If you’ve been curious about taking on more flexible jobs and working from home, you’re not alone. Remote work is on the rise, and its future looks bright. But if you’ve never had a remote job before, it’s tough to know how to get started.
The good news is, working from home has never been easier. Here are nine steps to get started as soon as possible.
1. Find out if your current boss will allow you to work remotely
Think about whether or not it’s possible to do the work you do from home. This will depend on the type of work you do and your employer, but you won’t know for sure until you ask. If your boss is hesitant, perhaps you could work from home once or twice a week until you have earned the company’s trust.
2. Update your resume
Assuming you won’t be able to turn your current job into a remote position, you should update your resume and add any experience you think is relevant to the type of flexible job you want. Include any actual remote work you’ve done, and list all the skills you have that will translate. For example, mention any video conference and chat platforms you’re familiar with, and play up your online communication skills.
3. Apply for jobs
If you’re working already, you may decide to wait until you have remote work lined up to quit your job. But if you’ve been out of the workforce for awhile, you can start applying whenever you’re ready. Appen always has open flexible jobs you can do from anywhere, and nearly every major job site has a “remote” filter you can search.
4. Do some reading
There are all kinds of blogs, articles, and newsletters that cater to the work-from-home life. You can get tips on what it’s really like, links to job leads, and hear success stories, all without spending any money. This is great “job training” you can do on your own time.
5. Build your workspace
Whether you dedicate a spare bedroom to serve as your home office or just carve out a corner of a room for your desk, setting up a workspace is very important. Not only will it help you stay organized, but it will also help you take your work more seriously.
6. Set official work hours
One of the best parts of working from home is setting your own work hours. You can figure out when you’re most productive and plan accordingly. That being said, it’s not always easy to find a healthy work-life balance when you work remotely since your work is practically always right in front of you. Giving yourself office hours (and sticking to them) will keep you on schedule.
7. Choose a planner or project management tool, and use it
Keep track of your to-do lists and assignments with a planner or project management tool. If you’re working several part-time jobs at once and applying for others, you’ll be able to keep track of everything in one spot. A personal planner or project management tool is also a great place to keep track of your hours, finances, and work-related expenses.
Some people like the ease and convenience of tracking their tasks in a Google Doc or spreadsheet. There are also plenty of free task management apps out there to assist you, such as Asana, Basecamp, and Trello. If none of those solutions feels right, you can always invest in a good old-fashioned paper planner to keep track of your tasks.
8. Stick to a routine
While a flexible schedule is one of the best parts of working from home, you should try to have some sense of routine in your day. Work during the time periods when you know you’ll be productive, but step away to eat lunch, exercise, and socialize with other people.
9. Be willing to learn new skills
Flexible jobs are just that — typically, flexibility is required. If you see a lot of tasks you’re missing out on because you’re not qualified, take the time to get the proper training or teach yourself. This will increase your income and look great on your resume.
Working remotely can be a lot of fun. And while it might seem overwhelming at first, all it takes is motivation and time management skills.
Ready to get started? Check out our flexible, work-from-home jobs