The last 18 months have been hectic to say the least, and the pandemic has 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 likely laughed! But the pandemic has introduced new ways of living, some of which may not be going away anytime soon.
One notable change has been the transition to remote work. Initially implemented to mitigate the spread of infections, this mode of work has proven itself quite desirable for many employees (and also a lot of employers!). Now that the pandemic appears to be subsiding, a lot of workers are asking their employers to make work from home arrangements permanent, and those that are in between jobs are seeking out these remote work opportunities.
If you're a job seeker that's 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 on your resume of instances where you met and exceeded defined expectations (if you have previously worked from home, make sure you mention this) or even times where you took initiative. A bullet like the one below demonstrates one example of 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 experience working remotely and (2) you can be trusted to accomplish major tasks, even while working from home.
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. WeWorkRemotely, Working Nomads, and Virtual Vocations are great examples of websites catering mostly or exclusively to this domain.
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 convey your interests and goals. You an even specify that you're open to work for remote opportunities!
If you've discovered that remote work is the way to go and don't see yourself going back to traditional work environments, you may want to consider transitioning to an independent consulting/freelancing type role. There a few things you should know about this type of work:
i) It's challenging to get your foot in the door. Whether you're a writer, developer, or IT professional, getting that first client can be tough as nails. Take the time to build a solid professional portfolio, website, and LinkedIn that shows off your past work, skills, and specializations. These will be key and will demonstrate that you're serious about your profession. Once you land your first gig, the rest will be easier.
ii) Since you'll be technically 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).
iii) It's a continual struggle and entails a great deal of variability. 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 almost 14 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.
Have questions about resume writing? Reach out at email@example.com.