Your Decision to Work Remotely
In our previous blog of this series, Remote Work is Here to Stay, we discussed how the workplace has welcomed remote work as a viable option for business continuity and talent sourcing.
Like any other career choice, your decision to work remotely, whether in your current role or in a new one, requires careful thought and analysis of your career, environment, and potential workplaces.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to reflect about each one of these components of your decision to work remotely.
Let’s start with your career.
What are your areas of expertise?
Think about what you know you can do well and also what others recognize as your strengths. For example, you may be the “go to person” to edit documents, handle unsatisfied customers, or guide end-users to use systems.
What do you like to do?
You will probably be qualified to pursue various career options. Focus on what you like to do to target those roles where you will be completely motivated and engaged.
Can you work with minimal supervision?
Working remotely requires initiative, flexibility, adaptability, and self-discipline to get results and you will often receive limited follow-up from an immediate supervisor.
How important is it for you to interact face-to-face with others regularly?
Some employees prefer to have frequent face-to-face instead of virtual contact to establish and maintain meaningful connections with others.
Do you have habits to work independently such as effective time management?
Managing time effectively, setting priorities, and handling distractions are very valuable habits to work independently and remotely.
Now that you have a clearer picture of where you are in your career, let’s move on to some practical considerations about your home environment because it will become your new workplace.
Do you have/could you have a designated work space?
The space you choose will become your new office and it should be set up so that you can work at your best.
Do you have reliable Internet service?
A reliable Internet service will give you peace of mind to remain connected with your organization almost as if you were on location.
How comfortable are you handling technology and videoconferencing tools?
Proficiency in technology use and in doing basic troubleshooting will enable you to overcome disruptions caused by common technical issues such as software updates.
How can you compensate for interruptions in power, water, and Internet services?
An electric power generator, a water tank, a second Internet service provider or mobile hot-spot, and, perhaps, an alternate location will allow you to continue working under unanticipated conditions.
How supportive are other members of your household of your new way of working?
Everyone in your household will benefit from collaborating with you in this new career stage by respecting your time and space boundaries.
You defined what you like and want to do, you assessed your home environment, and you are getting ready to pursue opportunities.
It’s time to do research about those organizations where you could seek employment. The results of your research will allow you to increase the likelihood of your success at securing that opportunity and to join an organization where you can bring your best self to everything that you do.
Can the work be done remotely?
Check listings on job boards to confirm that remote work is an option for the types of roles you would like to pursue.
What remote work positions are available in your field or area of expertise?
Visit the websites of those organizations that appeal to you to see which positions they have available.
How is the company culture of those organizations in which you could pursue opportunities?
Learning about a company’s culture, or, its personality, will be important for you to determine if an organization is a good fit for you.
How are those organizations maintaining their remote workforce integrated?
Organizations which have remote work forces usually promote a sense of shared identity among their members through meetings, activities, and events.
As you reflect about these questions, consider reaching out to a professional, such as a career coach, who is fully dedicated to support others through this decision-making process. Career coaches are experts in managing career transitions and can provide you with valuable guidance about how to approach your remote job search.
REA’s professional career coaches are ready to:
Guide you to identify your skills and interests
Review positions of interest in your field with you to decide if they are a good fit
Suggest roles in other fields
Share insights about which positions are appropriate for remote work
Plan with you a strategy to find those positions
Prepare you to present yourself as a candidate in a targeted resume
Handle issues and concerns about how to interview effectively
You don’t need to navigate your next steps alone -- we’re here to help. Check out REA’s Flexible Coaching Services to help you get a jump start to approach your remote job search!