Finding a Remote Job | The Complete Guide
Are you having a hard time finding a job that you can do remotely? When it comes to the digital nomad lifestyle, the question I get a lot is how and where to find remote jobs. In this blog post, I will therefore take you through the different ways to find a remote job, share which measures have worked for me, and explain what to avoid when looking for the job that fits you best.
What are typical remote jobs?
The good news is that there are currently many jobs that can be done remotely. These are some of the most common ones:
Customer Service Representative
Online Coach or Teacher
Is your current job not listed here? Not to worry! While not every role out there is suitable for a location-independent lifestyle, the number of jobs that can be done remotely has increased significantly in recent times. Over the years, I have met travelling photographers, therapists, CEOs, travel agents and even hairdressers who have successfully made the transition to remote work. These people might not have a typical remote job, but still found creative ways to set up their businesses all over the world through thorough research and building a strong network. Thinking outside the box and exploring unconventional opportunities can open up a world of possibilities when it comes to remote work.
How to convince your boss
If you are certain that your current job doesn’t allow you to work remotely, you can skip this part and move on to the next. But did you know that a lot of people just assume they won’t be able to work remotely but have never really asked? “Nobody in our office works remotely”, “My boss is old-fashioned”, “We were asked to come back to the office after the pandemic so working remotely is not an option anymore”. Statements I have all heard before and in some cases are true. But have you ever really sat down with your manager? Have you ever really asked the question and presented a plan?
In his bestselling book “The 4-Hour Workweek”, author Tim Ferris outlines it perfectly: you want your boss to value performance over presence. Besides just asking for time away from the office, another way to approach this is to keep track of your productivity while working from home compared to being on location. Once you have this data, you can present it to your boss, show them there is really no need for you to be in the office, and ask for a trial period of working remotely for a few days a week or even for a month or two.
After the trial, you’ll sit down with your boss once more to discuss the results and address any concerns they still may have. This will hopefully clear the path for a successful remote work journey. Is your boss still adamant and won’t budge? Then it’s time to explore the following options.
Ways to find a remote job
1. Deciding on the remote role that works for you
If your current job doesn't allow you to work remotely and you want to transition to a new role, then the first step is identifying what you want and what you’re good at. Randomly deciding you want to be a coach just because you can do it online is not going to get you anywhere in the long run. If you´re set on finding a new role that can lead to a remote lifestyle, start by thinking about the things you excel at and that bring you joy. Seek feedback from others about your strengths and achievements. Consider taking courses or learning from mentors to improve your skills, and don't be afraid to practice by offering your services to family and friends. By understanding your talents and skills, you'll be better equipped to help others and find the right remote customers or job opportunities.
2. Search for remote jobs online
Once you have a clear idea of the type of role you're looking for, it's time to start your job search. But where to begin? Fortunately, many job boards like Indeed and LinkedIn now offer a "remote" option in their search filters, which makes it easier to find remote jobs right from the start. Additionally, there are several remote job boards available that provide a comprehensive list of current remote job openings.
A few examples of remote job boards:
Are you a freelancer? Then you may want to consider using platforms such as Upwork or Beehive to find assignments suited to your remote lifestyle.
Even though job boards and platforms might be helpful in some cases and I definitely advise you to have a look, I have to admit that they have never worked that well for me. I’ve found most available jobs underpaid, too specific or limited to certain nationalities only. Based on my personal experience, I’d advise you to put the most effort into the following two strategies:
3. Search for remote-first companies
There are more and more ‘remote-first’ companies out there - organizations that don’t have a fixed office and encourage their employees to work from anywhere. Another great start to your remote job search is to make a list of such companies and start reaching out. Or, simply use any of the lists that are already created for you. :)
Examples of remote company lists:
Besides browsing remote company lists, I encourage you to start networking within the remote work community. Find people on LinkedIn who work remotely, join digital nomad groups on Facebook or WhatsApp, attend Meetup events, and find digital nomads on Instagram. Once you start getting to know more digital nomads, you can find out what type of work they do, which companies provide their digital nomad lifestyle and - even more importantly - learn if those companies are currently hiring.
4. Search for your dream job
While there are companies that actively promote their remote work culture, there may be many more that are open to remote work but haven't made it a prominent part of their branding. It's important to keep an open mind and consider all potential job opportunities, even if they don't explicitly advertise as remote-friendly. Ultimately, the most important factor is whether you're a good fit for the job.
Some companies might be very fixed on having an office culture, and advertise their Friday afternoon drinks, ping pong tournaments and fun group lunches. Skip those, don’t invest your time. But if you are passionate about any other company or role, it’s worth taking the time and effort to sell yourself as a strong candidate who can thrive as a digital nomad. Highlight your skills and experiences that make you a great fit for the role, regardless of location.
Remember that the decision to hire a remote worker ultimately lies with the company, but by presenting yourself as a competent and enthusiastic candidate, you can increase your chances of landing a remote job that you'll love. Don't limit yourself only to companies with established remote work policies; instead, focus on finding the right job and making a compelling case for why you can do it remotely.
