Ch-ch-ch-changes

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I took a stroll around campus today as groundskeepers were filling every pot, planter and bed with the most beautiful summer flowers I’ve ever seen. So many colors, life bursting forth everywhere. Our campus is a botanical garden, so every change in season brings a new scene of new and changing life.

On Monday, I turned in my notice to the University. I will be leaving in a few short weeks to pursue the opportunity of a lifetime, working for an amazing team in an agency that specializes in interactive learning environments, user experiences and instructional design. I had sworn up and down after graduation that I was going to take this year and decompress before thinking about changing careers, but an email appeared in my inbox a few weeks back and the rest is history.

This is not only a new field for me professionally, but a new way of working as well. I will be working almost entirely from home. No office, no time clock. I don’t know how to put into words how exciting (and a little scary!) this is all is after spending 7 years in a brick and mortar public institution. I’ve watched for years as some of my favorite designers have left traditional jobs and have always been completely envious, but never brave enough to pursue such an opportunity for myself. I’ve always been so safe and conservative, to a fault. I keep telling people I feel like I did when I moved out of my parents house to go to college. This is new and exciting, and a little scary and right now it all feels a little like a dream.

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Although I’m not really leaving to work on my own, I feel like this opportunity also gives me the flexibility to really grow and revive my own creative spark. In addition to designing and developing, I love working with clients, talking, writing and sharing stories and experiences, so I hope this new opportunity will also give me the energy and focus to grow our blog and share more.

So that’s my big news. I have to thank Neil, my parents and in-laws and best friends Rachel and Patrick. They are all the voices of reason, encouragement and rationality that I need probably far too often. I also have to thank those who spoke so kindly of me and the work I’ve done while here at Mizzou. I’m sure my new team is relieved to hear I do well with sexual harassment and that for several years I’ve consistently misspelled the word definitely. I also have to thank you guys, for your continued motivation and inspiration.

Have any tips for the newly-working-from-home?



Comments

  1. Congratulations! How exciting! As far as working from home…
    1. set up a schedule and stick to it.
    2. Create a separate work space that’s just for work (the couch is soooo tempting, but not good.).
    3. Put on a real pair of pants every day.
    You’d be surprised at how difficult that last one is :)
    Good Luck!

    • Thanks! Yeah, I’m definitely going to need to retool my wardrobe a bit. I’m naturally a jeans and t-shirt girl, but I need some clothes that are nice but maybe not office nice. Maybe some skirts, etc.

  2. EEK! So exciting, congrats! I was getting curious about your news. :) I don’t have any tips, but I’ve heard a lot of people mention 1 & 2 above. I’ve also heard you should get dressed like you are leaving the house, but I’d probably stay in my sweats or yoga pants all day!

    • It will definitely be hard not to, I love my yoga pants. I think for me, I feel more productive if I’ve put myself together. Maybe I’m wearing yoga pants sometimes, but my hair and make-up are done.

  3. Katie Lillard says:

    Congrats Jessica! I’m so excited for you! I can’t wait to hear about your new job, sounds very interesting and exciting! If you need anything just email me! I know whatever you do, you will be great! Good Luck!

  4. Congratulations!!! How fantastic! I’m with Jessica. Although I don’t technically “work” from home (as a grad student), I do have a flexible schedule. My #1 piece of advice is to set a schedule for yourself and STICK TO IT, no matter what. You’ll be great, though. :) How exciting!

  5. Oh congratulations!! Sounds like an exciting opportunity for you. I work from home and my rules are similar to what Jessica suggested.

    I have a set schedule – I start at the same time every morning and I finish at the same time every afternoon. I have a home office and that is where I work pretty much every day. Sometimes I need a change of scene and work at the table or something like that – but my office is where I work.
    I also put real clothes on every morning. I don’t wear the same things I would to the office, but I don’t ever work in my pyjamas. And you need call display. I have a landline for work and even though most people don’t know the number (with the exception of work people), it is essential that I can screen the calls during non-work time so that I don’t get stuck answering a work call when I don’t want to.

    Good luck!

    • I’m definitely thinking of some change in scenery once and a while. I don’t know if you have coworking groups where you live, but we have a couple good ones, and it’s nice to simulate an in-person collaborative/creative group once and a while.

  6. Congrats!!! I am so happy + excited for you! Good luck!

  7. Congrats to you! I’m sure you’ll be fine working from home – you’re motivated and you do great work. :)

    My thing is that I have to turn my phone off, or leave it in another room, or something. Otherwise it becomes my life mission to make the flashing lights, voicemails, emails, tweets, etc go away. :)

    • I’m terrible with trying to answer and keep up with every email as it comes in, definitely a good idea to turn it off, or implement some kind of schedule for checking and responding to new work.

  8. Congratulations! This is awesome news! I guess I work from home part time, since I’m a grad student/teacher, so here is my advice: coffee shops are your friend, get up early and do something productive first thing, and enjoy yourself! Working from home is awesome. :)

    • I’m definitely thinking of working early morning exercise into my routine to get me going every morning. I’ve done it while training for this half marathon, and it just makes the whole day flow so much better. That and I don’t feel like such a lazy ass.

  9. Congratulations! I think everyone has hit the high points of working from home. When John works here it’s always me trying to keep the boys out of his hair (even if he’s behind closed doors). Set hours, keep distractions down etc. I think the tip about getting dressed is huge- as a SAHM/ blogger I know the days I give in to the lazy and stay in my PJ pants are the days that seem to drag on and fall apart at the seams.

    I can’t wait to hear all about your new adventure!

    • Yeah, I think the clothes stuff really is the key for me. I’m not super stylish anyway, I mean, I grew up t-shirts and jeans in rural MN, but I really want to make an effort to have some style and be *gasp* feminine.

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