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Self-Initiative in Remote Work: How to Achieve Real Results

Прочети на Български ==> Read in English (US)

Today I want to share with you another super important quality, self-initiative in remote work, that is rarely talked about but will give you a huge advantage over freelance competitors.

This article continues the series of freelance qualities from my previous post, where I mentioned what it takes to work from home and practical steps for growing self-discipline.

The reason being proactive can boost your success is because it's a rare skill, and once you establish yourself for possessing it, well... only good things can come out of it.


self-initiative in remote work

Before we jump in and analyze it thoroughly, here is a brief info about what we'll discuss: why self-initiative is more important in remote work, its main characteristics, practical steps, and examples from remote market real-world situations.

Why Is Self-Initiative More Important in Remote Work?

If we look at the term, it may sound profound. What it means in simple words, is a person who does things without being asked to.

If you are in an office environment, your boss will come and check on you from time to time. Your colleagues will be working next to you and motivating you to do the same.

Personal initiative enables people to deal with job difficulties more actively, for example, with stressors, unemployment, career changes, or becoming an entrepreneur.

~ Michael Frese

In your remote job, you are alone at home, or with other family members, who will probably not be working.

It's your responsibility to find the right motivation in an environment that doesn't provoke you to work on its own.

You need to make the effort to start working, and not only that - to perform at your best and stay ahead of your competitors. That's exactly where taking the self-starting approach comes into action.

How Will Self-Initiative Boost Your Remote Work Success?

To be a self-starter is identical to being reliable, trustworthy, productive, etc. These are all highly sought qualities by both companies and customers that you will engage with.

If you succeed in developing the right mindset about your self-staring behavior, you are one step away from making it a habit.

When we think about being proactive, it refers to a continual process and a working style, rather than an isolated action.

It's the way you approach issues in work from the moment you notice them to their resolution. Your actions are completely voluntary and you do them because you believe that's what must be done.

Here are the key points to keep in mind for becoming more self-driven:

        ⇨ Responsibility: You will be the person who fulfills his tasks on time before the deadline, and communicates issues as they arise.

When you receive a work email with instructions to follow and your reply is required, you email back as soon as you can. Put communication as a priority as delays might reduce your credibility.

        ⇨ Productivity: When you create the habit of being actively involved in your work, that will have a positive impact on your productivity.

You will strive to achieve more, aim to organize and manage your assignments better and do more in less time.

        ⇨ Problem-Solving: Self-initiative will help you be more independent and solve many problems on your own.

For example, if you have a technical issue, you can first try to analyze, read, and find out the exact cause. In many cases, you will end up fixing technical errors without having to notify the support department.

        ⇨ Adaptability: You will be able to float smoothly in the dynamics of remote work. Things are constantly changing, innovations take place, technology is developing, and you should be welcoming change to flourish.

You can decide to learn and read more about a topic that is unfamiliar to you but will help you thrive in your career.

Key Characteristics of Self-Direction for Freelancers

Possessing this skill in a work environment has some specifics compared to applying it in other areas of your life. Let's review what is the cornerstone of self-driven personalities:

        ☑ Being proactive - when you see that a job needs to be done, you do it instead of waiting for an invitation.

This is the opposite of being shy, and waiting to see if the job will come your way. It's a vital quality, and accepting it as part of your personality will grant you more customers.

        ☑ Valuing your time: Doing more tasks in a certain period will not only increase your pay rate but will also affect your ability to actively seek new and better opportunities. Once you get a good project, you will continue to search and stay informed about new offers.

        ☑ To be initiative also means learning from both your mistakes and achievements. There is no room for denying a failure.

You get close to the skill when you go higher than your pride, and admit your mistakes to learn from them and grow further.

        ☑ Learning every day: Ambition is what makes you want to grow. You learn, explore, read, and participate in work-related discussions.

Love for learning is a valuable skill that will help you be successful not only in your job but also in your daily experiences.

Practical Steps to Boost Your Self-Drive

As we've learned how being proactive will positively influence your career, and what it means for freelancers, it's time to take a look at the specific steps that will help you implement this quality:

        Step #1: Set specific goals: I've already mentioned long-term and short-term goals in my self-discipline post.

