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The ability to earn an income from home used to be a pipe dream, but now it’s more common than people think!
According to an article in FlexJobs, remote work is estimated to make up around 22% of the workforce by 2025 (this was sourced, but the article is no longer on their site) which is about an 87% increase from 2020. Yes, that thing played a big role in that, but there are other factors too.
If you’re job hunting now, your chances of finding remote work are significantly greater than in the past. If that is a priority for you, we’re going to talk about how you can find a great job, then negotiate to make it remote or just look for remote work in the first place.
Let’s quickly go through some ways to search for jobs. Yes, I’ve posted about this before, but it’s always good to have a refresher.
Yes, people still get jobs through a friend of a friend of a friend.
Think of people you speak to regularly who know you and what you do:
- Former employers
Find the website for your local Chamber of Commerce and see when they are having “Meet & Greet” events.
Local groups might be hosting their own vendor events. Some might have a fee for entry, but they also might be free. Check your local paper’s classifieds section.
Attending local Job Fairs might be good too. Both small businesses and national companies send reps to those.
Yes, these still exist.
Check the job section of your local Craigslist. I’m well aware that Craigslist has a reputation of being a haven for creepers and scams, so use your best judgment here.
Local news sites might have ads that will be of interest. I know I already mentioned local papers, but their websites might have more listings.
If you’re still in school, does your school have a career center or counselor? You should check in with them regularly while you’re looking.
LinkedIn has a helpful feature that allows you to designate that you’re looking for work right on your profile photo. You can also look for companies that are hiring and connect with their hiring managers. Look for connections through your own friends and family too.
Facebook has local groups that sometimes post job listings. Beware of the “parent” groups though. That job post is all but guaranteed to get lost in the sea of “I hate this nail place” posts. Look for groups specifically about jobs in your field and start commenting on posts to get your name out there.
Call me old fashioned, but you can go ahead and call a company you really want to work for (especially if it’s a position that requires being on the phone – it’s a nice touch). There is also the option of walking into a business and handing them your card or resume.
You can also visit a company website or social media accounts to see if they have any posts about job openings. If you’re feeling so inclined, skip the middleman and email your resume to their HR Director.
Employment/staffing agencies are still a thing. A simple search will tell you which ones are near you. You might be able to contact them via email or upload your resume online to save some time.
Use social media as your resume/portfolio to show off your work. Link to it at the bottom of all emails.
Create your own website. Add previous work experience, links to published work and any relevant job history.
Talk about the road less traveled!
Volunteering can help you showcase the skills you already have, beef up that skillset and introduce you to things you never knew you were good at.
It makes sense that this is included on this list. Volunteer work is a great chance to mingle with other professionals who are in your field or choice, in a complementary field or even in a field you’re dying to get into.
TIP: if there is a company you want to work for, see if they are involved with charity work. Get involved with that charity, then get to mingling at those events.
Did I miss anything?
What would you add to this list?
Next, we’ll discuss some prep tips so you can actually land that job!
Now that we’ve listed how to find a job, let’s talk about landing it.
Know What You Need to Know
Focus on things you’re knowledgeable about because quite frankly, some jobs are a bit stricter on the requirements than others.
Simply put: if you want to be a firefighter or a pilot, you can’t work remotely. If you want to be a writer or accountant, you could easily find those jobs.
Stick to things you know that you can do from home.
Words to Look & Use
Look for certain buzzwords or keywords that might allow for working from home:
Use common synonyms for those and your search will be more effective. Make sure you use these words during your interview.
Some strategies work with any job search.
Use your network… online or offline.
It’s up to you. If you have both, use both.
Reach out to your contacts for info, recommendations and/or referrals (either they refer someone to you or they refer you to someone else – both are great).
If you do get a referral or recommendation, ask about the interview process and for details about the hiring managers.
Speak to Those Who Know
Simply put: find and speak with recruiters.
If you want to shorten your job search, talk to a recruiter. Bonus points if they specialize in the field you’re searching in.
If you have used a recruiter in the past, get back in touch with them, asking specifically about remote jobs. Find out what jobs are looking for now, then revamp your resume as needed and send the new version over.
