This post on remote work is by Jessica Yubas. Jessica is a digital nomad leading a location independent lifestyle by working remotely. She is passionate about this lifestyle for a number of reasons, though most importantly for its ability to foster positive life change. You can follow her at Capa Consulting Group’s blog, on Instagram and LinkedIn.
Original publication date: September 29, 2016
Updated: January 17, 2017
Last week I shared my personal reasons for why I started to work remotely, and maybe I sparked your interest in learning more about how to take the steps to doing so yourself. Perhaps even before you read my post you had noticed that recently there is a lot more buzz about working remotely and your curiosity had been piqued.
If you are currently employed in a conventional workplace setting but would like to move your career out of the office, here are three steps to take:
1. Get Familiar with Yourself
Any life change will require a degree of introspection. Now’s the time to dive deep within and define not only your passions and professional goals, but the specific conditions under which you achieve your best work.
Understanding key characteristics of your personality and establishing a baseline of your professional habits is essential in determining both the nature of the work you will be most effective at doing remotely, and the circumstances under which you do so.
Start observing yourself in your current routine, and ask yourself:
What environment is ideal for my productivity?
When do I feel most engaged, creative and inspired?
What extent of collaboration with my colleagues do I enjoy?
What specifically is driving me to seek remote work?
There are many different professional scenarios that allow for remote work, so questioning yourself along these lines will help you target the right structure for you.
You’ll find that there are aspects of your current situation that you will want to maintain, and others that are not helping to move you toward your own success. Just make sure you’re being honest in that you are addressing reality versus a possibility or perception.
2. Get Psyched
It’s great that you’re now interested in making the transition, but you’ll need to be excited and step up your motivation to do so if you’re going to move on to Step 3. So I suggest that as you’re getting to know yourself better, start immersing yourself in the world of remote work.
Being surrounded with like-minded and supportive people is undeniably important when pursuing anything of significance to you, so get involved in remote working communities and connect with other current and aspiring remote workers. Don't hesitate to test the water by participating in one (or more!) exciting digital nomad events around the world where you can easily network with other remote workers who have plenty of experience and advice for managing one's workload while living a location independent lifestyle.
Further, having a remote-specific mentor, who Nomad Mentor can set you up with, is another great way to establish a support system and explore different methods of working remotely.
Take initiative in educating yourself from the information that is available. Not only will engaging like this help you gain better insight into the world of working remotely and how to participate, but it will encourage you to continue your pursuit.
3. Take Action
Now that you understand yourself and are pumped about joining the remote workforce, follow through and make it happen!
If you are happy at your current company, or aren’t entirely ready to quit your job, start by proposing a remote working relationship to your Manager. If you don’t already sometimes work from home, suggest one day bi-weekly or weekly to get started.
Then make sure that you are more productive when working out of the office than you are when at your desk.
Communicate well and often, build trust, and then ask to increase the amount of time you are working remotely until the arrangement suits your preferences. This also is the course to take if you already occasionally work remotely for your company.
If you do want to change jobs entirely, determine whether the desire is a matter of role, company, industry, or anything else. This way you can focus your remote work search, as the abounding options include full-time employment, part-time and contract work, consulting, freelancing and entrepreneurship.
There are online listings of companies that are known to hire remotely, so whether you are already interested in a certain organization or not, these listings are a good initial resource.
Alternatively, you can filter online job postings by ‘telecommuting’ or ‘remote’, browse career or check out this list of 101 ways to make money online.
Last but certainly not least, speak with a staffing company and let them help place you in an ideal remote role.
Good luck, and happy remote working!