If you’ve got a job that you love, it’s likely that you don’t want to leave it. But what if you want to move? How do you choose between the move and the job that you love?
For Bailee Bradley, she decided not to choose at all.
When Bailee and her husband decided to move to Bailee’s home town of Biloxi, she managed to negotiate her job to transition to being completely remote.
I caught up with Bailee to learn about her job and how she made that successful (and perfect!) proposal.
A family business
Bailee works for a small, family-owned company called Pel Hughes in New Orleans, Louisiana. A print and direct mail company, Pel Hughes actually owns 5 other businesses in the New Orleans area, including Toulouse Gourmet Catering and Floor de Lis Flooring.
As the original founders of the company start to make their way into retirement, their sons are taking over the responsibilities. This includes a proactive attempt to become a more modern company, both in their business models and their employee culture. (In fact, Bailee believes that having people in charge who were understanding of her request helped make her move and transition that much easier.)
Bailee’s official title is Marketing Director, but her role often includes project management for the various accounts of the five companies, as well. During her six years with Pel Hughes, she feels as though she’s become an integral part of the family business.
“They treat people really well,” she told me. “A lot of their people have been there 20+ years.”
Making the move
And that’s why Bailee felt confident enough to approach her bosses with the idea of working remotely about two years ago. She explained that she didn’t want to leave Pel Hughes, but that she was very serious about moving to Biloxi, about an hour and a half away from New Orleans.
She told them, “I could see myself staying with Pel Hughes for a long time. I love this company, I love this family, but I also want to be closer to my real family in Biloxi.”
So she explained to the team all her responsibilities each day. When she did, it became clear that there were only a few things that she was actually needed in the office for, and she and the team realized that those issues shouldn’t have been her responsibility anyway. With those tasks reassigned, Bailee’s bosses gave her the OK to make the switch to remote working.
To a certain extent, Bailee told me, what helped her sell the idea was the fact that she had made herself more or less irreplaceable and a valuable team player by stepping up whenever she saw a need.
“I’ve never been the type of person to say, ‘oh, that’s not my job,” she explained. “Even if they were like, ‘Hey, we really need someone to water the plants today,’ I would do it.”
But more than anything else, Bailee considers herself very lucky to have managed her remote situation. Since moving back to Biloxi, she and her husband have had their first child. Plus, working remotely has allowed Bailee to also work a few hours per week doing graphic design and project management for her sister-in-law’s ad agency.
Bailee loves the benefits of being able to balance home life and work on her own schedule, especially with her daughter. Occasionally, she told me, if she spends too much time working from home, Bailee finds herself in need of more social interaction (or she’ll end up chatting with grocery store clerks for way too long). But those days she just goes to her sister-in-law’s office for some movement and human interaction.
Remote Hustle-style recommendations
I asked Bailee what tips she would offer someone looking to start working remotely.
Here’s what she said:
Bailee recommended Teamwork for more productive workflow and organization. “I make myself checklists with due dates,” she explained, particularly if she’s working on a long-term goal.
2. Watch your snack intake
“The snacking was out of control when I first started,” Bailee joked with me. Now she doesn’t keep snacks in the house at all, so if she really wants something, she has to actually go to the store and get it – which she knows that she won’t do.
3. Set timers
Bailee sometimes finds herself plugging along at a task without taking a break – or even standing up – for hours at a time. That’s why she started setting timers for herself and forcing herself to take a break, even if she’s in the middle of something. This is especially helpful, she told me, since most workers are only truly productive for about 3 hours per day. So if you can maximize those hours by timing yourself and giving yourself breaks, your productivity will increase, too!