One thing’s for sure these days: a lot of baby boomers are still looking for work. Some have been forced to look, some chose to, but something boomers seem to have in common is, they’d like to find a job where they can work from home. Our friends at the PBS website NextAvenue.org have run a piece by expert Brie Weiler Reynolds that conveys advice from two pros who hire a lot of people to do just that: work at home.
According to a survey we conducted at FlexJobs last year, 76-percent of people prefer to work outside the office to get important tasks done and 47-percent would rather work part-time than full-time. So how can you find a part-time, work-from-home job?
Brandon McTavish, head of talent acquisition at Rosetta Stone, and Elizabeth Grice, director of corporate communications at TeleTech (two companies on our 100 Top Companies for Remote Jobs list in 2016 and at the forefront of telecommuting and flexible work), share three tips:
1. Know the top career fields to do it — If flexibility, like part-time scheduling and working from home, is a priority for you, there are certain career fields with a lot of opportunity: computer and IT, medical and health, sales, administrative, customer service, and education and training typically have the most openings for remote and flexible jobs.
At Rosetta Stone, which provides technology-based language learning software, a background in education makes applicants stand out. “We look for native speakers of the particular language we are hiring in to facilitate energetic classes for beginner to advanced students,” says McTavish. “A background in foreign languages or education and willingness to be flexible will all stand out from the rest of the pack.”
Companies that hire remote workers need to know they have the right skills and home office set-up to be productive without a manager looming.
Grice says that TeleTech, a business process outsourcing company, hires for many customer service and technical service roles, which are also among the top career fields. TeleTech uses a system called MatchPoint to assess candidates’ skills and competencies for each role.
Think about the type of experience you have and then do some research to see if part-time and telecommuting work is an option in those fields.
2. Be prepared to work effectively from home — Adapting to a part-time schedule won’t present much difficulty for the average professional. Fewer hours at work? Easy! But working from home is a completely different experience and companies that hire remote workers need to know these people have the right skills and home office set-up to be productive without a manager looming around the corner.
The attributes of people who can successfully work from home part-time include self-discipline, independence, self-motivation, and a passion for the work, says McTavish. Grice agrees. She says TeleTech looks for people who are self-starters and who are “accountable, professional, flexible and empathetic.”
In addition to professional experience and personal attributes, many part-time work-from-home jobs require workers to provide their own home office equipment, including things like a computer, headphones and other technology.
At TeleTech, for example, you are required to: own a PC (sorry, no Macs) that runs Microsoft Windows, have a USB/VOIP headset and use up-to-date antivirus and malware detection software to ensure the security of your computer.
Before you apply for any part-time, work-from-home job, learn about its home-office requirements to understand what you’ll need to be a contender.
3. Showcase your most important skills and attributes—- Let’s say you’ve got the experience, the skills, and the home-office setup. How can you clearly demonstrate your qualifications on job application materials, like your resumé and cover letters? Here are four things you need to show:
- A well-written summary of qualifications Put this at the top of your resumé, explaining your specific skills for the job.
- A demonstrated aptitude for technology After all, working from home means you are the IT department and need to be comfortable troubleshooting your own computer issues.
- Your interest in part-time, at-home work In your cover letter, clearly state your desire for part-time, flexible work, recommends Grice.
- Your previous remote or flexible work experience. Show this in both your resumé and your cover letter. It’s a real demonstration of your ability to be successful as a flexible worker.
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