Finding Remote Work When the Boss Wants You Back
The pandemic caused a lot of employers to shift to a remote workforce. Now, over a year later, many people have realized they’d rather keep working this way, rather than return to the office. If this sounds familiar, here are some tips for how to land a permanently remote job.
By: Grace Mitchell | Contributor for Let’s Eat, Grandma
Two years ago, few of us had much experience working remotely. In fact, three-fourths of Americans had never worked from home. But in 2020, with COVID-19 cases on the rise, what once seemed impossible became a reality for millions of Americans, and for countless others around the world.
As our work lives loom closer to their pre-pandemic norms, some employees are reluctant to leave their new remote setups. In fact, a Flexjobs survey found that 62% of working parents would quit their current jobs if not permitted to continue working remotely.
Looking at the facts, it’s easy to see why. Remote work allows the employee greater flexibility and control of their schedule. Studies show that these remote workers are as productive or even more productive than their in-office colleagues, all while avoiding rush hour traffic and overly chatty coworkers. For working parents especially, this shift in location allows them to balance their work and family commitments more easily.
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If you’re among those who have flourished in this new paradigm and are reluctant to return to the office, you’re likely looking for an alternative. The good news is that many companies also see the benefit of offering remote work, and some are offering this option long term.
Here are some tips on finding and landing an opportunity to transition from your soon-to-be in-office job to the comfort of your own home.
What Employers Look For
When seeking out a fully remote new employee, companies have somewhat different expectations than for hiring in-office. Remember: They’re trusting you to do your work, with minimal supervision, perhaps from several time zones away.
If you want to prove that you can excel in that environment, you need to demonstrate to prospective employers that you are an independent, organized, and results-driven worker. The best way to demonstrate these qualities is through concrete examples. As your English high school composition teacher (probably) said: “Show, don’t tell.”
Your resume should highlight your accomplishments through concise bullet points that lead with action verbs. Anyone can say that they’re a “self-starter,” but it’s much more effective to show prospective employers this through an example like:
- Co-founded and led the Workplace Safety Committee, providing instruction and resources to all employees, leading to an estimated company savings of $50k in preventable workplace injuries.
You’re better than a resume cliché; let your experience speak for itself!
Where to Look for Remote Work
Are your searches for remote work on traditional job posting sites coming up dry? Or worse, are your “leads” turning up as another survey website disguised as a job? What if we told you there’s a better way?
There are dozens of online job boards out there specifically designed for finding remote work opportunities. For more conventional remote opportunities, try Working Nomads, Virtual Vocations, or We Work Remotely. We Work Remotely even offers a list of the top 100 companies looking to hire remote employees.
You can also filter your LinkedIn searches to only show remote opportunities, which brings us to our next point.
Update Your LinkedIn Preferences
If this isn’t your first time visiting Grandma’s blog, you may have noticed that we mention LinkedIn quite a bit. And for good reason! This career-oriented social network should be a part of anyone’s holistic job search strategy.
Many recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates, and it offers a variety of features to help you get noticed, not to mention a learning library for premium members. In other words, building an exciting online professional presence can help you score an exciting online profession!
If you’re looking to attract remote recruiters via LinkedIn, you should spend time developing your profile. Be sure to update your preferences as well – LinkedIn lets you mark yourself as open to specifically remote opportunities! Just open your job preferences, check the box that says “I’m open to remote work” under “Job Locations,” and remote recruiters will know that they can reach out to you about remote offerings.
Time for Something New?
If your main motivations for seeking out permanent remote work are ditching the 9-to-5 or the boss that comes with it, it may be time for a more substantial change. Pursuing contract or freelance work could allow you the freedom and flexibility you’re looking for.
Steve Folland, a recent guest on our Career Warrior Podcast, argues that freelance work should operate like a business, only you’re fulfilling the various roles within the company. Should you decide to quit your day job to pursue independent coding, for example, you’ll be responsible not just for coding, but for marketing yourself, for any financial decisions you make to grow that business, and for any other role that may come up.
While this can be hard work, many freelancers find this way of working easier to fit into their lives, as they have the freedom to create their own schedules and to choose whether or not to take on more work.
Like with remote opportunities, there are many job boards dedicated exclusively to freelance opportunities, so, should you decide to go this route, there’s no shortage of options.
A Brave New World
The pandemic has changed so much about how we work, and remote positions seem like they’re here to stay. If you feel a pull toward continuing to work from home as your company moves back into that drafty office, take the time to find opportunities that work for you, and don’t sell yourself short! With more and more companies making a permanent switch to remote operations, the possibilities are endless. With proper research and time, you can find the right remote position to fit your life.
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