Getting a remote job can be something of a dream for many people. The ability to work from wherever you want, with more flexibility and a potentially better work-life balance can be life changing.
A remote job can give you similar freedom that comes with self-employment but with the security that comes from being employed by a bigger company. However, actually landing a remote position can be more difficult than it sounds. While it’s not necessarily harder than finding any other job, the process can be different and without knowing what to do or where to look, it can feel impossible. With so much demand for remote jobs, and considerably less positions available, knowing how to market yourself as an effective remote worker is key. Here’s 4 steps to getting a remote job.
1. Decide if a remote job is actually what you want
Certain types of work aren’t always suited to certain types of people. To be an effective remote worker, one must be self-motivated, with good time management skills and able to separate work from home life at the end of the day, even if it’s in the same place.
Remote work should help to make you more productive in both your work and personal life. The flexible schedule of remote work, depending on your job, means you can make appointments in the day, play with your children after school, or sleep whenever you want. Of course, you must complete your work, but you can do it whenever you want, wherever you want.
Working from home, or wherever you might choose, means you avoid the distractions and drama that comes from office work. Remote work also allows you to focus on your career development in a unique way. Education providers like Upskilled provide online courses in a range of areas which you can complete at your own pace. Working from home also means you avoid spending $15 for a salad at that café next to the office, and can instead save with supermarket shopping.
While these advantages sound great, it’s important to understand that remote work can also come with downsides. Without going to the office and seeing your colleagues every day, work can get lonely, and you’re much less likely to get inspiration from team chat.
As mentioned, remote work also requires you to be able to balance your work and life. It’s very easy to either overwork or underwork, depending on your personality and work ethic.
The point is, remote work isn’t for everybody, just as office work isn’t for everybody. If you hate what you do in the office, you’ll probably still hate doing it in your home. If in-person interaction, direct supervision and clear work boundaries are important for you to work effectively, remote work probably isn’t for you.
2. Know what employers are looking for in remote workers
Remote employers need to be able to trust those they hire and be sure that they can complete the work. In an interview, it can be difficult to convey trustworthiness, but it’s important to be yourself. Talk about why your passionate about your work, but also what you’re passionate about outside of your job. This will help the employer connect with you as a person which is important for trust.
You also need to prove that you love your work and are motivated to do it. Remote work comes with endless distractions so it’s important to show that you care about your work.
It’s also important to find ways of showing that you’re an autonomous worker with problem-solving skills. Remote work can see you in situations where you can’t get immediate help and need to solve an issue on your own. Of course, there are tools like Slack, which can be helpful, but showing you’re an autonomous, self-starter with problem-solving skills is key.
3. Know where to look and what to look for
The internet has seen a plethora of job sites (here are 17 Upwork alternatives) come about which has made it incredibly easy to search for jobs in almost any industry. Unfortunately, most of these sites don’t make it easy to filter for remote work. The popular job sites such as Indeed and LinkedIn might seem like the best places to look for remote work but their lack of a ‘remote work’ filter can leave you trawling through job ads for hours trying to find something suitable.
Despite this there are several job boards that specifically feature remote jobs including:
Remote.com – This site posts a range of jobs from start-ups and publicly traded companies. You can apply for jobs for free but the site also offers a paid premium option to get your profile extra exposure.
Flexjobs – Flexjobs offers both full-time and part-time jobs, but also shorter contracts that are perfect if you simply want to test out how remote work works for you. This site does require a monthly subscription fee of about $15 but there’s a huge database of jobs that are ‘hand-screened’. The site also has a bunch of free resources and tips on their blog.
AngelList – AngelList is free to use and new jobs are posted daily. AngelList is a site for startups and works a bit differently from usual job sites in that your profile is your resume. To apply for an interview, you simply click “yes, I’m interested” and leave a small note.
As you become familiar with the remote job scene, it’s likely you’ll notice that some companies are more prevalent than others. Becoming familiar with these companies can help you find a remote position quicker than blindly searching through job ads.
An important thing to note is the distinction between partially and fully distributed companies. Firstly, neither one is better than the other, but it may influence what jobs you apply for.
A fully distributed company is a company without an office, where every employee is a remote worker. These companies usually start as fully distributed so they generally have a good on-boarding system for remote workers.
Partially distributed companies may, or may not have started that way, but they have at least one office where employees work. Most partially distributed companies that are remote friendly will generally have a good on-boarding process, but sometimes, they can struggle in this area. This can have an impact on you and your success as a remote worker.
The best approach is to ask about the on boarding process during your interview.
4. How to craft a resume for a remote position
Now that you’re confident you are cut out for remote work, know what employers are looking for, and know where to find these employers, it’s time you know how to market yourself as a great remote worker.
As we’ve discussed, being a self-starter and problem solver goes a long way when it comes to remote work. And while this is hard to portray in an interview, it’s even harder to get across on a resume. Therefore, to land an interview, there’s some other important things you should include in your resume or profile.
Communication is key in remote companies. This goes for your personal communications and writing skills, but also tools that remote companies use for communication. If you have experience with tools such as Slack, Trello and Google Hangouts, it’s important you include this.
Secondly and obviously, is include any experience and results that you achieved while under little to no supervision, as this will show you’re capable working remote with little supervision. In the same vein, try to convey yourself as an autonomous worker.
Landing a remote job shouldn’t be harder than landing any other job. Rather, the process involved, and the skills to focus on are different from that of a traditional job. If you love what you do, are motivated to do it, and can produce results without strict supervision, remote work could be the best career move you make.
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