RSS

Tag Archives: littlezotz

Working from Home: The Bad

Those of you who tuned in last week already know all the things I consider utterly wonderful about working from home.  But what about the icky horrible things?  Every job has some.  Even if you’re working from home.

Get a real job

How many times have YOU had this conversation...?

The Top 8 Worst Things About Working from Home

  1. Cabin fever.  All you think about at work is how you can’t wait to get home…  But what if you already are home?  Having no escape can be very stressful.  Now, there are things that can help with this: For instance, don’t work in your bedroom. (Create a home office, if possible!).  Keep your areas to relax and your areas to work in separate.  I, unfortunately, don’t have that kind of space right now; but, as soon as we move out, I plan to employ these tactics myself!  (And I can’t wait).

  2. Working from home doesn’t command the respect it deserves.  As shown in my illustration above, many people don’t consider working from home a “real” job.  No, not even if you make more than they do.  You’ll also have to learn how to say “no.”  A lot.  People will assume that, since you work from home, you’re free to help them move, chat for hours online, go out to the movies on a weeknight, and any number of other things.  But, you’re not.  And be prepared for the lesser of them to not understand and for the worst of them to resent you for it.

  3. Distractions.  I always try to get everything done in the early morning/afternoon when my roommates are out.  Once they come home, it’s loud talking, loud music, unwanted guests, and any number of other distracting shenanigans.  My guy is an artist (and also works at home) so he understands—but if you live with anyone else, especially if they’re one of the “norms” with an outside-of-the-house job, they’re just not going to get it.  No, not even if you explain it to them.

  4. It requires HUGE amounts of self-discipline.  There are many people who complain about “distractions” when working at home, but they’re usually referring to their own lack of self-discipline.  Personally, if I lived alone, or just with my guy, I would not only thrive but probably never stop working.  There’s no one breathing down your neck to get the job done which means that it’s all up to you.  You have to be diligent.  It sounds really lame, but I think my martial arts training helped me a little with this aspect of my work-from-home career…

  5. The work hours: They never end!  Yes, I have steady “hours” for my WTR job…but what about all the other jobs I do on the side?  Or my own projects (like this article you’re reading now!)?  Quite often I’m writing from the moment I wake up until the moment I crawl under the covers.  (Of course, this isn’t always the case–some weeks are worse than others–and with proper use of my dayplanner I can usually manage things all right)

  6. The final outcome is all that matters.  When your boss/client can’t see you, they have no idea how many hours you’ve put in or how much hard work and research you’ve done: All that matters is the final product—because it’s all they can see!  It might seem unfair, but can you really blame them?

  7. Even if you’re supremely organized with your work area, other areas of your home may suffer.  I did my laundry on Saturday…it’s still not folded and put away.  (Hey, at least it’s clean!)

  8. So. Much. Pressure.  Everything, all the time, it’s all up to me and only meeeeeeeee!  No job lasts forever.  If I get hurt on the job, I’m the one who has to pay for it.  There are no vacations, no bonuses, and no pats on the back.  It’s also up to me to do all my own marketing, bookkeeping, filing, and cleaning: It’s all up to me.  I am my own business now…and the only one running this business is myself.

Epilogue

When I mentioned that I was doing a sequel to my “Working from Home” article, this time talking about all the problems that come with it, my friend’s mom scoffed and said “luxury problems…”  While that’s not exactly true (a lack of respect and heaping amounts of stress aren’t what I’d call “luxury”), she does have a point: Working from home is pretty dang sweet.  And, if you go back and look, my list of GOOD things about working from home is longer than the list of bad things.

I know I’ve got it good.  However, if I weren’t insanely disciplined, that might be another story.  Not everyone thrives when working from home.  And it’s always good to know the whole story before leaping into anything.  Hopefully that’s what I’ve illustrated here for anyone out there thinking about quitting their “real” job. 😉

Advertisements
 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Working from Home: The Good

Now that I work from home, I’m constantly getting asked what the best and worst aspects are!  I decided to dedicate two full articles to the subject.  This week’s post focuses on the good.

