Many people think they want to work from home until they do it. Then, they get tired of the isolation, the constant need to do housework or watch "Teen Mom" when they should be working. It's not for everyone, but if you can find a way to stay focused, it might be a way to forge a new career path. Here's a story I did for Gannett/USAToday:
The job outlook hasn't been rosy for years, but at least one area continues to grow: remote work.Sara Fell, the founder and chief of FlexJobs.com, says she's seen a 400 percent growth in telecommuting jobs in the past three years.
• Spiff up your LinkedIn profile. While it can pay off to be active on other social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook, LinkedIn is still a place where most recruiters will go to check out your professional profile.
Don't go overboard, she says. Stay "true to yourself" when participating in social networking.
"You can join groups that interest you on LinkedIn. Just choose those areas where you feel comfortable or those that are within your industry," she says.
• Show your independence. Your LinkedIn profile or resume should note experience working remotely or independently on projects. It's helpful if recommendations from others can laud your adaptability or your ability to be a self-starter.
• Sharpen your technology skills. No matter what your industry, it's critical that you show you're up on the latest software in your field.
Take classes or get new certifications to demonstrate you're staying current. Be prepared to show you know how to use online communication channels such as Skype or instant messaging, which will be critical in any remote-work situation.
• Write well and often. "It's really important for remote workers to be proactive in communicating with their bosses or other members of a team," Fell says.
An early indicator is your resume. "Your resume has got to be free of typos, and you need to avoid a form cover letter. Your writing shouldn't be too formal. When you apply for these jobs, it's your chance to prove that you're a savvy communicator."
What are some suggestions you have for working remotely?