Want to work from home (or abroad)? Start planning your transition now

For some people, switching from an office job to a remote job is not a big deal; for others, there is a big transition period where they go from overworking to totally disorganized to resentful and lonely, all before they find their happy medium. Hopefully, they don’t give up along the way. Planning for a transition is the best thing you can do—mentally, emotionally, and financially. Start now. 

I started this blog about a year and a half ago because I wanted more people to understand flexible work and how that could redefine the future of work. Again and again, people told me to find a way to monetize, make this into a business and I just didn’t see how. I’m not sure I do, yet. 

But what I did realize is that this should be a starting point for people who are ready to make the transition from burnt-out office worker to liberated remote worker, whether that meant finding a new remote job working for someone else or working for themselves (or a little of both, which is what I’m doing). 

About a month ago, I was having a coworking and cocktail session with a very good friend of mine and things just started pouring out. It was clearly time to wrap everything I’d learned from interviewing, travelling, and working into something I could share with people. Today officially marks the start!

This morning, I shared a free planning sheet with instructions with my email subscribers and within a few hours I received a handful of encouraging emails (thank you!). This weekly planner is just the beginning. I have nine months of stuff ready to share with you guys! Step-by-step, I’ll be rolling out a process to help you transition from cubicle lemming to sweatpant-wearing home office dynamo. Some of you won’t even need to leave your current job for a new remote job—I’m going to share what I’ve learned about starting a flexible work program at your office as well. 

For those of you looking to take a giant leap to remote work, this transition will feel like a career switch. Finding the right remote job with the right company will take time. I made it to the end of two really exciting job interview processes before losing out to people with more experience. You’ll need to learn new skills, get comfortable with new software, and be able to demonstrate that you can be productive and focused with all the distractions that come with working from home. 

The planner is designed to help you get your thoughts and week organized. To make room for skill-building and research, you’ll need to let go of some things…or become more efficient at them. Here are a few examples:

  • Meal planning and grocery shopping. Crazy as it sounds, trying to figure out what’s for dinner and then going out to shop a few times a week uses up considerable time. I plan meals once a week and usually get groceries delivered.

  • Staying up late and watching television. While it’s nice to unwind, TV is a time-waster. Work out while you watch TV or cancel your cable bill. Use the evenings for healthier or more productive activities.

  • Surfing the internet and scrolling social media. Get news alerts for important topics or use apps like Flipboard and Feedly. Limit time spent on social media because we all know how easy it is for a quick photo post to become an hour-long scrolling session.

It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re tired, feel like you don’t have enough time, and you’re itching to get free of your current work situation. Patience will be your best friend in this process—patience with yourself and with finding the right remote work situation. Patience combined with careful planning for 6-12 months can set you up for a lifetime at the forefront of the future of work; work that is flexible, people-first, and where technology plays a key role.