October 24, 2007 spout

Working Remotely for Microsoft: Can I Find Someone To Let Me Work From Home?

Assuming you decide you can and want to work from home for Microsoft, now the trick is finding someone that will take you. The first time, this took me years. As my writing and speaking became more popular, I’d get more regular calls from someone at Microsoft with the perfect job for me.” Each time, I’d ask them if I had to move and when they replied, Of course” as if the entire pool of worthy workers lived in Washington, I’d politely decline. Eventually when the question came up, Sara Williams said, No need to move” and I went to work for MSDN. As is often the case with one’s first Microsoft job, it wasn’t a long-term fit (a software engineer needs to be on a product team!), but finding a product team took me took 6 months of digging. All the groups I talked to wanted me and they all were happy to move me (some even offered to move my extended family up, too, eliminating my main anchor for staying in OR), but culturally they just didn’t know what to do with a remote guy.

Eventually, persistence, and my long experience working remotely, paid off and I actually had two competing offers (and I’m *so* happy about the one I chose). Microsoft has a *ton* of open positions and they get more open about remote employees all the time. Keep at it!

Tomorrow: Can You Communicate Effectively From Home?