Visit specialized sites for the field you’re interested in.
Online positions might be advertised anywhere these days, but some platforms cater to such arrangements, like:
Sign up for customized alerts at those sites to increase your chance of being the first to get your resume in.
Show Em What You're Made Of
One of my fave Backstreet Boys songs, but also giving permission to share any previous and relevant experiences.
- What makes you a solid candidate for remote work?
- What have you already accomplished while working remotely?
- Do you communicate both timely and effectively?
Don’t forget to highlight your techy skills at this point:
- Are you proficient in collaborative software like Trello, ClickUp or Airtable?
- Do you know how to set notifications and alerts for both tasks and emails that need to be done so they are completed in a timely manner?
Make all of this info known!
Bloom on Zoom
Prepare for video interviews.
If you request to work from home, the company might want to see how you handle being on camera in front of them. It’s possible they may require you to check in once or twice a week.
They also might be testing to see if you’re as techy as you say or if you can handle those weekly call-ins, so keep this in mind as you’re speaking to them.
- Make sure you have tested the internet connection on all of your devices in the one place in your home that you will use to speak to your job.
- Rehearse your responses to certain questions and be prepared with any prep work you’ve been asked to do.
- Practice making eye contact and keeping the conversation flowing.
- Have a question or two ready to ask. It shows you’re willing to speak up if needed.
Know the Limits
Check for restrictions the job has.
- Are you allowed to travel while working?
- Do you have to live in a certain area for tax purposes?
These would be great questions to have on hand when the hiring manager asks if you have any questions for them.
Some jobs might give you carte blanche to do what you want, while others might rein you in, so make sure you’re clear on where they stand.
Beware of Scams
Stay safe online. Make sure your anti-virus is up to snuff on your computer.
Yes, many reputable companies do allow you to work from home, but you should still be aware that scams can happen.
- Do they demand money to secure the opportunity? <- HUGE red flag!
- Are they demanding sensitive info (like your SSN) on a call where you can’t be sure who is listening?
- Is there a promise of “unlimited earning potential”? <- Meaning, your salary is undefined from the jump.
You might want to walk away.
Now let’s take your new job.. and go remote!
Set your priorities.
It can be a bit more of a challenge when an employer isn’t too keen on having a remote employee, so you’ll just have to make the call on this.
- Are they open to the idea at all?
- Is there anything you’re willing to compromise on here?
If you feel you’re at an impasse and they have adamantly said no, you have the choice to either drop it and work in the office or keep reading to see your next step.
You’re going to have to prove your worth.
- What unique traits do you bring to the table?
- What is the employer missing out on if they don’t hire you?
Use the answers to those two questions to plead your case.
Also: why would having an employee work from home actually be a benefit?
Answering that will bolster your case probably more than anything else.
Slow Your role
Your new boss might prefer a slower approach, so take things gradually.
Compromise: a hybrid work week. You agree to come into the office 2-3 days a week.
Suggest a trial period of a few weeks/months to see if it’s a good fit, then make it permanent or renegotiate.
You could also agree to a gradual remote schedule:
- For a few weeks, you work from home 1 day a week.
- For the next few weeks, you’re home 2 days a week.
And so on. Whatever the agreed-upon schedule is, make sure you keep it. No excuses.
Something Else, Perhaps?
Take a completely different approach and ask for some subtle changes.
It’s possible that your boss could stick to their guns and not allow remote work, even with a hybrid or gradual schedule, so it’s time to just ask for little things like:
- One day a week at home on a permanent basis to cut your commute.
- Casual Fridays or Wednesdays.
Slight changes just might make you comfortable enough to work in the office, if all your prep work and negotiations fail.
According to Forbes survey, 82% of workers said they enjoyed working from home, 60% said they felt less stressed and 66% said they were more productive. (SOURCE)
Finding a remote job could be the best thing that ever happened to both you and your next employer.
Goals Journal & Planner Kit
The purpose of this kit is to help you get your goals down on paper so you are more likely to achieve them.
- Journal Prompts
- Monthly/Weekly Goal Planner Pages
- Goal Trackers