The appeal of working remotely is pretty plain to see. The flexibility (not only in terms of where to work, but sometimes when and how as well, depending on the work-from-home job) can’t be beat. Plus, you get to miss out on all of the nonsense that comes with working in an office – even just skipping the politics and the commute is pretty great.
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The benefits of working remotely appeal to a lot of workers, but millennials in particular seem to find it alluring. According to a FlexJob’s survey on millennials’ workplace priorities, this generation values work-life balance and flexibility quite a bit, and 85 percent of those interested in telecommuting say they’d like to do so 100 percent of the time, without ever stepping foot inside a traditional office.
Whether you’re a millennial or not, if you’re looking for remote work, there are some things you can do to help better your odds of landing this type of position. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Know that opportunities vary – and learn where to look.
Some companies are more likely to offer work-from-home jobs than others, and some jobs are especially well-suited for this type of work. Recently, FlexJobs released a list of 125 companies where all, or most, of the employees work remotely. Also, they broke down telecommuting work by industry and job title, generating a list of entry-level work-from-home jobs.
Do some research, and carefully consider whether or not your interests and skills line up well with an industry, job title, organization, etc., where you might find a future as a remote worker. Next, use PayScale’s Salary Survey to do additional research on the salary you might command in various jobs. If you want to work from home, start off by learning more about your options.
- Know that it’s not just for experienced workers.
When asked about whether or not remote work is easier to find once you’ve been with an organization for a while, Brie Reynolds, director of online content for FlexJobs, said that things have been changing in recent years.
“It’s still the case in some organizations that they can be a little hesitant to give someone the option to work remotely until they’ve proven themselves in the office. But, what we’re seeing now is that there are far more jobs where people are able to work from home right from the get-go, and that includes entry-level jobs,” Reynolds told me. “Companies are saying, if you have a track record of trustworthiness and self-management, and if you have the skills that really make you a good remote worker, we’re going to let you work from home right away, even if you’re just coming out of college.”
- Know how to spot a scam.
“When you’re searching for those types of jobs online, the keywords that you use to search are really important. So, you want to be sure to stay away from ‘work-from-home’ or ‘work-at-home’ keywords, because those are most typically used by scammers.” Reynolds told me. “Most professional companies that are offering these types of jobs are going to post them as ‘remote’ jobs or ‘telecommute’ jobs or ‘virtual’ positions.”
Don’t drop your guard once you’ve started communicating with an organization. As the old saying goes, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
“Really trust your instincts. There are a lot of scam jobs that will sort of offer you the job right off the bat. They might contact you over LinkedIn and say, ‘hey, we saw your profile…'” Reynolds said. “No legitimate company is going to offer you a job without at least speaking to you over the phone first, and kind of vetting you as you go through a kind of traditional interview process.”
Using a website like FlexJobs (or one of their competitors) could make a big difference toward helping you separate the legit remote jobs from the rest of the pack. Even if you end up paying a fee for a site that is more respected, it could save you a lot of time and energy in the long run.
- Do it for the right reasons.
There are a lot of great perks to working from home, but if you’re going after one of these positions because you think it will be “easier” than working in an office, you aren’t doing anyone any favors, and it probably won’t last. Remote workers need to be very self-motivated and trustworthy. It’s important that they be driven in order to meet deadlines without direct, daily structure or oversight. If you want to work from home because you think it will be less work, you’re probably not the kind of person who is going to excel with this kind of setup.
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