Flexibility is becoming a greater priority for today’s employees. More companies are offering work-from-home options to attract the best workers. We spoke to Katelyn, a freelance marketer who works remotely, about how to find a flexible job and succeed while working from anywhere.
Which jobs offer the best opportunities to work remotely?
Six years ago I was in the hospitality business and my cousin told me that I was wasting my time. The technology field is the way of the world and the most flexible industry I could work in. It took me six years to finally figure this out. The best remote opportunities certainly do lie within the technology industry. There are endless opportunities for programmers, IT professionals, web developers. The marketing world also has a lot to offer. SEO and digital marketing jobs are in high demand. There are many rapidly expanding companies like CanIRank that are hiring multiple consultants every few months.
Working remotely is becoming more and more popular and spreading into different fields. For example, there is a huge demand for online language teachers. Call center and travel agency jobs are also in high demand.
What are some important skills and traits those working remotely must possess?
You must be disciplined and motivated. It is very tempting to wake up in the morning and let other distractions get in the way of your work. Finding a quiet workspace, putting your phone on silent, and dedicating yourself for at least an hour or two at a time is very productive.
Many people dream of greater work flexibility but what are some downsides of a non-traditional work environment?
Working from home is challenging. If you have children, roommates, or a spouse at home you may find it difficult to concentrate. People often think because you are working from home, they can talk to you, ask you for help, or do quick chores. It is often a constant battle of concentration. Also, when you work in an office you have the ability to quickly “pop in” to someone’s office and ask a question or get help. With my job, most of my teammates are in different time zones and continents and sometimes getting an answer can take hours where before it might take 2 minutes.
How can one go about finding an employer that offers flexibility?
Well, there are many resources out there for finding work such as Upwork.com and through LinkedIn search, but FlexJobs worked best for me. FlexJobs really tailors the job market for your profile and only sends you qualified leads. I think the most important thing to realize is that it requires a lot of work and patience to land a solid remote job. I applied religiously every day for 6 months before I found something that I thought was a perfect fit.
Can you offer some tips for staying motivated and on schedule while working from home?
At my company, CanIRank, we have adopted the Pomodoro method. When working from home, it is important to take breaks to re-energize yourself and focus. The Pomodoro method suggests taking large tasks and breaking them down into 20-30 minute power intervals with a few minutes break in between. I personally like to work for 2-3 hours then take a half hour and come back and repeat. I also recommend getting out of bed, showering, and preparing yourself for the day as professionally as possible. My last advice is to find a separation of space. If you can find a quiet home office, or even go to a cafe with wifi, that will help separate your home/quiet time with work. Don’t work in bed!
For career ideas, read our list of 5 jobs for people who want to work from home.