She began to travel years ago, bringing her little daughter with her. Becoming an example of an alternative life path, Libryia is a concrete example of how to turn your life upside down to find new ways to be yourself while taking care of your family.
Here is a conversation with Libryia – pronounced Li-Bree-Yah! – about her inspiring story on how to work while traveling the world!
In Conversation with Libryia Jones about Remote Work and Working Mothers
Nice to meet you! My name is Libryia Jones, also known as the remote work queen. During the day time, I work as a client director at a data consultancy firm. On the side, I share my experience and resources to find remote work. One of my projects is called ‘Help 10 Thousand Mums,’ which fully focuses on helping women to find a job that allows them to work anywhere and spend time with their families how they want to.
I have been working remotely since 2008 for various reasons. I wanted to be there for my family and kids and invest more time for myself and my business, as well as more time to travel. In 2015, I launched a program to travel with other people for a year. I brought my daughter with me, and it was an amazing experience. Sharing our journey, many people started to ask me how to make money traveling and working abroad. And many people didn’t even know about remote work!
That’s how I started sharing resources and information to land remote work with masterclasses, courses, and coaching. In 2020 I organized a conference and slowly built a community – the ‘Quit Commuting’ community.
2. What does a typical day look like in your life as a Future of Work Advocate? What are your “breakfast” apps, the ones you start your (work)day with?
I always thought that commuting is like having a part-time job. So, I usually spend two to four hours in the morning for myself, preparing for what I have to do during the day. I woke up very early, and I enjoy taking that time for myself, meditating, practicing yoga, or reading. For me, being able to give time to myself before anyone else is a great achievement, especially as a woman. We are so used to prioritizing other people’s needs, from family to work, and we forget how important it is to leave space for personal growth.
Also, I enjoy the freedom of working anywhere I want, in a coffee shop, co-working, at a friend’s house, at home, or even abroad! Remote work giving the flexibility to cook for my lunch break and spend quality time with my daughter at the end of the day.
3. Let’s talk about your business to support working mothers in growing their careers to travel and find time to cultivate their interests. How does that story begin and why is it important for women to find alone time?
For me, it’s essential that women look at themselves as individuals. Especially for working mothers, it’s hard to find the time and space to create a moment to cultivate personal interests.
For example, my mother has always been cautious in finding ways to be with herself and protecting those boundaries. Taking care of your personal time helps you be a better person for your family and co-workers, and you, as a woman, are the first person to deserve that better version of yourself. Protecting personal boundaries and cultivating interests, I think is essential for all of us!
4. Why do you think it’s important to create a safe and dynamic community for mothers to spend time alone and focus on their growth?
I love building communities! Especially when it comes to looking for a job, I think it’s very important. The process of looking for a job is usually very isolating and intimate; we never think we can do it with others.
That’s why I created my communities and why I think they are important. First, you know you are not alone in this quest. Second, it’s crucial to have people around to help, for example, for a mock interview or support you during a difficult application process.
Or another thing I noticed, often, women don’t even apply for jobs because they only meet eight out of ten requirements – crazy! Being in a community helps you talk about it and realize your real possibilities. Also, you can see what other people are doing and feel more confident about trying different things.
5. How do you think remote work opportunities can help women and working parents in achieving a better work-life balance for themselves and their children?
According to different statistics, most working mothers need more flexibility. A malleable schedule opens the possibility of spending better quality time with their families and friends because they don’t have to choose between family and finances. I had to make that choice myself, and I realized that making more money doesn’t make sense if I cannot spend quality time with my daughter.
When I started working remotely, our relationship and daily routine improved because we could spend better time together. In addition, parents can choose the lifestyles of their kids too. For example, some parents prefer homeschooling, and remote work opens different solutions because they aren’t forced to stick with a 9-5 schedule. The freedom that the remote can provide is strictly related to the possibilities of making different choices that can improve your personal and professional life, designing your work around your life instead of the opposite way around.
6. Between the time you first started down this work path, and today, what did you change your mind the most about?
The right to choose is probably what changed me the most. More than material items, I feel enriched by the freedom I have. I would be a freelancer tomorrow or quit my job and start a new life on another continent.
The idea of flexibility and the consequent daily freedom changed how I feel about my life. This flexibility reminds me that I own my life, and I feel more empowered when I make decisions because I know that I decide for myself, not because I am afraid of losing my job or disappointing someone else. I can find another way and protect what is important to me.
If you are thinking of changing your career and start working remotely, my first piece of advice would be to question your assumption related to remote work. Most people are resistant to remote work because they think that they won’t be paid well or there are no positions in their field that can fit their experience. These types of assumptions stop people from taking action and actually seeing what their real possibilities are. Never allow your assumptions to take over and decide for you.
My second tip would be to align the right resources to help during the journey. Finally, I noticed people often think they cannot work remotely because of their previous experience. We live in a time when we can learn new skills very easily, even getting a new degree online. So, if you have the right guidance, you can find a job that you can do anywhere, and that fits your background.
We added new features to our courses, and we will soon release them within our community. And, I will be launching workations to help people find solutions to work in different places for a month at a time. For now, we are thinking about South Africa, Ghana, Guatemala, Portugal, and other places. The project will start early next year, and I look forward to taking the work on the road!