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How Aussie Students Can Build A Career Working Remotely


working from home

In recent years, the shift toward a hybrid working model or an entirely at-home working model has benefited many workers across Australia. It can be a complicated entry into working life for students yet to begin their careers. It can be tricky to know whether to focus on sourcing a purely remote role, maintaining a hybrid work schedule or is an entirely in-office gig, as all of these come with their own list of pros and cons.


For those Aussie students looking to build a career working remotely, here are a few tips you may want to consider.

Think about the type of role you're looking for

The type of role you choose can significantly affect whether you can work remotely some or all of the time. For instance, positions that require a lot of face time with customers or colleagues may present a challenge for any student looking to work remotely. Contrastingly, other roles like software engineering are ideally suited for remote work. For students who are looking into software engineering courses or may perhaps already be enrolled in a developer course, you'll find that a large proportion of the work done by software engineers is indeed isolated and can quickly be done remotely. There may, like most positions, be a requirement to be in an office at some point, but the overwhelming majority of your time can be spent working from the comfort of your home office.



Of course, if a tech career isn't for you, there are still many jobs that can easily be worked from home. The benefit of software engineering, however, is that it is regarded to be a highly lucrative, 'future-proof' career pathway.

Get to grips with relevant industry software

Many organisations have transitioned to remote working arrangements by adapting the way they use technology and the technology that may be found in their workspaces and at their desks. Online whiteboard tools like Miro or Mural are great for visualising work and working together in teams. Similarly, project management or co-working software like Teams or Slack is ideal for keeping communications, task monitoring and visibility alive across a remote workforce.


software programmer

To ensure you are ready to enter the workforce you've identified as a good fit for yourself and your abilities, you must learn how to use the software solutions that can be found in and around those professional spaces. If the learning curve is not as steep as it could be, or you are already somewhat proficient in using these technologies, the chances of building a career working remotely are much higher.

Build your time management skills

One of the first things we lost when transitioning from in-office work to fully remote work over the COVID-19 pandemic was our daily informal desk conversations with our coworkers and supervisors. When working in an office, it's easy to drop by a colleague's desk and quickly chat about any particular task or deadline. These conversations would also be gentle reminders of your to-do list's contents.


However, in a remote working environment, these conversations have either become formal meetings or disappeared entirely. It's easy to have your calendar filled up with appointments, to the point where you can go back to back from 9-5. And the opposite end of the spectrum may involve going the whole 8 hours throughout your workday without speaking to a single soul. Either option isn't preferable, and it's just as much an organisational concern as it is a personal one.


As a student, practising and honing your skills in time management is crucial to building a career working remotely, just because it can demonstrate to your employers that you can manage yourself when working from home. Learning to manage your calendar actively, block out time to do the work and ensure your calendar is up to date beyond the next day are all considered critical remote working skills.


And although meetings serve an essential function in the remote working world, a day full of them is ineffective and also, to be frank, rather demoralising. Thankfully, you can skip all of this wasted time by simply making efforts to strengthen your time management skills.


home office

Invest in the correct setup for your home office

One of the quickest ways to become ineffective in a remote working environment is not having the correct setup, and we are not just discussing finding the best country to work remotely in. Working from one screen, especially a laptop, can be quite a productivity killer. Switching between programs on a single screen, multiplied over a day or week, represents enormous losses.


What seems like a heavy investment now will help avoid back issues, questions of productivity, and even mental health concerns in the future. Think about the monitor you'll need, the chair you sit on, and all the other supporting items to keep you healthy in a long career working remotely.



This is why ensuring your remote working environment is a calm space equipped to handle your needs can be quite a game changer for those looking to work remotely. As a student, investing in your home office space and ensuring that it's well-equipped for you to work in the industry of your choice should be a key focus to ensure you can build a focused career working remotely.

Understand body language and work on other soft skills

Last but not least, one of the most underrated skills in a remote working environment is emotional intelligence, including understanding how body language impacts communication. Professional communication tends to be a little laxer in the Australian business landscape; it's still well worth taking the time to develop all of these soft skills before starting a career working remotely.


You may be wondering why developing soft skills is considered to be so important for professionals who may spend all of their meetings sitting in front of a camera. And yes, cameras are inevitable in a remote working environment, but a camera isn't the same as standing or sitting with someone. Distractions come far more accessible, and controlling emotional reactions in our body language can be more challenging if you can't rely on mirroring other people who may be in the room with you.


On top of this, it can potentially be easier to come off as unenthused or disengaged when sitting in on video meetings. Folding your arms, looking off to another screen or a vague expression are all ways you can send the wrong message in a remote working scenario. Trust us; learn the pitfalls of body language in a remote environment now and you'll thank yourself down the track.


 

As you can see, working remotely isn't as simple as opening a laptop on the couch or in your bed. There are many nuances to the remote working methodology, most of which will determine the length, strength, and satisfaction of your career. If you're an Aussie student looking to build a career working remotely, take the time to use these tips and invest where it matters most: in yourself.

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