With the rise of a pandemic last year, the world ground to a halt — as did most business operations. Companies, large and small, were suddenly in desperate need of people working remotely, with flexible hours and location independence. A lot of employees were laid off and replaced by contract workers, who could adapt quickly without compromising on the quality of work.
In August 2021, a study revealed that 1 in 4 Americans are now working full-time remotely. With projections all the way up to 70% by 2025. About half of all employers, at present, offer some form of remote option for their employees. All these statistics come even after businesses have reopened, and movement restrictions have been fully lifted. Therefore one thing is clear; remote work is here to stay.
It can be challenging at times though. Most remote workers are hired on a contract basis – meaning there are often no benefits like health care or retirement plans offered by employers. Freelancers also have to deal with the uncertainty of not knowing how much money they will make from month to month.
In this article, I’ll cover how you can navigate this new frontier to see your remote work dreams come true!
Why is Remote Work a Good Idea?
Once they try remote work, most people never look back; as they can find gigs that fit their skillset or find work-from-home jobs that match their availability from anywhere in the world. Employers, too, are enjoying the perks of hiring remote workers — they get to choose from a pool of applicants, work with more qualified individuals who are willing to take on new challenges, and have access to resources that allow them to do their best work.
Over time, companies have come to realize that remote workers are not just more productive, but are also happier. Not only do they get to live where their heart desires, but the flexibility of remote work allows them time with family and friends — which results in lower stress levels. Even better? Over 78% say that working remotely has helped improve relationships at home!
What is the Best Career Path for Remote Work?
The best career path will depend on your specific skill set but it’s safe to say that tech gigs are still very much coveted among those looking for work remotely.
What Remote Jobs are Available in 2021?
Freelancing is a great way to get started with remote work. The benefits of having complete control over your schedule, being able to take on the projects you want, and not having any restrictive office hours or rules about going for coffee makes freelancing an ideal choice for many people who live a busy lifestyle.
However, there will always be certain tasks that cannot be completed remotely – like meeting face-to-face with clients or attending networking events. So if you’re looking into what jobs are available in this space then here’s what you can expect:
Project Manager/Team Lead
In most companies, someone needs to manage all aspects of ongoing projects from start to finish. Such as: assigning and managing tasks, ensuring deadlines are met and that projects come in on budget. Remote Project Managers tend to have the responsibility of overseeing several teams at once – sometimes even allocating resources as necessary.
Team Leads will be responsible for a specific team/department within their organization (i.e Marketing, Sales, or Customer Service). They’ll usually report directly to their department’s VP or General Manager with updates on productivity levels, progress towards goals & overall performance reports, etc…
Remote Team Lead positions involve leading your remote employees by way of coaching them through routine check-ins; providing feedback about what is and isn’t working well within certain departments and more hands-on management responsibilities like work standards/schedules/project timelines, etc…
Remote sales jobs are similar to on-site roles in the sense that you’ll be required to make daily calls selling products or services, develop leads, and close deals.
The key difference with remote work is that there will likely be no strict office hours – meaning you can set your schedule around when it’s most convenient for you to start making calls, etc…
Customer Service Agent
Customer service reps take incoming phone calls from customers who have questions about a company’s product line or service offering.
Remote agents tend to spend more time troubleshooting issues using tech support tools/systems than they would if working an actual call center position (which still does exist but has become far less common).
Technical Support Specialist
As customer service representatives, Remote Technical Support Agents are responsible for helping customers over the phone.
The difference is that technical support reps will be troubleshooting issues with various software programs, hardware, or networking tools – making them an ideal choice for IT professionals who can quickly identify and resolve common computer glitches on the go.
If you’re a techie at heart then look into remote programming jobs in 2020 because they’ll afford you more freedom than working full time somewhere with strict office hours (like most other white-collar work).
Software engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and maintaining business software programs. They will work closely with clients to understand their needs then use that information in creating the necessary changes behind the scenes (i.e adding new features or removing obsolete ones).
Remote developers also deal with any bugs/glitches found within existing applications they’ve built so they must have an intimate understanding of how things work under the hood.
Remote graphic designers use their skills in Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator – to create graphical assets (i.e logos, templates, etc…) for client websites; advertisements; social media posts; Facebook ads and more depending on the scope of work involved.
Remote graphic designers need strong attention to detail when creating visual assets. And they also research popular industry trends to stay up-to-date with what’s trending.
Remote web developers will typically be responsible for building new websites from scratch or updating old ones with improved code that runs faster than before.
