Monday, September 6, 2010

Introducing The Captain's Assistant

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Hi, I'm Keely. I'm the Captain's Virtual Assistant. And no, I'm not an annoying avatar like the ill fated Clippy. I'm quite real - I'm in Kansas and the Captain is living it up in San Francisco being an awesome recruiter.

Captain called me out of the blue in July with an interesting opportunity - become his assistant and telecommute. Honestly, it was the perfect opportunity at the perfect time. I just started back to school and wanted something part-time to keep some income coming in.

So how do I assist the Captain? I nag him. A lot. I do the stuff I am good at, which interestingly enough is the stuff he isn't so good at doing. You know, editing and keeping track of stuff. I'd say paperwork, but that doesn't really apply here - lots of data entry and emailing. I essentially do the backroom stuff. He's out there being the Captain.

Telecommuting has worked for us for several reasons:

1) I appreciate the flexibility. You have to be flexible to telecommute especially in two different time zones. And especially with a family with young kids. If you don't have kids - trust me on this one. Flexibility is key.

2) I can work from home without succumbing to distractions. This requires the buy in of your family/roommates. How do I cope? I have a work space. I am vocal about when I am at work and on the clock. And I enforce it with my family and myself.

3) I like what I do. It is a daily challenge. I learn something new all the time working for the Captain. He has no idea how much knowledge motivates me and keeps me willing to work harder and faster (of course he knows now!). It's like dangling a carrot in front of a horse.

4) I, personally, like the Captain. He's a friend and has been someone I respect for a long time. Liking your boss is a definite bonus and makes working hard easier. Plus, we have a built-in rapport. He gets me and I get him.

5) Finally, I like the Captain's vision for Captain Recruiter. I like working for someone with big ideas. I like contributing to someone's vision especially if I believe in it. I feel like I'm making a real contribution to an idea and a person I can personally get behind.

Are there negatives? Sure! Communication is something that is harder without face time. We had a very productive 5 day face to face last month that was a huge help getting some big processes started. Without that, the process would have taken a lot longer. We tweak our communication all the time and obviously use lots of email and phone calling to stay on track.

Some other perceived negatives I don't see. I've never liked the traditional office or a traditional scripted workday. I'm better on the fly. Throw stuff at me and I thrive. Being a desk jockey pushing paper all day will bore me into a stupor. I work harder when there is more work to do.

For now - we've got a good system going and I have to say that I love my gig working at Captain Recruiter. It works for me and hopefully I continue to add value to the Captain's vision (and can keep myself employed!). And not get killed off like the previously mentioned Clippy.


  1. Great post. I, too, work from home. Love the flexibility and love working in sweats and slippers with my homebrewed latte. Telecommuting is opening a world of options for mothers everywhere. I'm so thankful for my job!

  2. Uplifting, and nicely written. And you're still in Kansas! That's pretty cool.