Congratulations! It’s your fifth year working for your company. Now go up the stage and get that plaque of appreciation they’re handing out to you for being a loyal and terrific employee. After the late night party ended, you go home smiling, thinking: This will probably be my lifetime career. Tomorrow, my journey to the next five years begins.
When the alarm goes off the following morning, reality strikes. You wake up after a restless six-hour sleep and suddenly you find yourself not wanting to go to work. Five years after walking out of that interview room with a huge grin on your face and two promotions after, you feel totally drained and unable to make yourself get out of bed. On one hand, you count the number of years you’ve been working for the same company; on the other hand, you try to tick off the major accomplishments you’ve made in your own life. Your non-work life. Putting them side-by-side, you see a mismatch glaring at you in the face at seven o’clock in the morning. You know you have bills to pay, things to buy, places you want to visit, kids and pets to feed, and a million other reasons you should keep working. But you are unhappy, and that makes all the difference. So you call in sick and go back to bed. Just for today. Just for that day.
Repeat the next day. And the next ten days. You know you’ve got it really bad.
On the eleventh day, the same thing happens. Only this time, it ends in an epiphany. You suddenly remember: You are a talented writer. You’ve always been one. And you could start a home-based career with that! A flurry of questions suddenly come parading in your mind. Thankfully, you are not alone.
Questions to Answer Before Deciding to Work from Home
1. Do I have a temporary source of income while I’m still setting up my new career?
You might stop work for a while, but of course you and your family’s needs won’t stop. You will still need to eat and pay utility bills, at the least, so you need to have a substantial amount of money set aside to tide you over for at least a few weeks. Look at how much your spouse earns and make computations to see if it will suffice. Data and figures are extremely important at this stage.
2. Do I have a marketable skill that I can claim to be my expertise and, ultimately, earn money from?
Am I an exceptionally good writer? Do I have good transcription skills? Am I adept at composing and answering emails, preparing spreadsheets, graphs, and charts, or researching? Am I knowledgeable in website design and development? These are just some of the skills that are in demand from work-at-home professionals. Take a look at your own skill and talent set and find out if there’s a match.
3. Am I self-motivated, self-disciplined, and organized?
Ask yourself if you are capable of working alone – setting your own work schedule, organizing your own office, monitoring client files and projects, managing your own finances, and even paying your own taxes and health insurance.
4. Do I have the necessary tools and equipment in order to set up a decent home office?
A table, a good chair, a computer, office supplies, and a telephone. These are the basic things that you will need for a start-up home office.
5. Am I flexible and easily adaptable to changes in work arrangements?
Your clients’ schedules may change, their requests may vary, your work hours may be switched from time to time. You should be ready for all of these and more.
6. Will I have a support system on whom I can rely for encouragement and inspiration?
Talk to your spouse and your kids, if any, about the plans you’ve been brewing. This helps them prepare for any adjustments that they would have to made, if your plans materialize. You can also get some insights from them which can be useful in your decision-making.
7. Do I really want to be a work-at-home professional? Or do I just need to take a breather from my corporate employment?
Take another look at your current employment status. Review your situation and what made you doubt your desire to continue working in your company. Maybe you’re just burned out and you just need to take a break from it all.
Taking the Big Leap from being an employee in a corporate office job to being a self-employed work-at-home professional is not an easy decision. That is why you should try to answer all of the above questions before you proceed. After all, whatever decision you come up with, as long as you made it armed with the right information, will definitely be worth it.
Photo Source: Original Photo by Author (first used in her personal blog)