Reentering the Workforce: Moving from Remote to Traditional Workplaces
There are many stages in a career, and multiple ways to achieve (and define!) work-life balance. It often happens that what seems best at one point in your life might not make sense a few years down the road. Reentering the workforce from one setting to another can sometimes be a difficult transition.
For example, maybe you’ve been a remote or distributed employee for years, but are now eager to test the waters as an onsite employee once again. Or perhaps you’re exploring a hybrid role that would have you in the office a few days per week and working from home (or anywhere with an Internet connection) otherwise.
How can you market your unique remote work skillset so that it’s considered an asset for any new role? Can reentering the workforce be a smooth transition?
Translating Your Remote Experience When Reentering the Workforce:
Remember that job listings are a company’s wishlist; these mention all of the traits that an ideal candidate would have. Recruiters recognize that such ‘purple squirrels’ are nearly impossible to come by. So instead of trying to fit yourself into the position description, look at ways in which it seems to fit you naturally.
- Were you in charge of a distributed team at any point in your career? If so, this means you overcame numerous communication (if not time zone) hurdles, and managed to build rapport among a group of people without much face-to-face interaction. You accomplished all of this while keeping an eye on productivity. Those leadership skills could apply to many new roles, and prove your ability to motivate and influence others without having to be present.
- As a manager or team member, you know that occasionally even the most tightly bonded teams can hit a few bumps in the road. Because of this, it’s highly likely you also picked up some helpful conflict resolution skills along the way. A heightened sense of awareness is critical to interpersonal skills, and yours has been honed by a necessity to read between the lines in predominantly text-based communication and be proactive when things have gone awry.
- You take ‘self-starter’ to a new level (but don’t say that). Having been a remote employee, you possess a slew of positive traits. You’re tenacious, trustworthy, empathetic and adaptable. Whether these traits are innate or were acquired over time, they help to position you as a candidate who takes their work seriously, cares about others, and solves their own problems. Who wouldn’t want to hire someone like that?
- Your experience has made you a remote work subject-matter-expert. Naturally, you understand the unique challenges and advantages of remote work more completely than most folks who’ve never done it. As such, you can help your next organization take a big picture view of flexible work options and even assist with the creation of a companywide policy. The insider insights you offer could prevent them from common mistakes that companies frequently make when transitioning to remote work.
As you consider which path to take, you now have the opportunity to select which remote work stories you’ll have at the ready in your next job interview. Remote work isn’t a career choice to overcome; it’s an experience that provides a firm foundation for any knowledge worker.
Readers, are you reentering the workforce from a remote role to a traditional role? Tell us in the comments below!
By Kristi DePaul | September 14, 2016 | Categories: Remote Management