Every year private industry employers in the USA report nearly 3 million workplace injuries and illnesses, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While there are many individuals who are fortunate enough to resume their duties after recovering, others cannot return to the workplace – either due to physical or restrictions or emotional trauma.  Unfortunately, staying at home and avoiding employment altogether is often not an option. Thankfully it is often very possible to start over and embark on a new career journey. While it may seem overwhelming, a few helpful guidelines are bound to make the transition to a new work from home (WFH) career considerably easier.

Consider your options carefully

If you find yourself unable to return to your previous job, regardless of the reason but are still able and willing to work, it is time to assess your options very carefully. Start by doing a realistic analysis of your limitations. Once you have determined what you can and can’t do, you can actively start looking for employment. You can either peruse various employment sites yourself or enlist the help of a recruitment agency. Ensure that your resume is up to date and explain any long gaps between jobs in as much detail as possible. Remember that, as with any job hunt, you are not likely to get a job offer for every application you submit so make sure to apply for a variety of suitable positions. Now may also be a good time to pursue a damage claim for your injury. The team at JJS Justice agrees that injured parties should receive the full compensation they deserve. Even if it feels like too much of an effort to pursue legal action, being compensated for your loss of income and physical and emotional trauma can help you get back on your feet.

Don’t disregard the idea of becoming your own boss

Although finding a stable source of income may be imperative, finding a new employer is not your only option. If you have always dreamt of being your own boss, now may be the perfect time to pursue those dreams. There are countless work-from-home opportunities worth exploring that will not only help you secure financial stability but will also enable you to continue the healing and rehabilitation process without putting too much pressure on yourself. You may want to consider putting an old skill such as bookkeeping or marketing to good use or even start your own online retail store or monetized blog. There are countless quality online resources available that will help you start your own home-based business or find long-term remote work.

Being adventurous may pay off

Once you start closely examining the various work-from-home options available to you, you may find that you are not particularly inspired to pursue any of them. Thankfully, the world of at-home work is vaster and far more diverse than most people can even begin to imagine. Look out for interesting and fulfilling job opportunities that will allow you to earn a living from home without leaving you feeling bored and despondent. Career avenues to explore include online teaching, focus group participation, product tester, personal historian, and greeting card writing. Sometimes being adventurous and opting for a less-than-ordinary work from home career may be very rewarding.

Create a comfortable and accessible workspace

Having a comfortable space to work in is as important when you are working from home as it is when employed elsewhere. The type of workspace you create will ultimately depend on two things: the type of work you will be doing and whether or not you have any mobility concerns. For these reasons, your workspace not only needs to facilitate productivity but also needs to be easy to access and enjoyable. If you are going to be spending the majority of your time behind a desk make sure you invest in a comfortable chair, eye-friendly lighting, and an air conditioner, heater, or fan to ensure the room is always at a comfortable temperature.

Establish a routine that works for you

Embarking on a work-from-home career after an injury will require you to establish a new routine. Despite remote work having a reputation for being flexible, there are various factors that need to be considered. If you, for example, take medication in the morning that makes you drowsy, start your ‘work day’ later in the day. If you have regular therapy appointments in the afternoon, consider waking up an hour earlier to ensure you get the most out of the day. The routine you establish will also be influenced by the work you are doing. If you are doing work for an international company or have clients in other parts of the world, time zones will have to be considered. At the end of the day, your routine has to work for you while also allowing you to do your work as best possible.

Keep your eye on the prize

Being compelled to change careers after a workplace injury can be very demoralizing.  While it is important to take the time to heal it is just as important to stay positive.  Regardless of whether you have decided to find alternative employment, work from home, or start your own business, you need to ensure that you are as well-prepared for it as possible. Take full advantage of any opportunities to upskill and seek out professional assistance in drawing up a business plan or updating your resume if it is required.  Also remember that not all injuries are permanent and that there may be hope for full recovery, even if it does take a long time. Medical advances are being made almost daily and it may only be a matter of time before your disability is a thing of the past.

A workplace injury can impact an employee in countless ways.  Luckily, changing career paths is often not only a very viable option but a positively life-changing one as well.