This is part two of a four-part series focused on finding success through building your career online.
Working online means working from anywhere!
Well, not quite. There are some key elements to that phrase that bring the idyllic ambitions of working in a jacuzzi for the rest of time, back down to earth.
The first is the concept of working – meaning that wherever you plan to work from, you still need to be able to perform your task effectively. There are not many people who can do a good job of tutoring calculus while sunbathing on the terrace for example. Aside from the practical implications of where you choose to work from, other considerations like needing to appear in video, or requiring quiet surroundings also affect the definition of anywhere.
The second is online. Now, we all agree that the internet is a magical, ever-expanding, web of goodness that seems to have wrapped us in its warm embrace no matter where we are. Yet an online working environment needs a little more than just a rock solid 4G connection. For example, it almost certainly means using some kind of device to connect, so right from the get-go working in water becomes ill-advised. Keeping your device powered up and running is another consideration that puts cliff-faces, parks and yachts at a disadvantage.
What we’re really trying to say is that working online may not mean working from anywhere. But it can mean about a million more places than an office cubicle. It just depends on how you approach it.
Being successful in building an online career means understanding how to optimize and plan your work environment for success. With enough experience and forethought, the opportunities for working in weird and wonderful locations truly can become a reality. But herein lies the key – preparation!
Oh, and working from home is no exception. But since it’s far easier setting up a stable corner to work from in your living room, we are focused here on preparations for when you decide to work on the road instead.
For most of us, even going on a short vacation to Yellowstone will inevitably include a forgotten phone charger. Yet when it comes to traveling abroad, that quickly turns into a major oversight in just how strange foreign plug outlets can look. One expensive power adapter later and you’ve hacked together something that looks like a time travel machine but is actually just getting you back on Instagram as fast as possible. When it comes to online work however, oversights like this can be disastrous.
We’ve found that the best way to plan ahead is with a checklist. We unofficially call it our Remote Ready Checklist, and it looks a little like this:
Forget these and you’re on a real vacation. These are the items you really cannot do without if you want to work on the road. For example:
If you’re traveling somewhere foreign, you should always be prepared for the worst. The key here is to try and predict what kind of circumstances will make it hard to work, and prepare in advance. Things like:
- Portable Wi-Fi
- Universal Power Adapter
- Headphones / mic
There’s not a traveller on earth whose hand luggage has room for more. But in the unlikely event that it does, these items are non-essential but will make your work experience much more pleasant. Such as:
- Thermos flask
- Laptop stand
- Favorite cushion
Lists like these are obvious now. But we can promise you one thing, when the looming deadline of an upcoming flight has you rushing around the house looking for your passport and socks, the last thing you want is to forget your laptop charger. Print out a list of what you need to succeed when working away from home and stick it somewhere obvious. You’ll thank us later!