Remote work
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Remote work: 9 Crucial steps to master working from home

Are you looking for a freelance opportunity, career change, a work-from-home position, or an online job that pays well? Then, try remote work.

Remote work is a trend that has been gaining popularity over recent years. There’s no doubt that despite all the difficulties the pandemic came with, expanding the availability of remote work has been one of the biggest benefits.

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The great thing about remote work is that there are a lot of freelance opportunities. If you’re considering a career change, you can go after entry-level roles and maintain a full-time, in-office schedule, until you build up enough experience to move into fully remote work.

Here are 9 important steps to finding and maintaining a remote job as you work from home successfully.

9 steps to finding remote work and doing it right

Step 1: Decide what you want to do

If your daily workflow sees you making lots of phone calls, sending emails, communicating with clients, or doing in-platform design or writing work, chances are you can easily convert it to a remote role.

If you’re not sure where to start, learn new skills online. Instead of gaining new certifications by registering for an in-person night class, or attending an off-site training programme, employees can now enrich their skillset on their own schedules online.

Working with a career coach can be a great way to help you work out what you want and how to get there. Career coaches specialise in assisting people in distilling their strengths and desires for their careers, and will work with you to set up a plan for how to get there. 

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Step 2: Search websites for opportunities

When you’re first getting started looking for remote work, there are a few apps and websites that you can turn to for opportunities.

Always go through well-known websites when looking for online work, and keep an eye out for scams. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

Any job offers that come from strange email addresses, that don’t end in the company’s email, are likely bogus, unless you can verify that they’re from a legit recruiter. 

Related article: Ghost jobs: The unseen phenomenon of the job market

Here are the top websites to look for opportunities:

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Find the right fit.

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Remote-first companies

A new advent in the past decade, remote-first companies work oppositely from remote-friendly companies that are primarily office-based but with some availability for remote roles.

The default for remote-first companies is that the majority of their workforce is remote, with only specific essential roles being office-based. 

Companies with remote-first cultures often strive to provide team bonding and collaboration opportunities with virtual events like happy hours and training sessions. Employee engagement is still important, but how it’s achieved looks differently from traditional companies. 

Here are 6 remote-first companies:

Related article: Work from anywhere: Top 25 companies to find a job

Step 3: Get your internet on point

Remote working is contingent on one central element, your internet. In many cases, employers will require you to submit verification of your internet speed to be considered for a role.

They need to verify that you have a stable and strong internet connection to be confident that you can be reliable.

Even if this isn’t a prerequisite for the role, you’ll want to do this anyway since having patchy internet can make you look unreliable, the last thing you want to appear to be to a new employer. 

Optimise your wifi

If you’re finding that your home wifi connection isn’t as stable as you’d like, there are some easy fixes you can try. If you can’t move your router closer to your workspace, consider installing a wifi range extender to gain a stronger connection. 

Wifi security

On the topic of wifi, be wary of working from coffee shops and other public wifi networks. The security is minimal and you risk having sensitive data stolen from your laptop.

Research the different alternatives to protect personal data when working in public wifi networks and remember that unless you can connect to a private VPN, it’s best to only work from secure networks.

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Step 4: Create an online portfolio

Creating an online portfolio can be a huge factor in winning new clients if you’re a freelancer or landing a full-time remote role.

Having a quick and easy way for prospective employers to check out your work history can give you a definite edge over people who only submit a written resume.

Keeping your portfolio updated and organised, with descriptions of each item, is a great best practice to put your best foot forward. 

Canva

Step 5: Have the ultimate resume

When you’re putting together a resume to target remote roles, some key considerations will make you look even more attractive to potential employers.

Making sure your resume is concise and updated is critical, but there are a few more specific things for remote roles. If you verify your internet speed, put that into an information section.

Additionally, include your experience and familiarity with common collaboration platforms like, Slack, and Teams, as well as project management programmes like Trello, and Redbooth. 

Screenshot 2022 09 16 125424

Step 6: Nail online interviews

Doing a great job in an online interview comes with all the same advice as an in-person interview, with some additional elements to consider.

Your lighting, background, and camera position, all contribute to your overall image, so ensuring you have a clean backdrop and good natural lighting is essential.

In addition, take time to test your video beforehand so that you can ensure your camera angle presents you in the best way. 

Related article: Top 10 tips to master an entry-level job interview

Step 7: Create a schedule

Creating and sticking to a schedule is critical for people who work from home to maintain productivity and consistency. Chances are, whatever worked best for you in the office to organise your day, will also work best for you when you’re working from home.

Routines help us structure our days, which applies whether you’re working in an office setting or at home. Take some time and experiment with what type of routine works the best for you and what helps you stay consistently productive throughout each day, and make an effort to stick to that.

It can be tempting to stray from routines when working from home because of the increased amount of flexibility. However, doing this can result in a varying level of productivity which usually spells trouble.

Related article: Entrepreneurship: 9 surprising things you learn the hard way

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Step 8: Set boundaries

For other work-from-home employees, setting boundaries is incredibly important. It’s an easy habit to fall into to let random and spontaneous plans guide your day, but it rarely leads to good outcomes in your work life.

Whether it’s letting your family know that just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you’re available to them throughout the day or enforcing a schedule for yourself. It’s essential to set boundaries.

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Step 9: Learn to deal with demanding clients

Being a freelance employee means you work for yourself and contract out timelines or projects with clients instead of working for one employer full-time.

There are many benefits to freelancing, including scheduling flexibility, choosing projects that interest you, and having the freedom to work where and when suits your lifestyle the best.

This isn’t to say that being a freelancer is all rainbows and puppy dogs, though. It comes with an increased risk of uncertainty and where your future income will come from, as well as the trials and tribulations of dealing with clients as a business owner daily.

Learning to deal with demanding clients is a part of the freelance learning curve and you will make some mistakes and learn from them along the way, eventually finding your groove if you decide that freelance is the way to go for you. 

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Finding the best fit for you

Not every job will be the right fit for you just because it’s remote. Similar to in-office jobs, each company will have its own culture and style, even if you’re remote. Taking time to learn about the company, its culture, and its expectations is critical to finding the best fit for you. 

Easing into remote work is also a great way to test the waters and see if a career change suits you. Instead of fully diving into a new type of job, you can take on small freelance projects that fit into your current schedule, and see if you think that type of work would suit you on a full-time basis. If so, great!

If not, you’ve tried something in a low-risk way, and it might still be something that works for you to make extra money on the side — if not full-time.

Requiring a high level of trust from employers, remote jobs are often based on commission, have clear milestones and project deadlines, and are easily measured with key performance indicators (KPIs).

It can be a bit hectic once you reach the tipping point where your side work is getting busy and it’s tough to juggle both jobs, but it’s all part of the process!

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