Q. I’m graduating with my BA in May and have been offered a full-time agency job but I must work remotely from home. Part of me says “take the full-time job” but another part feels that I’ll be missing important experiences in an actual agency setting? Working remotely–good idea or bad? -SD
A. An increasing number of agencies and corporations are redefining the workplace business model. Most are doing so because of work-life-balance demands from high-performance workers who they don’t want to lose. You situation is different, and it’s loaded with pitfalls that make me hesitant to encourage you to say “yes” — even though it’s a rare full-time job right out of college.
Unless you have had prior full-time experience in a busy workplace, you’ll miss too many real-world experiences by not having an office routine. To be successful, people working offsite must have extraordinary supervisors who know how to effectively manage remote employees. If you have not worked directly for that individual, I’m concerned that you won’t have a chance to develop an effective working relationship. And it’s a two-way street, many managers of offsite talent aren’t good virtual leaders. You and they should read The Wall Street Journal article entitled, The Challenge of Managing a Long Distance Relationship With Your Boss.
Bottom Line: If you are confident in securing another full-time job or internship in an actual office environment, consider doing so. You’re clearly talented enough that you already have this offer so you’re doing something right. There simply are too many nuances to a new job that you’ll miss if you begin our career working from home. In addition, it is important to learn how to work in a collaborative work environment that you’ll more readily find by being physically located within the actual agency setting. Good luck. . .and don’t tell your father I recommended that you turn down a full-time job.