I'm an ex-flight attendant from Indonesia who got laid-off because of the pandemic. I was able to shift my career to remote working within the past 2 years, and I would like to share my story in case it can help others who are in the same position as I was in 2 years ago. I want them to know that they aren't alone in this and to never give up :)
I'm an International Tech Recruiter
Livit International (Fully remote worker)
It all started when I was laid-off from my first job as a flight attendant. It was the end of 2020, and a lot of people in the travel industry lost their job. Not only the travel industry, but the hospitality industry , food industry and many others were impacted by the pandemic. Some of them managed to power through it until today, some even developed into something better and some of them, unfortunately, is still suffering to this day.
I was only a high school graduate when I got accepted as a flight attendant for a national carrier. I love the job. I was able to see beautiful places, meet interesting people, all because of this job. It almost felt like my career was all lined up for me. But the pandemic opened my eyes to how fragile the industry really was. I started researching about the history of the travel and especially aviation industry and it has been fluctuating for the longest time.
I think I can safely say that I was quite traumatized from losing my job in a pandemic, and the data made me determined in finidng a more stable and secure industry. I was quickly drawn to technology and it's promising future. But not only am I just a high school graduate, I also never had a laptop until the end of 2020, when I think job hunting is impossible if I don't have a laptop and decided to purchase one.
At that time, I don't have the priviledge to be afraid of failing. I had to find a new job. So I searched far and wide, and came across virtual assitance. It doesn't require any diploma, and it will allow me to work in an international setting again. From my reserach, It will give the same salary if not double or triple the amount of when I was a flight attendant.
So I start to focus my research on how to become a virtual assistant. From there, I joined an online course, called remote skills academy, among other courses. The encounter with remote skills academy was one of the turning points in my remote career. I gained a lot of knowledge, and was able to make great connections with the remote worker community. My research was a lot easier from then on.
I got my first client before I even completed my first course and got an offer just 2 months after completing the course. Of course, there are a lot of obstacles, even until now. But I won't trade remote working with anything
There are a lot of them, some of which, I have yet to experience. But from my own experience, here are a few of them:
1. Time: I don't need to waste time going to and back from work every day in busy Jakarta. I can save those time for my hobbies, my friends & family and of course, relaxing.
2. Health: During this pandemic, I never had to do any covid test because I don't need to leave my house for work. I mostly stay at home. It feels great, knowing that you can be a hero just by staying at home and staying safe.
3. International Exposure: Working remotely gave me as much international exposure as when I was working as a flight attendant. My clients and coworkers are people from different countries and backgrounds. It's even better that we don't need to be at the same space at the same time for us to connect and get work done. Technology has evolved, we should use it to our advantage.
4. Flexibility: There were times when I wanted to be there for a family member/ a friend that lives in a different city. It would be impossible and taxing to do trips every day after work to visit them for a few hours and make the trip home so I can be at the office the next day. But because I work remotely, I can work from their house and be there for them when they need me. And maybe in the near future, I'll be able to fullfill my dream of treaveling the world while working.
I think there are as much disadvantages as there are advantages in working remotely. But the thing is, you are the one who will need to manage it. And so there is as much advantages and disadvantages as you allow it to be.
I'll share more from my own experience below :)
I prefer to work from home, as we are still in a pandemic. But I'm planning to be a digital nomad for 1-2 years in the future when travelling is easier and safer again :) As a digital nomad, I will be able to stay in different cities as long or as short as I want. That's something that I couldn't do as a flight attendant. I already have some cities in mind, and some friends/colleagues that I met from remote working that I would like to meet in person.
I had a problem with motivation and time management at the beginning of my remote career. It was hard working alone, without having another person in the room, making sure that I don't scroll through instagram and that I complete the reports. I had to work overtime at the beginning because I didn't work during work hours. I learned the hard way about prioritization and discipline, but I have full control of my time now, most of the time.
The thing that I'm still strugling with is to stay fit. Working from the office makes it hard to just sit all day. You need to go to different rooms/buildings to talk to someone or get documents. But as a remote worker, all I need to do my work is in my laptop and phone. I need to set aside 15 minutes every 2 hours just to walk around my house or do a little work out to stay fit. In which, I'm still failing miserably at. Thankfully, my company is kind enough to give their remote employees a generous budget to improve their work set up. We can use it on a standing table and I can invest in some workout devices like a mini treadmill.
In the company that I work for, we use a lot of different tools for time management, project management, and many others. But I think the tool that has been helping me the most in staying on track is Google calendar, and then there's Hubstaff and the last is Asana.
I like to get a visualization on how I will spend my time that day. Hubstaff helps me to not overwork and know if I have spent too much time on a certain project. Asana is great to set deadlines for bigger projects when there are a lot of people involved.
Take your time in doing research, but do not procrastinate. You will need to keep learning in order to be a great remote worker. You need to find new solutions to problems. But the best time to start is now. Start working on your research, start working on your CV, start working on your remote business. Nobody is going to push you in remote working. It has to be you.
Yosephine's Website: https://liv.it/