So you want to work remotely? Well so does almost everybody. What makes you different from everybody else? I’ll tell you. Everybody else just WANTS it, you’re going to go after it.
What’s more is you’re going to go after it with intention and vigor, armed with valuable information thanks to this here blog post.
This is a big topic, let’s break it down:
Working remotely comes in a few forms. Most people automatically default to thinking they have to land a remote job working for a company. There are other ways to become location independent, which is truly the goal here, right? You can freelance or become an independent contractor. Either should put you in a position to be much more flexible than you are in your current situation relegated to a cubicle. (is it me or are cubicles like the working man’s prison block? NM that’s another blog post).
What I want to make clear is that whether you freelance, take on independent contracts, or work from home for another company, working remotely is still WORK. In a lot of ways, it’s more difficult than working at an office. It requires a lot of discipline and focus. You are separated from your team and your managers. You are separated from other adults. It’s a little easy to go crazy. This remote life ain’t for the faint at heart, so just prepare yourself.
Ok, so you’ve figured out your approach to being location independent. Where do you find these dream jobs? If you google “remote jobs”, you’ll get thousand-millions-trillions of responses and it's a little difficult to know what’s viable and what’s not. Let's see if I can help you wade through the click bait and Multi-Level-Marketing schemes.
Let’s start with consulting and freelance work.
Consulting and Freelance
I was let go from a well paying job at a reputable company in March of 2013. I immediately knew that I didn't want to go back to anyone's office. I wanted to be location independent. So I started a consulting firm, ProManage Consulting. The first thing I did was reach out to a recruiter to get some temporary contracts. This is a great way to start building your consulting resume. My next move was to find my own clients. There are a few ways to do this - marketing and networking are the obvious ones. There are also several websites that provide a platform for clients and freelancers to find each other. Here are a few:
formerly oDesk, is where I got three of my clients. One was located in London and another in Costa Rica! It’s worth it to set up a profile, do a few of their skills tests, and peruse the posted gigs. You may have to start out setting your rates lower than you expected to get work at first, but as you get gigs, your profile becomes more and more attractive and you can raise your rates.
similar to Upwork, I would suggest using both. I had a profile on Guru, but I honestly spent more time on Upwork. The same process applies. Set up a profile and start low to grow your “brand” on the site. One thing I suggest doing for both sites is to set up a profile as if you were hiring a freelancer and check out the profiles of the competition so you can see what they’re doing to get work. Call it market research.
A freelance writer named Anna Johnson was nice enough to write an article for Entreprenur.com that lists out several freelance websites and I’m nice enough to share it with you. Just note that #3 on her list was purchased by Upwork. The 15 Best Websites to Find Jobs.
Now let's talk about where the remote jobs are. Wading through remote work resources can be a bit daunting, but because I like you (yes, you!) I’m here to help you with that task.
We put together a pretty darn good list of companies that hire remote workers. That list is accessible in our Facebook Group . It’s a great list with well over 100 companies.
LinkedIn is a great networking tool. It’s also a great tool for job searches. Get on there and do a search for two things - 1. Remote work - because those postings exist 2. Recruiters - because having a recruiter to help you find a job is going to help you tremendously and LinkedIn is where recruiters hang out.
Of course you can hit up the standard job search sites like Monster, CareerBuilder, and Indeed. There you want to do keyword searches for “virtual” and “remote” to return the results you're looking for. If you haven’t done so already, please do.
FlexJobs is the Monster/Careerbuilder of telecommuting. There is a fee to join, but I’d strongly suggest doing so for at least 3 months. The thing I like about this site over the Monsters and Career Builders is that they have information targeted to a number of types of careers and telecommuting is their focus.
I had an attorney and an HR person reach out to me saying they just don’t think there's remote work in their field. I pointed them each to theAttorney and Human Resources pages on Flexjobs. You’d be surprised at the amount of companies hiring remote work across industries. Pay the fee, give yourself 3 months to find a gig on there.
We also found a few articles that provide some good detail on where to find remote work. Out of all of the remote work lists I’ve read through, I feel like these are two of the most legit and helpful.
The 25 Best Sites to Find Remote Work - Thanks Leslie Zaikus for putting this awesome list together!
Best Sites for Finding Your Dream Remote Job - Ellen Veenpere at Teleport, you rock for this!
So now you know what it takes to work remotely, where to find the gigs, but you need a boost. How do you get started? Ever had so much information or so many things to do that you become overwhelmed with trying to find the starting point so you give up and just take a nap? Happens to me at least once a week, so I get it. Let me help you figure out where to start. Here are two resources:
How to Start A Consulting Business - The folks at Entrepreneur.com put together a great resource here to guide you through this process.
Here’s the thing. You don’t really need me to tell you how to get a remote job. If it’s more than a passing thought, you’ve likely already researched and found almost every resource I’ve shared or some version of it. You’ve even looked up actual remote jobs and aaaalmost applied for a few. Almost doesn’t count. I’m going to challenge you to do a few things to propel you forward:
Set a quota. Any good salesman has a quota, he’s got a number of leads he’s got to hit on a regular basis to get a sale. You are a salesperson. Act like one. Set a quota for how many jobs you will apply for every day or week. Keep a log and track any follow-ups you may be need to make.
Network. When you see a gig you’re interested in, drop the company name in Linked in and a) find out if you have any connections with the people who work there and b) see if you can find a person to reach out to - recruiter/hiring manager, etc.
Adjust your resume. Have 2-3 versions of your resume and make sure they use keywords from some of the jobs you’re interested in.
Find a recruiter. Get all the help you can. Recruiters have relationships and a vested interest in landing jobs for people! They are incentivized to get you hired!
Stop reading about it, thinking about it, planning to do it and just do it. What’s the worst that could happen? You don’t hear from them or you do and they tell you they aren’t interested? The great thing is neither of those things causes cancer, heart disease, or irregularity. You will be fine. Go apply...NOW!
I sincerely wish you the best of luck in your search and I can’t wait to hear about the awesome remote jobs you got or consulting business you started!