The concept of remote work, telecommuting, or being a location-independent professional has gained enormous popularity in recent years. With technological advancements, it is now possible to work from anywhere in the world as long as you have a reliable internet connection. Being able to work remotely has opened up new opportunities and possibilities for professionals, whether they want to travel, spend time with their families, work from home, or work from a cafe.
However, being a location-independent professional comes with a unique set of challenges and requirements. It demands a certain set of skills and characteristics that can make or break your career. While working remotely can be incredibly rewarding and liberating, it requires discipline, self-motivation, and a strong work ethic.
In this article, we will explore in-depth the seven key characteristics that are essential for success as a location-independent professional in 2021 and beyond.
When working remotely or being a location-independent professional, there is no one looking over your shoulder, making sure you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. You are entirely responsible for your workload, progress, and deadlines. You have to hold yourself accountable for your work quality and quantity.
Successful location-independent professionals have a high degree of self-motivation. They are self-directed and can manage their time efficiently. They are aware of their priorities and are self-starters who don’t wait around for someone else to tell them what to do.
Self-motivation is vital because you won’t have colleagues or bosses to take control of your work progress. You will have to take the initiative to set goals and meet targets on your own. You will need to take ownership of your projects, plan your workdays, and stay focused on your objectives.
Without self-motivation, it can be easy to procrastinate, get distracted or lose focus, which can lead to missed deadlines, lower work quality, and ultimately, a diminished reputation. The ability to hold yourself accountable and stay on task is crucial to succeed as a location-independent professional.
Flexibility is another crucial characteristic for success as a location-independent professional. Your work schedule may not be fixed, and you may have to adjust your availability according to your clients’ needs or the project timelines. Additionally, your work environment will not be constant as you may be working from different locations, such as a cafe, a hotel, or a coworking space.
Successful location-independent professionals are flexible in their approach to work. They can adjust their work hours and schedule to work with colleagues or clients who might be in different time zones. They can adapt to different work environments and find ways to concentrate and stay productive, even when faced with distractions.
Being flexible means being able to prioritize tasks, deal with unexpected changes or challenges, and find efficient solutions to problems. Successful remote workers are excellent multi-taskers who can shift between projects and priorities quickly.
Being a location-independent professional also requires a high degree of adaptability. You will face different challenges while working remotely, such as technological difficulties, communication issues, cultural differences, and more. In many cases, you will have to find new tools, methods, and resources to overcome these challenges.
Successful remote workers are adaptable, quick thinkers who are not afraid to think outside the box. They can pivot their strategies, find new solutions, and learn from their experiences. Being adaptable means that you are open to learning, growing and evolving.
The ability to adapt and change course is essential because you won’t have the support system of colleagues or a traditional office environment. You will have to rely on your own creativity, resourcefulness, and problem-solving skill when faced with unexpected situations.
Effective time management is crucial to succeed as a location-independent professional. Without the structure of an office and colleagues to keep you on track, it can be easy to get distracted or disorganized.
Successful remote workers are excellent time managers who can prioritize their workload, set achievable goals, and manage their time efficiently. They are aware of their deadlines and work schedules and can balance their work and personal life.
Being skilled in time management means having the ability to plan and structure your workday, break down large projects into smaller, manageable tasks, and use time-tracking tools or apps to stay organized. Time management skills are vital to meet project deadlines, avoid burnout, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Effective communication is critical when working remotely. As a location-independent professional, you will be communicating with colleagues, clients, or customers through different channels such as email, instant messaging, video conferencing, and more.
Successful remote workers possess excellent communication skills. They are articulate, respectful, and professional communicators who can convey their messages clearly and concisely. They understand the importance of timely responses, active listening, and excellent written and verbal communications.
Being an excellent communicator means being skilled in using different communication channels, understanding cultural and language differences, and building rapport and trust. Good communication skills are essential to maintain professional relationships in a remote work environment.
Being a location-independent professional requires a high degree of self-discipline. You will have to resist distractions, stay focused, and manage your time efficiently. You won’t have anyone else to tell you what to do, and you will have to hold yourself accountable for your workload.
Successful remote workers possess excellent self-discipline. They can resist temptations, stay on task, and manage their time effectively. They are proactive, diligent, and hold themselves accountable for their work quality and quantity.
Being self-disciplined means being able to work independently, prioritize tasks, and avoid procrastination. It requires the ability to set goals, stay focused, and maintain motivation, even when faced with difficult or tedious projects.
Passion for Learning
Successful location-independent professionals possess a passion for learning. They are committed to continuous growth and self-improvement. As the world continues to evolve, advances in technology, new trends, and changing client needs, you must stay up-to-date with your area of expertise.
Successful remote workers are always seeking out new knowledge and learning opportunities. They are curious, open-minded, and embrace new challenges. They know that investing in their own education and development is essential to stay current, relevant, and competitive in their field.
A passion for learning means being open to new ideas, asking questions, and taking on new challenges. It requires the willingness to learn from your own failures and seek feedback from others. The ability to adapt and grow is vital to succeed as a location-independent professional.
Being a successful location-independent professional requires a unique set of skills and characteristics. Self-motivation, flexibility, adaptability, time management, communication skills, self-discipline, and a passion for learning are critical attributes of successful location-independent professionals. Remote work has brought about enormous possibilities and freedom for professionals, but it also requires a significant level of personal responsibility, independence, and discipline.
If you want to pursue a career as a location-independent professional, whether as a freelancer, entrepreneur, or full-time employee, it is essential to develop and maintain these seven key characteristics. With these skills, you can build a successful career, enjoy a flexible work arrangement, and achieve your professional goals.
However, being a location-independent professional is not without its challenges, and it’s important to be aware of them. One issue that many remote workers face is loneliness and isolation. Without a traditional office environment and colleagues, it can be easy to feel disconnected and alone.
To avoid feelings of isolation, it’s crucial to make a conscious effort to build and maintain professional relationships. Attend networking events, join online communities, and make an effort to communicate with colleagues regularly. Utilize video conferencing to keep in touch and build stronger personal relationships. Use collaboration tools to stay connected with your team and help minimize feelings of isolation.
Another challenge is staying motivated and productive. Without the structure and accountability of an office environment, it can be easy to procrastinate or lose focus. To combat this, develop a routine, set goals and deadlines, and maintain a professional work environment.
It’s also crucial to take care of your physical and mental health. Stand up and stretch often, take regular breaks, and move your body. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can also help you maintain energy and focus.
Finally, remember to balance your work and personal life. With the flexibility of remote work, it can be easy to blur the lines between work and personal time. Set boundaries, establish a schedule, and try to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
In conclusion, being a location-independent professional offers many benefits, but it also requires a unique set of skills and characteristics. Self-motivation, flexibility, adaptability, time management, communication skills, self-discipline, and a passion for learning are essential for success. With the right mindset, discipline, and support system, you can build a successful career as a location-independent professional.