I initially discovered working remotely about four years ago. I used to manage retail stores and began looking at remote work as a way to supplement income on the days I was off or had a bit of extra time.
The transition was slow at the beginning; I did odd jobs to gain positive feedback and a bit of a platform presence. Personally, it wasn’t difficult for me, after working for almost ten years in retail, I was ready to try something different but still be able to work in the service industry.
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Currently, I have four contracts that are active.
I am a self-motivated person, so the ability to have a variety of projects is something that is important to me.
I work for a wide range of clients:
Pet medication website: strictly email support, order processing, and shipping orders from inventory that is sent to me.
Electric scooter website: email and minimal phone support, training new team members, operations manager
Tech support website: strictly email support
Focus App website: strictly email support, social media management
My days off are pretty full with trying to gain personal growth, either by learning how to code Ruby on Rails, reading inspiring articles or trying a new recipe.
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My typical workday is pretty hectic. I have one project with a set schedule, and my other three are flexible. I don’t mind either type of schedule, so it depends on the project.
If the team is small, one or two people, flexible is preferred. However, with a larger team, I prefer a set schedule. Usually, my day looks something like this:
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I have a relatively small space, but I do designate a corner of it to strictly work. My environment is quiet, well lit and uncluttered.
It consists of a desk, computer, pad of paper, and a few pens and pencils (I like to color code my notes).
I feel that if you set the energy in your space, it is easier to get into that mindset.
So, I keep recreational projects and distractions away from that corner so when I sit down; I go into “work mode.”
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When I do not have enough work, the key is to be aggressive. Apply, apply, apply. Also, give your potential employer a realistic estimate of the time and hours you have to dedicate to a project.
As remote workers, it is imperative that we deliver on what we say we are going to.
When I have my plate full, the key is being organized. I color code, take notes and have separate binders for each project, so the information is easily accessible.
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I make a list at the beginning of each day with what I need to do and check them off as I finish them.
If I need to stay on a schedule of getting something done within a certain amount of time, I treat myself only once it has been completed and not before.
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I like to work remotely because it is not only convenient, but I can push myself as hard as I know I am capable of.
This reason is why I enjoy having multiple projects at once.
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Getting immediate responses can sometimes cause delays which in turn leads to frustrated customers, but overall, I have no complaints.
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I have a MacBook, a Mac Desktop, a printer/scanner and my trusty pen, paper, highlighters, and binders for each project.
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In order to be a successful freelancer, the key is to communicate.
The client and the freelancer alike need to be in constant communication. If something comes up, or there is a delay in getting the work done, most clients are sympathetic as long as they are aware of what is going on.
Another key to being successful is to ask questions and take notes. Make yourself a cheat sheet for common issues or questions so you can refer back. The skill of organization is also imperative, as mentioned above.
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At RemoteHabits we're always trying to improve our interviews, what question should we have asked Chloe Banal?
Chloe has over ten years of experience in challenging customer service situations in high-end retail management. She has spent the past five years working remotely in phone and email customer support for various websites and industries.
The key to her success is to learn quickly and then reach for a higher personal and professional standard.
In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, swimming, learning Ruby on Rails, and spending time with her Rottweiler, Dulce de Leche.
She can be contacted via her Upwork profile.
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