Three things you need to know to give yourself a leg up when it comes to finding remote work
I know it can seem daunting to find remote work. Especially if you've lost some of all of your work due to COVID, it can seem like a disheartening process. But just remember: there are resources there to help you, and you have the skills necessary to find some kind of remote work. The era of COVID-19 has transformed the way we work. Working from home has its own acronym (WFH, so the kids tell me), and in my eyes, being able to leverage remote work has moved on from being a lofty goal for aspiring travelers and cafe aficionados: it's now a requirement and a need.
But since leaving my job in TV news, I've learned three things:
So let's jump right into it.
#1 finding remote work is easy. Here's why.
If you're looking for remote work, whether it's because you're out of work due to COVID-19, you're looking to be location independent, or you want to fund long-term future travel, there's one thing you need to remember: you have unprecedented resources at your disposal to make it happen. So many companies are either fully or partially remote, there is remote work available in every field, and there are countless resources to help you find you remote work.
In general, there are three different methods I use to find remote work:
Let's dive a little deeper into each method.
This is what I did when I first began looking for remote work. Websites like Upwork and Fiverr can make finding freelance remote work much more accessible. You can search for endless projects, specific to your niche of skills. On these sites, you'll see plenty of projects for those with typical "freelanceable" skills, such as writing, graphic design, or coding. But no matter what your skills are, you can definitely find remote work. We'll talk more about that in a second.
The downsides to finding jobs here: many of these projects are short-term and part-time, and the websites sometimes take a fee (Upwork, which I use often, runs on a "credit" system). Plus, it can take a little time to get projects that align with your work desires. All-in-all, I see freelance websites as a great way to supplement your income, and help fill any gaps. This work is also definitely scaleable. I personally find that the investment in time and money you need to find work on freelance websites is worth the return to supplement my income and help me find more work. Plus, once you build a relationship with clients, you can take your work off these websites, to keep 100% of your profits.
My trick: Look for projects that are regularly recurring. Think weekly or daily assignments.
Job aggregation websites
Also known as job boards, these places scour the internet for you, in your quest for remote work. There are endless general websites, but there are also some specific to remote work. For example, you probably know about Indeed, but sites like FlexJobs and WeWorkRemotely are specifically designed to help you find remote work. That's what they're there for!
These websites can be great for finding full-time and part-time remote opportunities, and there are vacancies in nearly every field. The downsides: The jobs may want you to be US-based and available for business hours (which is not ideal if you plan on taking your work on the road), and the job sites themselves may require paid memberships (like FlexJobs, but I still use their articles and resources to do research on remote jobs). I think these are great resources for finding full-time work and making a decent salary remotely.
Reaching out to individual companies/contacts
This is how I've found some of my more lucrative freelance remote work, and I'll use myself as a case-study: as a freelance digital content writer, I started looking for digital content agencies, or companies that supply what I create. I started searching their "Careers" page, but I noticed in many cases, "freelance content writers" wasn't listed as a vacancy. I reached out anyway, offering my services. I found one of my favorite clients this way, and they would never have shown up on Indeed or another job aggregation site, because they didn't actually have the vacancy posted.
My point is: take what you do, search for companies who also do this and can pay you, and make contact. This can work for nearly any field on a freelance or consulting basis. There is a need for what you do, whether it's photography or accounting services, and the best part is, there are already digital platforms supplying those services! You don't need to reinvent the wheel. I didn't need to create my own digital content marketing agency. I just had to find one to let me a part of their team, which could pay me ASAP.
The downsides: You may hear a lot of radio silence. Don't be discouraged. All it takes is one "yes" to get you started.
#2 Your skills are relevant to remote work
I said this earlier and I'll say it again: no matter what your skills are, you can find remote work. Even at first, I didn't think my skills transferred to remote work: I was a TV news producer. I needed a TV station to do my work, and a team of reporters and writers and directors. But then I started thinking a little bit differently. And I started trying to see how I could use my skills in a more versatile way.
You're probably used to going into your office, but I'm here to tell you there's an entire digital world of remote work opportunity. Whether you're entry level or anl executive, there are ways you can use your specific skill set to work remotely.
#3 Tricks I wish I knew for finding remote work
In my quest for remote work, I've learned a few tricks, and there are some things which could have helped me find remote work more efficiently and successfully. Here are some things you can do right now to help your search for a remote job.
Set up job alerts
On those job aggregator websites, set up alerts for your specific skills and field. That way, you won't miss it if your dream opportunity comes along.
Reach out to your network
Odds are, some of your friends work at companies which are hiring remote or freelance employees. Reach out to your people, throw up a post on social media, and tap into your resources. My best friend has helped me get two remote freelance jobs, because he's thoughtful as hell, but also because I make my needs and my skills well-known. I'm a freelance content writer with a background in journalism, what have you got for me?
Start looking at your skills differently
As I mentioned, when I first started traveling, and I was looking for remote work, I was very much thinking inside the box. Big mistake, because once I shifted my thinking on my skills, I was able to find remote work within days. Look at your skill set, and think of how you can apply your skills to different remote jobs. By doing this, you'll open up more options for yourself, and increase your chances of having success with remote work.
I know it can seem daunting to find remote work. Especially if you've lost some of all of your work due to COVID, it can seem like a disheartening process. But just remember: there are resources there to help you, and you have the skills necessary to find some kind of remote work.