What is a Remote Job?
A remote job is performed out of office and is often referred to as virtual employment, telecommuting, home based, work at home are other terms you will find on job search boards. Knowing these terms will help you know where to apply and the language of the work at home culture.
Why work at home?
People want to work remotely for many reasons. Many army spouses, caregivers, homeschoolers and working single parents want a way to work from their homes. For me, it was the time flexibility to work around homeschooling my children and enjoying what I did so it was easy to carve out the time to do it. For others, it might be to avoid commuting or paying for childcare or just being away from the family for long stretches each day. Whatever the reason, remote work allows for flexibility and work-life balance when managed well.
Benefits of Remote Work
While the watercooler gossip might be juicy, it can often be distracting and lessen productivity. According to Forbes.com America loses almost 2 billion dollars in revenue due to low productivity. Aside from the obvious advantage to the environment, lessening your carbon footprint and improving health, here is a list of benefits associated with working from home or complete telecommuting opportunities.
- Increased productivity- no commute and time wasted in traffic
- Less tension( Commute, Office politics, Distractions)
- Set your own schedule so more engaged
- More work-life balance so happier
- Coworking spaces are a thing
- Employers pay a premium for office space and all the resources they consume ( less office space and stuff)
- Productivity increases: fewer distractions, fewer interruptions, tend to work longer hours-Lower turnover rate for employers
- Reduce carbon footprints and be more socially responsible
- Location free recruiting allows employers to pick the best employees without the barriers.
Strategies for finding home based jobs.
There are many options for finding a remote job, however, there are different strategies for finding these jobs. Online searches on places like LinkedIn, Monster, Flexjobs.com as well as freelancer.com and tutoring agency are just a few of the places you can start looking. People feel emotional or daunted by job search because they donèt know where to find remote work. 90 % of US workers want more job flexibility and some would even take a pay cut just to be able to work from home. And according to a Flexjobs article, 43% of US workers now work remotely, so this is not a fad.
One of the main concerns I hear from people is what if the job opportunity is a scam, how can you tell. Well, over the 15 years that I have been working from home, I can’t say I have been scammed and it’s not because I was super cautious. According to my research, many mega companies such as IBM, AT&T, Rogers Cable, Wells Fargo and other currently hire remote workers. Many positions at your company can be done from home as well, so check work at home job boards to see what is being offered. To be certain when choosing telecommuting jobs to try these strategies that have worked for me in the past:
- Strategy 1: Pitch your current boss. ( How to pitch?-before, during and after).
- Strategy 2: Sign up for the most reputable company websites. There are numerous blog posts dissecting opportunities that are considered a scam or a scheme. And there are other blogs with many followers that review these opportunities and give tips on the best ones to choose.
- Strategy 3: I’ve heard the advice that you should never pay for a job, I disagree to an extent. There are membership sites like Flexjobs and LinkedIn that go through the process of finding and vetting potential employers, so applicants can securely choose who they want to work with. Paying to have access to a number of employers, in my opinion, is much better than sitting around having no options. Having said that, I believe it imperative I add a warning here and the reason I agree partially with the above statement:
*! Beware The people who insist on personal or financial information as a part of their hiring process. You should never have to give that information out unless you are paying for a service directly or if the finance department contacts you after you have signed a contract.
Flexible Hours versus Telecommuting
Another thing you should know before you begin your search is that flexible work hours and remote work are similar but not the same. Work flexibility has to do with scheduling and availability, for example, you may be asked to take a floating schedule at your job that varies from time to time. Or you may do shift work which requires flexibility and time management. Virtual work on the other hand is work that is performed away from the office and may require a flexible schedule for international meetings, conference calls and events.
Remote Job Resume and cover letter sculpting
Most people feel that they have no remote experience to add to their resume. However, if you ever worked on projects with people in another office, traveled for your job, taken a conference call from home or any such activity, then you have worked remotely.
Check for keywords and use them in your cover letter and resume. Also, use them in summary to highlight related experiences (state you are looking for remote jobs and show how your passion ties back to helping the remote employer). Boost your soft skills, remote employees crave key traits: self-manager, freelancer, strong communicator, problem solver, highly organized are all potentially successful keywords for remote workers. Think about all the gigs( summer jobs, babysitting, paper route) and find any remote communication and management experience.Chances are you have more remote experiences than you believe.
To figure out the keywords your future employer is using, research jobs that you are interested in and look at the descriptions, highlight adjectives, skills and experiences being sought. Do you have any experience that matches? List all the work you have done, skills amassed over the years, experiences that shaped your character and remote work instances. Next list all the times you brought work home, found a solution while sipping lemon tea at your computer or so find the instances in which you worked autonomously. Most things will become clearer when written down.
Your cover letter should include the best of your best attributes and how they apply to remote work. What is your future employer looking for? Someone who has the ability to do the job, someone who can function on their own without the need to be micromanaged. Someone assertive enough to ask for direction and capable enough to follow them. They want someone with integrity who gets the job done on time and makes no excuses. These are the attributes you highlight in your cover letter.
Show how you completed projects as a team lead or how you were often left to run the daily schedule on your own. Highlight projects you completed for people in a freelance capacity and show how capable you are of working on your own. I learned this one the hard way, communicate problems. Whether there is a problem or a need for more information, speak up and communicate clearly and professionally. Include how you were detail oriented, or took charge in a crisis, share the details of what you did and how you solved it-spotlight the moments of success.
This world demands a tech-savvy and teachable employee who is able to problem solve and troubleshoot technology.Video conferencing tools, workflow tools, communicating and collaborating on teams among many other things you will need to be able to learn and operate.
Popular Remote Fields -Flexjobs top 100 companies.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that one-quarter of all Americans reported to working from home in 2015. A look at the Flexjobs list of top 100 companies for 2018 shows the five fastest growing remote careers are virtual administration, client services, tutoring, therapy and government. It also showed that the 20 most common job titles this year are:
“20 Most Common Work-from-Home Job Titles”
- Program Manager
- Teacher / Faculty
- Project Manager
- Business Development Manager
- Account Manager / Account Executive
- Customer Service Representative
- Sales Representative
- Medical Coder
- Territory Sales Manager
- Case Manager
- Internet/Social Media Evaluator
To get the full list, check out the Flexjobs blog post at: https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/100-top-companies-with-remote-jobs-in-2018/
Remote Job Search Resources
The reasons someone chooses to work from home are as varied as the people who have them. The daily commute to a cubicle is no longer the best option for many families and employers are taking notice. While there are opportunities for people to get scammed online while looking for work, I believe that if each job seeking does their due dilligence, things will work out in their favor. Don’t let fear of some creepy basement dwelling loser with pancake syrup stains on his shirt, trying to steal your money stop you. There are many ligitimate options for remote work that can bring you added satisfaction and money.