For the last few years I have been trying to reduce my commute, and it has gone from 3 hours each way to no commute at all since last year! In this post I will be covering the following topics –
- Why should you work remotely?
- Remote mindset!
- Developing the right skill set!
- Useful equipment/tools
- How to find remote jobs
- Resume/Job Tips
- Working remotely for US based companies
- How much should you be asking for?
- The right remote culture
Why should you work remotely?
- No more Commute! Living in a city with horrendous public transport, I just got tired of the breakdowns/delays that were to happen while using the service and sometimes of course, there would just be no service at all! A short 10-minute commute could be an hour long!
- Get to spend more time with your family and friends! As soon as you are done with your work, you can head straight to whatever you plan to do!
- No need to spend time getting ready! I used to spend about 30-45 minutes getting ready for work but not anymore 🙂
- You can wear what you want! Usually I am wearing just a t shirt and pajamas.
- Flexibility to do errands while at home!
- Reduced lunch expenses as you would be eating at home!
The right mindset!
- It’s pretty easy to lose focus when you are working from home. You will need to get adapted to working on your own without anyone overseeing you.
- Working permanently from home involves moving away from in-person interactions.
- Some people are just too reliant on in-person interactions.
- When you are working virtually you will need to get used to communication tools like Slack, Jira, Zoom Video Meetings which will make you feel that you are working with your team members like they are just sitting beside you!
Develop the right skill set!
Even if you have prior education and experience, it can still be hard finding a remote job! Additionally, you can show these skills to prove your self-learning abilities during interviews!
- There are tons of free courses on YouTube that you can go through.
- Udemy is another great resource that offers free/cheap courses.
- Complete some certifications based on your skills/interests.
- You may opt for college/university courses for certain specializations.
Equipment and Tools for remote work
- It would be ideal to have some space allocated in your house which has less noise and where you can work without much interference.
- You are going to need a Desk and Chair
- Laptop or a Computer (For contract work, otherwise employers usually provide you with one)
- Webcam – In case the quality of the inbuilt webcam is bad, I recommend you to get a dedicated one.
- Dedicated Mic/Headphones – If the sound quality is muffled/poor then you are going to need a dedicated mic.
- Install and get used to communication software – Slack/Microsoft Teams, Zoom Meetings and JIRA.
- For contract workers – it’s ideal to have an Invoice/Timetable app installed which can make it easier to track your hours and send invoices to clients.
Some companies might pay you to set up your work-at-home office!
How to find remote jobs?
- The most popular portals to search for jobs are Indeed and LinkedIn.
- Do not limit search for remote jobs by city
- Feel free to search for jobs in other countries in the same time zone
There are many other portals as well but the response rate I have had from using these two portals has been phenomenally higher than other job search boards. And since these jobs are remote, you can always search globally for the jobs.
In my case, since I am based in Canada, I look for jobs on both Indeed US and Indeed Canada. You will have to see what time zone you are in if you are searching for remote jobs in different countries.
Note that depending on the job, and the country in which the country is based, you might need to look into the laws/cross-border taxation issues.
Working remotely for US based companies
You can work for US based companies even if you are outside the United States! The process can be easier if the company has a subsidiary in your home country, but otherwise you might need to be working as a contractor.
How much should you be asking for?
When I am looking for jobs I usually do research on how much the company pays its current employees/contractors. You can do that by checking out salary information on a website like Glassdoor.
So far, I have quoted the market rate for whatever I am going to work on.
The right remote culture
- Sometimes people think that working remote means that they will be working tirelessly! That shouldn’t be the case and your employers shouldn’t be forcing to work overtime!
- Usually companies with virtual teams will have team building exercises (apart from work meetings)
- You can always set up virtual drink sessions with your coworkers to be more acquainted with them.
Finding a remote job is going to be competitive as a lot of folks want to work from home. Keep applying, and hopefully you will end up with one remote job that you will love! Good luck!