This flexibility story comes from Katsiaryna Hubchyk. Katsiaryna was born and raised in Minsk, Belarus, where she studied journalism and public relations (as she shares, ironically in a country without freedom of speech). After finishing university she moved to Ireland, where she began her quest for freedom in where to live and what to do.
I spent five years working at Google in Ireland which was an amazing experience because I could choose the projects I wanted to work on. It’s well known that people produce the best results and realize their potential when they are working on things which they love and which matter to them. And yet, very few companies operate this way today.
I had a hard time leaving such an innovative environment, but sometimes the choices we make limit our freedom. In 2013 my family decided to relocate to Spain for the better climate, and my work situation changed drastically. In my new job I had to fall in line and obey my mangers—and I started each week by counting the days until the weekend. It seemed like managers cared more about how many hours I spent at my desk rather than about the results I achieved. I had to learn new language and adjust to life in Spain and to a lifestyle which felt like a dream on the weekends but like the torture during the week. I was missing out on watching my three kids grow because I was exhausted after work and a long commute. And I realised that it was not worth it for me to continue working full time, it just did not feel right. I felt like my wings were cut. It felt like jail.
I also realized that many people live lives they do not really want to live by working on things they do not really want to do and do not care about. They create negative energy around them as they go through their routines.
But what could I do to change my life? Raising a family, I could not just stop working. So I started to look for flexible jobs, for jobs which would allow me to work from home. Why do we have to be at the office when so much is done online nowadays?
In my search, I found 1 Million for Work Flexibility. And I found sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and other platforms which enable people to make an income remotely through freelancing and doing what they love. It was an amazing discovery! I felt like excited about learning, tempted even to go to school again, and I started planning my next steps.
During this search I developed the idea of the business I run today. Our company is focusing on helping small business owners grow their businesses through establishing and promoting their services or products online. We understand how difficult it is for small business owners to juggle many different things on the ground and also get their business represented properly online. We consult on building an online presence and online promotion for small business owners. And all of our team members are freelancers—because being free to do what you like, when you like, matters to me so much.
Now I have the opportunity to spend time with my kids when they need me, and to work when it is convenient to me. I’m much happier these days, and I hope to help make sure that as many people as possible get to work on their own terms as well.
photo credit: Katsiaryna Hubchyk