Working from Home

Working from Home

The Top 10 BEST Things About Working from Home

  1. Our cat isn’t suffering from separation anxiety anymore.  From October-December of 2010, my guy and I were working outside our home…and it drove our cat absolutely insane.  Now that we’re home for most of the hours in the day, even if we head out, he no longer panics thinking we’re never coming back.  For those of you with “real” (human) children, staying at home will give you more time with them too!

  2. No more driving/riding/taking the bus/walking to work!  We’ve saved so very much on gasoline.  And it saves time!  (No more accounting for “travel time”)

  3. No more annoying co-workers. As shown in my illustration above, my main co-worker is our cat.  And my favorite person (my guy).  Except on weekends when my roomies are home all day, I no longer have to deal with someone in the cube next to mine cranking up their music (which was always, without fail, decidedly not my taste).  No more office parties.  No more office politics.  I’m free.  Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  4. Flexible work hours.  I decide what to do and when.  I have regular hours for my job at WTR, but they were hours I chose for myself.  And I choose when and how to do my side projects.  I’m also the primary cook for my lil family and the one in charge of scooping the cat’s litter box.  Plus there’s always cleaning, bill paying, socializing, and grocery shopping to do!  It all has to be fit into the day somehow, and I’m the one who gets to decide how.

  5. I get to wear what I want.  No more suits, disgustingly bright polyester t-shirts (Del Taco, I’m talking to you), or uniforms in general…  If I want to dress up, I dress up; if I don’t, I don’t.  It’s wonderful.  If I’m feeling ill and all I want to wear is my comfiest p-jams, I can.  (Yes, unless I’m running a super high fever, I still work when I’m sick—I’m just that hardcore)

  6. I can get new equipment when I want/need it.  Raise your hand if you’re at a job where you have to report to the hierarchy whenever you need new office supplies!  Been there, done that.  If I need more pens, a stapler, or a new laptop—I go out and get it.  No more waiting around for someone, somewhere, deep in the bowels of an office building, to remember that “Oh yeah…Lauren asked for a new computer mouse about 2 weeks ago…”  (That darn thing was broken and the job ended before I ever got a new one!)

  7. I eat better.  Now that I’m at home, I get to cook all of my own meals.  Which, as we all know, are much healthier than going out to Jack in the Box or living off of whatever you can microwave in the office break room.

  8. I get to listen to the music I want to listen to.  At my last job, my co-worker was more than happy to “share” her music—which I hated.  I love listening to music: It puts me in a better mood, thereby increasing my productivity, and it helps me to stay focused.  But that only works if it’s music I like.  Now that I’m home, I get to listen to my own tunes.  But I still use headphones.  Just because you’re home doesn’t mean you get a free pass to be rude!

  9. All the gold stars go to me!  Ever had a co-worker take credit for your job well done?  I have and it really “grinded my gears.”  Now that I’m the only one doing the work, I’m the only one who gets the credit.  And if my work is good, I’m the one who gets the praise.

  10. Variety.  If you’re a writer (like I am) or a designer or an artist or any number of other jobs…  Your clients and projects are constantly changing.  And you get to go on all these adventures from the comfort of your own home! The idea that “you don’t have to deal with customers!” is a myth. My clients are customers. The only difference is, I don’t have to deal with them in person anymore. And that is very, very nice.

Tune in next Wednesday for my list of the worst parts of working from home!

 
5 Comments

Posted by on June 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Who I Am and Why You Should Care

Hello, Everyone!

Welcome to my new Blog!  I’m intending this to be my “Professional” Blog.  And it’s going to update every Wednesday!  (My personal Blog is still up-and-running as well and will continue to update Mondays as usual).

But who am I?

My name is Lauren R. Tharp.  I’m a freelance writer for hire!  But before that I was…

Me at Children's Hospital

Me at Childrens Hospital

A baby!

