4 Simple Steps to Take When Looking for Remote Work 

If you’re looking for remote work, you’re not alone. There are millions of others like you who’re also looking for remote work. While it is reassuring to know that you have company, it is also important to know that your “company” may also be targeting the same company or remote job as you.

Thankfully, there are certain steps you can take to improve your chances of standing out from the crowd and finding remote work.

The ILO reports that as of April 2020, there were over 300 million job losses worldwide due to COVID-19. With lockdowns in its sixth month and counting, many are beginning to feel the pinch, and are looking for remote work as an alternative source of income.

Remote Work 

In this post, I’ll be sharing four (4) simple but essential steps you can take to better position yourself when looking for remote work, but first

What is Remote Work?

Remote work is a broad term for work that can be done from any location other than a traditional office building. When done from home, it is known as work from home. Thanks to COVID-19, this is quickly becoming the new normal (again).

Before the industrial revolution, people were engaged in the cottage industry and worked from home. However, with industrialization, people began to work together in larger numbers in factories and offices.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, millions are being forced to go remote, and it is quickly becoming the trend. Big players like Apple, Facebook, Shopify, JP Morgan Chase, Siemens, etc, have all experimented with remote work in the last couple of months, with varying results.

Some Interesting Remote Work Statistics

  • 67% of companies with a remote work policy believe that remote work will be permanent or long-term. (S&P Global)
  • 95% of leaders of $500m+ a year businesses are open to remote work with 61% willing to increase investment in remote work enabling technology. (Wakefield Research)
  • 61% of the workforce now work from home, 61% of them due to COVID-19. Also, 86% of current remote workers rate their productivity levels excellent or good. (Salesforce)
  • 98% of workers appreciate remote work flexibility and would like to continue working remotely. (State of Remote Work survey, Buffer).
  • 42% of workers who are 100% remote have been working remotely for over 5 years, 28% for 2-3 years, and 19% for 1-2 years. (FlexJobs)
  • In June of 2020, freelance revenue grew 28% since the beginning of the year. (Payoneer).
  • Freelancing contributed nearly 5% of US GDP in 2018 with freelancers earning nearly $1 trillion. (Upwork).

If you’re looking for remote work, either as a freelancer or full-time remote employee, the following steps will help to set you apart from the competition.

  1. Research

There are a thousand and one remote job ads published daily on several job boards, and it is impossible to apply to all because they all will not apply to you. So, how do you know which jobs to apply to when looking for remote work?

The answer is to research. With proper research, you can narrow down your options and broaden your chances, plus save valuable time and resources. Start by identifying your preferred niche and curating a list of the top companies, e.g, top medical supplies companies.

A simple CrunchBase or Google search will turn up a good number. Next, you can look up these companies via LinkedIn. You should keep an eye on their size, revenue, and key persons. 

You can also consult Glassdoor for salary information work culture, job satisfaction, and CEO/management ratings. All these insights are important when looking for remote work.

  1. Upskill

During your research, you should spend some time studying advertised remote jobs in your area of interest. Assuming you’re looking for remote work as a freelance graphics designer, take note of the requirements for the position.

You may find that the greater majority of advertised remote freelance graphics design jobs require knowledge of Photoshop and other Adobe design tools. If you’re deficient in these areas, perhaps you should consider upskilling.

Other remote jobs may place greater emphasis on the ability to use collaboration tools, good communication skills, ability to multitask, and take initiative. Without these, even if you get the job, you may still struggle and eventually resent the job.

So, ensure that your skills match or even surpass the job requirements for remote jobs in your area of interest. This will give you an edge over other candidates.

  1. Search

Most job seekers have desirable remote work skills for jobs in their area of interest but may still struggle with getting remote work that they enjoy. This could be because they keep looking for remote work in the wrong places.

The purpose of conducting employer research and upskilling is to help you to avoid employee-employer mismatch. The right employer will appreciate your work and compensate you adequately for your time and efforts.

There are some popular job boards that smart job seekers frequent when looking for remote work. Some of them include:

  • FlexJobs
  • Remote.Co
  • Indeed
  • SimplyHired
  • ProBlogger job board
  • RemoteWise.Io
  • LinkedIn
  • NoDesk.Co
  • WeWorkRemotely
  • WorkingNomads

These are good examples of specialized job boards where you can find good remote jobs in your area of interest.

  1. Prepare and Act

Preparation is key to success when looking for remote work. After you have done your research, assessed your skill level, and searched popular job boards, it is time to respond to job ads, and proper preparation is a must.

By now you should have a shortlist of remote jobs you’re interested in and the companies to apply to. Make sure to read and understand their job requirements.

Cross your t’s and dot your i’s, and follow their application guidelines to a T. This will help to brighten your chances of getting the job. Where possible, also have a trusted friend or family member simulate a real-life interview, so you can gauge your level of preparedness.

Have them go over your application before sending it in. They may spot some errors or inconsistencies that you may have missed out of excitement or anxiety. After this, you should follow up to know the status of your application.

Lana Martinez is a freelance technical writer living in the Santa Clara. She's a gadget and tech geek who loves to write how-to articles about a wide range of topics. When she's not writing about technology, Lana loves watching and reading mysteries, cross stitching, and attending musical theatre. She's also an avid Doctor Who fan.