Since the publication of my book "Create Your Own Job: Anytime, Anywhere, At Any Age" I have occasionally received correspondence from others working in the same field. The following article is by Amy Collett who requested that I post it on some of my sites. She was in the corporate world for 17 years and then struck out on her own to help care for her grandmother and is doing consulting in the areas of Personal Branding, Resume Developing, Logo-Messaging-Website Development, and Social Media Evaluation. This is an excellent piece of writing that is not only on-topic for the times, but is a good read.

Lost Your Job? Remote Work Could Be the Answer

If you’re like millions around the world, you’ve found yourself unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And while you might be open to doing almost any type of work that brings in an income, wouldn’t you rather do something that interests you and utilizes your skills and talents?

For many workers in your situation, technology has been the saving grace. These days, more and more companies are hiring remote positions, and doing freelance work from home is more accessible than ever. So, if you want to learn more about finding remote work and setting yourself up for long-term success, keep reading!

Consider What Kind of Job You Want

The first step is to determine what type of job you would like to do. If you genuinely loved your previous job, you might want to start by looking for remote jobs in that industry. However, this could also be the perfect opportunity for a fresh start in your career. Do you have any particular passions or interests in a field in which you’ve never worked? As long as you have a little bit of natural talent and are a quick learner, why not try it?

Reach out to your network of friends and professionals for possible remote work opportunities, and apply for every position that interests you. Also, consider starting a freelance business. As a freelancer, you’ll have unmatched flexibility, and as you build your brand, you’ll be able to choose how much you work and who you work for. Using online job boards is the best way to begin developing as a freelancer, and you can find work in a slew of different industries and niches—from writing and web design to data science and engineering, from customer service and admin support to sales and marketing.

Are you ready to rise to the next level in your career? An online degree can boost your knowledge and resume, and it offers flexibility so you can learn as you continue to work. For example, if you work in the business world, you can complete an MBA degree and learn about accounting, marketing, communication, and operations management.

Set Up a Workspace

No matter what kind of remote work you choose to do, you’ll need a proper workspace in order to stay productive on a daily basis. And your workspace must provide adequate separation from the main living areas of your home. Garages, basements, attics, and spare bedrooms are excellent spaces for a home office.

You’ll also want to make your home office a comfortable place to work. This includes painting the walls a color that will help you concentrate, hanging artwork, putting out family photos, adding comfortable furniture and good lighting.

Get (and Learn) the Right Tools

You also need certain tools to succeed at working from home. Some of these will depend on the type of work you do, but there are some basic necessities to consider for your home office. For example, you’ll need a reliable laptop or desktop computer, the right kind of desk for your space, and an ergonomic office chair that will keep you comfortable throughout the workday. Also, make sure you have a solid Internet connection, and put in a separate phone line for your business if it will help you stay on task.

Furthermore, there are many kinds of software that can prove invaluable for remote work. Look into accounting software to help with money management, project management software to help keep you and any team members productive, and communication/collaboration software to help you stay connected to partners, team members, and/or clients.

Establish Work Hours

Once you have your home office and equipment ready to go, it’s time to start creating a routine that will help you stay productive. If you’ve never worked from home before, finding the right routine may require a bit of trial and error. The key is to figure out your peak work hours and to build your schedule around those hours. If you have kids staying at home during the day, you’ll need to work around their needs as well.

When you determine your work hours, make sure everyone in your household knows what they are. It’s essential to set boundaries so that you can minimize distractions and succeed in your work.

Leave the Office

If your family is expected to respect your work hours, that means that you should too. When your work is done for the day, leave your office—both physically and mentally. Knowing you’re only one short walk to your office may tempt you to work outside of your normal hours. But if you want to maintain a healthy work-life balance, you must resist the temptation and make the most of your downtime. Take advantage of the opportunity to spend more time with your family, and find fun, relaxing activities to incorporate into your everyday life.

If you’re unemployed, all is not lost. Turn to your network of friends and professionals, as well as online job boards, to explore remote job opportunities. Implement the tips listed here to set yourself up for long-term success. You may even find that you’re happier and more fulfilled than ever in your new career!

Author's Bio: 

Wm. Hovey Smith is the author of more than 20 books and producer of nearly 900 YouTube videos. His current business book is "Make Your Own Job: Anytime, Anyplace, At Any Age." This piece is a guest post by Business Consultant and Coach Amy Collett.