Do you have skills you want to work on? Goals you'd like to achieve? We all do. But: do you have a personalized professional development plan that incorporates all those goals into an achievable learning path? If not, you should consider creating one.
Professional development is the act of learning in order to gain skills or credentials necessary to succeed in the workplace. There are formal and structured professional development opportunities like academic degrees and certification programs. But it can also include informal or more unstructured learning experiences like video series, and reading texts related to your industry.
While the steps seem straightforward, there are some challenges that come with personalized professional development:
It might sound counterintuitive, but face-to-face conferences can be an important component of your remote career. Remote work conferences offer opportunities for you to network and to learn about important issues related to distance work. Additionally, surrounding yourself with new people and ideas can energize you, boost your creativity, and keep you from feeling isolated.
While there aren't that many conferences that are solely dedicated to the benefits and challenges of location independent work, the four remote work conferences listed below are excellent places to start.
One example of a remote work conference is the TRaD Works forum, being held this week (September 27-29) in Washington, DC. TRaD stands for Telecommuting, Remote, and Distributed work, and the forum will feature speakers from a wide range of backgrounds. Some of the featured speakers include:
Think about your regular work schedule. How many long stretches of work do you do? Do you take any breaks? When was the last time you took a lunch break away from your desk? If you rarely do so, you're not alone. If I asked you why, I'm sure I would hear this reason: I'm too busy.
Yes, you are busy. But here's the catch 22: by not taking breaks, you're not as productive as you would be if you did.
If you work from home, you're just as likely to skip taking a break. This is due to a couple of reasons: You want to prove that you're not shirking your work or you believe that you don't need a break because you work from home. But both of these justifications are wrong.
Here are just some of the negative impacts of skipping your break.
If you use your creativity in any capacity, skipping your break can be directly and seriously detrimental to your productivity.
A mentor can be someone within your organization or outside your organization who helps you navigate your career. That's kind of a broad definition, but in reality, there's an extremely wide variety of types of mentors. That's why the first step is:
What do you want? Do you need someone within your organization to help you figure out how to advance? Or do you want someone who is in your industry, but outside your organization, to give you perspective? Are you looking for advice from someone who has arrived at the very top of an organization? Or do you need advice from someone who is a little closer to your particular situation?
Consider all of these questions, plus think about how you want to communicate with your mentor. Since you are searching for someone who can help navigate a remote career, make sure that someone has experience working (and advancing) remotely.
Now it's time to find someone who meets your needs. Create a list of all the...
You’ve applied to the remote job of your dreams, and it finally arrives: a message saying you’ve been granted an interview. Congratulations!
But now, you're wondering: what the interview will be like? How can I make a great impression on the hiring committee?
I’ve brought in a guest to share some tips for how to do just that: Carole Stizza of Relevant Insight. She’s an expert in HR and hiring practices and consults with individuals on how to improve their interviewing skills.
Carole's responses to some common questions about interviewing for work-at-home jobs are below.
Interviewing remotely saves you the headache of traveling, traffic that might make you late, finding the right location, etc. — whew! That’s a load off your plate!
The drawback of having to interview remotely is the lack of physical connection: the handshake, the mannerisms of...
The thought of being able to live and work in the same space is incredibly attractive — and more and more people are taking advantage of remote workplaces. The benefits are many: workers save time, money, and energy by not having to commute and share their workspace with others. And employers save money by not needing to supply office space to 100% of their employees. Not to mention the benefits employers gain from being able to attract top talent from all over the country or even the world. But it's not all sunshine and rainbows: there are pitfalls to working from home. It's important to know what they are to be able to prevent or alleviate them.
You shouldn't be afraid of working from home. Everyone in any workspace will encounter similar challenges. But being aware of these pitfalls is necessary in order to be prepared to deal with them.
OK, let's dive in...
This one's an obvious one. For some, working at home is the ideal situation because you...
You're already searching for remote jobs using job search engines and boards and you've probably already applied to at least some. If you're looking for other ways to boost your search for the perfect remote job, here are 5 things you can do today. These 5 things are simple enough that you can do in just one day that will improve your odds of landing that ideal remote position.
When was the last time you really took a look at that resume of yours? Are you sure it has all the most up-to-date information possible? Take some time today to really look through it, and use this list as a guide to create your amazing resume.
Reach out to someone in your network to let them know that you're looking for work. If you're not sure how to do it in an email, ask them to catch up by phone or in person so you can bring up the topic more organically. Remember that your personal network is very likely to help you land...
Updated as more tools
Want to find remote jobs? You have a few options to start with:
This blog post will cover the resources you can use to find jobs in any industry at any level. Skill, industry, and level-specific posts are coming soon!
There are a ton of job search sites out there, as evidenced by a Google search.
There is no way that I could list all of them here — and anyway, that’s what a search engine is for, after all.
This list is meant to be abbreviated so that it is manageable. When you are first starting to look for a remote position, it’s more helpful to explore a handful of excellent resources than waste your time combing through every job site that’s out there. That’s why this list only has five resources...
Think of your resume as the very first example of remote work that you can provide a potential employer. It will tell the hiring manager whether you've read and understood the job description. It will also tell them how much you pay attention to detail and care about your work.
As you conduct your remote job search, make sure your resume accurately reflects you and how you wish to present yourself. Make sure it is accurate and well-designed so that your experience and skills stand out.
Make sure you tailor your resume to the job you're applying for. For example, if you are seeking a teaching job, but you don't have much experience, you need to highlight any background that gave you valuable skills that could be applied to teaching. Remember that it’s up to you to show your potential employer what skills you have that would help you perform your expected duties. Your resume is your first chance to show that you would be a good fit for the team. If...