Remote Developer positions will require you to have a strong grasp on the fundamentals behind website architecture and how it affects SEO performance.
Content Marketing Specialist
A remote marketing specialist is responsible for developing content strategies designed around promoting brands online; generating leads via email campaigns, blog posts, social media ads, etc…
You’ll also be required to source various tools (i.e Google Analytics) when trying to determine if your digital marketing tactics are working effectively so understand basic concepts before applying for these types of jobs in 2020 because they’re very-on with little room for error.
Content marketing specialists typically work at home offices or co-working spaces where they create engaging text/video-based content designed around attracting visitors via organic search results. They are often required to do things like draft website copy; newsletters, press releases, product descriptions, and other relevant marketing/ sales copy.
SEO/ SEM Specialist
The main objective of a remote Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialist is to improve the rankings your company/organization receives organically via Google’s search engine results page (SERP).
This requires doing things like optimizing titles, meta descriptions along with website copy; backlinks, and keywords. Remote SEO marketers also need to be aware of how Google’s search engine algorithms work because any changes made can impact your company/organization negatively if not handled correctly.
Remote Search Engine Marketing (SEM) specialists use proven methods like PPC and email marketing to drive traffic directly to their client’s websites – which is the main focus behind this type of digital marketing job. Remote Marketers are typically required to track everything from website clicks, impressions, conversions via phone calls or email sign-ups.
Social Media Manager
Social media managers are responsible for creating & sharing content on behalf of their clients across various social networks so it requires a high degree of fluency in platforms including Facebook, Twitter Instagram, etc… Remote marketers will use social media sites to connect with both current and potential customers by sharing blog posts, videos, etc.
Where to Find Remote Work Opportunities
So do your research before applying for any jobs. Some remote job boards include:
In most cases, you could also do a simple search for “remote jobs” or even “work from home” in any major city to see what kinds of gigs are available in your market that do not require an IRL (In Real Life) presence.
In addition, many companies now list available positions directly on their websites, as well as LinkedIn – which has become a standard resource, used when looking for work remotely.
What do I Need to Apply for Remote Work?
In most cases, you’ll be required to provide your resume and/or portfolio which should highlight some of the work-related projects that have been completed; along with references. Keep in mind though that having a bachelor’s degree may or may not be required depending on what kind of position is being applied for.
Remote workers are typically expected to keep their social profiles updated as well – so make sure all links listed point back to your website if you have one.
How to Increase My Chances of Getting Hired for Remote Work
Many companies are now looking for people who can work across multiple applications and devices, so it’s important to keep up-to-date on the latest tech trends; along with learning new skills relevant to your expertise.
You should also try attending local meetups or conferences in your area throughout the year because these events tend to attract like-minded professionals who may be looking for talent. A solid network will significantly boost your reputation in your space.
How About Remote Interviews?
It’s important to note that in most cases, you’ll need a solid internet connection and a high-quality webcam so hiring managers can see who they are speaking with. It is also recommended to use a quiet, well-lit space when hopping on calls with potential employees.
What are Some Common Remote Work Challenges?
The biggest challenge for most people who work remotely is staying productive. It’s easy to get distracted when you’re working from home, so try sticking to a set schedule where possible because it will help keep distractions at bay. Try setting up office hours which means no one can bother you during that time unless it’s an emergency.
Another common issue remote workers face includes dealing with the lack of in-person human interaction – but there are tools out there designed specifically around helping remote teams collaborate better across multiple locations such as Slack and Trello to name a few.
For those who have never worked remotely before, don’t be afraid to ask questions early on about everything your employer expects from you. It’s better to get these details out of the way early on to avoid any unnecessary challenges down the road.
Does Remote Work Pay Less Than In-Person Jobs?
No – at least not in most cases. Many remote workers are typically paid more than their IRL counterparts because they have to be self-motivated and capable of working with minimal supervision.
How Can I Get Started Looking For Job Opportunities?
The best way to search for remote gigs would be through niche sites like AuthenticJobs which only focus on high-quality listings relevant specifically to this topic.
Will My Country of Origin be A Problem?
The good news about getting hired for remote work is that employers typically look at your skillset first before they even consider where someone lives – so even if there’s a certain stereotype around your country of origin, employers will typically look past that to what you can offer instead.
Final Note on Landing Remote Work
For anyone looking into starting their own business or working remotely is that you should always go after what makes you happy.
Sharpen your skills, take advantage of all the resources and networks, and platforms you can find online, and stay in the know around your niche.
Good luck out there and happy hunting!