The Way We Work
July 21, 2014 by Amy Partridge

oDesk’s weekly column brings you the latest news on hiring and managing teams, freelancing and the future of work.

Week of 7/21/2014:

TechRepublic | Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made? A Four-Step Litmus Test

Is entrepreneurship something you can learn? This is hot issue at the moment, with many people aspiring to launch their own companies; Conner Forrest shares four ways you can test your entrepreneurial spirit to see whether you could make it as a founder.

Likely the most efficient way to find out whether you could cut it as a startup founder is to get a job at an early-stage startup, Forrest recommends. This will force you into a sense of professional flexibility that is nearly impossible to replicate outside of the environment provided by a startup.

Another option Forrest suggests—though a considerably more expensive one—is to enroll in an MBA program focused on entrepreneurship. These programs are often full of would-be founders hoping to start their own companies, and they can be a great way to meet like-minded people.

Globe and Mail | How to Say A Good Goodbye at Work

Saying goodbye when ending a contract, job or other professional engagement in a way that bolsters rather than busts your reputation can be easier said than done.

Ed Batista, an executive coach and instructor at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, says that “goodbye happens more frequently these days as organizations are more dynamic. We need to do it in a healthy way and then get on to the next project or team on the calendar.”

Batista recommends five principles for delivering a professional and respectable goodbye, which start with understanding your own needs to ensure that the acknowledgement reflects the relationship you shared with the group or team.

Dallas Morning News | The Five: Tips to Monetize Your Skills For Working at Home

Wondering how you can get into online work? Tim Houlne, CEO of Working Solutions, outlines his five tips for independent professionals to monetize skills for working at home.

He recommends that you find your motivation—whether it’s money, time or independence—look online for work opportunities, and keep your skills refined and developed.

He also recommends that freelancers develop multiple revenue streams to avoid putting all of your eggs in one basket; if one job ends, you want to make sure you’ve created enough of a cushion to support any changes—expected or not—in workload.

The New York Times | Flexible Work Schedules

In this letter to The New York Times (NYT) editor, New York City comptroller Scott M. Stringer responds to a recent NYT article about part-time work in the U.S.

Advocating for flexible work schedules for all employees—part-time or full-time workers, single parents or caregivers to elderly loved ones, retail clerks or accountants—Stringer says that “companies large and small have found that flexible work arrangements boost productivity, reduce overhead and improve the bottom line.”

Following cities like Vermont and San Francisco, Stringer hopes to adopt legislation in New York City that would require companies to pay extra for on-call work—where people work just a few days in a week, or are required to work unpredictable hours—and to give two weeks’ notice of a work schedule.

What news items caught your attention during the past week? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Amy Partridge

Communications Manager

Amy Partridge is the communications manager at Upwork. In this role, Amy is focused on supporting and accelerating Upwork’s global PR efforts. She brings with her a valuable combination of PR agency and client-side experience. Most recently, Amy was the communications director at tech startup Grubwithus. Amy holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Communications.