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How To Sell I’m Better At Home – Ask Anne, The Pro Writer

Hi Anne,

Someplace I think you talked about convincing employers that you do better work at home. Could you tell me how you do that? I’ve tried, but with little luck.

Thanks so much.


Hi J.,

Did I say that? Maybe I did. Here’s my thinking on the topic.

Employers seem to fall into one of three categories when it comes to telecommuting:

  1. Some love folks who work from home. These employers know the telecommuter saves them money and makes their departmetn look good. They usually make it clear in their ad that they want a writer or editor who telecommutes. Every now and again you’ll see an ad that also says you’ve got to have a fax, fast ‘net connection, etc. I suspect these employers have either been burned by a non-professional or are new to hiring telecommuters.
  2. There are, obviously, managers who wouldn’t hire a telecommuter if their life depended on it. They worry about losing control, or they want you to be unhappy like they are. It won’t hurt to ask if you can work it home, just don’t take it personally when they say “no!”
  3. Then there are the empoyers who would be open to hiring a telecommuting writer or editor if someone asked them to. They just don’t (yet) think in those terms. These are the ones you can convince, although usually it doesn’t take much.

Of course the ads rarely let you know if you’re dealing with someone who is open to telecommuting. Sometimes the ad will give you a clue. If it brags about their wonderful offices, or sets out a time schedule, you can bet they at least aren’t used to hireing writers who work at home. Go ahead and ask, but don’t expect much.

I don’t know how often I’ve convinced someone I can work well at home. When I spot an ad I want to answer I just make the assumption they expect me to work at home. I can’t remember being told no simply because I want to telecommute – not when responding to online ads for writers. I am pretty picky about the ads I respond to. I’m not much help, am I?

How do you get telecommuting jobs?



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