Telecommuting jobs are increasingly common. Working from home is up 115 percent since 2005 among the non-self-employed population. This is no surprise: U.S. workers want flexible arrangements. Many working parents would even choose it over a higher salary.
So, if you’re one of the millions of Americans who would love to land a telecommuting job, read on. There are many different avenues to explore. Any one of them could lead you to the right opportunity.
1. Use job boards and the right keywords.
Online job search tools can be a powerful part of your process. But, you have to wield them effectively for maximum impact. You might want to check out a few different sites at first, in order to hone in on a couple that are popular with your industry or in your area.
Once you’ve found a few sites where you can concentrate your efforts, it’s time to think about keywords. Try searching for jobs that are “flexible” or “remote” or “telecommute/telecommuting” work. You might want to double-check jobs listed as “work-from-home opportunities,” though. Sometimes, this can be indicative of a scam.
2. Do your homework.
Telecommuting jobs vary by industry and by organization. If this arrangement is something that’s really important to you, you should do your homework and learn about which jobs might be best for you. Some industries really favor the arrangement — think about jobs in tech, sales, and customer service, for example. And, some companies are more open to it than others. Do your research ahead of time to find a good fit.
3. Network within your field.
The types of telecommuting positions that are available vary widely by industry. So, it’s worth talking to people in your field in order to get a sense of what’s available. Ask your friends and contacts for their opinions and ideas. You could come across information about an opportunity that works well for you, through explaining your goals and anticipated direction to others in your industry.
4. Negotiate for it.
For some professionals, a telecommuting opportunity could be even closer than it seems. Ask yourself whether or not you could do your job remotely — maybe even just part of the time. Then, consider discussing the request as a part of your next negotiation. You might be surprised to find that there is more flexibility than you think.
5. Go out on your own.
The decision to work for yourself shouldn’t be made lightly. There are many drawbacks to being self-employed. But, working for yourself, by freelancing or starting your own business, has a lot of benefits too. If you really feel that telecommuting is the work arrangement that’s right for you, then it’s definitely worth considering.
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