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DEAR HARRIETTE: I joined the workforce during the pandemic, so I’ve always worked remotely. After one year at my current company, I’m ready to move on to a different job. I do not want to give up the freedom that working remotely has given me. So far in my job search, I have had no luck finding the type of position that would allow me to work from home. I am wondering if I’d have better luck by expanding my search and looking for office jobs as well. Is it unrealistic of me to want to work from home post-pandemic? — Want To Work From Home
DEAR WANT TO WORK FROM HOME: According to news reports, there should be plenty of jobs out there for you, given that many businesses say they cannot find enough employees to fill their openings. That said, it all depends on the industry in which you want to work and the new standards for that industry. You should start researching to figure that out. Look at the traditional job search sites and businesses in your field and specifically look for remote jobs.
There are companies out there that are willing to have flexible hours and remote work. You just have to find them. Look at company websites in your industry to learn of their policies. Research companies that interest you and reach out to their HR departments to learn if they are continuing work-from-home or the option of a hybrid workplace. You may be able to find the job of your dreams, or at least one that allows you to work from home for part of the week. Good luck!
DEAR HARRIETTE: I haven’t really spoken to my extended family since I was in college. I’m in my 50s now and have two teenage children. I didn’t want to introduce my children to my extended family for many reasons, but the biggest reason is that my extended family has a history of drug abuse. Is it wrong to keep my kids away from the side of my family that I’m not proud of? — Extended Family
DEAR EXTENDED FAMILY: Most families have members who are troubled in one way or another. It wasn’t wrong of you to want to protect your children from them, but it may be time for them to meet. Test the waters. Before you introduce your children, reconnect with these family members yourself. Determine how stable they seem to be and whether you think you can have a meaningful exchange. Give your reentry into their lives some time. This will be new for everyone.
As you are getting to know your estranged family again, talk to your children about them. Let your kids know about these family members and explain your reluctance to expose them to these people. Compassionately let them know that you think everyone should meet but that it was hard for you growing up to deal with the drama of their drug abuse. It is reasonable that you wanted to shield them from that, even as you now acknowledge that they deserve to know their family.