Job Change

Remote, Telecommuting a growing trend and with wi-fi the world is the limit!!

Remote, Telecommuting a growing trend and with wi-fi there is no limit!!


Starting off my career in computer programming at Ontario Hydro, I watched the 80’s bring in some of the first contract workers and consulting houses.  By 1985, I joined the contract team, but still had to go into the office to do my work.  The years progressed, laptops appeared.  We could now take our work home with us.  Then the internet arrived and home/virtual offices are becoming the norm.  

1985 the year I started contracting, 1988 the year I started working from home.  My computer used floppy discs, took forever to boot up and I had to go into the office to pick up and deliver my assignments.  There was no email, only a few faxes, no webinars or yahoo chat or msn messenger.  NO INTERNET.  But there were people.  Lots of personal contact, either on the phone or in the office.  Job interviews were F2F, based on your typed resume with no fancy fonts or pictures.  No online surveys, video interviews or phone generated generic interviews.  Nope not back in 1988, show up at the company’s office – early, in your best suit or dress.  Preparation for the interview – friends/family who knew about the company, newspapers, maybe the library.  My desk came equipped with an electric typewriter, my computer, my phone, and a drawer for my paper files.  When I first started working remotely our numbers were mostly made up of 20 year old computer wizs or stay-at-home moms.  In 2014 

The typical telecommuter is a 49-year-old college graduate — man or woman — who earns about $58,000 a year and belongs to a company with more than 100 employees, according to numbers culled from the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey. The New York Times

The technology, the hardware, the firewalls, the ability to work remotely just keeps on improving.  After the winter of 2014 where we couldn’t get out of our driveway for 3 days and we only live 30 kms from Toronto systems were put in place to make access to your work place easier and more secure. 

Federal employees in Washington who worked from home during four official snow days saved the government an estimated $32 million, according to Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, and its research arm Telework Research Network.”  The New York Times

Telus is now working toward a goal of having 70 per cent of its work force telecommuting by 2015.”  The Globe and Mail


“More than half of us will be working remotely by 2020, said executives, entrepreneurs and business academics at London Business School’s Global Leadership Summit”.  London School of Business

It soon became apparent that I had to set rules and guidelines for myself and family members.  My first and most important mandate was:

This is your career treat it with respect.  

From this statement I was able look at my issues and set up some standards for operating my business.  This included simple things like:

  1. Setting up a private office.  I set up a room in the house that was out of bounds for children and visitors (my cats were and still are welcome).
  2. A proper desk and comfortable chair are a necessity.
  3. Getting out of my pajamas when I went into my office.  I still do casual office attire, but my makeup is on and it makes me feel more professional.
  4. If you have children be prepared to get a babysitter for your busy times.  
  5. Shut the door so there are fewer distractions.  Make sure all family members know the rules.  They can’t be yelling for you when you are on the phone conducting an interview.
  6. Take your lunch break away from your desk.  Go for a walk outside.  Stretch your legs and relax your mind for 60 minutes.  
  7. Set up mini deadlines.  These tasks have to be finished before I can succumb to another cup of tea.
  8. Set up a schedule for checking your personal email, etc, that way it won’t become distracting.
  9. Separation of job and family time.  Don’t work on the weekend just because it is there and easy to access.  It is so easy to say “I will just go and finish that report”.  If you aren’t late with the task then use your weekends/night time for family time.
  10. If your work is computer related, then unplug it and take it to the coffee shop for a change of scenery.
  11. Keep your equipment up to date, if your computer needs upgrading then do it.  Otherwise you will lose productive time with a computer that is slowing down and freezing.

When you respect your career you automatically respect yourself

These small guidelines have helped me work successfully from home for the past 25 years.  When I started treating my job like a career, it didn’t take long for my family and neighbours to follow suit.  I’m still working on the cats  O:).

I am becoming known as “have computer and wi-fi will travel”.  This week my computer is in Fort Lauderdale, no snow, no cold, no driving, no stress.  I have worked on sunny patios, docks, North America and Europe.  Can’t wait to see where it takes me next.  

Being able to work remotely is becoming a strong bargaining point when changing or improving your career.  One day a week up to only coming in for meetings.  Companies are accepting this practice more and more.  Are you thinking about joining the bandwagon?  Would love to hear about your thoughts and experience on working remotely.  Let me know what you have done to make it a successful experience.  

happyfacehanddrawn Good Luck job huntingguestpostintroductionLynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programming and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment.  Absolutely loves social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!

A New Year, Time for a Fresh Start, Where to Begin

2015, a new year.  Maybe you are still looking for a job or you feel like a change.  Whatever the reason, new years, new seasons tend to encourage us to start looking at lifestyle and goal changes.  As in everything I do in life, I make a list.  Whether it’s in a little notebook or on your iPad, start jotting down things that can help you in your job hunting or career change.

