Does the idea of waking up and having a morning routine on your own terms (sans commute) appeal to you? Do you want to work remotely? What if you could work from anywhere?
When my dad programmed from home via modem back in the early 80s, he was an anomaly even among tech workers. Thankfully today you don’t need to be a software engineer—although those telecommuting roles exist now, too.
And if you’ve never worked remotely before, don’t worry, you’re not alone. In a recent Gallup poll, only nine percent of U.S. professionals telecommute a minimum of 10 days per month. Excluding those with location-specific and outdoor jobs (park rangers, construction workers, etc.), the rest of us have had to embrace work in the traditional sense: from either our own offices or those of a client.
Times are changing, however; half of the U.S. workforce currently includes roles that are compatible with remote work. There are many opportunities for you to work remotely and join the movement.
In order to land—and thrive—in a fully remote position, you’ll need to possess specific qualities that employers are actively seeking in these roles.
Here are four key traits of those who are cut out to work remotely:
1. They’re tenacious.
Remote workers don’t give up when technology fails, schedules misalign, or when other problems arise. They proactively seek out information, clarify misunderstandings, and are persistent in their efforts to get the job done.
They own and organize all aspects of their role, possessing the resilience necessary to handle occasional loneliness and mitigate potentially great distances and differences with their coworkers.
2. They’re trustworthy.
To succeed in a full- or part-time telecommuting role, professionals need to be honest, transparent, and forthright about their capabilities and limitations. Exhibiting a commitment to quality work is accomplished through delivering quality work.
Being reliable means that remote workers are expected to attend meetings and meet deadlines. They’re also accessible: their bosses, teammates, and colleagues know exactly when and how they can be reached.
3. They’re empathetic.
Some career experts argue that EQ trumps IQ. And while those who consider themselves to be more introverted may prefer a remote role, make no mistake—interpersonal communication and understanding is paramount despite the lack of face-to-face interaction.
Listening, valuing others’ perspectives, and having the capacity to place oneself in another’s position are of incredibly high value in industries that compete on customer experience.
4. They’re adaptable.
If an office isn’t confined to four walls, then why should anyone be rigid regarding outdated policies or upholding the status quo?
Remote workers recognize that this working style is the result of major changes in technology, industry, and the workforce at large. Employers know that adaptable skills and a versatile mindset often make for a competitive advantage. Those who are able to adjust to new conditions are poised to succeed.
There is no single credential (as of this writing) that certifies an ability to work remotely and succeed in a remote role—and many hiring managers still cite past experience in this area as an indicator of future success. Yet you can improve your chances to land your desired role. By honing the four traits mentioned above, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a sought-after candidate despite the competition.