There’s something magical about New Year’s Day. It fills people up with hope and promise for a new year that promises to be better than the last. That’s why so many people make resolutions that they plan to continue on into the new year. If you’re looking for a little work-life balance in the form of a remote job that allows you to work but still take care of your family, here are five New Year’s resolutions for people who want to work from home.
Treat your job search like a job.
Most job seekers start off with the best of intentions. They plan to look for jobs every day, at least an hour or more a day. They promise to network to reestablish connections with former coworkers and bosses, and also to forge new ones with companies they’d like to work for. But then, a few weeks or so into the new year, they start to slack off. So for your first New Year’s resolution, decide that this will be the year you find a flexible job you want—and you won’t stop searching until you find it! Set aside time each day for your search and don’t let anything—even a Game of Thrones marathon—deter you from your goal. Treat your job search like a job, and you will eventually land a great one!
Invest time in your resume and cover letter.
If you think your resume format from 1999 will impress today’s hiring managers, think again. As your second job resolution, take some time to look through current resume and cover letter styles to see what hiring managers are looking for—and what could potentially get your outdated job application tossed in the trash. If you’re scared you might mess up your resume, you can always ask a friend for help or even hire a resume service to help polish your resume and cover letter into an attention-grabbing application a potential boss will find irresistible.
Set yourself up for success.
Whether this is your first time looking for a remote job or you’ve held previous at-home positions before, it’s always a good idea to set the stage for success—literally. After all, you can’t conduct business from your kitchen countertop that’s cluttered with papers and school permission slips and expect to be successful. That’s why your third resolution should be to find a dedicated space in your home to serve as your home office—and your home office only. Even if your kids have overtaken every room in your home, you should still try to carve out some space in a spare bedroom, a converted closet, or even the garage or attic if need be. Having a home office (preferably with a door) can help you separate your workday from your personal day, and also help your family understand that when mommy’s in her office, she’s working.
Get familiarized with current technology.
Sure, every industry has its own practices and policies for handling business. But when you work from home, there are certain tech tools that almost every company, regardless of industry, will use. For example, you should become adept at Skype, which many remote companies use for interviewing and screening job candidates. You should also be familiar with communications tools like Yammer, Sococo, and HipChat, as well as productivity tools like RescueTime or Coffee Break.
Do what you want.
Just because you’ve worked as a virtual admin before (and didn’t really like it all that much), doesn’t mean you have to continue on in the same career field. So view 2016 as a fresh start for you, both personally and professionally. Consider what type of job you’d like to have; a good place to start is by looking at your hobbies. See if there is a way to transition them into full-fledged work (it’s possible!). The great thing about remote work is that you can pursue multiple passions by having a combination of flexible work options, like a part-time job as a writer and a freelance gig as a web designer.
As you make your New Year’s resolutions to lose those pesky 15 pounds, add some of these job resolutions to your list (and stick with them!) and watch 2016 be the year that you find a work-at-home job you love!