“All I need is good internet and I could live on a mountain like Jeremiah Johnson, and work from home,” we used to say as a joke, until we met Peggy, who actually lived on a mountain in Vermont. Peggy is living proof that people can literally be watching wild moose in the backyard out of their window, and be working from home – that is, if you can see anything through the snow. All through the winter we would hear her say, “hang on, I’ve got to go knock the snow off of my satellite dish again.” Sometimes she would tell us about the various wildlife or the wild blueberries she saw in her backyard.
Career 1: Peggy went from a big city in sunny Florida, where she worked in a public high school with special needs kids, to the mountainous wilderness in Vermont. What better example could there be of leaving behind the rat race? Not much in common at all unless you count how well Florida orange juice goes with Vermont maple syrup on pancakes. With snow from October to June, she decided it was time to look for something she could do from home, and that’s when she found us and started a new career as a lead generation specialist working from her home office – near the fireplace.
That was in 2005. The fact that she found us on a mystery shopping site, in itself, tells you that it was meant to be. Peggy came from a very different background from our industry, but she was good at cold calling and setting sales appointments. Like Peggy, some of our best, most successful appointment setters did not come from the tele-prospecting industry. However, what they all have in common is being smart and perseverant. It became evident early on that Peggy was a kind of “jill of all trades,” and that is meant strictly as a compliment.
Career 2: We needed to fill a spot in recruiting, so once again, Peggy changed jobs within our same company and became a recruiter. And she was good at that too. Peggy moved from being a lead generation specialist to recruiting and did that for several years. Her job duties changed quite a bit in some ways, however, the mission of the job was similar in nature. She went from generating leads for our clients to generating job applicants for our own company. Then another spot came open.
Career 3. We had a spot open as a trainer, so she moved from recruiting into training and did that for several years. It was kind of a natural transition since she was used to dealing with new people and often the first person they met. She had a good handle on what new people needed to get up and running, especially from a technology point of view. Some people are just more naturally adaptable than others. Peggy’s genius is in her adaptability and resourcefulness.
Career 4: We eventually figured out how many technical certifications she has, and now Peggy’s job is technical support functions. To me, that is her truest calling. She is known for being the “go-to” person for figuring out things that nobody else figures out. Today she works more behind the scenes making things work for our virtual call center operations and the various technologies we use. If it has something to do with technology or computers, she is in her element.
Adaptability is a quality needed more today than ever. Things are changing more rapidly than most of us ever imagined, which makes most people uncomfortable. A common response to the blizzard of rapid change is the classic “deer in the headlights” reaction, to freeze up and stare blankly into the headlights of the oncoming Mac truck. Not Peggy, she hits the ground running every day, is open to change and new ideas, thrives on variety and a desire to pitch in where needed. She sets a good example for others. So many people are unwilling to try something new and are automatically negative, simply because it is different. Peggy is never whiney about making changes when something isn’t working and obviously needs to change. She does not put blame onto others or seek fame and limelight for herself.
After the mountain in Vermont, Peggy moved to the state of Missouri and became the parent of her three-year-old granddaughter and took care of her aging mom. Fortunately for us, she took us, her job along with her when she moved. Like me and many others, Peggy is a member of the Sandwich Generation, taking care of young kids and parents at the same time. People like us who move around and take care of family members need a portable, work from home job as much as anybody and more than most.
Peggy’s story is unique and interesting because it shows how working from home is a perfect solution for people who may want to live on a mountain, raise a young child, take care of a parent or move to another state. And in Peggy’s case, she changed careers too, all while working from home with our same company over a period of 15 years. Peggy must stay young because not only does she have a demanding job, she has two sons, two step-sons and ten grandchildren. I’m thankful to have been a part of Peggy’s 15-year journey with us. I look forward to the next 15 years as we boldly go into the future. Whatever it brings, we will adapt – from wherever we are.
About the Author
Tracie Chancellor, CEO and Founder of TeleReach Corporate, national business to business call center specializing in sales appointment setting and lead generation, based in Houston, Texas. Chancellor is an MBA graduate of the University of Houston with over 20 years hands-on sales and marketing experience, working with privately-held businesses, universities, non-profit organizations, as well as Fortune businesses in the business to business marketing space.