Learn how to work from home and avoid mistakes I have made and overcome. Remote work is becoming more popular and necessary as we continue to deal with the COVID 19 pandemic. Before the “covid era,” finding legitimate work from home jobs that were decent and well compensated seemed few and far between. Since then, there has been a dramatic shift in available “remote work” jobs that were on-site previously. According to PEW Research, “…while the coronavirus has changed the way many workers do their job – whether in person or from home – it hasn’t significantly reshaped the culture of work for most employed adults.” In fact, it has opened the door to more opportunities and provides greater flexibility in areas such as scheduling and time off.
The transition to working remotely has been relatively simple for many employed adults. Among remote workers working from home 60% – 100% of the time, 75% report acquiring technology and equipment needed to do their job and maintaining a proper workspace has not been an issue. Many others report it’s been easy to hit deadlines, get work done efficiently without distractions, and stay motivated to do their job successfully.
“The benefits of working from home far outweigh the costs.”
For many years I did it the commuter way, up to 30 miles each way. With traffic, that could take up to 90 minutes each way. As I think about the pros and cons of working from home, the pros overwhelmingly outweigh the cons. For one, no more getting sick from those folks who mean well but come into the office anyway ill and spread their illness to others. Also, my vehicle doesn’t get the wear and tear…not to mention rising fuel costs. It saves potentially a couple hundred dollars a month right there. Also, considering food and clothing costs. No going out to eat at the office. And it’s no secret that working from home can and sometimes does happen in sweats, shorts, and jeans.
“Another challenge that has blocked many fully qualified remote workers from ever being discovered is the Applicant Tracking System or ATS for short.”
If your resume is not getting the action, you think it deserves, this may be the sticking point. I spent the better two years not understanding why my resume was not getting attention. Many human resource departments have adopted and embraced it until I learned about this little process. When a resume is submitted, it gets scanned in the ATS system for a match with the job posting and company “wants.” It gets scored according to how well it matches, and qualified candidates who make it that far can move on to an actual human. But if the resume does not correspond with the algorithm, the applicant will not be selected for further consideration.
Once I discovered this fact, it was time to do something about it. But this is not in my wheelhouse, so I googled my way to an option I chose to go with. Once that was done, and for less than $50, my resume started getting much more attention. I was getting interviews and higher-paying offers nearly every day. It was a remarkable difference to see so quickly, and it worked!
I found a great company to work at home for, but not without setbacks with previous companies. Of the many hard lessons learned, I believe working through staffing agencies is a disaster waiting to happen. For me, there was always a disconnect, lack of care, and general flagrance working with staffing agencies. They seem to live by Murphy’s Law in those spaces. Plus, you lose a hefty chunk of hourly compensation working with an agency. In one situation, the agency made almost 80% of what they paid staff to “work remotely.” That is just not fair, so my preference became to entertain opportunities with direct hire companies exclusively.
“With the ever-changing dynamics of covid, remote work is here to stay.”
In a way, covid has opened the doors for many new opportunities that were previously unavailable. As everyone navigates the lockdowns and social distancing requirements and avoids getting sick – working remotely enables both employer and employee better options, flexibility, and overall compensation.
If you are considering this option for the first time in your life, it’s important to note it is not for everyone. Those easily distracted and unable to focus and maintain a quiet working space daily might struggle with remote work. And you’re going to want to be familiar with computers enough to learn new systems and procedures. Some folks just need the structure and repetition of going to an office and returning home. Discipline and diligence are among the keys to making remote employment work for me.
There’s no shortage of opportunities in many fields – customer service, sales, technical, and management fields, to name a few. But if the idea of a 10-foot commute from the bedroom to the office is something that revs your engine – I would recommend giving it a try.
TIPS FOR LEARNING HOW TO WORK FROM HOME AND BEAT THE ATS SYSTEM
- Google: what is an applicant tracking system?
- Scan your resume with an ATS checker online & see where you stand.
- Hire someone to polish and optimize your resume for ATS.
- Steer clear of staffing agencies, unless the offer is amazing.
- Post your polished resume on linked In, Career Builder, among others.
- Take the job(s) you need, but keep looking until you land the one you want.
- Maintain discipline for your work and time management process.
- Always do your best, even in the worst of circumstances.
- Never settle for mediocrity, always do the very best of your ability.