  1. Update your resume.  Always have your resume ready to go.  You never know when or where you will hear about the perfect job that you have been looking for.  It could be at the coffee shop, lunch with friends, on the internet (job boards, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).  Have a good look at the format:
    • is the font easy to read (arial, tahoma), minimum 10 point, black (for most professions:  IT, Finance)
    • keep the format simple:  profile, education, technical skills, experience
    • take out the superfluous information:  hobbies, references, pictures, age, etc.
    • get rid of any fancy boxes, they don’t copy over properly and things can be missed
    • use tabs and returns, not spaces for formatting.  If you aren’t sure how, go on to Google and take a quick lesson. Basic formatting is really quite easy and will save you a ton of time in the long term
    • make sure your contact information is up to date and shown on every page
    • save as a Word document
  2. Update your on-line profiles.  Set up new on-line accounts.  Don’t have a twitter account, then get one.  Network with your contacts.  Send out a quick “Have a great 2015, btw I am looking to change my career” or “Thinking of changing my career to … any advice on courses or places to apply”.
  3. Look at the jobs you have been applying for and be truthful with yourself.  Do you need another certificate or upgrading of your skills, then maybe now is the time to do it.
  4. Check out the job boards and the business section of newspapers, etc. to find out what is happening out there.  What’s HOT, what’s NOT.
  5. Volunteering is a great way to meet people and show off your skills.  There isn’t a lot of competition in volunteer groups, they are made up of people who want to help other people.  So let them know that you are looking for a job or planning on changing your career.  And to top it off volunteering is good for your self esteem and makes you feel great.
A new year, a new job, a promotion.  Be ready when opportunity knocks.
Happy New Year everyone.
andhappyfacehanddrawn Good Luck job huntingguestpostintroductionLynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programming and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment.  Absolutely loves social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!

Career Change – How to Decide?

 Changing  Careers – Where to start?

It is important to assess or clarify exactly what you are looking for short term and also where you want to be long term.  Remember when changing your career it also affects your family life and your social life.  So don’t forget to include these categories in your list.  Here are 8 categories to help you analyze your next career change:

  1. ›What is your objective
  2. ›What type of organization
  3. ›Supervisory or not
  4. ›Salary
  5. ›Type of employment
  6. ›Location
  7. ›New technologies
  8. ›You and/or your family


What is your objective

  • ›Are you looking to gain new skills?
  • ›Do you want to move into a leadership position?
  • ›What technologies do you like working with the most?
  • ›Where do you want to be in 5 years and what will help you get there?

What type of organization

  • ›Is there a specific industry you are interested in, ie finance, manufacturing, health, government?
  • ›Would you be interested in a large national/international company where there is room for transfers to other locations?
  • ›How about a start-up?  Do you have the skills that could take a start-up to the next level? Or just like the excitement of new and innovative environments?
  • ›Do you like bureaucracy or are you more comfortable in a family environment?

Supervisor or not

Some people are made to be in a supervisory position, other people find it very challenging.  There is nothing wrong with either side.  It is important for you to analyze yourself and decide if you like and want the extra challenges that go with supervising people.

  • ›Do you like a challenging puzzle? If you like getting involved in a puzzle then supervising might not be for you.
  • ›Supervising means making time for people and their problems and idiosyncrasies.
  • ›You have to be tough and soft and fair.


How important is Salary

  • ›Is money the most important thing in your life right now?  No shame in admitting this.  Money makes the world go round and helps you buy a house, go on a vacation, or pay off a loan.
  • ›Is learning a new skill more important than the salary?
  • ›Is this a good time to add extra experience and education to your resume and not worry as much about the salary?  Sometimes a long term career path means not necessarily going for the big pay cheque.

Contract or Permanent

  • ›Do you like the security of a permanent position?  These can include scheduled raises, health benefits, vacation time, possibility for advancement.  Your job may be like your family.


  • ›Are you more comfortable being a contractor and being your own boss.  Like having control of your salary and where the write-offs go.  The larger salary compensates for time off between jobs.  Do you like the idea of being able to take a summer off or travel for 4 months?  Do you find that new people, new systems, new companies enhance your work experience or do they stress you?

Location – to commute or not

Commuting is a big deal breaker on my list.

  • ›Do you like to drive?
  • ›Are you and the company close to public transportation?
  • ›How about the expense of car, parking, public transportation?
  • ›How long does the commute take?  Are you going to be happy with needing an extra 2 hours for transportation?
  • Don’t forget to think about those long Canadian winters when you factor in commuting.

New and Innovative Technologies

Are you comfortable with the technologies you are using or do you want to train with the new technologies on the marketplace?

  • ›Keep up to date on new/emerging technologies and what companies/systems are using them.
  • ›What’s hot, what’s not?  COBOL, Java, Hadoop.  What companies offer training in the new technologies?
  • ›Read industry publications to keep up to date on emerging technologies.
  • ›Do you need to go back to school or take a course/certificate?

You and Your Family

Times change and so do you.  Just graduated, no family ties – then long hours and travelling with your job are great.  Add a family into the scenario or have an older parent you need to help with.  Your needs change and so do theirs.

  • ›There is nothing more fun than coaching one of your kids at yours/their favourite sport.  Will the new job provide the opportunity to get home early enough for that?
  • ›Does the new company have a day care centre?
  • ›Health Benefits can make a huge difference in your life style.
  • ›Older parents, spouse’s career, are you at an age when you would like a little more time off.  These are all factors that you have to analyze when you are looking for a new position.

What factor is the deal breaker for you?

Everyone has different needs.  As you grow in your career your needs will change.  It’s important to analyze each factor for each time in your life.  Be honest!!  Changing careers and companies is a hard decision and not something you want to regret.

Start with these 8 factors and analyze each one.  Let me know which factor, either one of these or one of your own that made the difference in your decision.


happyfacehanddrawn Good luck job hunting


Lynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programming and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment.  Absolutely loves social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!