In 2002, I worked myself up from a low-paid secretary to a valued pharmaceutical buyer. The company was an inpatient pharmacy for a large local hospital. Most of the people that I worked with, who are no longer there, were amazing, and I learned from many of them. The work was challenging, but I’m the type of person who enjoys challenges. But, after six years of working for them, everything changed.

The time I spent at work became more than 40 hours per week. I was often on call and even asked to stay during the weekends. I didn’t have time to visit my family, stay home with my husband, or even find time for side projects or hobbies. The work became more demanding, and the people were less appreciative. A huge shift in management in 2005 changed many policies within the inpatient pharmacy. The new policies included ‘multi-tasking’, which they conveniently called specialty cross training. It was supposed to be used only in times of need, but it quickly became a daily requirement for all employees without additional pay or gratitude.

I was always faced with complaints and blame whenever I returned from my time off. I was often reprimanded for not being available at certain times before I was supposed to be on the clock. Eventually, I stopped taking time off. I started clocking in an hour earlier and stayed an hour later. At the end of 2007, I realized how much I hated my job.

There was never any time for me. All my projects I dreamed about and planned never saw a beginning. I was getting sick often. I had several major panic attacks, a mild heart attack, and developed severe depression; yet, I was expected to be at work. If I called in, my director wanted proof that I was sick and not taking time off just to ‘relax.’

Life at the pharmacy was hell, but I still needed to make a living. I was up late one night spending a precious hour of writing a novel I always wanted to write when it hit me. I began researching ways to use my writing as income while locating other work at home jobs. I found success with a call center job I could do from home. I was able to choose my own weekly schedule and put in the minimum of 20 hours a week. The rate was decent but lower than my salary at the pharmacy.

The pay rate didn’t matter as I had discovered only months before that my position was to be eliminated and my pay rate reduced. Yet, my workload would not be lightened, and I would be required to stay late as I had been doing.

In June of 2008, I said good-bye to the inpatient pharmacy. I had secured my position with the call center and began working from home. Now, five years later I work as a full-time freelance writer. My job is incredibly flexible, and I’ve used FlexJobs among other job sites to gain more clients. I have completed many projects and began many more. I see my family daily and enjoy my little niece and three nephews. I have time for my husband, and now we travel out of state annually. Above all, my health and sanity improved dramatically.

I enjoy helping others find their way to a fulfilling lifestyle with a flexible job at home. I sympathize with those that suffer the inflexibility and micromanagement of many strict workplaces. I want them to be as free and as happy as I am now.

photo credit: Nida Sea