One of the problems with finding a telecommuting job is that it can be hard to find a position that offers the same level of job security that you might have if you went into an office every day and spent time in face-to-face meetings with your boss.”Out of sight, out of mind” isn’t so much of a problem for an employee who doesn’t telecommute. But finding a secure telecommuting position is possible, as is creating job security within an existing position.
Finding a Telecommuting Opportunity
Debra Yergen is the author of “Creating Job Security,” as well as the creator of the Green Light Scoring Model, which helps job seekers translate their experience and education into job security. She points out that while the telecommuting job market doesn’t currently have many opportunities, due to the economic situation, if you expand the definition of telecommuting to include contract and freelance staff, there are actually many more positions available.
“Telecommuting has generally differed from contract work based on how a worker is categorized according to the benefits delivered as part of compensation,” says Yergen. “It’s critical to make that distinction in light of the current economy, as a higher percentage of companies are looking to outsource positions that were formally filled by in-house employees. If telecommuting is expanded to include contract-based and freelance positions, the market is wide open as many employers that are reluctant to increase their workforce are more often looking to outsourcing and using freelancers as a stopgap solution. Until the economy and health-care insurance situation stabilizes, look for these opportunities to continue to grow.”
In order to find a position that may be a little more stable, Yergen suggests searching through industry-specific job portals. They may not have as many telecommuting opportunities, though, while larger sites, such as Monster.com, offer more results.
Building Job Security While Telecommuting
Landing a telecommuting position isn’t enough — you’ve got to keep it. Creating job security is a matter of taking charge of your own situation. Yergen suggests demonstrating your employer’s ROI for having you as a telecommuting employee: “This can be a monetary benefit such as a reduction in overhead, or it could be immaterial benefit. For instance, if you had access to files out of traditional office hours and as a result could immediately deal with a situation in a way that was more advantageous to the company than if you had only been allowed to maintain a traditional office during traditional hours.”
However, it’s important to note that job security is never a guarantee. It’s easy to slip into a mindset that you have to be available to your employer at all hours of the day since you’re not heading into the office at all — but while boundaries may not increase your sense of a secure position, they are necessary. “While increased availability may enable you to provide more value to your employer, it’s important to have boundaries you set. It one thing if you choose to offer increased availability. It’s another thing entirely if you are expected to be on call but are not paid to be on call 24/7,” points out Yergen.
If you establish those boundaries early in a working relationship, the times that you go above and beyond will mean more to your employers.
Where do you look for telecommuting jobs?
Image by Flickr user Fabio Bruna