Telecommuting: working at home by using a computer terminal electronically linked to one’s place of employment.
I think many military spouses fantasize about the glowing beacon of landing the perfect telecommuting job. A job that moves with you from one duty station to the next. A job where your bunny slippers are part of your professional wardrobe and your job-related moving stress consists of ensuring your new location has high-speed internet access.
So how do you find this perfect-for-mobile-life telecommuting job?
Step 1: Start by looking for a job you love, where you can use your skills, education, and training to be successful. I think some struggle because they’re only looking for a telecommuting or a remote job. The place you love might be in an actual brick and mortar building. Don’t count those places out.
Step 2: Excel at your job. Become the go-to-person for your special skills. Be the asset your boss can count on to get the job done. Become your own shiny star in your work universe.
Why put forth this much effort if you’re moving in a few years?
Because you’ve created a successful track record of working hard and proving that you have what it takes to get the job done!
Step 3: Pitch a telecommuting plan to your boss. Review your job duties and descriptions. What portions of your job can be done offsite? What duties must be performed in an office? Next, explore your company’s telecommuting policies. Do they have a telecommuting policy? If not, look for samples in like-industries and provide examples to your employer. Talk to colleagues who telecommute and ask if they work under a formal telecommuting policy. Then, make a pitch to your boss. Show how your job duties can be conducted offsite successfully, and request the opportunity to stay with the company in a telecommuting role. Another tip: take every chance you have to explain why the company benefits from keeping you on staff, even remotely. You’re a shining star, remember? To make things even better before you pitch your telecommuting plan, try working offsite a few days a week before your move.
Step 4: Set yourself up for success once your employer agrees to your new telecommuting arrangement. Have a dedicated work area just for work. Ensure you have a space that clearly separates your work life from your home life. Be familiar with your human resource policies on teleworking, and adapt best practices in your own personal work. Set clear expectations, like the frequency and methods of communication to best connect with your office headquarters.
Teleworking can be a glowing beacon for a lot of military spouses. Take your time and try these steps to create your perfect telecommuting job!
Are you a military spouse who telecommutes? How did you start with your employer? What advice would you add to our list?