Making a career transition is tough. Making the transition from working in a professional environment to working out of your home is even tougher. Why, you might ask? The answer is that the perception of working from home and the reality of working from home are two completely different things.
When people think about working from home, all they envision are the positive parts. They will be in control of their own schedule; they won’t have to deal with many people on a daily basis; they can work at their own pace and how they see fit; they can wear what they want, eat when they want, take a few cat naps every now and then; they won’t have to pay for babysitting. The list could go on and on.
To an extent, some of these things are true. But, if you really need an income from your work-from-home job, you can’t just do things “when you want” because they will never get done. The flexibility of working from home actually creates added stress and responsibility that isn’t there when someone else is telling you exactly what to do and when and how to do it.
The 3 Truths of Transition
To avoid the sense of panic that can come from being ill-prepared for your career transition, here are a few facts you will need to face before making the decision to leave your office job.
1. You Will Still Have a Job
You might as well leave your 9 to 5 schedule blocked off because you will still be required to put in hours. With some work-from-home jobs those hours will be your choice. With others, you will be expected to work a strict schedule.
Pro Tip: A work-from-home parent is much different than a stay-at-home parent. You should still budget and plan for childcare at least a few days of the week.
2. Spare Time Is Not a Business Hour
“You can work full-time. You can work part-time. But, you can’t work spare time.” If you have ever heard that saying, you might wonder what people mean when they say it. They mean: There is no such thing as spare time.
Our schedules get filled up with what is important to us. If you do not make your work a must, it will slip past and deadlines will become overwhelming. Less work gets accomplished in forty hours when you are at home and distracted. You will have to make it a point to clear your schedule and make work a priority.
3. You Will Still Have to Deal With People
The communication will be different, but it will still be required. You won’t be face-to-face with fifty or more people a day like you were. In fact, you may forget how to speak unless you talk aloud to yourself. However, clear communication is vital to working from home.
Most people rely on written communication when working from home which can often lead to misunderstandings or misinterpretations. This leads to a whole different set of communication concerns to be watchful for when you are responding to emails, sending text messages, etc.
The Honest Truth
The truth is, a transition to working from home can be scary and difficult. However, many people do it successfully every year. You, too, can be a work-from-home success story if you can accept that you will still have to work, it will be your decision to make that work happen, and you will still have to communicate with people.