How to get your foot in the door
You’ve identified your skills and know what kind of job it is that you’re looking for. You’ve created lists of remote organizations, remote jobs and of companies that you’d love to work for. Now what?
It’s time to get your foot in the door and start building your connections - it’s time to create a network. For many people networking sounds like a dirty word; something they hate, don’t feel they are good at or have bad associations with. I guarantee you though that it doesn’t have to be that way. Networking isn’t necessarily about pushing people, going to awkward network events or preparing corny sales pitches. It’s about meeting people who share your goals, work at companies that you admire, or already have the lifestyle that you aspire to. I used to hate networking but now I am starting to love it. And this is my way of approaching it:
1. Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn is undoubtedly my go-to platform for networking and finding remote jobs. To make the most out of LinkedIn, it’s important to put effort into the following:
First, create a compelling profile that showcases your experience, skills, and personality. Keep updating it regularly and ask your colleagues or clients to provide you with recommendations to add credibility to your work. Also, make sure to upload a professional profile picture.
Next, start following the companies that you're interested in. This way, you'll be the first to know about their job openings and any updates they share.
Grow your network by connecting with people you know, as well as those you want to know. When you send out connection requests, personalize your message and thank them for accepting it. You want to create a network of people who know you and remember you.
Engage with posts on your feed by liking, commenting, and sharing. You can also create your own posts that showcase your work, skills, and expertise. This way, people in your network can get to know you better and see what you're capable of doing. It’s all about becoming more visible. As scary as that might seem.
Use LinkedIn's search feature to find the right people within a company who can help you land your dream job. This could be the HR Manager, in-company recruiter, or founder of the company for example. Once you find them, reach out to them via a personalized message, explaining how you can be an asset to their team and asking for a short call to discuss things further.
When I’m actively searching for work, I make sure that I do all of the above every single day. It usually gives me results in a matter of weeks. For more in-depth information, you can find many helpful tutorials online to perfect your LinkedIn game plan. With persistence and the right approach, LinkedIn can be an excellent platform to help you land a remote job that suits you best.
2. Utilize other Social Media platforms
While LinkedIn definitely is the most useful professional social media platform out there, there are other ways to find, follow and connect online with certain organizations or people. Depending on the branch you’re in, you can try out different social media outlets. Photographers or designers might benefit most from Instagram, while writers may find Twitter to be the best platform to connect with fellow creators. Find the people or organizations you’re looking for, follow them, message them and actively engage with them. It’s a fun and accessible way to get to where you want to be.
3. Attend Network Events
Aren’t network events scary and awkward? They can be. Attending an event by yourself, with people you don’t know, while having to talk about your (upcoming) business can be daunting. But at the same time, it is one of the most useful ways to grow your network. While platforms such as LinkedIn and Instagram can be great tools for becoming more visible and getting to know other professionals, there is nothing like connecting with people face to face.
It’s important to find the right event that focuses on your branch of expertise, so you can really benefit from talking to others. Whether that’s for learning from the best or finding customers for your product or service. Sidenote: if you feel really uncomfortable going by yourself, you can always decide to bring a friend. The chances are though, that you’ll be meeting a lot more people if you go at it alone.
4. Try out Coworking or Coliving
Coworking and Coliving spaces are excellent locations to connect with people who are already living the lifestyle that you’re aiming for. A coworking space is the easiest place to start, as you can come in any time, set up your laptop and decide for yourself if you want to stay for just a couple of hours or spend the whole day. Most of them are open after office hours and even on the weekends, so you can still make use of the space after you’re done with working your office job. I recommend choosing a coworking space that actively works on creating a community, hosts recurring events, and organizes seminars or workshops. This way you’ll get in touch with others easily and create a network effortlessly.
If you already want to fully immerse yourself in the digital nomad lifestyle, a coliving space is a perfect place to do just that. Coliving spaces usually provide a beautiful living set-up, lots of fun events and are just a great way to live and work alongside other creatives and digital nomads. You’ll find that you’ll become a tight-knit community in no time, where you can bounce ideas off each other, collaborate on projects and just spend time with people who get you. Some well-known coliving spaces out there are Outsite, Selina and Outpost.
Finding your remote dream job
When you’re actively looking for a remote job, I really encourage you to follow the tips I discussed here and combine them all for the most optimal results. It’s not necessarily going to be a fast or easy path, but if you really want to live that remote work lifestyle, then I guarantee you that the end results will be worth it.
Want to find out what to do after you find that remote job? Then head over to my blog “Becoming a Digital Nomad | 5 Steps to Get You There”. I have also outlined my own personal story in the blog `How I Became a Digital Nomad, perhaps it gives you some ideas and inspiration as well.
You can also follow me on Instagram or subscribe to my mailing list to keep up to date on all my stories as a remote worker. Have you got any personal experiences you'd like to share? Feel free to send me a message, I'd love to hear about them!