Working without having to head into an office each day is a dream that a lot of us have. There are a lot of articles out there focusing on how to snag one of these elusive jobs, and how to manage an location-independent lifestyle, but few address the things you can do RIGHT NOW to put you on the path to achieving your dream job — and that’s what this post is all about! Here are five things you can do right now to prepare yourself for working remotely.
Get Into A Remote State Of Mind
Working outside of an office sounds easy enough. In fact, it sounds GREAT. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of getting work done in your robe and slippers, but location-independent jobs take discipline. There are those among us who are work-from-home naturals, but they represent a pretty small minority. For the majority of us, staying productive throughout the day takes practice.
Before you dive first into the murky waters of remote working, give it a few practice runs first. Pick a Saturday or a Sunday to wake up early and work diligently from a task list. These tasks could range from paying your bills to updating your resume. The key is to tackle each one without distractions and make it through a simulated eight-hour work day.
Between Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, networking has never been easier. It’s also one of the best ways to pick up valuable tips, ideas, and possibly even employment. Sometimes connections don’t pay dividends until long after they’re made, so you’ll want to get accustomed to networking as soon as possible. If there’s a certain industry or job you’re aiming for, look at your extended network for a mentor or advice. Your close knit group of friends and family may not work directly in your industry, but one of them might have a friend or a friend of a friend who has some valuable insight to share with you.
Expand Your Skillset
Just because you have an eye on remote work doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel on your current 9-to-5 job. In fact, now is the perfect time to get more involved! Get as much experience as you can in your current position to beef up your resume and boost your chances of future remote employment. Volunteer for projects that stretch your skills, get involved in as many departments, functions, and features as you can.
If this isn’t a possible at your current job, you can acquire new skills elsewhere. Volunteer opportunities are a great place to gain valuable work experience (think customer service, fundraising, marketing, and management) while contributing to a good cause. If you’re looking to gain specific skills (e.g. programming), there are plenty of free courses available online to eager learners.
Get Your Finances in Order
Embarking on a new career path may mean having to deal with a little financial uncertainty, especially if your plans are to start your own business or earn money as a freelancer. Paying down – or better yet, paying off – those lingering credit card balances and student loans will put you in a better place to launch the career of your dreams.
Set Up Your “Home Office”
Whether you’re goal is to work from the comfort of your own home or from a coffee shop in Vientiane, it’s important that your “home office” is in peak operating condition. The last thing you want is to find yourself scrambling to fix your shoddy wifi signal right before a major deadline. If your work tech is in less-than-favorable condition, now is the time to make those upgrades and repairs.