You hop onto Facebook and YET ANOTHER “Quit your job to travel the world” blog post pops up. You roll your eyes and wish there was a dislike button cuz this just ain’t real life for you.
You would love to travel the world, but you need things like health insurance and a steady paycheck because student loans and adulting. Plus, you're just not about that backpacker life.
Last year, we wrote a pretty comprehensive guide to landing a remote job. It’s hands down, our most popular blog post to date. But we’ve learned a lot since then and we’ve got more to share.
This time, we want to address the questions and comments we hear most often from people:
Where are the REAL remote jobs?
Seriously, this is a good question because I know for a fact that every time you decide to search for “remote work” you get all kinds of foolishness in your results. Anywhere from “fill out surveys” to “sign up for this MLM program”.
There are some reputable sites compiling remote jobs out there.
That’s where you need to focus your energy.
There is a cost for membership to FlexJobs - $15 for 1 month and $24.99 for 3 months.
Real talk though, you wasted $30 last weekend on two watered down mojitos, surely you can invest $30 in something as important as fully funded location independence.
I suggest signing up for 3 months, that’s the average time it takes to land a job.
Try it out for three months, and actually put in the real effort. If you feel like it’s not getting you where you need to be, then don’t renew it.
This one is free and has LOADS of legitimate remote gigs organized by job title. Note that some of these postings come from paid job sites like FlexJobs and VirtualVocations. You will be routed there. But in most cases, the listings are free and you can apply for these jobs using LinkedIn or directly on the employer website.
Another free job site with legit remote jobs. Don't let the name scare you, it's not just for tech people. There are all sorts of jobs posted on here.
Our Facebook group has a list of places to search for remote jobs and we send remote work resources out regularly, so join our email list.
What’s the best way to search for remote jobs?
The absolute BEST way to do this is to go to the sites we’ve listed above. But it’s not the only way.
As with any sales work, the more options you have to search for your target customers, the better your chances are of making the sale. Yep, this is sales work. You’re trying to sell yourself.
Your target market is companies looking for people with your background who also don’t mind you doing your work from a cafe in Thailand or a restaurant on the beach in Cape Town.
So how do you find your target audience? There’s some very simple things you can do that you may not have thought of but will make you say “duh” as soon as you read them.
Include the words “remote” or “virtual” or “telecommute” along with your preferred job title in your search. For instance, I go to Indeed.com, or CareerBuilder.com or even Google and type “remote Project Manager” or “Virtual Project Manager” and what do ya know, up pops a bunch of remote work jobs. It’s that simple.
Go where you’re wanted. There are literally hundreds of lists of companies who hire remote workers. We keep an ongoing list in our Facebook Group docs, check it out.
Think about the websites you go on and the apps you use most often, they probably hire remote employees. Especially the ones that cater to travel, productivity, etc. Check out their career sites. For example, Amazon and AirBnB hire remote employees.
Check for start-ups. Head over to angel.co. It's a website for start-ups and those start-ups often don't care where you work, they just want people who get work done.
How can I stand out among thousands of applicants?
You’re special and unique. Your momma told you that so it must be true.
It's true, but you aren’t emailing yourself to these recruiters. You’re just emailing a piece of paper and a completed form that’s supposed to represent you.
So are a million-thousand other folks.
What can you do to avoid getting lost in the shuffle?
Tailor your resume. This is a pain in the ass. It’s bad enough that these websites make you upload your resume AND STILL make you fill out information that SHOULD be pulled from your resume...smh...super irritating. But now I need to tailor my resume on top of that? **throws tantrum** Ok, here’s what we suggest. Take the top 5-10 job postings you’ve seen. Pull out key words from the job description and the requirements section. Make sure those keywords are in your resume and your cover letter.
Tailor your resume even more for the special ones. What you made above is the resume that you submit to almost all the job postings. But you’ll come across a job that is JUST PERFECT for you. For those jobs you may need to add in other key words, highlight specific experience or tweak your cover letter. But because you now have a good skeleton, this will be easy and quick. Open it, add in the special magic, save it with their Company name or whatever you like and send that one.
Pimp your LinkedIn. So many employers are checking for your LinkedIn, you may as well put some effort into making it shiny. Remember how we pulled out keywords from your job postings? Make those your skills in LinkedIn. Then spruce up your description. I stumbled upon this great article that should help you make your profile awesome: The 31 Best Linkedin Profile Tips for Job Seekers.
Get Well Connected. I’ve honestly gotten more jobs based on knowing people than anything. Who do you know that works for the company? Figure out where your connections are or who they can introduce you to. If you don’t have connections at the company, start building them. I typically try to connect with people in the same role I want. They tend to understand what you’re going through and when it comes time to make a referral, theirs will hold weight. Send them a short, non-creepy message to connect.
Why are there only really remote jobs for tech people?
Yeah, tech people have it made. Seriously, software architects, developers, and business analysts seem to have their pick of the litter for remote jobs.
I’m pretty jealous of all of them. But those are surely not the ONLY remote jobs out there.
You’d be surprised at what’s available to you. Really think about your qualifications and skills and how they can be applied across a number of industries and jobs.
You are not your job title. If you’re an educator, you don’t have to be Teacher, there are plenty of companies looking for someone to help them build out their Training Programs and they typically want people who have experience building curriculums.
The other thing to consider is that if your specific job isn’t available as remote work, you could likely consult and have companies hire you as an independent contractor for your expertise.
It could also be a great time to learn a technical skill. There are just too many free and low cost resources available for you not to take advantage. DO IT!!! Here are some resources for ya:
Code Academy - Learn to code, interactively for free.
Udemy - the world's largest destination for online courses.
Lynda - Learn software, creative, and business skills to achieve your personal and professional goals.
Is it likely that I'll make as much as I make now working remotely?
This was my concern too before I got my first remote job. My friend wanted me to come work for his company and I thought “eeeeh there’s no way I’m gonna make this much as a remote Project Manager”...yeah well, they paid more than I was making and had better benefits...so there goes that theory.
BUT...I’ll also say that there is some trade-off that I’m comfortable with. If trading some of your salary for a lifestyle you’ve been DREAMING of and the freedom to live and work anywhere is something you can’t reconcile then you should really rethink the mathematics of life or maybe you don't really want it as badly as you thought.
Is the difference in salary really worth your sanity and the feeling you get every day having to drive through traffic to go sit in a cubicle for a minimum of 8 hours per day? Nah? Then what are we really talking about here? Go apply for some remote jobs!