Happy to Meet You
My name is Gary J. Harris. I am an Instructional Designer by trade. I live in Saint George, Utah and work from home. My wife, Jennifer, and I have six children.
Being able to work from anywhere is something I value. I like to help people find ways to do the same. I am both student and mentor because one cannot be the second without also being the first.
My son, Corey, when a seventeen-year-old senior in high school answered the question, “What are you going to do after graduation?” with “Sleep.” He planned on taking a break, catching his breath before setting new goals and making them happen.
He is wiser than I was at seventeen. I was certain I would go to college, get a good job, and never have to chase a livelihood.
Boy was I wrong.
Huey Lewis said it best in his song,
Finally Found a Home
It used to make me so fed up
People always asking me
What will you be when you grow up?
You’re gonna need security.
Spent a little time in school,
Wishing I was somewhere else
Having fun and acting cool
I just want to be myself!
Now I have found a home. Right in my home.
I went to college with the notion that what was most important to me in my future career was the subjects I was most interested in. I graduated with a BA in English, Computer Science, and Eduction. After graduation, career beginnings, and building my family I realized that what was even more important was where I lived. I wanted my wife and I to choose where we lived, not follow the market for my skills.
Shortly after this realization, a career advisor told me to, “Choose a coast. East Coast, West Coast. With your education and experience, you won’t have trouble finding a job that pays a decent $80,000 per year.”
I didn’t want to choose a coast. I knew where I wanted to live. I wanted to live right where I was, where I am now, Saint George, Utah. My wife and I chose St. George because it’s close to our roots. My family is in Salt Lake City, and hers is in Kane County.
Now there is an example of what I’m getting at. Kane County is a rural area at the Southern center of Utah. People settled there in the 1800′s. Their descendants and others want to live there. But not everyone can be a farmer, a rancher, a school teacher, or own a small business for which there is a market in this remote area. I lived in Kanab, the county seat, when the local lumber mill closed due to environment concerns. People were devastated. Most did not want to move, and either fell into poverty, or left with heavy hearts.
Something similar happened to me. I had been lucky enough to work for a training company in St. George as an Instructional Designer. But then I found myself unemployed. I looked high and low—far away from where I was, where I wanted: St. George. When my dear wife helped me realize just what our priorities were, I remembered my friends in Kanab and said: ENOUGH!
With today’s technology there was no reason why I could not stay where we were. I could telecommute, work from home. Own my life and live where I want to live. It sounds like a pipe dream to many. It is a chance to scam you by many others. What to do?
I found a freelance community and service at oDesk.com. If you have the skills that are needed there, you will most likely find work.
More and more employers are embracing the advantages of telecommuting. This blog is about promoting telecommuting and helping people be successful working from anywhere.