people from all over the world. I’ve worked with clients from Norway, Australia, Canada, and the list goes on.
I’ve worked in almost every time zone around the world, spoken with people on nearly every continent and participated in meetings with people I never would have had the chance of meeting otherwise.
It boggles my mind that, from my own little desk tucked away in Colorado, I’ve done business with people I never would have been able to do if I was working in an office, putting in my 8 to 5.
It truly has surprised me that I’ve become such good friends with so many of my clients. I’ve been able to build really solid relationships and develop a strong rapport with them, despite not meeting in person, or working in the same office (or state, or country).
These aren’t just people I’ve added in my rolodex or tacked on to my Christmas card list. My VAs – my clients – they’ve become a part of my extended family, and I’m so grateful to call them friends.
I wasn’t expecting to grow so close to so many people so far away. Though it surprised me, it’s still counted as an absolute perk. One of my favorite perks at that.
3. Working From Anywhere
It seems like a “duh”, as the word virtual itself would insinuate working from different places. It surprised me though, just how mobile I’ve been able to be.
When I first started, I felt like I had to work at home. I had to stay at home. If I wasn’t in my dedicated office space off the living room, I wasn’t really working. I had trapped myself for a while, and started to lose my mind a little bit. Then I worked from Starbucks. And oh, the world that was opened.
I’ve worked from Cozumel, St. John, Georgia, Florida, Arizona, California – and any Starbucks. Have I mentioned how much I love Starbucks?
This can backfire, of course. There are places with horrible internet connections, traveling away from home always has it’s own set of struggles. Mostly, though, it’s been a perk I’ve totally loved. Working from anywhere is a real trip.
This one may be one of the bigger surprises for me. The opportunities to learn new things are endless. Not only is there an entire buffet of enriching material spread out for the picking – but you get to pick. You choose what you want to learn.
Interested in web development? Editing? Marketing? Building your tribe? Copy writing? Anything and everything you’re interested in is available, and ripe for the picking. You can learn at your leisure, in your budget, and in whatever strikes your fancy.
Initially, I had no idea just how many available resources there were, and now I find myself trying to find ways to keep up with them all. It’s an incredible freedom to be able to choose what I want to learn, and to watch my personal and professional life grow because of it.
5. My Value
This is one perk – or life lesson – that was a long time in coming, and certainly not one I expected right away. I get to charge what I’m worth. My time, my skills, my capacity – I get to set the margin for what I will and will not accept in charging for my work.
It’s not about getting rich quick, it’s not about digging for gold and getting the most I can from any given person. It’s about knowing what I am worth, and being confident enough to not take anything less.
It’s been a humbling, yet empowering lesson. I’ve learned my value. I’ve learned to be confident in knowing what my work is worth. And I’ve had the chance to work with some incredible people who believe in and support that worth.
I’ve listed 10 perks total, but really, they’ve become innumerable. Working virtually has opened up so many doors for me, and I couldn’t be happier. I know God has shown His favor on this business, and I know he has even more perks in store with this work.