Whether you’re a new mom looking to re-enter the workforce or you just want a job that lets you work remotely, flexible careers can lead to better productivity and happiness — so why not break out of the traditional mold?
“If you've been away from the workforce for a while, it's common to worry that diving back into the traditional 9 to 5 work style won't quite work for you,” says Brie Reynolds, a career specialist with FlexJobs. “Flexible and remote jobs can be a great option, especially if you still have a lot of responsibilities to juggle outside of your professional career.”
Below are four tips to keep in mind as you launch your flexible career, plus nine resources that can help you along the way.
Before you begin your search, you may want to talk to other women who've successfully established flexible careers. Find out how they got their jobs and let them know you’re interested in a similar arrangement, says Meredith Bodgas, editor-in-chief of Working Mother magazine. “You can find these women by attending conferences and panels on flexible work,” Bodgas explained. You never know what leads they might pass your way.
If you’ve worked remotely before, make a note of that on your résumé and LinkedIn profile. It’s a good idea to highlight that you can use remote working tools such as Skype and GoToMeeting as well, Reynolds says. “Most of these tools offer free trials or levels, so start using them and you'll be able to add them to your résumé." This will make you a more appealing candidate for remote jobs.
Bodgas recommends applying for jobs that are up your alley even if they’re not advertised as having flexible hours or a remote option. Many companies allow alternative working arrangements but may not mention that in specific job postings. “Get a sense of what kinds of arrangements people with your role have at the company through blogs, the company's website and their social media posts," she says. "You can always express your interest in flexibility during an interview or once you've gotten an offer. It's something you can often negotiate."
A a few words of caution for flexible job seekers: Don’t pay anyone to conduct your search for a flexible job and don’t take on a job that doesn’t include an immediate paycheck. “When you're searching different job boards or websites online, don't use the phrases ‘work from home job’ or ‘work at home job’ because they're most often used by scammers posting fake jobs,” says Reynolds.
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