Working remotely is becoming commonplace; Here's what you need to know if you want to become part of the remote workforce.

Professional work outside the conventional office space is changing. According to a report by Work Flexibility, the number of workers that have some degree of flexibility in their job has increased by 115 percent in one decade. This information suggests the trend of working remotely is here to stay.

This is also a growing trend among companies: More businesses are seeing the benefits of adopting a remote workforce. In fact, employers such as Amazon, Dell, American Express, Apple, and even the federal government currently boast remote employees as part of their workforce. Modern-day technological advances have allowed these changes to become a reality for as many as 1.8 million people in the United States alone.

Have you thought about the possibility of working from your home office or remotely as you travel? If so, it requires a change in mindset and a positive attitude to be successful. This article will help you develop the right mentality as you begin to transition from a traditional workplace to working remotely.

Examine your state of mind each day

As you begin your remote job search, you will experience different emotions — which is natural. The market is highly competitive, and job seekers will compete with candidates nationally and sometimes internationally for remote job opportunities. You need to be aware that when job hunting and applying for a remote position, employers will use all forms of communication to gauge how you will interact if you were to receive the opportunity. It is vital to put your best foot forward during the interview process and not bring any negative feelings, comments, or tone into any form of communication. This includes:

  • Emails

  • Calls with the employer

  • Video interviews

  • Virtual career fairs

  • Networking online via LinkedIn or professional Slack communities

  • Messaging and meeting via Skype, Zoom, or G-Chat

Whatever the communication style, remember for most remote positions you will not have the opportunity to meet face-to-face. Most of your correspondence with hiring managers will be in a virtual environment.

Conduct a self-evaluation

Another part of the mindset process is conducting a self-evaluation before starting the remote job-search process to determine any gaps before applying. It will be better for your mindset to discover any problem areas and create an action plan for improvement. Here are the steps:

  • Visit remote job boards and scan positions you are interested in.

  • Review job details of similar opportunities and see if there are any gaps in your experience.

  • Develop a plan on how you can improve this skill(s).

For example, if many positions for a writer require that you know standard remote tools such as Asana, Trello, and Slack, be sure to signup for a free account and learn the programs. Taking the initiative to learn the tools used by remote workforces shows the employer or hiring manager you have the drive and initiative to adapt to different technologies.

Related: 4 Wrong Reasons to Quit Your Job

Determine what working remotely means for you

As you start your remote job search, you will learn that there are different ways of working remotely. During the transition process, you will need to become clear on the type of roles you are seeking. Here are the various terms job seekers will see from employers.

  • Remote Work: Implies work is done remotely away from a conventional office setup.

  • Telecommuting: Suggests that you trade the commute time for working from your home office

  • Virtual: Indicates that you will be working remotely 100 percent of the time.

  • Home-based: Means you will be expected to work from a home office, as the name suggests.

  • Digital Nomad: Means location is irrelevant, as work can be done anywhere while traveling.

You will also need to determine if you are comfortable with working as an independent contractor, permanent employee, full-time, or part-time. You will need to decide what new job best fits your lifestyle goals.

Determine if you are ready to work remotely

Working in a remote position is different from being in an office environment, and it is not for everyone. You will need to determine if this is the best career choice for you. This step will require research, honesty, and self-reflection.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I enjoy spending an extensive amount of time alone?

  • Do I consider myself disciplined and self-motivated?

  • Will I feel confident working without direct supervision?

  • Will I be comfortable communicating via email, chat, and video conference?

  • Can I set up a quiet, distraction-free area at home with reliable internet to work?

  • How will telecommuting achieve work-life balance?

  • Can I manage my time efficiently?

  • Do I have a high level of emotional intelligence and am I able to connect with people?

Get to know the common tools used in a remote environment

When you work remotely, there will be a need for you to adapt to various technologies to complete your work and stay connected with co-workers. You will need to get into the mindset to operate as your own IT support regardless if the company has an official IT department. You should brush up on general tech issues such as resetting your router, knowing when to restart, and update and clean your equipment. Remote employees are expected to have a working knowledge of how to handle minor tech problems. In addition to knowing how to manage your technology, remote workers need to have some experience with the standard digital tools used. Get to know applications such as Google Products, Slack, Trello, and Asana.

Joining the remote workforce can be a fantastic opportunity and can offer a great lifestyle with flexible hours while doing the work that you love. Before you start the search, be sure to work on your mindset and determine if working remotely is ideal for you. Be prepared for setbacks as with any job search. However, what will determine your success mostly is how you respond. Use your experiences, both positive and negative, to change your mindset and better your remote job-search outcomes.

Click on the following link for more job-search advice.

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