June 22, 2018

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Why I Donít Like Lists of Telecommuting Companies

In my research for telecommuting jobs, Iíve encountered several sources that provide lists of companies that offer telecommuting. I have to be truthful; when I see these lists I get hives.

Not to knock the information provided, some of these lists are well researched and pretty accurate; many companies do provide employees with the option to telecommute. But the problem is this: do these listed companies have any job openings right now? When I search for work-at-home opportunities, Iím more inclined to look for "job openings," not just companies that are known to offer telecommuting, and thereís a valid reason for this.

Before I state my reasons, let me illustrate them. Letís just say that there is a company called R&M Inc. R&M Inc. has an excellent benefits package and pays one-half of child-care costs for its employees. Pretty great huh? Itís widely known throughout the community that they pay $12.00 an hour, on average, to entry-level workers. Now, letís suppose I have two small children in day-care. My caring family suggests that I apply for a job at R & M Inc. After all, the company pays well and with two children, could definitely use their child-care benefit.

Sounds logical. However, what my family and friends donít realize is that R & M Inc. is a manufacturing company. Therefore positions available are strictly assembly jobs. Now, what if my skill and experience lends toward office work, say as an Executive Assistant and Iím accustomed to a salary of $16 an hour opposed to the offered $12 an hour R&M Inc is offering? Youíre starting to see the light, this is a bad match and my friends and family are giving me bad advice. Letís examine the situation further. R & M Inc. has a one-way commute time of 45 minutes from my home -- not good, especially for a mother of two small children. They have no administrative jobs open and they usually donít because employees in those jobs stick with them Ė itís a really great company! To top it off, the fine print on R&M Inc.ís benefit policy says that employees do not receive child-care reimbursement until two years of full-time employ or 6 months of employ in a management position.

If I had listened to my friends and family without examining the opportunity myself, I would have changed my profession. Iíd also have had commuted almost an hour and a half round-trip every day and be forced to wait two years (when one of my children begins kindergarten) to get a cut in child-care costs. Instead of chasing a ďbenefitĒ, I should look for positions that fit my experience and skill. Within the open positions I find, I should then look for a particular "benefit" that suits me . . . like child-care reimbursement . . . or telecommuting.

So you see, when applying to companies on a telecommuting list, you must first determine if the company has a position that you can fill. If you send your resume to the company without first finding this out, your resume will end up in the circular file (the trash can). Many companies that offer telecommuting only offer this option to veteran employees (employees that have been employed by the company over three years) or special employees like managers or executives. Many companies will NOT even entertain telecommuting for those in the clerical staff or entry-level positions.

Do you see the dead ends in this avenue? That is why I am more inclined to search for actual job openings that state that the employer is open to work-at-home options. When I send my resume to these positions, I can rest assured that the employer is considering my resume, there is an open position and that it will allow me to telecommute.

If you really examine the process logically, companies are not looking for telecommuters. Companies are looking for competent employees that can do the job with very little training and make them a profit. No employer ever says, "Gosh, I have this open position and I donít want to SEE another employee, I think Iíll hire a telecommuter." It just doesnít work like that! So, now you understand why I prefer a good, old-fashioned job announcement with a title, duty descriptions and a request for a resume. Lists are only a beginning of your job search, not the end. Once you have the list, you will have to contact each company, visit their website, and examine all their job vacancies. When you finally find the one job that you can fill, that also states it is telecommutable Ė then your search has ended. Or perhaps, itís all just beginning! Good luck!

-Rosalind Mays
Copyright © 1998-2000 Rosalind Mays. All Rights Reserved. Rosalind Mays, best-selling author of The Real Deal on Telecommuting, and co-author of "Get Your Money Back! Stop Scammers and Save Your Dollars," works at home as an Internet Researcher. She hopes her advice and report (which compiles all the information she found while searching for her current job) will shorten other job seeker's time in finding legitimate work at home opportunities. Visit for a free list of telecommuting jobs compiled monthly. Go to: to learn more about her books. She may be reached via e-mail

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