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Remote Work vs. Telecommuting: Surefire Ways To Tell The Difference
Quick tips on what to look out for.
As an expat in Buenos Aires, who until very recently was being paid in Argentine pesos, my salary nearly halved when Argentina's currency plummeted this August. Facing my financial reality like the fiscally responsible millennial I am, I was worried I might have to move back to the U.S. and leave the city I've come to love. But then a friend suggested a seemingly perfect solution to my dilemma: working remotely. I could continue living in Argentina while working for an American company… and start getting paid in sweet, stable U.S. dollars.
As I began searching for my ideal remote gig, I quickly discovered that not all jobs advertised as remote actually are (luckily my new role as a content marketing associate at PowerToFly is). To my frustration, I realized I didn't qualify for many "remote" jobs because I wasn't located in a particular part of the U.S. Why would companies offer the flexibility to work outside the office and then impose these restrictions?
So I did some digging, and discovered that those companies were actually looking for telecommuters. While many people consider telecommuting and remote work to be synonymous (and oftentimes they are used interchangeably, to the confusion of many, myself included), there is actually an important difference in meaning.
Whether you're an employer or a job seeker, the key is to know what you're looking for and strategize accordingly.
Do you want to cast a truly global net in your search? If so, label your job opportunity as remote and make it clear that it doesn't matter where the applicant is based.
Alternatively, if you're only looking for workers in certain regions, label your job as telecommuting and specify the exact restrictions in your post!
Do you want a truly remote job that gives you the flexibility to work from the beaches of Thailand or the comfort of your bedroom? If so, be sure you're looking at remote jobs that don't have any listed restrictions.
Or would you rather find a job that offers you the flexibility to work from home, with the option to come into the office occasionally and physically interact with your team? If so, you may want to gear your search towards telecommuting gigs.
Regardless of whether you're looking for a remote or telecommuting gig, consider using both terms in your search in order to maximize your chances of finding what you're looking for. In spite of the growth of telecommuting itself (FlexJobs' 2017 State of Telecommuting report stated that nine million people work from "home" at least half of the time, a substantial increase from 1.8 million in 2005), a quick Google search reveals that telecommuting jobs returns 19,600,000 results compared to 546,000,000 for remote jobs.This may be due to the fact that the term telecommuting often evokes images of car phones and oversized blazers… which makes sense, given that the term was first popularized in 1980. Many younger workers who technically would be considered telecommuters prefer to use the term remote worker because it sounds more modern, and employers will often categorize jobs as remote to appeal to a wider base of candidates.
So, is telecommuting just an old-fashioned way to say remote work?
Telecommuting might sound like an antiquated term, but its meaning is distinct from that of remote work, and employers as well as job seekers should be aware of the difference.
That said, whatever type of flexible job you're looking for, always do your due-diligence. If you're a job seeker and you're not sure whether the "remote" job you just found will give you the flexibility to work from your current home-base in Vietnam, ask for clarification. After all, the key to success in any out-of-office job is good communication.
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7 Companies Hiring Now + Advice from Former Interns at BuzzFeed, Microsoft, & More
It's the end of April. Which for folks in the Northern hemisphere means spring is in full bloom. But for U.S. college students, the end of April means the end of classes and the start of summer...internships.
Even though classes are winding down and exams are in sight, it's not too late to land a summer internship with one of these great companies!
Get Hired With These 4 Tips & Our Technical Resume Templates
There's no shortage of resume templates online, but if you're applying to a technical job, you need to make sure that your resume doesn't just look good, but makes you look good too by showcasing your relevant skills.
Want to join this webinar and learn more? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for an invite.
PowerToFly is thrilled to partner with DigitalOcean (a dynamic, fast-growing startup that serves a robust and passionate community of developers, teams, and businesses around the world) to present a virtual tech talk and audience Q&A with several of their women tech leaders.
The webinar will take place on Tuesday, May 7th at 1:00pm EST / 10:00am PST.
After the tech talk, PowerToFly Cofounder and President Katharine Zaleski will lead a brief panel discussion with several of DigitalOcean's women engineering leaders, discussing their career journeys, current projects, and what it's like working for a mostly remote company.
Although you don't need to be looking for new job opportunities to attend the webinar, DigitalOcean does have a number of open remote roles. In fact, about 70% of DigitalOcean's engineering team works remotely! Their competitive benefits include monthly gym reimbursements, monthly commute allowances, and a 401k with up to a 4% employer match. To learn more about DigitalOcean's open roles, visit their page on PowerToFly.
About our webinars: All RSVP'd attendees are welcome, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, or age.
As the Senior Manager of Marketing & Community at PowerToFly, I get to meet and connect with new women each day. Many of these connections are made via LinkedIn, which means that my virtual network is constantly expanding.