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What are the options for working from home?


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Old 20th March 2011, 2:13 PM   #1
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What are the options for working from home?

I'm trying to look a bit ahead and see where I want to be professionally 5-10 years down the road. I might be living a bit remotely and/or in a country where I won't have too many employment opportunities, so one of the options I want to look into are different opportunities for home based work. I've already been doing some on consultancy basis, but am curious more generally what kind of work it's possible to do from home, and pros and cons of doing it full time as opposed to having a more regular office/institution based job (it's been a part time thing next to full time work for me so far).

Anyone with experiences to share?
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Old 21st March 2011, 12:10 PM   #2
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Hi Denise,

I've worked from home for the last 10 years or so. I both consult and teach. Of the two, the latter is more suited to a full-time WAH situation, as consulting requires me (usually) to spend a certain amount of time meeting with clients. Consulting is also less certain: some months there is a lot of money to be made; other months, not so much. Teaching pays less but is more consistent. I teach at the university level and do not receive benefits as I am not considered fulltime, but if I were to teach for my state's online high school, I would be a full time employee with benefits. I do not know if there would be a residency requirement, but there would be set hours, which is something I prefer to avoid.

Hope this helps a bit!
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Old 21st March 2011, 12:26 PM   #3
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OP, I'll provide an example: My best friend faced a choice a couple years ago. His controller was reluctantly going to give up her job because her husband was being re-assigned across the state to a new position. She's a great controller and a real asset to the company. So, he made arrangements for her to continue her job via communication technologies (teleconference, computer network and phone) from her remote location, all at his cost.

Myself, I've been 'working' from home for about 25 years and do live in a relatively remote location, but my skillset is valued by those in the surrounding areas sufficiently to bring me work and maintain the lifestyle I desire.

Do you prefer a structured environment or a more free-flowing and self-directed process? Independent work, especially home-based, IME, generally takes more of a 'self-starting' attitude and desire and passion for the work. So, in the example I described above, the personality of the controller would be pivotal to her effectiveness as an independent contractor versus an employee.

With the technologies available today, it's pretty easy to investigate and network in a specific geographical area to assess the potentials. Success is where preparation and opportunity meet. Good luck
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Old 21st March 2011, 2:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chocolat View Post
Hi Denise,

I've worked from home for the last 10 years or so. I both consult and teach. Of the two, the latter is more suited to a full-time WAH situation, as consulting requires me (usually) to spend a certain amount of time meeting with clients. Consulting is also less certain: some months there is a lot of money to be made; other months, not so much. Teaching pays less but is more consistent. I teach at the university level and do not receive benefits as I am not considered fulltime, but if I were to teach for my state's online high school, I would be a full time employee with benefits. I do not know if there would be a residency requirement, but there would be set hours, which is something I prefer to avoid.

Hope this helps a bit!
Thanks, Chocolat! Yes, consulting and teaching are the options that are probably most likely for me as well, as I've been doing both previously and know I would be able to at least get some consulting even in the 'middle of nowhere' as long as I could travel occasionally. I haven't explored or really thought of teaching online courses, but that's a very good idea for the list of things to look into. I wouldn't really mind set hours.
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Old 21st March 2011, 2:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by carhill View Post
OP, I'll provide an example: My best friend faced a choice a couple years ago. His controller was reluctantly going to give up her job because her husband was being re-assigned across the state to a new position. She's a great controller and a real asset to the company. So, he made arrangements for her to continue her job via communication technologies (teleconference, computer network and phone) from her remote location, all at his cost.

Myself, I've been 'working' from home for about 25 years and do live in a relatively remote location, but my skillset is valued by those in the surrounding areas sufficiently to bring me work and maintain the lifestyle I desire.

Do you prefer a structured environment or a more free-flowing and self-directed process? Independent work, especially home-based, IME, generally takes more of a 'self-starting' attitude and desire and passion for the work. So, in the example I described above, the personality of the controller would be pivotal to her effectiveness as an independent contractor versus an employee.

With the technologies available today, it's pretty easy to investigate and network in a specific geographical area to assess the potentials. Success is where preparation and opportunity meet. Good luck

Thanks for that carhill - yes I need to think about how to exploit technologies fully, as my skill set would probably be better put to use virtually than locally depending a bit on where I move. This is still quite up in the air and I'm not even sure at this point which country I will be in, so it's kind of a brainstorming phase more than preparation as of yet - but you have that last line right.

I'm not worried about being self motivated. I've had jobs where I've needed to drive processes forward for many years and I do prefer self directed work. I'm doing a PhD at the moment which is quite demanding in that sense and have been doing various consultancy work long distance etc. What I would be quite worried about though is maintaining a healthy work/life balance and manage to cut off work when my home is also my office. I have workaholic tendencies so I struggle a lot with that in general, and working home based only would probably reinforce it/ make it even harder to deal with.
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