Virtual Vocations: Making the Shift to Remote Jobs
Are you tired of working the same boring 9 to 5? Do you struggle with finding work-life balance? If so, it may be time to take your job search in a different direction and look into virtual vocations.
One Gallup poll from 2016 found that more than 40% of Americans spent at least some time working remotely. The report says, “Gallup consistently has found that flexible scheduling and work-from-home opportunities play a major role in an employee’s decision to take or leave a job.”
Furthermore, a 2018 Forbes report found that experts believe the remote workforce is stronger than ever and that by the end of 2020, more than 50% of the United States workforce will be working remotely.
If you’re looking to make the shift to a full-time work-at-home position, there’s no better time to do so. This extensive guide to virtual vocations will leave you feeling much more ready to leave your office job and become a remote worker.
4 Ways to Work From Home
If you’re looking to start working from home, the first thing you must understand is that not all remote jobs are the same. Typically, there are four main ways that you can find remote work.
1. Turn Your Current Position into a Telecommute Job
If you already have a full-time job in an industry that you love, this could be the easiest way to secure remote work. In the next few years, experts predict that companies in the United States will have “in-office days” instead of “out-of-office days.”
So, if you’re looking for more work-life balance, you may simply need to ask your current employer about going remote. Doing so is useful for a couple of reasons. For one, you won’t have to compile your resume, update your LinkedIn, and pore over job postings.
Secondly, you’re already familiar with the industry, company, and clients. Transitioning into a remote role can be challenging, but by working in a position that’s already familiar you can end up saving yourself a lot of stress.
2. Find a New Job Working From Home
If your current employer isn’t willing to let you work from home, you’ll need to start going through job listings to find a new work-from-home job. There are several ways to go about this.
You can search specifically for telecommute companies that will hire you as a full-time employee. You could also opt for freelance work, where you’ll end up working as an independent contractor, likely for an array of clients.
It’s important to note that when working as an independent contractor, you’re responsible for everything from your health insurance to your retirement fund. Additionally, you may end up paying more in taxes. An employer typically pays half of the employee’s taxes, but when working for yourself, you’re required to pay the taxes in full.
Independent contractors could easily find legitimate work, especially if you have years of experience and outstanding skills. However, know that you’re going to have to put a lot of legwork into finding clients and marketing yourself to others.
3. Start Your Own Business
If a telecommute job doesn’t quite cut it, you may want to consider starting your own business. Of the four work-from-home categories, this is by far the most daunting and risky. However, it could also be the most lucrative as well.
There’s a lot that goes into starting your own business, but we recommend that you do so out of desire, not necessity. If you feel that you need to open a company to be successful, you’re going to end up putting too much pressure on yourself trying to make end’s meet.
If your new business is going to succeed, you’re going to need to be passionate and hungry. You should start a new business because you have an idea that you feel could disrupt the market.
4. Make Extra Cash on the Side
The last option you have for virtual vocations is to use the opportunity to make cash on the side. You may not make enough to support yourself full-time, but this is an excellent option if you are looking for ways to:
- Make money during your transition to remote work
- Grow more comfortable working from home
- Earn extra cash for a savings account or vacation
There are numerous ways in which you can make extra cash on the side. In addition to using various apps, you could also do things like selling items on Craigslist or eBay.
Where to Find Remote Jobs
No matter if you’re looking for telecommuting jobs or freelance opportunities, you need to know where to look. Once you’ve decided which type of remote work you’d like to do, consider browsing these websites to find remote opportunities.
FlexJobs is perhaps the best place for remote job seekers to start. The site sorts positions into one of more than 50 job categories, allowing you to search by your previous industry and skills. Flexjobs also screens listings before adding them to its site, ensuring you only view legitimate job leads.
If you’re looking strictly for telecommuting jobs, you’ll want to look into virtualvocations.com. Stay-at-home mom Laura Spawn founded Virtual Vocations after she became fed up trying to find remote job opportunities.
If you’d rather work independently in a freelance role, then Upwork is the site for you. Big-name companies like Dropbox and Airbnb use Upwork to hire remote freelancers. Upwork could provide you with an excellent opportunity to start locating clients interested in your freelance services.
Working Nomads delivers a list of remote jobs to your inbox, simplifying the job search. You can choose to receive the report daily or weekly. Working Nomads will classify jobs into different categories, including:
- Management Jobs
- Writing Jobs
- Customer Success Jobs
- Administration Jobs
We Work Remotely
We Work Remotely is a job board that covers a wide array of job roles, from programming to customer service. Although you may find remote jobs from non-tech industries from time to time, most of the postings are for tech companies.
Tips for Working From Home
Once you’ve found a remote position, there will be a transition period where you acclimate to working in such a different environment. Consider the tips we’ve listed below to help you streamline the process and succeed at working remotely.
Set Up a Dedicated Workspace
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when working from home is assuming that they’ll be productive when working from the couch. A couch is one of the worst places for you to work. It may lead to social media and Netflix binges, as well as the occasional nap. Plus, it’s terrible for your posture.
Set up a dedicated workspace. Even if you do nothing more than put up a small desk in your kitchen, make sure that you have a place that is devoted entirely to work. You should not use this desk for any other purpose, just as you wouldn’t misuse your desk in an office.
Make sure that your desk has all of the things you may need to complete your job. Not only will this include a laptop or computer, but it may also include things like a telephone and headset.
Set a Schedule
Another mistake that nomadic workers tend to make is that they blur the line between work and play. Work-life balance is nice, and having flexible hours is a plus. But you should set a schedule and stick to it, especially when starting. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself wasting the day doing laundry and washing dishes instead of getting work done.
Make sure that you plan out each day ahead of time, and try not to stray from your schedule. It’s OK if you build in time for household chores, but make sure that you’re putting your actual telecommuting role first.
Also, be sure to build time into your schedule for fresh air. Sitting inside the home all day can be stuffy. You need to provide yourself with fresh air and human interaction to avoid feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Lastly, when setting your schedule, make sure that you know your limits. You should not be working until midnight and then resuming work early the next morning. Set a time when you will close the laptop, turn off email, and get away from work for the day.
Your One-Stop-Shop for the Booming Gig Economy
If you’re looking for part-time or full-time telecommuting jobs, we recently introduced a job board that will allow you to discover various remote positions. You can find community on our forum, made up of people like you who are hard-workers looking to embrace virtual vocations. Finding a home job can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.