Some people are just not cut out for the drudgery of office work. Perhaps, you don’t see yourself driving every day to work, drinking the same stale pantry coffee, and staring at your cubicle wall for the rest of your life. You know what? There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling this way.
With more and more people successfully transitioning to the work-from-home set-up, you may consider making the change too. Your schedule will be flexible. You won’t sit in traffic and inaudibly curse at every driver you pass by. What’s more, you can finally take on that side project you’ve been shelving for a long time.
However, finding remote jobs is not easy. In this endeavor, you will learn that a long and winding road separates that energy-draining office job and the freedom of self-employment. So, in today’s post, we give you some tips on how to find remote jobs that you’ll love and maintain your self-isolation during coronavirus pandemic.
Should You Start Finding Remote Jobs Now during COVID-19?
Before you entertain the idea of working in your jammies all day long, you should ask yourself whether this set-up is ideal for you. As ridiculous as it may sound, not everyone can make a career out of freelancing. You may think that it is all fun, but if you do not have the attitude, personality, and lifestyle for it, it may not work well for you. Here are some of the questions you must ask yourself:
- Can I go on an entire workday without seeing or talking to people in person?
- Do I struggle to focus on work? Can I tear myself away from work when I’m done for the day?
- Do I like spending time alone?
- Do I like spending time with my family or the people living with me?
Of course, the questions differ from person to person. However, these are the general factors you need to consider if you want to dive into the extremely competitive world of remote work, especially when world is under self-isolation. If you think you have what it takes, then you’re ready to try out our little-known life hacks for securing work-from-home projects and stay productive even during coronavirus pandemic.
First Hack: Building Your Network
Introverts may have higher chances of thriving at remote work, but there is one thing they have to overcome before they can secure projects. Finding open positions requires anyone to tap their network. So, if you want to find remote work gigs, we recommend that you reach out to people in the industry.
Our first tip is to determine who is likely to respond to you. You will only waste your effort and time if you connect to people who are not interested in considering you for a position. Now, if you get nervous about reaching out to people, always remember that you’re just doing business. Chances are, if they are looking to fill a position, your message will come at an opportune time. Here are some of the places where you can build your online network:
- Your contact list from your business email
- Slack channels
- Facebook groups
- Community sites like HackerNews, Inbound, and GrowthHackers
As early as now, you’ll need to swallow a bitter pill. It’s challenging to find remote work if you don’t have enough experience in the field. Some companies indeed take a chance on newbies, but that scenario is rare. Moreover, you’re likely competing with thousands of applicants who have the same desire as yours.
Now, if you already have experience in a specialized field and you’re planning to transition to remote work, don’t burn bridges. Most of the time, the initial projects that freelancers get come from former clients, colleagues, and supervisors. There is power in recommendations, and you can build your network successfully with word of mouth.
Second Hack: Searching for Remote Jobs Via Online Postings
Many companies take advantage of online dashboards. The process makes it easier for hiring managers to find the talent they need and handle applications efficiently. On your quest for learning how to get a remote job, you probably encountered sites like Zoho Recruit, BambooHR, Jobvite.com, and Workable. Unfortunately, all you can do on these sites is submit your profile and wait for interested parties to contact you.
Well, we’ve got a simple hack for you. You can Google remote jobs that are hidden within their respective sites. Here’s what you can do. Visit Google.com, then type the following in the search bar:
Site:workable.com + “job opening, remote, or industry” (no quotes)
Ex: site:workable.com + remote real estate assistant
Perform this search for the sites we mentioned. You may not find the ideal results, but in most cases, you will discover some openings that may fit your preferences. You can also use Google’s tools to filter the results according to items that have been posted within the last month. If you want to find similar sites to what we shared, you can search for recruitment sites on Google.
Third Hack: Sending Cold Emails
One of the most popular marketing techniques is cold emailing. If you want to learn how to find a remote job, you should know how to do it. Alright, don’t punch your computer monitor just yet because you’re scared of cold emailing. The truth is, it’s not too complicated. The process is similar to making cold calls, but you’re only sending out your resume. To maximize the chances of securing your dream job, we recommend that you follow these steps:
First Step: Narrow Down Your Target Audience
When using this technique, you need to determine the types of skills you have and the types of businesses where they would be best suited. Here are some factors you need to consider:
- Who is looking for your services?
- What industry or sector do they fall under?
- What kinds of businesses do you prefer?
- Where can you apply your past job experience?
Let’s say your service involves virtual assistance and administrative work. There are plenty of companies that may need your service, but it can be difficult to choose an industry. So, we suggest that you pick a sector that you think you’ll enjoy working in. For instance, you enjoy browsing through real estate listings and your favorite show is Architectural Digest. So, you’d look for real estate companies or agents that may need a remote virtual assistant.
