The Impatient Telecommuter


By Rosalind Mays
Email Message I Received Recently:

Hello, Rosalind. I want to thank you for providing a free list of telecommuting jobs that help me in my search for home employment. But, I must say that I'm disappointed in my job search so far. I've sent out 28 resumes in the past two weeks and I haven't had any success! Could you advise me on what to do next?

This was the tenth such message I received in two months with similar concerns. I realized that this was a viable worry for many of my visitors. I found that many telecommuting job hunters would send a few resumes out and then sit back and wonder when employers would call.

My responding question is this: "How long does it usually take the average job hunter to find a "regular, commuting" job?"

The answer: It usually takes the average job hunter anywhere from three months to one year to find the job with the desired salary and duties. Now, I have bad news for you so sit down. To find a telecommuting job the job hunter must multiply the average time it takes to find a conventional job (three months to a year) by three. Yes, you heard me; it takes a telecommuter three times as long to find a real and legitimate telecommuting job. Expect to search, send out resumes and hope for at least six to nine months before finding any success.

I'm not here to disappoint you. This is just the plain truth. If you achieve employment before the above stated time, great, but to be fair to yourself give the job search at least nine (9) months. Why? Because competition is stiff and employers have the pick of the litter.

You see there are millions of people, just in the United States, that wish to work from home at least part of the time. So, you have lots of company and competition.

Remember that it took 685 hours of hard and constant searching (that's four months of searching eight hours a day) before I found just the right telecommuting job that complemented my needs. It will probably take just as much time and effort for you.

My next question: "When you are searching for a "regular, commuter" job how many resumes do you send out in a week?"

I don't know about you, but when I was searching for my last "commuter" job, I sent out, on average, 30 resumes a week. My husband sent two times more weekly during his job search. As a co-owner of a secretarial service, I've had clients that send out over 100 resumes a week for several weeks before they landed their positions.

Believe it our not, this is a typical amount of activity for a job search. Some people have better experiences find jobs quickly because they are applying for jobs that have lots of openings and few qualified applicants. In other words, they are in high demand by employers. For example, I have two friends that help troubleshoot for Y2K problems. Each sent out three resumes and was snapped up in a matter of days. However, let's see what happens after the year 2000, these people will probably be sending out dozens of resume just like the rest of us.

In my case, I have administrative and clerical skills and so do a gazillion others. I can send out resumes until the cows come home and I'll only get a couple of responses. This is what happens when a few thousand people are applying for the same position. Employers are completely bombarded with people wishing to apply for the few viable work-at-home jobs. With literally thousands of applicants, the employer does not have the time or resources to contact them all. So today, employers only contact the applicants of interest. The ones they aren't interested in . . . get silence.

My advice to all of you: keep going, you've just gotten started. If you want to better your odds in this game, then while you're searching for your "ideal" telecommuting job, enroll in additional training. Figure out what skills are in high demand and take an on-line course or a course at your community college, it can't hurt and it will most likely speed up your job finding process.

My ultimate advice is, before you begin your telecommuting job search, find out which jobs are in high demand for telecommuting. What skills does this job need? Find out if you have the aptitude and resources to learn those skills. Once you've obtained those skills, send your resume to twenty places and get that telecommuting job lickity-split! Good hunting!

Rosalind Mays, best-selling author of The Real Deal on Telecommuting, works at home as an Internet Researcher. She hopes her advice and report (which compiles all the information she found while searching for her current job) will shorten other job seeker's time in finding legitimate work at home opportunities. Visit for a free list of telecommuting jobs compiled monthly. Email: [email protected].

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