Sometimes all it takes is one significant life event to change the course of your life and career. You may be working in a corporate setting one minute, collaborating with your teammates on different projects, presenting during meetings, being the regular office worker.
One minute you’re within 4-walls of a high-rise building in a busy concrete jungle, and in the next, you find yourself working out of the comfort of your home, surrounded by your family, enjoying this new, refreshing lifestyle from the one you were once accustomed to.
AwayTeam CFO Gen Reyes went through this shift, and it all started when she wanted to be present for her family, while still working on her career.
Gen used to enjoy the energy of being in an office. Besides working on various projects, she had the pleasure of meeting colleagues after work and even going on R&R trips with her team.
She knew about outsourcing and saw it as a viable business that allows you to get quality results at a reasonable cost. Working online was something she thought was a nice thing to do, but the lack of structure and defined career growth were perceptions that became hurdles to her actually considering this alternative.
But this all changed when she became a mom. “I knew I wanted to see my son grow up and be present with him,” Gen shares. “But I also want to practice my profession.”
So, she left the corporate world to focus on law school and preparing for the bar exam. At the same time, she was going through a pretty difficult pregnancy that required her stay at home. This time at home made her rethink her priorities and gave her the perspective of what kind of mom she wanted to be.
“I can always chase after my dream job and career, but my son wouldn’t stay small while I do that.”
While Gen enjoyed being a mom, she started to have a craving for work five months after her son was born. But at the same time, she wanted to stay at home full-time with her newborn. “Hence, working from home [became] the healthy compromise for me.”
However, the shift from corporate to online work wasn’t the easiest. For Gen, trusting people who she has never physically met was one of the initial struggles she had to come to terms with. While the internet provides a great medium for them to communicate, it was still hard to only chat online or have a phone conversation once in a while.
“It gets better though,” Gen says. She is slowly overcoming that hurdle by getting to know her colleagues who are based in different places. And she’s having fun doing so! She feels great being part of a team working towards the same goal, albeit remotely.
She became more at ease with her new environment after she personally met AwayTeam CEO Matt and the late COO Louisa during the company’s executive retreat. Their vision for the company, for Australian businesses, and for Filipino online workers made her commit and be all-in.
“I’m enjoying the journey, so far. It’s been fun and rewarding.” Gen believes that this is the better career path at this season in her life right now. It’s also been wonderful having her family support her with this choice, even enjoying this change from the old fast-paced environment and way of living.
While she still wants to practice her law degree, she’s hopeful that there will be opportunities for her to do so in the future. “Who knows? Our workforce is evolving. Maybe in the future, majority of the legal services may be done online as well.”
There aren’t any regrets when Gen talks about taking the leap. How could there be any, when she did it because she chose raising her family first.