“I work from home”

I met a colleague at a workshop the other day who expressed great envy over my luxurious, work-from-home career.

It’s true: I love the independence, the freedom; the self-determination of shaping my own days that my career choices have given me.

But this life is certainly not for everyone. Self-motivation is key. So is a certain amount of comfort with risk, uncertainty and unpredictability. The truth is, those last two in particular don’t come easy to me—I’ll be the first to tell you I still sometimes miss having an office to go to, where someone is giving me a daily list of tasks to complete and a paycheque arrives in my bank account every other week like clockwork.

And, if I didn’t have a supportive spouse with a steady and reliable income, I probably would never have taken the entrepreneurial leaps I did. Likewise, if our family wasn’t at the stage it is, I would have thought twice.

There are many circumstances, including the ones above, that dictate whether a “gig” career will work for you. But more and more today, that’s the option intelligent and employable people are being left with. Patch together a bit of this, a handful of that, work for not just one boss but several, never know when the next gig is coming or from where.

So yes, working independently from home has its perks. And you can be wildly successful doing so. But make sure to really know yourself, your patterns, your strengths and the areas where you know you’ll struggle, before leaping from your office job and into the murky depths of the gig economy and the apparent joys of working from home and being your own boss.

It’s important to not only determine the nuts and bolts of whether this life will work for you, but also the more nuanced issues, such as whether entrepreneurship suits your personality, your values, your motivations. A career coach can help with all of that.

For any of you who dream about the freedom of the home-office life, I was reminded to look up this brilliantly written and fantastically funny take on how it’s not all rainbows and roses, from the New Yorker.

p.s. Thanks to all my wonderful clients who inspire me to, in fact, ensure I put on real clothes every morning before you show up!

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