With any sort of career decision, it’s easy to feel like you need to have a solid, irrefutable, evidence-backed reason for every choice you make.
You want to take that new job because it’ll lead to more growth. You want to change careers because you feel stuck in a rut with what you’ve been doing. You want to spearhead that project because it’s great experience to have under your belt.
We hesitate to make any sort of decision without being able to immediately point to some sort of obvious benefit or justification.
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But, that’s not always so easy.
For example, what about when someone asks you why you want to work remotely? Personally, I often have a hard time pinpointing exactly why I pursued this lifestyle. Was it the flexibility? The greater control over my work and schedule? The ability to stay home with my dogs?
Well, yes—and, at the same time, no. In all honesty, I didn’t really have a specific supporting argument for why I wanted to give remote work a try. I just knew I wanted to, and that was enough for me to take the leap.
Here’s the good news: the same rule applies for you.
You don’t actually need a reason to want to work remotely. Here’s why:
Sometimes you just want something for no real reason.
This is something that often isn’t talked about, particularly when it comes to careers. Sometimes you just want to do something because, well, you just want to.
That’s an excuse that we acknowledge in so many other areas of our lives. For example, imagine that you told a friend that you were craving ice cream and they asked you why. I’m willing to bet you wouldn’t start talking about the benefits and all of the reasons you deserved it. You’d probably respond with something straightforward like, “Because it sounds good,” or, “Because I just want it.”
But, we’re not so readily willing to accept that same type of reasoning when it comes to our careers. There’s definitely pressure to have thoughtful rationale ready to go in your back pocket. But rest assured, you’re allowed to make decisions without having a lengthy explanation to go with them.
You might have more than one reason for wanting to work remotely.
Of course, there are plenty of great reasons for wanting to go the remote route, and that can make it all the more challenging to zone in on the exact quality that’s speaking to you.
Maybe it’s not the flexibility or the increased productivity or the sense of control that’s calling your name—maybe it’s actually a culmination of all of those things (and then some) that’s driving your desire to go remote. Fortunately, you don’t have to pick one (or really, any) reason for wanting this lifestyle.
You’re the only one who requires justification for your career choices.
Ultimately, do you know who needs and deserves to feel good about the decisions you make about your career? You—and that’s really it. Without a doubt, you should still be professional and courteous about your choices and actions (in other words, don’t take this as your permission to tell off a colleague or storm out of work without warning).
But at the end of the day, you technically don’t owe an explanation to anyone about the career moves you make. As long as you feel happy and confident about what you’re doing and what’s inspiring you to do it, that’s really all that matters.
Here’s the bottom line: while it might not feel like it, you don’t actually need a reason for wanting to work remotely. You can just want it—and that’s it. But what happens if you’re asked about your reasoning in a job interview or a similar situation? In those circumstances, you can feel extra pressure to spout out a logical and impressive rationalization.
Don’t force yourself to get specific. Something general like, “It’s something I’ve been considering for a while, and I wanted to give it a try!” should do the trick when it comes to answering the question—without boxing yourself in.
This article originally appeared on FlexJobs.
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