Telecommuting Is Not a Profession

by Sharlyn Lauby on December 21, 2014

I recently ran across an article talking about the “honest truths of the telecommuting profession.” The article went on to explain that individuals who telecommute need to be self-motivated, have excellent prioritization skills and exceptional communication skills.

The reason that I’m not sharing this article with you is because telecommuting is not a profession. We don’t say, “I want to be a telecommuter when I grow up.” We don’t run job openings for “telecommuters”. A profession is defined as a paid occupation that usually involves some sort of training, education, or qualification. Telecommuting is working from home. It’s a means to get work done.

stairway, telecommuting, telecommuter, profession, occupation, job, work

It reminds me of freelancing. A freelancer works for several different companies rather than being employed by one organization. Freelancing isn’t a profession. What a person does as a freelancer is a profession. For example, I’m a freelance writer – so, writing is my profession. Freelancing is how I accomplish my work.

Now some people might say the distinction is minor. But I’m not sure that it is. The second part of this article talked about the skills that teleworkers need to have. No arguments there. I agree that teleworkers need to be self-motivated, have excellent prioritization skills and exceptional communication skills. In fact, I’ll go one step further and say every employee, whether they telecommute or not, needs to have those skills.

That’s why I think understanding a profession is important. A profession is an occupation. It has specific skills and educational requirements. If we want to help people be successful in their jobs, we need to know what jobs are. Versus methods to get jobs done. We can’t design good jobs if we don’t know what jobs are.

Right now, the business community is talking about creating jobs that will attract top talent. They are making a direct connection between work and employee engagement. And they’re saying that employees stay with companies because they understand the impact their work has on the bottom-line. None of that will happen if the people who design work don’t know the difference between work methods and the work itself. In addition, we won’t be able to improve our work methods if we don’t recognize them as such.

One of the wonderful things about working today is the variety of methods we have to accomplish our work. I’d like to suggest we don’t mess that up by misinterpreting them for jobs. Because the adoption rate for methods (like telecommuting) is directly related to it’s success. And it will not be successful if we don’t define and manage it appropriately.

Image courtesy of HR Bartender


Know Your Limits – Friday Distraction

by Sharlyn Lauby on December 19, 2014

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at Kronos, the global leader in delivering workforce management solutions in the cloud. Thousands of organizations in more than 100 countries — including more than half of the Fortune 1000 — use Kronos to control labor costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity. Learn more at Enjoy the post!)

Now that the U.S. mid-term elections are over, I figured it was safe to post this Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos. It made me smile.

Time Well Spent, Kronos, limits, business, overtime, boundaries

Political humor aside, it also spoke to me about knowing our limits. In the cartoon, they refer to the overtime limit – which is important. We need to understand our resource limits and manage them accordingly. That being said, there are times when we need to push the limits to ensure a project is completed properly. (I’ll let you insert your own comment about cheesy politicians here. ha.ha.)

But this also applies to our personal limits. We need to be aware of the boundaries we’ve set for ourselves. And sometimes be prepared to push those limits to grow professionally.

Playing it safe isn’t always a winning strategy. It’s about knowing your limits and the right moments to push the boundaries.


Are You Playing Chess or Checkers With Your Career

December 17, 2014

At this year’s SilkRoad Connections conference, Ryan Estis asked a question that stuck with me. Are you playing chess or checkers with your career? Think about it. Playing checkers implies that we’re only thinking one move ahead. Chess means that we’re thinking several moves ahead. There’s nothing wrong with either one of them. There have […]

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Everything #HR Needs to Know About “The Cloud”

December 14, 2014

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at Kronos, the global leader in delivering workforce management solutions in the cloud. Over 12,000 organizations run in the KronosCloud including Briggs & Stratton, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and the Columbus Regional Airport Authority. Enjoy the post!) There’s lots of talk in […]

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The Fine Line Between Job Hopping and Career Growth [infographic] – Friday Distraction

December 12, 2014

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF works to attract, develop and retain professionals for the restaurant industry. Enjoy today’s post!) Let me tell you a little career secret. Sometimes the way to earn more […]

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In Defense of Business Buzzwords

December 11, 2014

I saw this post recently on Jennifer McClure’s Unbridled Talent blog and I can’t resist commenting. I was going to reach out to her directly, but decided I’d like to pick your brain on the subject of buzzwords or buzzphrases. I totally understand where Jennifer is coming from in her post. I hear phrases like […]

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How to Identify Bottlenecks in Your Recruitment Process

December 9, 2014

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at iCIMS, a leading provider of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) talent acquisition solutions for growing businesses. NJBIZ recently ranked iCIMS 18th on the list of New Jersey’s Fast Growing Companies. Congrats to them! Enjoy the post.) We all know what a bottleneck is, right? It’s the […]

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