Working in a job that you love, earning a decent paycheck, and being able to do it all from the cushy comfort of your home office? Seems too good to be true, right? Wrong. Today, some 30+ million Americans have telecommuting jobs that allow them to work from home at least one day a week. And you could soon be joining the ranks of America’s ever-growing telecommuting workforce as well. Here’s how to find a job that you’ll love—and that will let you telecommute, too.
Speak with your current employer. Just because you’ve been clocking in day in and day out at the office doesn’t mean that you can’t turn your in-office position into a telecommuting one. So schedule a meeting with your boss and highlight all the aspects of your job that can be done remotely. You might come up against some resistance, so be prepared to prove your case. Offer examples of other employees in the company who are successfully working from home, or agree to work only part-time at home to start.
Research the company. Chances are you’ll have an easier time convincing a potential boss to let you work remotely if they already have a successful telecommuting plan in place. Do a little digging online to see what the company’s policy is on letting employees work at home. That way, you can structure your search to target companies that offer flex schedules to their employees.
Tailor your search. When you’re looking for a job, any job, you’ll tend to cast the net wide, hoping to connect with a company—any company—and a hiring manager. But when you’re looking for a telecommuting position, it’s a good idea to target your search. Use specific keywords in your job hunt, such as “telecommute,” “remote work,” or even “work at home.” Just be aware of the many job scams that are out there—after all, it can be hard to find a real online job. Just remember, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.
Get guidance. If you’re not sure how to go about getting a telecommuting job, you should seek expert advice. Talk with friends and former coworkers who have successfully worked from home and find out, step by step, how they did it. Maybe one person redesigned her resume to highlight her work at home skills. Or perhaps another colleague got a lower-ranked title (and a small pay cut) in order to telecommute. Find out how they did it, and figure out how you can implement that information into your job search strategy, too.
Inquire during the interview. It can be tricky to ask for the option to telecommute when you’re in the middle of a job interview. So, don’t. During your first interview with a hiring manager, the person will most likely mention if telecommuting is a possibility. If nothing is said, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to telecommute, though. When you get to the final rounds of interviews (and you’re offered the position) ask then if you can potentially work at home. Be prepared to negotiate—you might have to sacrifice a corner office or extra vacation days—but being able to work from your home office will be well worth it.
Don’t be dissuaded from pursuing a telecommuting position. After all, working at home is the first step towards a great career—and even better work life balance.
Jennifer Parris is the Career Writer for FlexJobs, an award-winning service that helps job-seekers find professional opportunities that offer work flexibility, such as telecommuting, freelance, part-time or alternative schedules. To learn more about Jennifer, visit FlexJobs.com or tweet @flexjobs