Remote work is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart you can immediately tell if you follow me on Twitter. Many companies still refuse to allow remote work or simply don't understand it doesn't mean these kinds of jobs aren't possible!
Web Resources for Remote Work
I have been working 100% remotely for about three years now and mostly remote for nearly five years before that. To get in a position like this, there are a few ways that I can recommend - the first are websites. You can go to sites like flexjobs.com, weworkremotely.com or upwork.com. These sites have remote jobs, but a lot of those aren’t full-time jobs - most are contract work.
It’s much easier to find remote jobs through contract work compared to full-time jobs. If you're looking for remote contract work, your luck is going to be a lot better. But there are some remote full-time jobs out there and some contract jobs can turn into full-time opportunities.
To find other sources for remote jobs on websites just be proactive and google ‘telecommuting jobs’ or ‘remote jobs,' you’ll find there are a few other major ones out there that I didn’t include here.
Another way to look for the remote job is by searching for full-time employment. If you are looking for a specific company or a particular job title, go to sites like CareerBuilder, Monster, Indeed or any of the big job boards. Indeed has filters so that you can filter out remote and telecommuting jobs only.
But then if you find a job post similar to what you are looking for at a company, search if other positions are remote jobs. If you see some remote jobs, you know that the company, in general, allows remote work. Even if a job isn't advertised doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Sometimes job postings don’t show remote even if the possibility is there.
Facing the Challenge
When I was on the hunt for a remote job a while back, I would see a job posting for a company that looked perfect but didn’t have anything about remote work. At their site, they don’t tell you. They will tell you a location, but that’s the location of the office. Unfortunately, nine times out of 10, it’s going to be on-site only, but there are a few different ways you can get in there.
For instance, I will contact somebody on Twitter who works for the same company. I will do some Googling around and find out who is in a similar position at that company and reach out to them on twitter saying, “hey, does your company do remote work? How is the culture there? Do they allow remote work?”. This proactive step would make you aware of the company before even reaching out for the position.
Get to know how the company treats remote workers and also if they allow it. Sometimes the company will just completely ignore you; you are not going to get any kind experience, not any room for a promotion, you’re forgotten as a remote worker. That’s some of the cultures out there, unfortunately.
A challenge some might face is being a junior admin or being in any junior position. A lot of the companies that operate remotely need to have a whole lot of trust in you. You’ll find that junior positions are harder to get remote work compared to those in senior positions. As senior personnel, you are trusted more at that point, you’re seasoned. Tou know what you are getting into and you know what you’re getting. For an employer, it's a lot easier to hire for remote-only position because they don't have to worry about a junior admin watching TV all day.
If you have a lot of experience and it shows, that’s a huge thing. Always try to explain what you know in public. If you have a decorated LinkedIn profile with things like:
- contributed to this project
- started this project
- software that I built from scratch
- community efforts here
- conferences that I presented at
- user groups that I presented at
You position yourself as an authority in that space. If you are public about it, sometimes you’ll find that other people inside of the company, even the hiring manager himself may have already heard of you through your work on the Internet.
When somebody looks for a solution to a problem they're more likely to run across your name and they remember you. If the team has already heard of you, that's a warm contact. You already have some leverage going in ahead of time
Hearing "Yes. I heard of him before. He’s that guy that had that awesome post that helped me out." is huge. Even if they haven’t heard of you, they may look through your Twitter feed, LinkedIn or GitHub account and see your material. They can see you know what you're talking about and are focused not only on learning but teaching as well. Teaching is a big plus for companies.
Just Do it!
To find a remote job, look at sites like Upwork, weworkremotely.com, flexjobs.com and indeed.com. More importantly, get involved with a community. Start blogging, work on open source projects, speak at conferences and write articles. Get known! Even if that position isn’t remote yet, they may allow it sometimes. Finally, get in touch with the people in the same company that are in the similar jobs. Ask them if they do work remote and how it's working for them.