The remote world is expanding at an astounding pace, and there is truly room for everyone in this industry – no matter your background, professional experience, or what you studied in college.
But I am no stranger to the challenges of landing a remote job – it can be tough, especially now that so many people are learning about the benefits of remote work.
In this blog post, I lay out my top tips for networking, discovering opportunities, and landing your first (and second… and third…) remote job. Let’s dive in!
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Your Network is Your Net Worth
I’m going to be 100% honest with you.
Zero of my remote jobs have come from job sites.
I’ve landed every single one of them through individual connections and word-of-mouth. That is the power of building a strong network and cultivating powerful relationships!
Here are some ways to cast a wide net of professional contacts:
- Join your alumni network if you went to college.
- Schedule informational interviews with professionals you look up to.
- Attend local conferences and networking events.
- Request to join Facebook and LinkedIn groups in your industry. There are tons of groups for freelancers, remote workers, and virtually any niche out there, and it’s a great way to make professional connections during a time of social distancing.
- Get involved in professional clubs or associations.
The more you put yourself out there, the greater chance you have of landing a remote job. Don’t hold back!
I know it can feel a little weird and unnatural at first, but garnering support from your existing network (both personal and professional) can be extremely powerful.
Reach out to your parents, your college roommate, your aunts and uncles, your family friends – ANYONE who knows you as a person – and tell them about your remote work goals.
Describe the type of role you’re looking for and who you would be able to help, and see if they have any leads. You never know who someone has a connection with, and their personal relationship with you can be a valuable testimonial to any potential employers or clients.
This is how I got my first freelance job – a family member connected me with a couple who owns a small retail business. I ended up curating and managing their social media pages and weekly newsletter for a year!
In addition to your personal network, make a list of anyone you’ve worked with before and reconnect with them. Here are some people to consider:
- Past employers, colleagues, colleagues of colleagues
- Anyone you’ve met at a networking event, conference, or expo
- Teachers, lecturers, and college professors
- High school and college alumni
Once you’ve created your list, make sure you’re connected with each person on LinkedIn and send them a private message to strike up a conversation. Do a bit of digging to see what they’re up to, and eventually weave in your remote work endeavors.
Make sure to remain as genuine and non-salesy as possible. Approach the conversation in whatever way fits the relationship – whether it be asking for leads they might have or simply setting up a phone call to pick their brain.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to post on Facebook and LinkedIn about your remote work goals and the services you can provide. You’d be surprised who may reach out!
As hard as it is to stand out in today’s competitive workforce, you want to use every commonality to your advantage – including where you live.
Targeting your local community is a great way to get your foot in the door, especially if you’re just starting out as a remote worker. Not only can you bond with the business owner over your shared experience of living in the same city, but oftentimes, smaller businesses don’t have the budget to afford a large agency or established company. Because of this, they are more likely to take a chance on someone that they can afford – even if that someone lacks experience.
If you have any personal connections with local businesses in the area (maybe you’re a loyal customer or have a friend who started their own company), consider reaching out and asking them if they need assistance.
And if you don’t have any personal connections yet, don’t sweat it – now is the perfect time to make some!
Create a list of local businesses that could benefit from your services, visit each place in person, and strike up a conversation with them about their business goals. You never know what might stick, and if they’re not hiring right now, that doesn’t mean they won’t be in a few months. The more you get your name out there, the better!
Remote Job Sites
If you have a decent amount of professional experience, there is a wide range of websites to find job openings.
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Keep in mind that this is not my top recommendation for remote workers who are just starting out. Many of these sites are highly saturated and competitive, so it can be discouraging to start your job search here.
But if you do feel like you stand out with your experience, here are some job sites that offer 100% remote jobs and freelance opportunities:
These sites are specifically for freelancers and remote workers, and there are also other sites for specific niches, so make sure to do your research!
In addition to these sites, I highly recommend searching for jobs on LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor. If you put the location as “REMOTE,” it will pull up a whole archive of remote jobs from reputable companies.
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