Kerry Hannon’s new book has advice and information for older workers on how to secure a good remote job.
Remote working has come to the fore over the last months and more and more jobs are expected to be open to some form of remote working in the future. But what if you want to go fully remote? A new book gives some advice on finding fully remote jobs and making the most of them.
Kerry Hannon is a remote working veteran and her book is written specifically for older workers. She points out some of the benefits of going fully remote when you are older aside from the obvious ones of greater flexibility and freedom, savings on commuting and other costs and reducing your carbon footprint. For one, you already have good professional networks and skills and are able to work more independently. Another lesser-known benefit is that your age is not necessarily as front and centre when you work remotely. While there has been a debate in the UK about whether remote workers – or their employers – should pay more tax, Hannon highlights states in the US which encourage remote working as a way to bring better paid jobs to rural and economically disadvantaged areas.
Hannon points out some of the fastest growing remote job fields, including health, education, accountancy, engineering and e-commerce, and there is a whole chapter on different remote jobs and potential earnings alongside case studies of people doing those jobs. Another chapter highlights some of the leading remote employers – most of them are based in the US, but there are several multinationals like Dell and Amazon.
The book advises what to look out for to spot a work-from-home scam, including unsolicited job emails, any jobs that ask you to pay for a work from home kit or the like, typos, promises of lots of money for very little work and jobs that ask for your bank details at a very early stage.
Hannon then explores some myths about homeworking, for instance, that you can work anywhere in the world. She says most require some link to the hub office, for training and occasional meetings. Moreover, she says that, although you might be able to set your own hours, you may have to work within a set schedule to attend to customers and colleague demands. Moreover, she says having a set schedule can be useful to provide discipline and demarcate between work and home time – as can, despite the book’s title, dressing for work. Hannon also shows that many remote jobs started off as office-based with workers negotiating time at home through asking for trial periods or gradually shifting to being home-based while making a strong business case to support their request, such as greater efficiency or productivity.
For those applying for remote jobs, Hannon advises familiarising yourself with remote tools such as collaboration apps. You will need to show you have the tech skills to manage alone, she says. After months of Covid working from home many will be familiar with Zoom and the like, but it’s worth checking out other tools like Trello and emphasising soft skills such as communication and self-management. There is also advice on remote interviews, including video interviews and automated interviews [which she says seem more like acting than interviewing]. Practice is important, she says, and taking account of everything from body language to background.
Hannon finishes with suggestions on how to combat isolation – for instance, get out to events, meet up with people and change remote office location. She states: “Remote working is not about working less. No slackers need apply. It is about valuing ourselves, our talents, our independence and our lives. And that’s precisely the ticket to falling in love with a great pajama job. You’re fully engaged, enthusiastic and productive. You’re making a difference with the work you do, contributing your intrinsic skills to an organisation’s mission and genuinely touching the lives of others, whether it’s through a product you’re tasked with creating or a service you deliver. A great pajama job frees you to do your best work ever.”
*Great Pajama Jobs by Kerry Hannon is published by Wiley, price £13.28.