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    9 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Applying for a Virtual Job

    Changing a career has no perfect time. If you wait for the right moment to make your move, you may end up sticking to your current job until it’s time for you to retire. 

    So if you think that this is the right time for you to let go of your office and work from home, take your time to answer the following 9 questions to check if you really are ready for a virtual job.

    1.  Can I separate home and work?

    Most people want to apply for a virtual job because they want to work from their homes. After all, there are many benefits of using your home as your office. But remember that this also comes with certain challenges.

    As such, before anything else, establish an official office space in your home. It is imperative that you give your work as much attention as you would have when you’re working in an office. This way, you can meet your deadlines and maximize your financial gains. You can do all these when you have a formal working area in your house.

    9 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Applying for a Virtual Job

    Another challenge of having an online job is keeping your professional and personal lives apart during hours of work.

    This is not the best job for you if you can’t compartmentalize household chores and official meetings. It requires discipline and planning. For example, you should plan your and your family’s breakfast menu at least the night before and your dinner once your kids come back from school. Still, poor Internet connection, power interruption or a sick child can be setbacks which then requires plan B which you should also always have.

    2.  Is applying for a virtual job the right move?

    Working in any industry is not always fun and relaxing so if you had a tough day at work, you should not make any impulsive decision. If you’re still toying with the idea of working at home, give yourself a month first – don’t quit your current job under extreme circumstances or unless you have another job lined up.

    Create a pros and cons list of working at home versus at the office and make sure you be as detailed as possible. Also, be certain that you are leaving your job for the right reasons. Other people may say that an online job is far better than other types of occupation but this is not always the case. So before making your decision, think it out thoroughly.

    3.  Have I done my homework?

    You need to know what your daily tasks are. The salary may be high but if the work is not satisfying, you may end up regretting applying for it. Ask yourself if the tasks involved are challenging enough, if there’s a long-term place for you in this industry, and if you really understand your job responsibilities. 

    Whatever virtual job you are planning to apply for, make sure that it will give you a sense of fulfillment. Most importantly, it should provide you with an opportunity for growth.

    4.  Does a virtual job suit my personality?

    Can you stay organized and manage your own time? Making the leap to work from home will require lots of perseverance, patience, confidence, determination, and the right mindset. Besides, once you sit down in your home office, it is just you and your computer – most of the time, no one will set the deadlines or secure clients for you.

    If you’re an extrovert who loves to work in a place with plenty of people, you might find working from home a lonely kind of living. But know that there are ways to help alleviate the isolation and keep you still connected with other people. These include joining a professional network group, a local business community, or a writers’ group.

    5.  Do I have another source of income?

    If you want to apply for a virtual job, it is important that you have at least three months of income set aside. This will serve as your financial buffer during times when your job is on the slow side. 

    Even though you have a family or partner who can help you in this career change endeavor, experts highly advise that having this cushion is crucial when leaving a financially secure job.

    6.  Do I have the appropriate skills?

    You might be longing for a career change, but do not jump impulsively at any work-from-home offer. Working from home may mean taking on a completely new role that requires a new skill set and additional skills. 

    Know that there are some online jobs that may require you to undergo lengthy training as well. As such, be sure to know all the details of the job you are applying for so that you won’t be surprised and you know what to expect.

    7.  Is it an easier job than a full-time one?

    When you are looking for a relaxed option, a virtual job may not be for you. Some companies are keeping tabs on your working hours and take screenshots of your computer at regular intervals. 

    You may even end up working for more hours because there are no dedicated office hours. And since you are not working in an office, there is a higher chance that you’ll be receiving calls at odd hours.

    But not all companies that offer online jobs are strict. Some focus on monitoring your work output instead of your hours of work. This means that you have control over your time. However, in this case,  you have to make sure that you do your task properly and before the deadline.

    8.  Am I ready to give up office luxuries?

    Working from home means you’ll miss the coffee breaks and the water-cooler conversations. Also, you won’t have colleagues to get help from. Basically, your network will shrink. 

    Communication is indeed a key challenge if you choose to apply for an online job because it is no longer face-to-face – this can only be done through emails, phone calls, and video conferences. Being out of sight will also mean that only your work output will show and your efforts won’t entirely be visible.

    9.  Can I meet corporate guidelines?

    There are some companies that request a well-equipped and designated home office. Also, they can ask you to have a stable Internet connection, backups for modems and broadband, high-quality laptops or desktops, and video-conferencing setups. All these means some initial investment and recurring expenses.

    A virtual job is not as easy as it seems. There are crucial things you must consider before finally deciding to leave your current job. Before taking the leap, consider the advantages and disadvantages of such decision carefully. To help you make the right decision, ask yourself these nine questions now.  

    Author bio: A recruitment professional with over twenty years’ experience in the field and a record of entrepreneurial accomplishment, David is Managing Director and Head of HR at Mackenzie Jones.

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