When I say I work 4 jobs, people look at me like I have 4 heads! But, there is a reason for my madness and it is freedom, flexibility and creating the narrative I want to live! Check out my new post on my author site!
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I telecommute. I love telecommuting and I totally 100% encourage anyone who wants to go the alternative route of working from home rather than working from an office. It has afforded me flexibility and has allowed me to be home for my daughter which has been a huge blessing, especially as a single mom. But, there are traps that are easy to fall into when you telecommute that can make for a less than ideal situation.
Here are my 5 Traps to Avoid When Telecommuting.
Get Dressed! Of course you say. Well, when you are in the comfort of your own home it is easy to be well…comfortable. Lounging in your pj’s in front of the computer becomes very easy. I suggest getting dressed for the day in a manner that makes you feel good. Don’t become sloppy because you are at home. You feel much better if 3 o’clock rolls around and you aren’t dressed in the clothes you went to bed in!
Create Boundaries with Friends and Family– When people hear you work from home for some reason, they don’t believer you are really working. They’ll ask you for favors, stop by, call and want to talk for hours, basically things they would never do if you were in an office. So make boundaries or otherwise you’ll find yourself constantly distracted and unproductive. Let friends know your schedule. Don’t be afraid to tell them if they call or visit you won’t be available. After all this is your livelihood!
Change Up The Scenery if Possible- Working at home is great, but you can easily become a recluse. Some jobs you can easily do at the coffee shop as well as in your home. If you can change your scenery a couple of times a week. If you do make calls just be aware of the noise level. But, if you have a porch or yard go outside and work it will do wonders to get fresh air and sunshine.
Take a Lunch Break-One of those obvious things right? Well, when you work at home it is really easy to lose track of time. Take the time to eat your meals. You deserve a lunch break so be intentional about taking it every day. This is a great time to take get some fuel, take a quick walk, or even do some quick chores to make your week go smoother.
Know When to Shut Off- Create boundaries for yourself. Know when to shut off. You have work hours so stick to them. Don’t get into the habit or allow others to get into the habit of calling you after work hours and expecting you to do work. There should still be a separation between work and family. Sure there are exceptions or even those clients you don’t mind taking an after hours call for, but make this the exception not the expectation.
I know many of you moms out there have a desire to work at home, so anytime I come across a resource that is credible I can’t wait to share it with you! I heard aboutFlex Jobsthrough a colleague of mine. I was a little skeptical because beware this isn’t a free site, but it is a credible site with reputable companies that have positions that aren’t a gimmick. The person that I know that used the site has gotten a few jobs from here, so I thought it was worth a try. The site has jobs that are flexible, telecommuting, part time, full time, and contracting positions. You can post your resume, take skills tests, and keep track of your job history.
There are different rates so be sure to look at the pricing that best suits your needs. I signed up for the $14.95 a month plan just because I plan on using it for a month. But, I suggest checking out Flex Jobs and you may come one step closer to finding the telecommuting job that you’ve been dreaming about!
Hope everyone had a great Monday! As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I am going to try to post resources for those of you who are interested in finding telecommuting positions. It isn’t always easy to find these jobs, but it isn’t impossible either. The first resource I suggest you try is a place I actually worked that has a great career site for association jobs from all over the country.ASAE The Center for Association Leadership has a wealth of information just in general! There are tons of resources, courses, and information that you may find helpful for professional development and of course it s a great place to search for that at home position you want!
ASAE has a Career Headquarters known as CareerHQ.org this is where you’ll find the jobs. Anyone can go onto the site and search. If you are looking specifically for telecommuting positions follow these steps:
Then Click on Find a Job this will take you to the job bank
At the top of the job bank you’ll see a space for keywords
In keywords you’ll want to type in: Telecommuting, Remote, or Work at Home. I usually use telecommuting for a better response. For example I typed telecommuting today and got 20 jobs, I typed in remote and got 5 jobs. It really just depends on how the employer posts their ad.
Once you click on the job you want you may need to set up an account with ASAE to apply or many of ads will have a direct email where you can send your resume and cover letter.
Make sure you read the entire description and information about telecommuting, for example some positions only allow working from home 3x a week instead of every day, or telecommuting is an option after a certain period of time.
One of my most popular post is about telecommuting and the single mom. I believe the reason it is so popular is that staying at home is on many single mom’s hearts. I’m not trying to knock anyone who has to or wants to go into an office. I respect every mom’s choice to do what is right for their family and for themselves. I know women who would feel cut off from the world if they were in the house all day and it would make them grumpy and unsatisfied, in those cases I’d say get into the office! Then there are some professions that just require their employees to be in the office and telecommuting isn’t an option. The important thing is that each woman finds the right path for her, pursues it and forgets about the mommy wars! For me that path was telecommuting.
I went to work about 5 months after Anya was born and it was gut wrenching leaving my sweet girl. I worked in an office in DC for about 6 1/2 years. Those years were spent taking the crowded metro into the office and being in a mad dash to pick up Anya before 6:00 pm when after care closed. I was blessed to have an awesome and understanding boss who was flexible with me so it was in no way the worst case scenario. However, my heart always ached to be an at home working mother. I yearned to be home for my daughter and not pick her up at 6 pm and only having a few hours to bond before bedtime. So I began searching and praying for a job that would allow me to work at home. After a horrible stint at one job, I was offered a position that was telecommuting with 1 day in the office. It was my prayer answered. The pay was low but there was commission and it served it’s purpose. Then I got laid off in August 2014. It wasn’t a big surprise and to be honest I wasn’t in love with the job, so I took the lemons and made lemonade! I enjoyed my time off and kept searching for a job that was telecommuting.
The thought of going back to the office made my stomach turn. Literally! I had an interview with a position that required going into the office everyday and I got sick on the day of the interview. Maybe my body was rejecting the notion of returning to the office, the loss of freedom and the time I’d lose with Anya. But, I knew office life wasn’t for me. I’m well aware of how difficult it is to get a job in these economic times. So, I prayerfully asked God to lead me and to forgive me if I was being ungrateful.Then 2 telecommuting job interviews came up. I did well in both but knew the one job suited me better and praise God I got the job! So far the position is great. I work with 3 lovely people who are helpful and kind. My boss is flexible and as long as I do my 40 hours he isn’t worried about when I take my lunch break and just expects me to handle my time accordingly. Telecommuting especially as a single mom has given me a different quality of life that has made me more relaxed and more fulfilled.
There are so many benefits from working from home like:
The flexibility! You can work from anywhere!
The ability to spend more time with your family
The elimination of aftercare and the costs of aftercare
Economically you save money on transportation
You have more time to take care of your daily errands and chores
Your are able to stay home with a sick kid
You can work in the comfort of your own home
You can relocate easily if need be
Don’t get me wrong you do work hard and I’ve worked more diligently then I ever have! When you telecommute there is a different type of accountability, standard and trust that you are held to, but is well worth it!
I feel super blessed and ladies if you want to telecommute don’t think it is impossible! It is totally possible! God knows what’s on your heart and he is listening. Start searching those career sites and don’t be afraid to ask your employer about telecommuting options, the worst they can say is no and you’ll know where they stand.
I’ll be gathering some resources together and posting them in the upcoming weeks. I hope this helps those of you who are interested in telecommuting.