Perhaps the biggest challenge for people dreaming of working from home is when to take that leap. Leaving the corporate world can be daunting, especially for parents because they have to ensure that their financial capability will not be affected.
Let me tell you that having those jitters is entirely natural. In fact, it’s those fears that will motivate you when times get rough. If you’re ready to take that chance and transition into a work from home lifestyle, here are six things that you can do to make it happen:
Create a financial runway.
Save up months before you take the plunge because you never know what will happen, and you need to be financially prepared. When you transition into a work-from-home life, you may no longer enjoy the benefits you once had in your corporate job. No more free coffee, no more reimbursements, and no more fixed income.
It can be easy for you to lose track of your spending when you’re not careful. Your financial buffer will help create a runway for so you can explore opportunities and take some calculated risky decisions. Compute for your family’s total monthly living expense and save up for at least six months worth of financial buffer. This will make the transition more comfortable as you no longer have to think about your financials for at least a couple of months.
Try asking your boss if you can work from home.
The first option that you can do is the one that requires the least change in your life. Earlier this year, the government has passed into law the Telecommuting Act, which enables employees to ask for work-from-home arrangements from their employers.
If you think that your position can be done even if you’re not physically in the office, try talking to your immediate supervisor and propose a work-from-home arrangement. This setup is perfect for those parents who want to test the waters. It requires the least change but needs a lot of effort and compromise.
Find work before resigning.
If the previous point doesn’t work out for you, then you have to find work elsewhere. There are a couple of ways on how you can do this, here are some examples:
- Start your own business. Create a business that you can run from your home. A good example would be an online shop. It’s easy to start and relatively easy to manage.
- Be a freelancer. A freelancer is someone who offers his or her skills in return for payment. If you dabble with graphic designing, you can offer your services to create logos for businesses. Being a freelancer means that you have the flexibility and a schedule does not constrain you, but you’re regularly at the mercy of your clients.
- Find a remote job. If you’re someone who thrives on schedules and having a fixed salary, this is the perfect work for you. It still is very much like an office job, but you’ll be working from your home.
Create healthy work routines.
No matter what road you take, you have to make sure that you create healthy work routines. Sure, working from home is convenient, but be careful of being too comfortable because it can lead to your work suffering. As someone who’s working remotely, your performance is measured by your output.
Here are some ways to help you establish a good work routine:
- Manage your time correctly and create a daily schedule.
- Find a specific work area in your home where you can work every day.
- Ask people from your home not to disturb you when you’re working. Even your kids!
- Take frequent breaks to refresh your mind.
- Reward yourself appropriately to keep you motivated.
Grow your skills.
There will always be competition, and it gets tougher each time. You have to be consistently working on improving your skills. You can do this by taking courses online, joining a community of other remote workers, or dabbling in other technical or creative skills. For instance, if you’re in customer service, you can try learning more about being a virtual assistant so you can offer more services in the future. Growing your skillset will also help you demand higher pay with clients and employers. Invest in yourself so that people will invest in you too.
There is no perfect recipe or formula on when you can take the leap. If you keep waiting for the perfect time, it may never come. Just do it and trust your instinct. Save up enough money to finance your work-from-journey and be sure to prepare for the unexpected.