How to successfully hold on to an online job.

December 10, 2020

This is a sticking point for some people who would love to work online from their own homes. Can you make the grade so that your online job becomes a successful career?

OnTheGoSystems is organized into 12 separate teams each with defined team roles. This allows us to identify the needs of both the company and the teams, and also to provide opportunities for anyone in the company looking for new challenges or personal and professional growth.

David Garcia Watkins, our Star of the Month has been working for OnTheGoSystems since 2012.  That’s 8 years of successfully working online from his home near Malaga in Spain.

Let’s find out what has helped him last for so long …

Key 1  Build on past experiences and always remember to apply the best advice given to you.

David recalls: “One of my first jobs was in a car rental office. Back then everything was done with pen and paper. You can imagine the nightmare of having a clear picture of the availability of cars at any given moment. 

“There was an IBM computer that no one knew how to use and I asked to have it on my desk to be able to organize all this information in a more efficient way. So I started talking to my teammates about ideas.

“That was the first time I heard about the KISS principle, which stands for “Keep It Simple Stupid”. That must be by far the best piece of advice I ever received!”

Like father, like son

Key 2  Be flexible in taking on roles within the team environment

Over the years David has worked in different positions within the company: from support to development going through systems administration.  This has given him in-depth knowledge in different areas and has been helpful in different situations. For example, by simply reading the support channel chat, David can often share tips that help supporters progress quicker. This ends up in faster support for our customers.

Key 3  Very important –  improving teamwork skills

David’s advice:  “I am a good listener. While I am listening I can chip in with my own ideas on a subject. I try to think out of the box, show the different sides to a story, help seeing the big picture … we will often avoid surprises in the long run.

“Especially important for me is the way I like to receive information. Mattermost is our space for real time communication in the company. However, when you talk directly to another team member you don’t have to reply in real time. You could be talking to someone else, concentrating on a complicated task or having lunch (we all work in different time zones). So I like to use Mattermost as an asynchronous communication channel: reply-when-you-can (much like email).”

Key 4  Be willing to yield and to be open to some interruptions

“It’s easy for me to get carried away and jump into any conversation. I am learning to think twice before doing that. I don’t always have something useful to say :-)

“I believe interruptions are overrated. I don’t mind being interrupted at any time. Of course there are times I need to concentrate and I will just set my status to “Do not disturb” and get back to it later. But most of the time a small interruption will help your teammate a lot and I will take the chance to stretch my legs for a few minutes. 

“A small break every now and then is always beneficial. It helps me clear my mind (and ease my back)”.

Key 5 Enjoy the fruits of a successful project

 “When the person who designed a project is happy we are on to a good start.  

“Generally speaking, a project is successful when you keep getting feedback (good or bad). Getting bug reports or feature requests means the project is being used and it is good enough to ask for fixes and improvements.

“I like the idea of starting with a “minimum viable product” and iterating until no one has any more feedback. It’s all about the feedback really.”

Thank you David! 

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