Myths a Job Seeker May Face

By Lyndy Nierman

Remote work is not for everybody. At first, working from home may sound ideal. The thought of getting out of bed only to put on your sweats and a baseball hat, start a pot of coffee, and work a few feet from your bedroom sounds fantastic!  But for some people, it means a day of constant distractions, fighting temptation, and little to no interaction with colleagues.

Myth #1: I won’t have distractions of co-workers, idle chat and travel time 

Actually, the biggest culprits are your own family and friends. They rarely call you just to “chit-chat” when you are in the office. But for some reason, when you are home, they think that you are not working.  “Bill’s home – ask him to take Grandma to her doctor’s appointment.”  “Michelle can wait for the cable guy since she is home today.”

Myth #2: I will work less and get more done

Remote work requires sustained effort and focus – full time – just like any other job done well.  You will work just as hard, if not harder, than office workers. You constantly must prove that you are providing value. Responding quicker, staying focused and engaged, and being available are requirements. You have to be present and reliable for your colleagues. Communication is the second-most in-demand soft skill after leadership, and it is the lifeblood of any distributed team.

Myth #3: I am interested in any job, just as long it is remote

A remote position reflects the organization.  A bad fit is a bad fit – remote work cannot make it better for you. Your priority should be finding a job that is meaningful to you in an organization with a winning culture, a great boss, and challenging responsibilities. If the position reflects work that is meaningful to you, it will help you stay motivated, happy, and engaged.

Myth #4: I can stay in my pajamas

Besides not becoming a pajamas-all-day cliché, you have other reasons to dress for your remote job. One is to signal to your colleagues that you are ready to get the job done. The other is to get in the right frame of mind for working a full, productive day. Not only do the clothes we wear change how we perceive and project ourselves, but research also shows that clothing can actually affect our state of mind and cognitive abilities.

The next time you read that “remote-friendly” job description, do an honest assessment of yourself and the skills needed to get the job done. You owe it to yourself to ask why the remote work approach is calling to you. If you do believe it is a great possibility for the right reasons, then go for it!