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WGU Washington logoHow Flexibility at WGU Washington Inspired the Founding of an Entirely Remote Firm

By Terra Joy

Flexible jobs, or jobs that can be done remotely, are very common today. A Gallup survey found that 43 percent of American employees spend at least some time working remotely. Not only is the ability to work remotely common, it is desired. A recent study done by Global Workplace Analytics found that 80 to 90 percent of the U.S. workforce would like to telework at least part time.

Flexibility is becoming increasingly important to employees and I understand why. In 2011, I decided to return to school to earn my bachelor’s in accounting to refine and develop my skillset. During that time, I was working fulltime and wanted to find a university that would grant me the flexibility I needed to maintain my current schedule. That’s when I found WGU Washington.

WGU Washington’s unique competency-based approach to learning allowed for two important items. First, it provided me with an opportunity to leverage my 10 years of experience in accounting, which enabled me to speed through the courses I already understood. Secondly, and most importantly, it offered the flexibility I needed to balance both my education and fulltime job.

As I neared the end of my time at WGU Washington, I began to truly appreciate the flexibility I had been given throughout the process of earning my degree. As I reflected on the future of my career, I quickly realized that I didn’t want to feel chained to a desk. I craved the flexibility the online university had provided in my career. Luckily, my final project at WGU Washington was to create a business plan, and that’s when Joy Accounting was born. I founded this firm with the intention for it to be entirely remote. I managed my work and clients from home and the business was thriving.

As Joy Accounting began to grow, I knew WGU Washington graduates would be perfect for the firm’s environment. We needed individuals who were self-directed, disciplined, and capable of working online and independently without supervision. I worked closely with the WGU Washington’s Career Services team to find candidates that suited the needs of the firm. This approach led to two successful hires and we still consult the WGU Washington Career Services team when seeking new talent.

I now employ four individuals and work with 30 companies. WGU Washington has offered an incredible amount of support throughout my education and beyond. If there is one piece of advice I’d offer to individuals considering going back to school or starting a business, find a network that supports you and fits your lifestyle.