With chance to sell house, older worker wants to stay remote - Albuquerque Journal

With chance to sell house, older worker wants to stay remote

Dear J.T. & Dale: The housing market is crazy right now, and my husband and I have the opportunity to sell our home for above its value. It would give us a lot of money and we would be able to go live in our dream retirement cabin. However, I’ve been working at my company for a long time and was planning to work for another five years. I know that I could do this job remotely, as I’ve done throughout the pandemic. However, I get concerned about bringing this up now that the company is going back into the office. It might result in them letting me go. I’m not so sure I could find a new job at my age (55). Any tips on what I can do to make sure that they want to keep me remotely? — Nina

DALE: The first thing to understand is what going back to the office will ultimately look like for your company: Lots of organizations are developing new hybrid models, some willingly and some grudgingly. That means you start with informal conversational research, figuring out if the company will allow some remote work and how your bosses really feel about such employees. If all goes well, you can drop the idea of your moving and see how it goes over. You may end up compromising, such as planning regular in-person visits to the company.

J.T.: I hope it’s easy, but I think you’re wise to be concerned. Lots of companies are restructuring right now, and this could be the opportunity to let you and your higher salary go if they can find somebody younger and cheaper. I know that sounds like a harsh reality, but I’m hearing about it more and more. I also agree that you will likely pay the “wisdom tax”: given you’re over 50, finding a job will take longer than it used to. My advice is to put together a very strong outline of your current value, and how you are worth every penny and then some. Even so, start looking for a new remote job. If you don’t feel they’re going to give you the remote option, then telling them could end up working against you!

Dear J.T. & Dale: I sold my car during the pandemic because I wasn’t commuting to work any more. My company instituted a requirement to come into the office two days a week. I’ve been taking public transportation and it’s been a nightmare. I really don’t want to go back to owning a car because of the expense. I’m thinking about asking my company to cover the cost of an Uber to and from work. Do you think this is a reasonable thing to request? — Spencer

J.T.: Honestly, no, I do not see this as a reasonable request. When you joined your company, you agreed to get yourself to work and to get there on your own dime. They’re only asking you to come back two days a week; so, in their minds, they’re going to have a hard time understanding how you can possibly ask for this expense to be paid for. Instead, I would take a look at all the work you’ve accomplished throughout the pandemic and see if you can’t justify asking for a raise to cover the cost of the Uber. Show how much value you have created and why you feel you should be earning more. And you’ll be able to treat yourself to the Uber.

DALE: Yes, and given the tumultuous labor market, you might have some leverage in asking for a raise. But, just to be clear, when you make your pitch for a raise, do NOT mention needing it for the Uber expense. If you do, your manager will instantly think less of you. There’s nothing more exasperating to management than an employee who responds to something generous — like going back into the office just two days a week — with an ask instead of a thank you. So make sure you de-link the commuting expense and make a clean pitch for your raise.

Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a career coach and the founder of the leading career site www.workitdaily.com. Dale Dauten is founder of The Innovators’ Lab and author of a novel about H.R., “The Weary Optimist.” Please visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via email, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803. (c) 2021 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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