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Will working from home hurt me in the long run?
April 8, 2012 5:28 PM   Subscribe

I've been offered a home-based support position with a certain fruit-centric tech company we all know. Some aspects of working from home are appealing, but I'm concerned about potential limitations for advancement, as my goal is to remain at said company and move up the ladder. Should I hold out for an office-based position or jump at the chance to work for them now?

To be clear, the position is with the company itself, not a third party, and comes with full benefits. The money is OK considering I have a liberal arts degree and won't have to pay for gas, but I would need to be making more within 1-2 years. I've applied for a few other positions with the company, but this is the first one I've been interviewed for. However, given that I have other support experience, I think the chances are decent that I would eventually be hired for a non-virtual support position.

So, is working from home likely to make it more difficult to advance within the company?

And, would it look bad for me to turn down this offer, even if I explain my reasoning? That is, would the company be less likely to consider me for other positions?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Working from home makes it more difficult to advance in a company than working for them in an office environment.

However, working from home makes it about a kabillion times easier to advance in a company than not working for them at all, as long as you actively continue to pursue other opportunities internally.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:52 PM on April 8, 2012 [12 favorites]


@jacquilynne has it right: ...working from home makes it about a kabillion times easier to advance in a company than not working for them at all...

Someone smarter than I said about the resume:
the only purpose of the resume is to secure an interview. Thus, the output of a resume is not a job, it is an interview. While an interview is not the job, it is a prerequisite to the job, and it must be completed successfully.

The only purpose of the first interview is to secure a second interview. The output of the first interview is not a job, it is a second interview. While a second interview is not the job, it is a prerequisite to the job, and it must be completed successfully.

The only purpose of the second interview is to secure an offer letter. The output of the second interview is not a job, it is an offer letter. While the offer letter is not the job, it is a prerequisite to the job, and it must be completed successfully.

The only purpose of the offer letter is to secure the job. The output of the offer letter is the job. Once you have secured the job, you can begin thinking about the promotion. While the job is not the promotion, it is a prerequisite to the promotion, and it must be completed successfully.
I forget the rest. Point being, how does one drive from New York to Los Angeles? First, one finds his car keys. Once you're in the company, there is all manner of actions you can take to raise your profile and be considered for an on-site job. For example, volunteer for an on-site task. Join an after-work social group. Step 3 is working on-site. Step 1 is taking the job, so to speak.

One caveat is that working from home is convenient. It does not maximise your career opportunities, it minimises lifestyle inefficiencies. Thus, once you have secured the role, your next task will be becoming visibile to begin discovering next steps.
posted by nickrussell at 6:14 PM on April 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


A bird in the hand is worth two-you know the rest.

Working from home with bennies is going to be awesome. If you kick butt at it, you will be noticed.
posted by roboton666 at 6:15 PM on April 8, 2012


Great advice above.

Agreed: take the job and excel, learn the org charts, read the newsletters, go in whenever you can (w/o being a pest). Opportunities will arise.

I disagree that working at home is so much better. Yes, it knocks out traffic and getting dressed and the difficulty of scheduling appointments for home repair & maintenance. These are not small considerations.

But my job involves building consensus, 5 or 6 times a day, among 5 or 6 stakeholders. I find it much easier to do that in person. I also find the onsite technology is much better/faster than the remote. I've come to prize flexibility over steady work-at-home: that is, I can work from wherever I need to be, with the office my default choice.
posted by LonnieK at 6:31 PM on April 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Lonnie: I'm not sure what this position is, but I doubt it involves much consensus building.

Based on the "work at home" initiatives I've been part of setting up, it involves some type of higher-level support center role that is reserved for people that demonstrate self-discipline and self-start productivity within a call center type business unit.

In my experience, things called "remote office" initiatives usually involve people in what I imagine your position to be.

I'm not trying to discount what you're saying, just trying to explain the nuanced vagaries of the terms used within large US corporations and how they relate to the job role and decision rights within the business.
posted by roboton666 at 8:59 PM on April 8, 2012


My limited knowledge of working for fruit-based companies: they always want motivated employees to improve and move upwards. I doubt working from home would matter.
posted by starman at 2:08 PM on April 9, 2012


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