Here’s the truth: Remote work is here to stay. Because of the global pandemic, the opportunities for working remotely are expanding every day. Some economists are predicting by 2025, as many as 36 million Americans will be working remotely. How can you transition from the traditional workforce into the remote workforce? It involves a little more than a revamped resume and cover letter. Let’s take a closer look at how you can work remotely and find the best remote jobs in 2021.
One reason many workers happily leave the workforce is the lack of autonomy and flexibility in choosing how to work, when to work, and what environment you work in. Working remotely means you are in charge of all of these things, on top of your job duties. The first step in successfully working remotely is determining what is right for you.
The first step in setting up a remote working environment is determining what is right for you. Take some time to ask yourself what you need in your working environment in order to succeed. What distracts you, and what helps you to focus? Some people benefit from playing music or hearing natural sounds, while others need complete silence. If having a clock on the wall is distracting, consider setting a timer to help you stay focused in short bursts versus scheduling an 8-hour timeblock. If you benefit from checklists to prioritize tasks, what is the best way to do this?
If scenery is important to you, could you set up a working area outside on your porch, or inside your home in front of a window? The more detailed you can get when planning your workspace, the better off you will be in the long run. However, as you begin to work in your new space, you will gradually begin to notice what works and what doesn’t. If all of these factors feel overwhelming, consider joining a local co-working space if you miss the feeling of being in an office without having to make all of the adjustments in your home workspace.
It’s easy to think that working remotely would solve all of your problems. No more commutes, dress codes, 30 minute lunch breaks, blank white office cubicles, or painful small talk in the employee break room sounds like a dream.
Without a manager looking over your shoulder, you are solely responsible for managing not only your time but also your motivation to work. What will you rely on to keep you going on the days when you simply don’t feel like working? It could be as simple as rewarding yourself at the end of each shift or workweek, or it could be more artistic in nature, like creating a vision board for your work space wall.
One of the most important factors in maintaining your motivation is avoiding burnout. When you work remotely, the line between work life and home life disappears without a trace, especially when your workspace is in your home. Creating boundaries with your time and space is vital to avoiding burnout. If at all possible, make sure your workspace isn’t in your bedroom space to avoid thinking about work when you are in a relaxing space.
Finding remote jobs in 2021 might be more challenging than it was a few years ago due to the popularity of remote working, but it isn’t impossible. Remember that to stand out amongst a sea of competition, your skills and resume are going to make a big impact. Your first impression is priceless, so be sure to have a professionally designed website as a quick reference, and easy-to-find contact information whenever you reach out to a prospective employer or hiring manager.
Think about yourself as your own brand. Companies build credibility for themselves with websites, social media, contact information, and word-of-mouth advertising. Having each of these things will work in your favor in 2021 as well.
Before you begin your remote job search, you will want to revamp your resume to highlight your abilities to work remotely. Even if you have not held a remote position in the past, focus your resume on the skills that are highly desirable to an employer looking for a remote worker.
Attention to detail, ability to learn new programs and technologies, and solid communication skills are important skills to lean on when speaking with potential employers. Another option to prove your ability to work remotely is volunteering at an organization in a remote position. A few hours a week or month can make a big difference in your proven ability to work with a remote team.
One word of advice: Don’t forget your local community! There are hundreds of small businesses in every city, and many of them might be happy to hire you for contracted virtual assistant services. Hiring remote workers helps small businesses in a big way -- they don’t have to provide an office space, a computer, or any other office equipment they would have to provide an in-office worker.
Nearly every small business needs help, from temporary contractors to full-time employees. If you are proficient in social media, web development, computer programs, or even audio and video editing, you shouldn’t have an issue finding remote work and starting a freelance career from anywhere. Don’t be afraid to reach out and market your services to small businesses who might not be aware of how much a remote worker can help their business.
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