Older Professionals: Tips on Working Remotely
Are you looking for a change in your career / professional life? Could you use an extra income? Remote jobs can help you to be able to play with your grandkids while making money on the side at the same time.
If you’re worried about working from home because you’ve never tried it before, don’t be! Here are five effective tips about remote working:
Before you start preparing for your remote working job, reject all stereotypes about age. Older career professionals usually think they aren’t going to land a position (remote or otherwise) because of their age. When they do get a job, some worry they might not meet their employer’s expectations. Many older teleworkers feel that younger coworkers might be first in line for promotions, so they won’t have an opportunity to move up the ranks. These are all typical stereotypes that might prevent you from going after a remote work opportunity.
Your age doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. It’s just a number. What’s important is your work ethic, skills, dedication, maturity, and thirst for knowledge. Employers often highly value older employees because they bring vast knowledge and experience to the table. Additionally, by now you have developed strong soft skills such as communication, team player mentality, and adaptability, which are all crucial for working remotely. Therefore, you shouldn’t be worried about being passed over for promotion, or not getting the job. All of your qualities are good enough reasons to apply for the teleworking job you want, and continue being a valuable member of today’s workforce.
Evaluate your skills
Do you want to change your existing job, or start a fresh? Either way, you might want to think about your skills. No matter whether you are still working, or stopped working a long time ago (or even recently), working conditions and the industry are continually evolving. For this reason, you should dip your toes into the world of remote job opportunities and career postings.
Taking some time to go through online job postings is the best way to familiarize yourself with available jobs and their requirements. As you scroll through the postings, you may realize that some of your skills need upgrading and polishing. If that’s the case, you may choose to expand your skillset, specialize in a specific field, or even return to school and get a degree.
When evaluating your skills, try to be as objective as you can. Being objective and honest to yourself about all the things you know – and those you don’t – will help you be better prepared for submitting applications, getting a job, and working remotely.
Invest in the right tools
Since you’re considering working remotely, you’ll have to equip yourself appropriately. Namely, there are a few things remote working requires.
Firstly, that is basic teleworking technology. Without technology and its tools, working from home would be impossible. For this reason, having a modern and fully functional laptop or desktop computer is essential. Other than that, you’re going to need a stable and fast Internet connection.
Secondly, you’ll have to invest in additional tools and platforms. You might use some of them for internal communications, task management, and collaboration, and others for organization, productivity, and efficiency.
Apart from tools, you’ll need to set up a practical and comfortable home office space. No matter whether you’re going to work full or part-time, you’ll spend hours sitting and working.
Set up your home office in the quietest room of the house, so your grandchildren can’t interrupt you. Ideally there will be a door that you can close when needed for important phone calls, to block noises from elsewhere in the house, and to open/shut at the beginning/end of your work day. If there’s no door, then noise-cancelling headphones may help.
As much as the home office location is important, so is your chair selection. Make sure it’s a comfortable and ergonomic one. Occupational therapists will have guidelines for correctly positioning your computer keyboard, monitor, and chair so that you can be productive and avoid potential wrist, neck, or back problems.
Test the equipment
When you land a job, managers and coworkers will inform you of the exact tools and platforms they use for daily operations. Today these are likely to include Skype, Zoom, or Microsoft Team for video conferencing, and Slack, Google Hangouts or similar IM (instant message) applications for quick communications.
Depending on the job, you might need other tools relevant to that specific industry or field of work, so make sure you are familiar with those tools, their functions and features. Many Internet tutorials can help you familiarize yourself with the most commonly used tools for remote teleworkers. This way, you can gain a competitive edge over other job applicants or coworkers that may not be as familiar with these necessary tools as you are.
Thanks to your thorough preparation and familiarity with the tools of your new work environment, when hired you can settle into the job position faster and skip the adaptation process. You’ll be able to jump right in and start contributing to common business goals.
Do a dry run
If you’re reading this article, then chances are you haven’t already worked from home, or at least not recently. Doing a dry run could help you understand if remote work is your cup of tea or not.
Before you get a chance to work remotely for a company, give remote work at home a try for a week and see how it goes. Find that quiet place to work, and spend the time bringing your resume / CV up to perfection, write cover letters, submit applications, assess your skills and/or learn some new ones, take an online course, and listen to podcasts to stay on top of current trends in your industry.
Working remotely for a week can help you not only determine whether or not you like working from home, but also when you feel best and are most productive during the day. When you do get a teleworking job, it will help you excel in your new position.
*This article is for general informational purposes only. 50+ World does endorse any product or service providers, nor does it receive remuneration from them. Obtain expert advice from a qualified practitioner or professional, about your unique situation.*