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5 Signs You're Ready for Remote Work

A man sits on a ledge looking out at the sea.

If you want professional mobility—whether that means working from home, abroad, or a combo of the two—it doesn’t have to be just a dream. Take a look around, and you’ll see that more and more remote opportunities are becoming available in the social-impact world.

But even with all of these remote opportunities, it’s important to remember that, working remotely isn’t the right choice for everybody. If you have an inkling that this may be a fit for you, weigh these factors first to get a sense of your compatibility and readiness for the life of a digital nomad.

Sign 1: You’re self-motivated and enjoy autonomy

If you find it easy to complete your work without nudging or supervision and have effective time-management systems in place, this will work in your favor.

But remember, there’s a balance you’ll need to strike between working on your own so that you still feel like you’re interacting with others on a somewhat-regular basis. Staying connected with a remote team is something you may have to actively work at achieving and maintaining.

Sign 2: Traditional workspaces and commutes aren’t for you

One of the largest draws of a remote-working lifestyle is the freedom to work from anywhere. If you don’t thrive in an open-office or if you find your commute to be completely unsustainable, remote working offers a way to address the issues that may arise due to a commute, a move, a noisy office, or scheduling difficulties.

But while you have the ability to work from the couch or the beach, it’s still important to make sure you find the best working environment for you. If you’re up to the challenge of setting yourself up for success in the right workspace—whether in a co-working setup or at your favorite coffee shop—and separating work hours from non-work hours, you’ll be able to find harmony between comfort and productivity.

Sign 3: You have no problem with new technology

If you’re fearless when it comes to using and learning new technology, this will be a great tool in your arsenal as a remote worker.

One thing to consider, however, is that not all organizations you work with will use the tools that you prefer, which means you may have to adjust your style depending on the project or team. If you generally like to stick with the tools and platforms that you know best, this may be a bit problematic.

As a remote worker, you should also anticipate the need to troubleshoot technical difficulties from time to time. If you’re not comfortable being your own IT department, remote work may not be for you.

Sign 4: You can roll with the punches

Meeting deadlines and managing schedules may be easy for you, but are you also ready to face the unpredictable?

The reality is that you’ll need to figure out how to remain reliable and unfazed if, for example, you’re in a different time zone but need immediate feedback. If you think you’re flexible enough to work and deliver on your toes, then this should be no problem for you; it may even be something you look forward to.

Sign 5: You’re a strong communicator

Whether you’re a freelancer, contractor, or full-time remote employee, effective communication should be one of your biggest strengths. That means you can write to-the-point emails just as well as you can communicate over video chat, the phone, or through real-time messaging.

If you’re confident that you can use your time in the most efficient and productive way possible, lead conversations that offer the right details at the right moment, establish communication methods that work for you and for those you’re working with, and handle ambiguity—sometimes across many miles—with ease, then you’ll be on your way to well-rounded communication no matter your location.

If you’re considering becoming a digital nomad in the social-impact space, check out these resources for creating a career and lifestyle as a changemaker from anywhere in the world.

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About the Author | Yoona Wagener is a freelance writer and WordPress developer who believes in the value of nonlinear career paths. She has experience in academic publishing, teaching English abroad, serving up customer support to software end users, writing online help documentation, and mission-driven nonprofit marketing and communications.

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