How to Find Remote Work
Today I’m going to tell you how to find a remote job in just 5 easy steps…
wait, scratch that.
I lied. It’s not easy.
If it were easy, you would already have a remote job and you wouldn’t be googling “how to find a remote job”.
Breaking free from the cubicle
When I made the decision that I wanted to break free from the cubicle, I hit the ground running with a plan.
You have to have a plan…you can’t sit around wishing for a remote job.
According to Global Workplace Analytics, there are more than 4 million people just like you who want to revolt against pants. That’s right…we all know the truth…we hate pants. Remote job = no pants. If you want to join #teamnopants, you’re going to need a solid plan.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Break out your crayons and construction paper kids, it’s time for a project.
Seriously, sit down with a piece of paper and draw a line straight down the middle. At the top on the left side write “Need” and on the right you’re going to write “Want”.
In the “Need” column, write down all the things that are you absolutely must have…like REMOTE. Yeah, that’s kind of a big deal…since this whole post is about nailing that no-pants-required job. For me, personally, I started by writing down how much money I needed to make to survive.
Next, on the “Want” side, I wrote down how much money I wanted to make so I could be a baller and ride ponies on the beach every weekend on some tropical island.
Okay, back to your “Needs” column. Next, think about benefits, hours, management structure, what kind of work you want to do. It sounds like a daunting task, but you can do it. I have complete faith in you. Remember that this is totally fluid. You’re going to find that you are pretty flexible on your needs.
When it comes to thinking about your wants, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Do you want a position where you’re flying solo and getting your job done with minimal interaction or do you need regular video chats and teamwork?
If you don’t know what you want, you don’t know what to look for. Even if you aren’t sure, that’s okay! The more you interview, the more your list will evolve.
After brainstorming your initial needs and wants in a job, it’s time to figure out WHO you want. I sat down and gathered my resources, which were a number of websites that featured remote jobs. I was not looking so much at the jobs themselves, but the companies.
By identifying companies that embraced a remote culture, I was able to do more research. I researched the CEOs and other officers to try and get a general climate for the company culture.
Look at the companies and not just the job postings. After all, there are many people are applying for those jobs! Taking a different approach will help you to stand out. You need to court the maiden, so to speak, and go after the company as a whole.
Have you ever applied for a position online and never received a response? It happens more than we’d like to admit and that’s why we are going to go straight to the source to be more effective.
Here are a few resources I used to find companies that had a remote culture:
Be sure to download our FREE super exclusive Remote Job Search Guide for 100+ search resources & remote culture companies to help you join #TeamNoPants!
Now that you’ve corralled a few remote ponies…it’s time to dust off your GoogleFu and do some hardcore research…
Step 3: Research companies with a remote culture.
One word: GLASSDOOR. GlassDoor is a job search website that also allows employees to review their employer. Start there and read every single review on the company you are applying to. Read the good ones and the bad ones.
Don’t forget to consider is the spelling, grammar, and context of the bad reviews. While you do want to consider a deep look at a company that has a lot of bad reviews, some of them are just ridiculous.
Often times, little Jimmy is mad and trashing the company because they wouldn’t allow his “No Ragrets” tattoo to be visible during corporate meetings. There will always be disgruntled employees. Use common sense.
Next, hit up their social media. Google the company, find their YouTube channel and twitter account. Is the CEO visible? Do they participate in charity events? Have any of the leaders done TED talks? Do they speak at conferences?
Dig into all their LinkedIn profiles. You want to get to know who the leadership is, what the culture of the company represents and figure out if and why you want to work for them.
Do not skimp on the research
I cannot stress how important this part is. There is a large company in the healthcare industry that has amazing salaries, amazing positions, flexible schedules…it all sounds too good to be true.
Guess what? It is.
A peek into GlassDoor and some handy google searching and I found that employees were MISERABLE.
The employees at this company felt like numbers- they were treated poorly and they lasted only a few months…if that.
I want my work to be valued and I want to work for a company that has a great track record with employees.
Yeah, that’s right…I value the “H” word…..HAPPY.
Once you find a few companies that you identify with and don’t appear to completely suck, start looking at their open positions.
Step 4: Research open positions.
Find something that sort of kind of fits. Really, it doesn’t have to be perfect, just get your resume in their hands.
Even if there is nothing that fits …SEND IT ANYWAY!
What’s the worst that happens? They don’t get back to you? You can’t win if you don’t play. Every NO gets you closer to YES!
There was one company that I really wanted to work for and they had what I thought was the perfect position…so I thought. I sent my resume and my phone interview lasted 3 minutes.
It was horrible. I was devastated.
She wanted nothing to do with me because I wasn’t a master at MDX. I matched every other requirement except that and I could’ve gotten up to speed quickly.
So, that didn’t work out…
I dusted my bottom off and I got back on my unicorn.
Step 5: To Find Remote Work, you have to APPLY. And apply some more.
You’re not Stuart Smalley and not everyone is going to like you.
Don’t let it get to you.
Use the rejections as an opportunity to figure out what you did wrong and how to do it better next time.
Use every single interview as a learning experience.
I want you to not only let them interview you, but you interview them. You need to remember that this isn’t just about them picking you, you want to pick them. After all, you don’t just want a job, you want a good job! One that is a good fit for both you AND them. Ask not what you can do for your company, but what they can do for you!
A large aerospace company recruited me and after multiple interviews, I turned them down. They had never had a remote staff and I didn’t want to be their guinea pig. It’s OK to say no if it’s not a good fit for YOU!
When you’re not finding the right fit, how do you keep moving forward?
Send your resume. Repeat. SEND YOUR RESUME.
Hit those companies that you identify with hard. Apply for multiple positions.
GET YOUR RESUME IN THEIR HANDS. (If you need resume help, check out this post: How to Write a Resume for an Online Job)
Maybe the timing was wrong, maybe the positions don’t seem right…so just keep putting your resume out there and keep going after those companies.
….and that folks…is where the magic happens….
wiggling door knobs.
Don’t give up
There was a company I loved. I watched speeches by the founder. I read countless old articles about the failures and successes of their startup. I researched their culture AND their employees. I knew I wanted to work for them. They had multiple remote positions open that sort-of-kind-of fit but I wanted IN and I didn’t care if it wasn’t something I absolutely loved. I wiggled their door knobs…
I rang the bell…
I licked the windows until they let me in.
I was way overqualified for every single position I applied for and some I didn’t even really know what they were, but I applied and kept sending my resume until they called me.
The next morning they flew me out to Chicago, picked me up in a limo, fed me Jimmy Johns (freaky fast, ya’ll).
They offered me an amazing position that was perfect for me that they didn’t even have listed! I was back on a plane home an hour later (on their dime).
Insert mic drop here.
Whoever told you to only go after your dreams and wait for the perfect opportunity is a fool and a liar. Doors will only open when you are willing to walk around wiggling the knobs.
That’s it: Make a plan. Research. Wiggle knobs.
Oh…and good luck!
Don’t forget to download our FREE super exclusive Remote Job Search Guide
Melinda Collings is a serial hobbiest and lover of pizza.
She travels the country in her RV in search of craft beer and her spirit animals.
Melinda is a Business Intelligence Developer and the founding member of #TeamNoPants.
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