Flexibility/OpennessThis could very well be the most important component to landing a home-based Linux job. It can not be stressed enough. Even with all the technology at our fingertips, corporations still have some nervous tendencies from time to time when deciding whether or not to allow one to telecommute. Therefore, the best thing that one can do is take the necessary measures to alleviate those concerns.
Communication is probably at the top of the list within this category. It is a key component in any position, but especially when one is not visible. Therefore, both verbal and written communication is paramount. If one is able to establish good rapport with both their leaders and fellow colleagues, it will go a long way to ensuring a successful stint as a telecommuter. Be sure to go out of the way to be as forthcoming and transparent with any communication channel utilized.
Even though a home-based job is what is desired in this instance, one gains a greater chance of landing one if they show some flexibility with periodic travel. While working with a lot of corporations over the years, they still show a desire to see the individual on occasion. This could be for an important set of meetings or a yearly review. Whatever the reason, if one shows a willingness to visit the home office when needed, this will go a long way in aiding ones desire for a home-based Linux job.
Lastly within this category, an ability to work a staggered schedule may be needed. This could be for a variety of reasons. Perhaps one will need to work in a coordinated fashion with individuals in a different time zone or continent for that matter. As a result, if one needs to shift their schedule a few hours here or there to accommodate the work at hand, that flexibility should be rewarded.
Track RecordGenerally in any endeavor in life, one has a greater chance of success if one has had prior success completing a particular task. When looking for a home-based Linux job, it is no different. If one has been fortunate enough to work in a telecommuting fashion in the past, be sure to stress that on the resume/cv. And, if it is possible to have one of your references from that place of employment, even better. The fact that you have completed a successful stint as a home-based employee, and a reference can verify that success, it will go a long way to provide comfort to the corporation in allowing you to work in that manner.
Being that the focus is in the FLOSS arena, what better way to show your ability to work as a telecommuter than contributing to an open source project. It is a fantastic opportunity to showcase ones skill set. Even if one is working in a traditional office for their “day job”, the contributions that they make to a particular project in their off hours mimic working in a home-based job. Therefore, if one has had success with code submittals for an open source project, make sure that is highlighted in a section of the resume/cv.
Where to LookAfter discussing a couple of traits that assist one in landing a home-based Linux job, it is important to discuss where one can find these type of opportunities. Perhaps not surprisingly, looking for telecommuting position aligns itself very closely with the steps taken when looking for a traditional office job.
Therefore, traditional job sites such as Monster, Dice, LinkedIn, etc. is a good place to start. In many instances, the job description will note whether or not telecommuting is possible. If it does not, I encourage candidates to still apply. Generally, if the company is highly interested in the individual, it has a tendency to make exceptions if that is what it boils down to. Much like negotiating salary or bonus, work arrangement is another item that can be negotiated. So, it never hurts to try. Perhaps it is possible to work in the office for a short stint initially to give the corporation and fellow colleagues a level of comfort. If the company is still steadfast in its desire for one to work in the office, move onto the next opportunity.
Another possibility is to look into a freelance position. More often than not, freelance positions offer the ability to work from afar. In this case, employment sites that include Toptal, Freelancer and Upwork are a great place to start. If one does not have a history of telecommuting, locating a freelance position is a great way to gain that experience.
Outside of the aforementioned sites, one can also research companies that have shown a history of allowing its employees to work from a home office. This takes a little more time and effort, but that is part of looking for a position. And, if one is willing to do proper research in this area, I think it will be rewarded. Luckily, since this is the open source space, companies within it have generally shown a greater openness to a home-based work arrangement. Red Hat, for one, has been good about letting some of its engineers to work from home. And, there are plenty of other companies out there that approach its recruitment strategy in a similar fashion.
FreelancingAs mentioned above, freelancing is a great way to enter the world of home-based Linux work. Essentially, it is probably the easiest way to gain this exposure. So, what is the downside? Well, it all depends on your career goals. As much as I am not a fan of it, corporations have the tendency to label individuals. And, throughout my career, I have watched a lot of engineers get labeled as a freelancer/contractor/consultant, whatever term one desires to give it. Thus, if one spends a number of years freelancing, companies get leery when looking at the individual as an employee. The thought is that they will not stick around for a long time, because they have jumped from job to job while freelancing. Of course, there are always exceptions based on ones skill set and how desperate a company might be, but one must be cognizant of the potential pitfalls when considering this route.
Thus, one must decide what their goal is before getting too deep in the world of freelancing. A lot of individuals have had great success making a career out of freelancing, but it is not for everyone. With the constant ebbs and flows of an economic cycle, one must make sure they are marketable no matter what part of the cycle presently exists.