Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Strengthen Your Telecommuting Proposal by Talking About Your Strengths

This interview from Shifting Careers in the NYTimes makes me want to read Tori Johnson's book Will Work From Home. They talk about some interesting points, but the one I want to pull out is that being an employee or an entrepreneur from home requires a common skill set -- a certain willingness to git-r-done that not everyone has. If you're an entrepreneur, you have to move it to get business, and sleeping late or letting small connectivity problems get in the way has a direct impact on the bottom line.

But the slipper-wearing salaried employee can learn something from this, too.

You, the telecommuting proposer, might want to think about noting your amazing sticktoitiveness in your pitch to your manager. Note how you solve technical problems, have administered your own home network since you first set it up in 1998 to play Doom with your roommates, and how you haven't called tech support in three years.

This also points to a way for managers to assess that pile of telecommuting proposals from employees who long to stop driving around so much. As you determine who might be a good candidate for a telecommuting arrangement, you definitely need to consider whether or not an employee is the type of person waits until someone comes to fix the problem when his computer goes down, or whether he tries restarting the thing himself before calling tech support.

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