I was born with a terrible defect in my hip.  I was handicapped.  Thanks to the miracle-workers at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, that’s not the case anymore.

Then I…

Feeling the power of Zotz coin...

Forrest J. Ackerman gave me his Zotz! coin

…got a magic coin!  ZOTZ!

After that a large chunk of time went by and I did a bunch of things…

Me in high school

The outfit (and expression) I wore throughout high school

…like going to high school…

5 Kata

Doing a Kata for a demonstration

…and earning a black belt and teaching martial arts classes to children…

Gallery at the End of the World

Some of my paintings...

…and getting my artwork up in a gallery (3 times!)…

Sold to raise money for Children's Hospital

Fan Art of my favourite comics

…and selling a piece of fan art I did (for charity)…

EPIC!

Still one of my faves, years later...

…I had my own webcomic and I got hired to illustrate a children’s book

Three Cats--count 'em!--Three!

Clockwise: Ziggy (white), Ringo (orange), and Robert (black)

…and I fell in love with cats (seriously, if you check out my personal Blog, you’ll read a LOT about my cats).

And at this point you’re probably saying to yourself, “Well, this is all very well and good, but what does this have to do with writing?”  Good question.

My History with Writing

I’ve always loved to write.  I wrote my first “book” in 1st grade.  It was an IlluStory book about a horse that was afraid to jump—which I aptly named The Horse That Was Afraid to Jump.

In 8th grade, I spent most of my free time working on a lovely piece of sci-fi that ended up being 109 pages long.

In high school, I got several awards for my writing including a Golden State Award in Written Composition; and I was also declared the best in my year for 11th grade English.  In addition to that, my short stories were nominated “Story of the Month” three separate times in the now defunct Teen magazine.  I was also the head writer for my high school’s newspaper, the Clark Chronicle.

Straight out of high school, I wrote two original screenplays (The Answer is Always Bea and A Little Respect).  I also won the Editor’s Choice award from the International Library of Poetry for my poem “Another Degree of Nine” in 2004.

In 2006, I wrote several articles for The Pulse, a magazine that specializes in reporting on events happening at Comic Con.

Reporting for The Pulse

A Serious Reporter (Yes, thats me).

When I Got Serious About Writing

I had always dabbled in writing—short stories, poems, and articles mostly—but I had never considered doing it seriously until fairly recently.  Sure, I had been hired to “proofread” (i.e. write) some essays for fellow pupils when I was in high school, but that was pretty much the extent of my paid work.

However, in August of 2010, I decided to take the plunge.  And now here I am: A professional freelance writer!

I started out getting jobs from the usual places:

I spent my time writing articles, press releases, haikus, and short stories.  I also did some proofreading and copy-editing.

But then, in October of 2010, I got hired to work on this television show:

Champions of Champions Elite

"The Best of Muay Thai!"

I became the “Official Blogger” for Champions of Champions Elite.  (If you click that link, it will take you to my work).  I was also put in charge of their Official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

After my stint working for COC-Elite, I ended up doing more in the Combat Sports line of work.  I put my journalism skills to the test and interviewed Muay Thai fighters such as:

ROXY “BALBOA” RICHARDSON

Roxy Balboa Richardson

Roxy and me

and

GORAN KARAMFILOSKI

GORAN KARAMFILOSKI

Goran doing an amazing kick

But I was soon picked up to do weekly articles/contributions for WP PRO BUSINESS.

WP Pro Business

wpPro Business

As it says on the website, “WP Pro Business is the creation of Adam W. Warner in partnership with a select team of professional WordPress power users.”  You should check it out.  My contributions can be found HERE.

In my spare time, I still accept orders from clients (maybe you?), work on my poetry and fiction, and create Squidoo lenses for fun!

CONTACT ME

I can be contacted for a free consultation for your project, or just to say “hi,” at littlezotz (at) gmail (dot) com.

For more about me personally, feel free to visit my Personal Blog.

For more about anything else, please visit my Official Webpage.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,