Working from Home — Is It for You?

Do you have a difficult time making decisions?

I know I do.

I’m somewhat of a perfectionist, so I like to know for sure something is the right path before I take it.

The problem is, there’s often no way to know for sure.

I read somewhere that you’ll never be more than 80% sure of any decision you make in life.

That’s an alarming statistic!

Unfortunately, that level of guarantee does not exist.

In other words, only you can determine whether a work-from-home career is the best option for you.

Only you can decide if the right time for launching this career is now, or if you need to wait.

Only you know if you need to start out slowly or jump in with both feet.

But then how do you know whether working from home is the best vocational option for you? You can start by asking yourself a few questions and answering them honestly.

Your answers might not give you a definitive (and, unfortunately, not a 100%) answer, but they are a good place to start and will give you a clearer idea as to whether you should pursue working from home as a profession.

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A Self-Discovery Quiz

1. How comfortable are you using the internet?

Even if the work-from-home career you choose is not internet-based, you might want to promote your work on websites such as Craigslist, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, through a blog, and/or via direct email.

a) I’m completely internet-savvy.

b) I have a profile on Facebook, but I’m not sure how to add my photo.

c) It’s a process, but I’m getting there.

2. Can you invest time into working from home?

Do you have the time (or can you make the time) in your schedule to research, prepare, and launch a work-from-home career, or take steps in that direction?

a) I’m ready and raring to go.

b) I’m totally maxed out right now; don’t know how I’ll find the time.

c) Life is busy, but I think I can fit it in.

3. Can you “afford” a work-from-home career?

In other words, do you have a financial buffer in case your shift to working from home does not start bringing in the bacon immediately?

a) I have a three-to-six-month budget in savings.

b) I have no money; that’s why I want to work from home.

c) I think I can plan for a few financially rocky months.

4. Do you have a good blend of creativity and practicality?

Are you an idea person who also has the practicality and determination to create landing gear for those ideas?

a) I am both creative and tenacious.

b) I have a ton of ideas but never do anything about them.

c) I am determined, but not very imaginative.

5. When you have a great idea, what is the next step you take?

a) I look at all the pros and cons and chart out the practical steps to make it happen.

b) I tell a friend or post it on Twitter and then promptly forget about it.

c) I write it down so I can come back to it someday.

6. Do you have more “Type A” or “Type B” characteristics?

Of course, there are more naunced ways to determine one’s personality than Type A or Type B, but this question does serve a purpose.

“Type A” descriptions include: ambitious, competitive, proactive, “time is urgent,” workaholics, multi-tasking.

“Type B” descriptions include the following: steady worker, not accomplishment-driven, creative, ideas or concept-oriented, reflective, expressive.

a) I’m “Type A” all the way.

b) I’m definitely “Type B.”

c) I think I have a fair mix of both.

7. How confident are you?

Do you feel confident that you have a set of skills that you can employ in a work-from-home career?

a) Yes, I am confident in my great skills and experience.

b) I don’t have any experience or skills.

c) I’m not sure, but I think I am growing in confidence.

8. Do you work well independently?

Is it easy for you to remain motivated, efficient, and productive without a boss overseeing you and making sure you perform?

a) Yes, I can work well by myself, from start to finish.

b) No, I need someone to tell me what to do and check in regularly to make sure I get it done.

c) It really depends on the project.

9. How do you approach work in general?

If you have a responsibility you need to accomplish, what is your approach?

a) Just do it, of course; on time and with finesse.

b) Wait until the last possible moment and end up under pressure or with an inferior product.

c) If the project has enough rewards, I’ll get it done … usually.

10. Can you “tune out” distractions?

For instance, ignoring the desire to check Facebook or scroll down Instagram’s photo feed while you’re working?

Or concentrating on your work with your kids having a pillow fight in the next room?

a) Im like the Hulk; nothing can move me.

b) Can’t I browse the net while I work?

c) I might take a break from time to time to make a status update.

11. How long has the idea of working from home been on your radar?

a) I’ve been considering it for a year or so.

b) I got the idea about a week ago.

c) I’ve been thinking about it for a few months.

12. How have those close to you responded to your idea of working from home?

What reaction have you gotten from friends and family (those who know you well) regarding the idea of working from home?

a) “That sounds like the perfect job for you.”

b) “You? Work from home? You’re joking, right?”

c) I’ve had mixed results, or haven’t told anyone.

13. Do you have career goals and targets to reach?

Do you create schedules or lists, and follow them to ensure that you are progressing towards your career goals?

a) I live by my goals and schedules.

b) I’ve never actually made a schedule I kept, and aren’t goals for Olympians?

c) I create goals and frequently reach them.

14. How do you feel about working from home?

Think about it: What is your personal reaction to having a work-from-home career?

a) I would love it! It’s perfect for my skills, interests, and schedule.

b) I’ll do it if I need to in order to make some money.

c) I know it will be a challenge but I’m going in with my eyes wide open. I can make it work.

Key to the Work-from-Home Discovery Quiz

You probably figured out the pattern for the above questions.

a) Go for it!

If you answered “a” to most of the questions, then working from home is likely a great choice for you.

c) You’re headed in the right direction.

If you answered “c” to some or many of them, you have the potential to create a work-from-home profession. With a little tweaking of your schedule and goals, you should have the confidence that you can make it.

b) Keep thinking.

If you answered “b” to most or all the questions, you might want to rethink your focus, as working from home might not be the best option for you.

At the same time, just because you are more of a “Type B” personality doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about working from home.

I am far more of a “Type B” personality in the way of creativity, expression, reflectivity, and sensitivity, but I am motivated, and my upbringing and background have taught me to be organized.

This balance in my nature and personality gives me the ability to deliver writing and editing services on time for my clients.

Just because you answered with a few “b”s doesn’t mean you don’t have what it takes to start working from home.

But it might help to spend some time in active planning and researching before jumping in with both feet.

If the self-discovery quiz above has made you more interested than ever in pursuing a work-from-home career, stay tuned, because the next few posts will discuss some of the main advantages (and disadvantages) of working from home.

Thanks for reading!

This month, I’m posting articles on Medium about working from home, borne from 11+ years of experience as a freelance writer and editor.

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