The long-term goal for your remote job can be "earn X dollars per hour". Whereas short-term goals can be: to apply to one project per day, research job offers for 1 hour per day, write five different cover letter templates, etc.

        Step #2: Create a schedule: Being organized is part of being self-reliant. If you know how long your tasks take you, establish timing to follow. That will help you to stay productive and motivated.

        Step #3: Use the right tools for work: To manage the information that flows through, you will need an app to record it and refer to it when necessary.

This will clear your mind from the details, and shift your focus on what's important. The types of apps you can use are calendars, project management tools, notes, etc. 

        Step #4: Team communication: When you work from home you are not entirely alone. Your colleagues, even though they might live on the other side of the world, experience similar issues as you. Keep sharing and discussing work-related matters with your direct managers, customers, teammates, etc.

        Step #5: Self-development as a time investment: When you decide to develop your knowledge further you will start attending online courses, webinars, events, etc.

They take time and effort. However, once you become better at your job, it will take you less time and effort to complete your assignments. The way you should look at self-growth is like an investment that will pay off in the future.

        Step #6: Ask for Feedback: The only way to know if you are becoming better in your work is by hearing it from people. Your personal opinion is not enough - you need an unbiased view from outside.

Examples of Being Initiative in Remote Work

        ✅ Creating a file with useful information for you and your colleagues to use is an excellent example of self-initiative. As knowledge bases in most companies contain a lot of different topics and many details, it can be useful to present part of the info as a chart or a table.

        ✅ Solve a problem that is typically not part of your responsibilities to help a colleague out. Working extra with no expectations of payment is an example of a person devoted to his work.

        ✅ Make sure a customer receives the best of your service and goes further than what you offer. This is an example of superb work. People love freelancers who perform so well and usually become their regular customers.

Self-Initiative FAQ

① Is it hard to attain the skill of proactiveness?

It takes time to learn the skill as it does with any other topic. The difference is that to be self-driven you need to observe the situation and act according to your analysis and conclusions of the required actions.

It may be difficult at first to know what to do without having words to navigate you. However, dedicating reasonable time to obtaining this trait will have a positive effect on your speed of learning it. 

② Will self-direction give me an advantage in remote work?

Definitely yes. Since the quality is hard to acquire, you will be like a rare gem compared to competitors. People prefer collaborating with ambitious individuals because work is done much faster and with amazing diligence.

③ How long will it take me to gain the skill?

It depends on your willingness to learn, practice, and develop your personality for the career you've chosen.

Other factors like your talents and temper may affect how quickly you grasp the idea of being proactive in your approach to remote work.

④ I tried to be more self-directed but I don't see any growth in my work. Is it normal?

Yes, it is possible that when you put in a lot of effort, the results can be less than expected or even non-existent. This usually has two main causes:

        ↱ You still have to learn the exact way to do your work better. If you are beginning a job, try to see it realistically.

Are you indeed putting in enough effort or you are trying to convince yourself you do? In such a situation, it is helpful to see the situation as an observer as if you are not part of it.

It may be the case when you work hard but might be missing an important guideline or detail that prevents you from growing.

Trial and error will help you identify the exact cause. Be brave and experiment with different scenarios for your job tasks.

        ↱ You need to allow more time for the results to come. It takes patience to see the fruit of your labor. Imagine it like a plant: you put the seeds in the ground and start watering them regularly. They grow every single day, even though the visible change is quite small or invisible daily.

a sea wave and the text how to be more self-driven in remote work and achieve huge success

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Self-initiative is a rare superquality that few people fully develop but once you are on the right track of learning and growing, you'll start to see the difference it makes in your work.

Even though in the past possessing this trait was not a necessity, the way we work and live has changed, and we should adapt to the new reality.

Stay positive, be open to new opportunities, and don't wait to be asked to do something - just do it! It's tempting to use the excuse of not being told to and avoid the responsibility. But being self-driven will get you much better results.

Where are you on your path of ambition? Have you managed to apply to many remote job offers so far?

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