Looking for telecommuting jobs on most of the major job boards can be pretty hit or miss, especially if you’re looking for a full-time job rather than a part-time gig. Still, depending on what type of work you’re interested in, finding the right telecommuting job can be easier if you keep a few things in mind.
Focus on the Company, Rather than the Job Title
Certain companies are just much more likely to offer the opportunity to telecommute than others. As long as telecommuting is already a part of the company culture, you won’t be in the awkward position of having to sell a new employer on the idea. It makes sense to pick out a few companies that you’re interested in working for, and then start exploring their actual job openings. Since many companies don’t list many of the job openings they have on the majority of job boards, searching for a new position by employer, rather than job title, can speed up the process.
Look at Small Businesses
While many large companies have reputations as great telecommuting employers, there are many small companies willing to consider employees who want to telecommute. While you may need to do a little more convincing, the financial benefits of working with telecommuters can be particularly attractive to small businesses — the reduced cost of providing office space, furniture and equipment for an employee can be enough to convince some small business owners.
It is harder to tell right off the bat how a smaller business will be to work with as a telecommuter: there aren’t always other employees you can ask about their own experiences. However, many small businesses can be more flexible when taking on new telecommuters, because they don’t have to create a company-wide telecommuting policy for all employees.
Be Ready to Negotiate
Even when companies have a telecommuting policy in place, it is rarely universal. Some companies allow managers to allow exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Others allow different policies for different departments. The main point to be aware of is that managers often want to retain some level of control over just who is telecommuting and how often they do so. That doesn’t mean that you can’t negotiate your own telecommuting arrangement, however.
Some employers are simply looking for some level of reassurance that you’ll be just as great an employee if you’re working over the web than you’ll be if you’re actually in the office. If you can offer up some reassurance (a regular schedule of check-ins, certain goals, or another system), you have a good starting point to negotiate a telecommuting arrangement that works for you. Georgina wrote a great post called “How To Ask the Boss If You Can Work Remotely” which contains many useful tips that can also be applied to negotiations with a new employer.
Be Wary of Scams
One of the biggest difficulties in looking for a telecommuting position is the sheer number of scams that focus on telecommuters. Most of them are very easy to recognize, but it’s still easy to wind up spending a significant amount of time going through job listings on sites with more than their fair share of scams.
Depending on what kind of job you’re looking for, you might be exposed to more scams. Positions requiring fewer skills typically attract more scam listings. Always be wary of offers that look too good to be true.
Have you found your dream telecommuting position? How did you do it?
Image by Flickr user _e.t