Tips For Transitioning To Remote Work After A Lay Off
Transitioning to remote work isn’t always the travel-filled, palm tree-lined path to freedom that many people envision. For some, the transition to remote work comes at a difficult chapter in life: after being laid off from their job. Today, we have the privilege of hearing about one woman’s journey to remote work after being laid off as a flight attendant during the pandemic.
This is a guest post by Angeline Aala! She is a freelance virtual assistant specializing in digital marketing and is an SEO specialist for ThinkRemote. I publish guest posts on Writing From Nowhere to offer unique perspectives, stories and insights into the remote work experience. Thank you for sharing your advice with us, Angeline!
Mine is a story of a travel lover who wanted to see the world while earning money. I became a flight attendant, and have traveled to a total of 56 destinations, domestic and international. My top 3 favorite countries to visit are Japan, South Korea and Australia because of the good food, people, shopping and scenery.
But the year 2020 came, and we all know what happened: COVID-19 sprouted in every nation and took many lives. Borders closed and many of us stayed home in isolation, forcing companies to transition to remote work.
My name is Angeline, I’m 25 years old. I’m a former flight attendant from one of the biggest airlines in the Philippines, from which I was laid off during company downsizing. I stayed there for 4 years and now I’m currently working as a virtual assistant/SEO specialist.
Introduction To This Transitioning To Remote Work Story
As a flight attendant, we were trained to be calm during unforeseen events and be solution-oriented, so when rumors of company downsizing in the airline industry fired up, I searched for other ways that I could earn money even when staying at home. It was not easy; with my bank account already draining, I was also questioning my purpose in life. Is the world going to end soon? Plus the fear of getting infected by COVID…
But, bills are stronger than those emotions, so I had to get creative.
First, I dabbled with online selling. I tried selling different goods online: dresses, loungewear, food; a variety of things. I never saw myself as a businesswoman and I felt kind of different doing this. I was the one who always buys things, not the one who sells! It felt weird because it felt like I was asking money for things that I’ll just usually give away. Not everyone can relate, but this is what I went through.
I had to do what I had to do to survive. It worked for some time but I realized online selling is just not for me, or maybe I’m not really born to be a businesswoman.
Second, I tried my hand at virtual assistance. I had a friend who told me what it meant to be a virtual assistant (VA) and that it pays more than a regular local job. So I tried my luck, applied to different agencies/companies and…. I was never hired in the first month that I tried. Being brand new, I lacked the qualities/skills needed to be an assistant.
This journey has a happy ending, but I needed to learn these 3 tips along the way.
3 Tips for People who want to Transition to Remote Work but don’t have any experience
Tip 1: Accept That You Have To Start From Scratch; There Is No Shortcut
When people ask me how I actually transitioned to remote work, I think they’re often looking for a secret or shortcut. The secret is that there is no shortcut: you have to start from scratch working online. Most people think that just because they have prior or better work experience than it means you have an edge over other applicants. That’s not always the case.
Working from home is hard; like any type of work, it has its advantages and disadvantages. But keep in mind the benefits that motivated you to pursue remote work, and always look for the positives.
Starting from scratch doesn’t make you any less capable than others at transitioning to remote work; it can actually motivate you to become more efficient and improve at whatever you would like to do.
Tip 2: Never Stop Learning
This tip may seem simple, but it can change your life. It’s the secret of how I became who I am today.
When I was in the airline industry, free time and sleep were luxuries. It was kind of impossible to do something else unless it was very important. Imagine waking up at 1 a.m. to shower, put on your makeup and prepare for your 4 a.m. flight. Then you come back home at 5 p.m. and do it all again the next day on another 4 a.m. flight.
It’s intense. That’s why when I had the time after being laid off and during quarantine, I spent most of it overthinking and having anxiety about what I was going to do next.
That’s when I discovered how many free resources there are online: you can learn about anything on Google, YouTube, and blogs that help aspirants to land a job from home. Education doesn’t always have to be paid; I learned that whether courses are free or paid, it’s just a matter of choosing the right resources for yourself.
Tip 3: Don’t Be Afraid To Take Risks
Being a flight attendant means risking our lives every day because of possible airline crashes (which don’t happen a lot) or hijacking or any other eventuality. I think this is important though: I believe people should not be afraid of taking risks.
There was one time I had an impromptu interview with a client, and I was only informed 15 minutes before the time of the interview. I was very anxious and I was thinking of declining because I had very little preparation time for the interview, but the other side of me told me “eh, you have already failed a lot of interviews before this, what have you got to lose?”
So, I attended the interview… and I’m very thankful I did. Because if it wasn’t for that client and If I didn’t take the risk, I wouldn’t be introduced to the opportunities I now have in digital marketing and SEO.
Final Advice On Transitioning To Remote Work
The best time to start whatever it is you want to do with your life is NOW. Be it working remotely, or studying a new language, trying out something different, it’s all up to you.
Because 5-10 years from now, you’re going to look back and say either “Ah man, I wish I had done this years ago,” or you can say “I’m so thankful I did this years back.”
All possibilities are out there, the choice is yours to take.
What insight from Angeline! I’m so grateful she shared her experience on Writing From Nowhere. If you’d like to read another story about transitioning to remote work after being laid off, read Daphne’s story here. As always, I’m rooting for you on your remote work journey.