How to Work From Home: Your First 5 Steps

If you’ve always dreamed of a life where you can work from home and maintain a healthy work-life balance, but didn’t know how to start, then this post is a great place to be.

1. Ask Why?

Asking yourself why you want to work from home is the first crucial step to getting started. In fact, asking yourself why for any decision you make is a wise choice. For most of us, we are driven by some motivation to do what we do. Why do you go to college for 4 years knowing you could be in debt for many years to come? Maybe it’s for career opportunities down the road, maybe it’s to be more culturally educated. Why do you put in thousands of hours learning a new skill? Maybe you’re bored and want to expand your knowledge, maybe you want to expand your career opportunities. Why do you move to a different location for work? Maybe it’s due to a layoff and there is no other option, maybe it’s to add an exciting change in your life. Whatever the case, you are the only person that can answer the question, why. For many people, they choose to work from home because they need a better work-life balance that their current occupation isn’t providing them. Remember, the answer doesn’t have to be difficult, it can be as simple as wanting a change or seeking a new experience, and if you’re satisfied with that answer, take the next step.

2. Do Your Research

Like starting anything new, doing your research is critical before fulling committing to it. If you want to work from home, you’re not alone. There are a ton of great resources such as blogs, Facebook groups, and online communities that will help you with your research and help you decide if working from home is for you. A great place to start is at the current company you work at right now. Let your boss or manager understand the benefits of working remotely and how it will not only boost your productivity, but help save the company some money as well. Research how other innovative and profitable companies are running their remote teams and see if it is something they are willing to give a try. Look into companies that are doing most if not all their work remotely and see if their opportunities would be something that interests you. Familiarize yourself with some of the tools and nomenclature of working from home so you can start to build up your skillset.

3. Build Up Your Skillset

Chances are, this will be your easiest step. The skills necessary for remote working are not something you will need to go out of your way to learn, especially if you’re doing similar work already at your current occupation. If you’re a programmer, chances are you’re still going to be programming, if you’re a marketer, you’re still going to be marketing, if you’re a writer, you’re still going to be writing. The skills you’ve built up over the past few years aren’t going to fade and become obsolete because you choose to work remotely, however you might to have to learn to use them differently. This new skillset might consist of familiarizing yourself with some new technology or additional hard skills (if you’re wanting to pick that up), but mostly it’s a development of new habits, communication, and management skills. But hey, if you’ve been wanting to get into software development, marketing, or writing for a long time, maybe it’s your opportunity to learn a brand new skill you’ll love and enjoy. After assessing your current skillset or building up your new new one, use them to do a trial run.

4. Do a Trial Run

Unlike traditional jobs, you can always do a small trial run of the jobs available to work from home. In your old job, if you got hired, chances are you can’t try it for one week and decide that you don’t want to do this for the next 3 years and just quit. Well you can, but then you’re stuck trying to find some other job to pay the bills. If you choose to work from home however, many of these jobs you can do on the side for a little extra money and choose to go full time if you truly enjoy it, or it starts paying more than your current job. Many people start off by doing some freelancing on the side, and that can be done with the skills you already use at your current job. Doing this allows you to get a feel of the landscape and determine if it is something you would enjoy as a full time occupation. However, there are many other ways you can make money online and do a trial run like writing for a blog, selling stuff online, become a virtual assistant etc. The other option is to just ask your employer directly if remote working is something they would like to try with you. Show them the benefits of working remotely for their company and ask if you could try it for a month and report the results. There are a lot of options out there for you to do a small trial run with a little digging just to see if working from home is for you. You can quit if your first gig didn’t work out that well, or maybe you decide to try a few more before making your final decision. But make sure you at least commit to a small trial run to decide if you want to start working from home full time.

5. Start for Real

This last step is probably the hardest. After you ask yourself why, do your research, build up your skill set and do a trial run, you might still have your doubts about working from home. That’s completely ok. This type of lifestyle is not for everyone, so don’t feel like you need work from home if that is not what you’re comfortable with. Working from home is all about comfort and a better work life balance. If things are working out for you already at your current job, there is absolutely no need for you to change anything. Some people enjoy an environment where they can interact with other workers, some people enjoy having a strict schedule to be productive, some people just enjoy being out of the house and going somewhere. But if that’s not you, don’t worry, there are plenty of resources out there to help you on your transition from regular job to work from home. The possibilities are virtually endless for you to start a work from home life.

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1 Comment

  • Jay 4 years ago

    Wow nice input and i can relate being an indefendent contractor virtual myself…

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