Sara Sutton Fell is the Founder CEO of FlexJobs, an award-winning service that helps job-seekers find professional opportunities that also offer work flexibility, such as telecommuting, freelance, part-time or alternative schedules.
Sure, computer programming jobs are often associated with the ability to work from home, but a neurosurgeon? Surprisingly, there recently was an open position for a home-based doctor who would telecommute and travel to various locations to perform brain surgery.
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In fact, medical jobs dominate flexible job listings, and a neurosurgeon is only one of the many surprising employment opportunities across the board in 50+ career fields that are hiring for virtual positions.
Companies such as ATT, Sun Microsystems, Cisco and even the IRS are just a few of the larger establishments that offer the ability to work from home, with small companies offering similar opportunities as well. The advancements in and proliferation of digital technology have made it possible to do many jobs from anywhere in the world.
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Advantages of Going Remote
The Telework Research Network reports that Sun’s 19,000 teleworkers save it $96 million on real estate, electricity and IT. Oracle reduced its required office space per person from 248 to 140 square feet, and the U.S. Patent Office saves $11 million a year, thanks to telecommuting.
Cisco sponsored National Telework Week back in March, and the Telework Exchange reported that 71,324 pledged to attend, reducing pollutants by 6,905,213 pounds and commuting by 6,413,006 miles and 251,774 hours.
To top it off, Citrix released findings in June that “workers feel they need a break from the office” and would like the “flexibility to work from home just one day a week.” Among the reasons was that “three-quarters of office workers have at least one company event they secretly dislike.”
Similarly, studies such as one conducted by Stanford University in 2011 found that teleworkers are more productive, happier, and as result, more likely to stick around when they have the option to work remotely. For employers, these findings mean less employment turnover with increased profits.
Popular Industries and Skill Sets
The rise of company-consumer interactions online allows brands to develop more touch points with less overhead. Technology makes it easier to communicate, from cheap, reliable Wi-Fi to video-conferencing and file-sharing. Some common telecommuting titles now include Social Media Campaign Manager and Social Media Strategist.
In other media career fields, writers, video editors and account executives are just a few of the virtual jobs that need to be filled. As for more traditional tech jobs, companies such as UnitedHealth Group, O’Reilly Media, and Talbots have recently listed positions with the option to work remotely. Anything from a freelance copywriter to a campus representative can work away from an office.
Surprising Telecommuting Jobs
Although many telecommuting positions are considered standard, some of today’s telecommuting job listings may surprise you.
For example, people looking to run a company from home are in luck because virtual positions for CEOs, VPs, and Executive Directors are available on job boards (though these positions likely include some travel to the company’s headquarters). Have less experience than the C-suite? You can also find entry-level and virtual assistant positions, and all the way up the ranks.
So what do these trends mean for job-seekers -– likely already equipped with the proper technology, such as computers and Internet access -– who hope to land a telecommuting position? With positions in almost any career field, and more companies than ever offering remote jobs, it’s not brain surgery to land one.
Social Media Job Listings
Every week we post a list of social media and web job opportunities. While we publish a huge range of job listings, we’ve selected some of the top social media job opportunities from the past two weeks to get you started. Happy hunting!
- Social Media Channels Manager at Princess Cruises in Valencia, Calif.
- Fashion and Beauty Editor at DailyCandy in New York
- Ecommerce Copywriter/Editor at ABC Home in New York
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto user courtneyk
This story originally published on Mashable here.