Working from home can be a pretty sweet gig if you can get it, but it comes with unique challenges. Setting up a routine, taking strategically scheduled breaks, and removing distractions will help keep you on task and motivated.
Which is all well and good if you already have a job that lets you work remotely. But how does one lock down that coveted, elusive work-from-home job?
The legions of telecommuters are growing, according to the New York Times. And half of the United States workforce will soon work remotely, if Forbes is correct. Yet with all of these people gloriously working from wherever the hell they want, we still get questions from readers all the time that boil down to: “I can’t work on-site, but I also can’t seem to find any jobs that will allow me to work remotely. Where are they all hiding?”
The hunt is over, job-searchers! Here are a number of tactics for how you too can join the telecommuting army.
As most (all?) of you know, I started working from home full time a little over a year ago. It’s pretty great! I’m saving a metric fuckton of money on commuting costs. Plus, I have more time in my day to devote to things other than sitting in traffic shaking my fist and cursing the futility of existence.
I’m an acquiring editor at a book publishing house. This is a fancy way of saying I babysit writers and occasionally correct their constipated prose for a living. Most of my job consists of reading book proposals and telling authors why they suck. I need little more than a laptop and a cell phone to do my job.
I regularly join meetings at my corporate headquarters via phone or video conference. During these meetings, my wardrobe is generally business formal above the waist, slumber party below.
And you guys, I rock. I’m real fucking good at my job and I have the employee reviews to prove it!
While transitioning from an office to working from home was a bit of an adjustment, I’ve since developed good habits for getting quality work done efficiently and quickly.
And yet there are some stubborn bastions of luddites who absolutely insist that a white collar worker needs to come into an office every day in order to be successful. I don’t cotton to that kind of backward thinking. For one thing, it makes it harder for caregivers and disabled people to find employment. For another, it fosters a culture that negatively impacts the environment and public health.
If a worker proves herself capable of getting the job done without commuting to an office, then by Grabthar’s Hammer, she should be allowed to do so!
But the only way we’re going to spread the work from home revolution is if we all work circles around our be-cubicled counterparts. Through trial, error, and interviewing people who have been working from home much longer than I have, here’s what I’ve found to be the best work-from-home practices in the biz.
As you know, Kitty and I went to FinCon 2018 this past September. It was a magical time of education and bonding with our comrades-in-arms, and we returned with our heads spinning with new ideas for making Bitches Get Riches better, faster, stronger. We also came back with a renewed vigor for our mission. And that meant taking a long, hard look at what we do here and why.
Like our name, for instance. It’s not just a blog title, but a call to action. For this blog is founded on the premise that bitches do in fact get riches. But like… why? And more importantly, how?
Welcome back to another episode of The Bitches Teach You How to Get Your Ass Hired! Last time we reviewed some cardinal rules of resume writing. And today—you guessed it!—we’re gonna learn how to write a coherent and effective cover letter.
But first, a caveat. While I have sat on both sides of the hiring table over the years—both as my last company’s internship coordinator and in my recent successful job search—I am by no means an expert. That’s practically the secondary motto of our blog!
Bitches Get Riches: Finance. Feminism. We have no idea what we’re doing.
So don’t make the mistake of beginning and ending your cover letter practicum here at BGR. Go read Ask a Manager at least. It’s their whole area of expertise. But here are some of the most important rules, based on my own personal experience… and a twenty-second text conversation with Kitty.
We’ve been talking a lot recently about unequal circumstances. Some people, through no fault of their own, have a harder time achieving financial independence than others. This is why the “anyone can do it,” one-size-fits-all success narrative is harmful and exclusionary.
This question is a good example of one such set of circumstances. This came to us from an anonymous Tumblr follower.
“Bitches I need advice, I have never had a job because I was guilted into caring for an emotionaly abusive sick mother right out of high school. I am twenty three and have no idea what to go into now that I am free. I’m mostly afraid of going to school because I don’t have any money, but I have no idea what jobs I can get without an education! I don’t want to work in fast food and retail until I’m thirty, please tell me you can advise this poor bitch :(“
A poor bitch indeed. Oh, my sweet child of winter.
You have opened the door to my heart, and also my memories. Because I, too, spent a precious chunk of my young adulthood doing the exact same thing.
I ask myself why I did it all the time. The only real answer is that there is immense social pressure on children to care for their ill parents—particularly daughters. Friends and family members I hadn’t spoken with in years (or ever) tracked me down. They got my phone number from my mother, or found me on social media, and twisted my arm until it broke. I was too young and inexperienced to tell them to fuck off.
I share these details because I want you to know that you are not alone, and you will never be alone. Abusive and toxic people are very good at turning illness to their advantage. Their greedy hearts are fed by the sympathy and attention, and they will manipulate the situation to get what they want from you.
And the people who were absent? Who enabled them? Looked the other way? They’re tumbling out of the woodwork like termites to volunteer you for the job they don’t want to perform themselves.
And yet I’ve been stuck at the same company for almost eight years.
And I don’t want to be.
In that time, I’ve been promoted three times and I’ve received multiple raises. But it’s a small publishing house on a metaphorically small, remote island within the broader publishing industry.
And unless my boss gets torn apart by angry maenads sometime soon, I’ve literally reached the top of the ladder here. There’s nowhere else to go within my company, and very few options for other publishing jobs in the area.
I feel trapped. I feel like a failure. I’m bored, directionless, and frustrated. I want to enjoy going to work again. I want to feel challenged and get paid more.
So because I’m feeling rather… truthsome right now, I want to dissect my current career stagnation. I want to confess my failures and seek absolution. People of the Internet, be gentle with me.
Appearance-based discrimination happens all the time in the hiring process. And while you can’t help the color of your skin, your body size, or your gender, you can do something about what you wear and how you wear it to give yourself a fighting chance.
I interview job candidates all the time. I’m my company’s internship coordinator, and I also visit one of the local universities every year to practice mock interviews with their students and recent graduates.
So I’ve seen it all. Including the girl who dressed like Professor Trelawney on a bad hair day… and the guy I smelled before I saw him… and the girl who looked like she was dressed for our first date rather than an interview… and all the motherfuckers who dared to wear flip-flops to a goddamn job interview.
Guys, Bitches can’t thank you enough for stepping up and volunteering your salary histories for our recent article on job hopping. If you haven’t read it yet, go check it out and feel free to skip straight down to those juicy, delicious, nutritious comments.
We discovered some really interesting trends, and we’re going to break them down for you now!
Overall, commenters were big fans of a hybrid approach. Job hopping was universally endorsed as an essential move, regardless of career path, even by serial job monogamists. But occasionally stopping to rest once you’ve landed in a good position was also extremely popular.
Here are some of the factors that made people stay… and go.