Updated: Mar 24
The pandemic upended our lives in many ways. If you would have told me about some of the changes that have happened before it all started, I would have shamelessly laughed in your face! But the pandemic introduced new ways of living, some of which appear to be here to stay.
One noteworthy change has been the transition to remote work. Initially implemented to mitigate the spread of infections, this mode of work has proven quite desirable for many employees and also a lot of employers! Now that the pandemic is pretty much over, a lot of workers want to continue working from home and many more are only seeking WFH opportunities.
If you're looking for remote work, there are a few things you can incorporate into your job search strategy to help facilitate the process.
Demonstrate that you're a self-starter
First and foremost, an employer needs to know that they can trust you to complete your work load. After all, your manager isn't going to stop by your house to make sure you're working - the onus is on you to perform your responsibilities as you would if you were at the office.
To prove you can be trusted to do this, you need to provide concrete examples when writing your resume of instances where you met and exceeded defined expectations (if you have previously worked from home, make sure you mention that) or even times where you took initiative on your own. A bullet like the one below demonstrates how to do this:
"Collaborated virtually with 7 department managers including sales, marketing, production, and IT to form a Health and Safety Committee..."
"Inducted into the bank's $50MM club for remotely onboarding over 1,000 clients over a 2-year period".
These examples demonstrate two things:
(1) That you have prior remote work experience , and
(2) you can be trusted to accomplish major tasks while working from home.
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Look for remote work opportunities
Are you actively searching for remote jobs? There are a few websites you can check out that are great resources. Three websites you can use right not to start looking for remote roles:
Leverage your LinkedIn profile!
Do you have a LinkedIn profile? Is it up to date? Have you taken the time to develop the content in the Headline, Summary, Work Experience, and Skills sections?
A well-developed profile will allow you to not only market your skills and areas of expertise, but it also allows you to specify that you're open to work for remote opportunities!
If you've discovered that working from home is the way to go and can't see yourself going back to the office, you may want to consider transitioning to a freelancing role. A few things to keep in mind about freelancing:
1) It's challenging to get your foot in the door. Whether you're a writer, developer, or IT professional, getting that first client is literally the hardest part. Take the time to build a solid professional portfolio, website, and LinkedIn that shows off your past work, skills, and specializations. This will help you demonstrate you're serious about your profession. Once you land your first gig, the rest is smooth sailing.
2) Since you'll be self-employed, you'll have to set aside some of your earnings for the taxman (most freelancers set aside roughly 25% of their income for taxes).
3) It's a constant struggle and entails a great deal of uncertainty. Unlike traditional employment, being a freelancer means you have to go out and get your own clients; there won't be someone consistently handing you work. If this sounds daunting to you or if you don't like the idea of constantly prospecting for new clients, then it's a sign that this type of work may not be for you.
The job market is changing...
The changes that have arisen over the 18 months have definitely had a huge impact on the way we live and do business. Remote work looks like it's here to stay and technologies like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and SharePoint have made it very easy to do - this wouldn't have been possible even 10 years ago.
If you're someone that likes the idea of working from a home office, rest assured that you're going to be seeing more remote opportunities going forward as employers implement this work style more and more.
PS: This entire blog has been written on a mobile device on my commute to work so please forgive any spelling and grammar mistakes.
About the Author
James Cooper is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and has been in the recruiting, career coaching, and writing business for 15 years. He began his career recruiting for AECOM, a Canadian engineering firm, and he's gone on to work with and help professionals land roles at top Fortune 500 companies.
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