Second Step: Finding a Directory or a Remote Job Platform
You can start browsing through sites like Upwork, AngelList, Freelancer.com, and Product Hunt. You can use the tags to narrow down your options to the specific types of projects you want to work on. Keep in mind that on some of the platforms, you may be required to pay a membership fee of some sort. For instance, on Upwork, you’ll need to purchase ‘connects’ to be able to bid on projects. However, there are higher chances that you’ll encounter who are serious at hiring talent and won’t waste your time.
On the other hand, you can also look through directories for remote work. Some examples include trade associations, the Chamber of Commerce, the advertisement area of trade magazines, and the Association of National Advertisers.
Third Step: Creating Your Pitch
Alright, you may want to fake your resume and cover letter. However, in the long run, that may not work too well for you. On the other hand, you may not want to be honest to the point that you’ll list all your weaknesses and all the ugly reasons why you left your previous company. When working on your pitch, you need to find a good balance between honesty and razzmatazz. You need to ensure that your email conveys you’re the person they need. Of course, make it sound as personal as possible.
Fourth Step: Tracking Your Applications
We may get a bit too Leslie Knope here, but trust us when we say that things will get messy once you start the job search. It’s better that you keep a spreadsheet where you can monitor all the applications you’ve sent. Sometimes, you’ll be approached about jobs that you don’t remember applying for. You’ll be left wondering if you were interested in this company in the first place.
In your spreadsheet, you can include each company’s name and its website. You should also input the date you first reached out to them and whether you’ve already received a response. Of course, don’t forget to include their contact information.
Fifth Step: Submitting Your Pitch
Once you’ve prepared your pitch, you’re ready to send out emails. It is not uncommon to get cold feet right before you send them. Don’t worry because, at this point, you’ve narrowed down your list to companies employing professionals. What you’re doing is purely business, and it should not affect you personally.
Now, if you receive emails from companies telling you to stop sending them messages, don’t forget to mark them off your spreadsheet. In this way, you won’t mistakenly send them a follow-up email.
Sixth Step: Including a Link to Your Portfolio or Online Profile
If you’re a writer, graphic artist, or web developer, it helps if you collect your published work. Look for your pieces of writing, code, or artwork that have been posted online. Make sure you include links to them in the emails you will send. Doing so will get you more responses from people who are genuinely interested in your services.
Now, remember to always thank the people who respond to your messages. If they do not have open positions for remote work, you should try to leave them with a positive note. This is an excellent way of building a relationship for the future. In case they start pooling for remote talent, your file will be included in their list.
Fourth Hack: Always Be the First Applicant
When you’re applying for a regular job in an office, you’re probably competing with a few people who live within or near the city. On the other hand, once you get to the virtual work battlefield, you’re going against applicants from all over the world. Of course, the whole hiring process can be tiring for recruiters. In most cases, they pay more attention to the first ones to apply.
So, know where to find remote jobs and do your best to be one of the first applicants. It’s not only important to be fast, as thousands of bright minds are competing you and aim to stay productive during coronavirus, but you also have to be effective. With every initial encounter, your goal should be to make a lasting impression. Here are some tips we recommend:
- Keep yourself updated about new remote work opportunities. You can set up email, SMS, and app alerts to get first dibs on openings.
- Express your enthusiasm for securing the position. Try connecting with the right people on LinkedIn. Follow companies on Twitter. Respond promptly to emails and send follow-up messages.
- Sell your strengths respectfully and pay close attention to the recruiter’s response. Share how you can bring benefits to the position.
Bonus Tip: Prepare Your Home Office
While learning how to find remote work, you should act as if you’re going to start your job tomorrow. What would you tell the recruiter if you don’t even have a laptop to use at home? Get your gear ready and plan where you’ll set up your office. It is perfectly normal if you start on your kitchen table. What’s important is you make the area as comfortable as possible. Eventually, as you start earning money from remote work, set aside some for organizing a proper home office.
Of course, you shouldn’t forget about the tech tools you’ll need for your remote job. It goes without saying that a reliable Internet connection is one of the vital things you must have. However, you can go the extra mile and install programs that will help you work efficiently. For instance, you can get a time monitoring app like Traqq. You can use this tool to monitor your productivity levels and work hours.
What you’ll love about Traqq is it gives you complete control over your working hours. You can manually add or delete hours along with the screenshots that come with them. What’s more, Traqq promotes ethical tracking. You won’t have to worry about data leaks with this tool. Traqq compresses and blurs the screenshots to a certain extent, thereby protecting your privacy. So, if a recruiter requires you to track your time and stay focused while working from your home, you can confidently say that you have all the tools you need. Traqq will be your partner in making invoicing hassle-free and maximizing your productivity.