Today Chris Brogan’s post struck a chord with me: working remotely & your personal brand. He pointed to some good articles by Shel Israel & Steve Rubel about working remotely. Seth Godin started one of his chapters in Meatball Sundae with this (and I LOVE quoting it):
Outsourcing: It’s not just possible to find someone to make/code/do something for you quickly & cheaply; it is now easy. The means of production of physical goods & intellectual property is no longer based on geography but is based on talent & efficiency instead.
I LOVE Steve’s term ‘Digital Nomads’. Really though, we call ourselves Remote Warriors. hmm Digital Warriors? just doesn’t sound quite right… if I was a coder, maybe?!
Here’s what I say:
No matter what you call us – I believe that if employers are requiring people to work onsite then they are overlooking some serious talent that could improve their bottom line
I think Remote Warrior is more appropriate in my case because I felt like it was a battle to find a job working remotely. I’ve been successfully working remotely as well as building a personal brand since I began working online. Before that I supervised 7 public libraries (6 were spread across an area spanning 85 miles). I have experience in this both from an administrative perspective as well as the more important one of leadership. Those skills easily transferred to the online setting. As many people commented on Chris’ blog it’s about communication. ‘That can be lacking even if everyone is in the same building! The one thing with working remotely is that I try to ask the right questions to ensure efficiency. Communication is my forte.
Chris also made the point of employers mixing personal brands with corporate brands. In applying for community manager jobs I was surprised that about half were specifically asking for someone well connected with influential bloggers. Some were asking what bloggers the applicant follows regularly (which would give a sense of their interests). So some companies are starting to recognize that a person’s network has value.
The interesting thing is that my present position with Network Solutions came to my inbox while I was on vacation in London. Yes, it was my network. As Chris suggested, my work is project oriented & measured by deliverables. And now I can meld the influence of my personal brand with Shashi’s commitment to moving the company forward. Is there value in that? stay tuned.. This week we made a step forward & it will gain momentum. (That’s what happens in my projects – I don’t like things standing still).
So what does this mean to you? I know that many of you are wanting to work remotely. Put the word out thru your network that you’re looking. I agree with Chris & Steve that we’re going to see some changing trends. And I’ve taken on the issue awhile ago.
If you’re an employer reading this ask yourself:
- For what reason are you sticking with the traditional paradigm?
- What would happen if you experimented with it? On a previous post people admitted that they get more done at working at home.
- Would it increase work performance & satisfaction?