Establishing Your Home Office

To be effective in your job search, you need the proper space.  Think of it as establishing your new corporate headquarters, only this executive office is located in your home.  At least the commute is short!  Ideally, your home office should be located away from the main stream of the other household activities.  Privacy is essential for both concentration and professional telephone conversations; after all, a noisy dog or children in the background can destroy an effective call or interview.  Additionally, by separating your office from the rest of the house, you can “close the office” at the end of the day to allow you to enjoy the time with your family, pets, or significant others.

Don’t skimp on the necessary tools for your office infrastructure.    Don’t think you are going to manage an effective job search from an iPad or cellphone. 

No office space is ideal, and the home office can bring some unique challenges.  

Not being around other work colleagues can be difficult and is one of the biggest frustrations of working at home.  To overcome this concern, plan to be out of the office on a regular basis for some interaction with others in the community, including volunteering, networking, and meetings.

Interior Design.
While not as imposing as isolation, using a former bedroom for your office is often difficult at first since you’re probably use to a more spacious, well decorated environment.  Be sure to include proper lighting, open air, comfortable furniture, and personal accoutrements to make this a workable space for you.

Children and Other Distractions.
Having children around the office during the day may be a distraction, which would not occur if you were out of the house.  Sometimes family members may not realize the amount of time, concentration, and dedication your job search will take.  Don’t fall for this trap yourself.  It may be more fun to play with the kids, but restrict it to a special trip on a weekly basis, instead of every day.  Most importantly, have a candid discussion with all of your family members to explain your need for space and time.  And if the dog just won’t listen, consider doggy day care on the days that you will be making the majority of your phone calls.

 In summary, to be successful in your job search both you and your office must be well organized.  Without organization you will waste precious time.  So go ahead, organize yourself and your office NOW!