My journey to adopting a remote working lifestyle
Until 2012, I had been completely focused on enhancing my career as a financial analyst and conquering the financial research world. However, when my first son was born in March 2012, I decided to take a year off, to re-evaluate my life and explore how I wanted to move forward with both my career and new responsibilities. I desperately wanted to be near him, but also develop my career and skills at the same time. I had no idea at the time of the possibilities of remote working, but set out to find what options were available.
Through an ex-colleague, I secured an online book-keeping job, which helped me generate some income, although it was not my chosen career field. I then came across a remote-based research consultant job through a friend, which was more in line with my career. In 2015, I was offered a full-time permanent position with a client looking to try out a remote working arrangement, and took up the offer of being a research analyst, based from home.
As this was my first time holding a full-time position from home with a toddler, I found it extremely challenging having to juggle work, meetings, house and childcare duties. Unlike other remote jobs at the time, mine was a full-time corporate position, which while allowing me flexible hours to do my work, still required me to be contactable during the day for meetings, client requests etc.
In 2016, I had my second son, further complicating and challenging my ability to advance in my career. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, I was thrown for a loop again as I had to manage online school for both my children in addition to all other responsibilities. Over and above it all, I co-founded ReMAtics - a freelance platform specialising in financial research - in November 2020, starting the entrepreneurial chapter of my life.
Since I began my remote working lifestyle in 2013, I have encountered numerous hurdles and situations that have either forced me to develop a new skill or re-arrange my work routine to maximise efficiency and enable me to live a more wholesome life. However, this constant requirement to re-evaluate my corporate life and personal life, has made me a firm believer in the enormous benefits generated from a remote working lifestyle, in terms of work, personal goals and overall well-being. Over the last seven years, I have learnt a number of lessons (the hard way!) and adopted some best practices to overcome the challenges of a remote working lifestyle. While some of these can be adopted by any remote worker, they are mainly useful for working moms trying to juggle managing a home and kids, along with a remote-based career.
Although adopting a remote working lifestyle presented many hurdles and challenges, overall it has definitely improved my life in terms of flexibility of work times, overall health, quality time with family, and providing the opportunity for me to pursue my own personal interests as well. I hope that some of these lessons and practices would benefit readers and other remote workers and help them succeed in their own journeys!
Amani Iqbal is the Co-Founder and CEO of ReMAtics, a freelance platform specialising in financial research, writing and analytics. She brings over 12 years of experience in the financial research industry. Amani is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK and a Passed Finalist of Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK.