Saturday, November 17, 2007

Working at Home

CNN lists copy editing as one of the jobs that can be done at home. That's certainly true for some copy editing, under certain circumstances, among them:

If you're working for a newspaper, you need:

Support from your boss. If they don't really want to do this, your life will be hell.

The technology in place that allows you to, say, read pages, access current information, such as changes in story placement, breaking news--not of the fake CNN kind--or sudden policy issues.

You work relatively independently. If you're supposed to be part of a team that works together, with people finishing each other's work or otherwise directly helping each other, then no. You're not on site and the best technology in the world, short of job site video, can't make up for not being able to see if someone else is lagging or finished early. If you

Commitment. `If you need to be around people to do your best, working at home is not a good idea. If you're truly a self-starter, then this could work. Be honest with yourself. If you would miss the bad jokes, shared desks, the noise, piles of newspapers, midnight runs to the vending machine, camaraderie of like-minded people, then go to the office.

Cooperation in the home office. There's always something going on that hasn't been publicly announced or otherwise officially communicated. But office connections, finding the people who will flag you, is critically important.

If you're doing other kinds of editing--polishing off a book manuscript, editing someone's paper--that could be different. There's a lot to be said for working in your own surroundings and peace and quiet.

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