WORKING FROM HOME TAKES DISCIPLINE
Q: Jill, I am in a consulting job but I’m really considering working from home — a small business maybe. What advice do you have for me to help make the transition easier?
—Sharlene N. Reid
A: Hi Sharlene. Considering you’ve done your research and have decided the type of at-home business you’d like to pursue and the financial gains you stand to make, thinking about how to effectively manage working from home is your next step.
Working from home has many advantages. You are your own boss, set your own hours, and can likely dodge those cold winter days in your heated home office.
There are a few things to keep in mind though. Be sure to start each day by getting dressed and ready for work. It might sound funny, but staying in your pajamas all day – even if your office is five feet away from your bed – takes its toll on your energy and your creativity.
Don’t forget to set specific work hours and stick to them. Personal phone calls and friends stopping by to chat should be discouraged during working hours. Remember this isn’t your hobby, it’s your job.
Although you are working from home remember to keep your visibility in the industry up. Attend networking events, research and adhere to new industry trends, and have monthly meet-and-greets to bring your clients together and keep them in the loop of your company vision.
Also, never be afraid to ask for help.
KEEPING A JOURNAL
Q: Hi Jill. I’ve tried your idea of keeping a journal to help me stay more on track, but I’ve often forgotten to document daily occurrences as thoroughly as I guess I should have. I’d like to really make this goal stick. Any suggestions?
— Gloria Derrick
A: It can be difficult, especially for first timers, to stick to the daily logging of journal writing. My biggest suggestion would be to remember the reason you’ve decided to keep the journal.
If doing daily writing is a bit much for you try scheduling a time over the weekend to spend looking back at your week and documenting lessons learned, challenges overcome, and accomplishments made rather than simply an overview of what’s happened. I’ve come to realize keeping a journal has to take the shape of the writer’s personality for it to work. Decide what works best for you and how often you need to record it and go from there. As you find a system that works for you you might find yourself having more time to write than you think. So don’t get stuck on remembering and documenting verbatim what happened, look more at the bigger picture of what was learned for that week as a result of a handful of events or connections you made. Good luck and let me know how it’s going.
Jill Andrew — CYW, BA, BA (Hons.), BEd.
Jill’s tip of the week
Many of us talk ourselves out of ideas and opportunities we could grow from because we’re scared. This is the year to stop negative self-talk and replace it with positive self-affirmations. Whenever you have an opportunity to take a positive chance on yourself take it. If you don’t you should never expect anyone else to.