Remote work is a cornerstone of the future workforce. Why go into an office when you can do your job from home? Still, thinking about how to get a remote job may be overwhelming.

The truth is, you don’t need to be part of some elusive club to find remote job opportunities. You just need to look in the right places and learn how to stand out to remote employers.

Understanding the remote work landscape

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Remote-capable jobs aren’t rare. A study from the University of Chicago estimated that 37% of jobs in the United States could be done remotely.

The key to finding remote work is research and knowing what to expect. Once you learn what remote employers are looking for, you can ensure your application makes an impact.

How difficult is it to land a fully remote job?

Remote job opportunities are highly sought after. A recent survey shows 63% of people feel the option to work remotely is the most important aspect of a job.

Most in-office jobs receive applications from residents of nearby cities and locals. Remote jobs are open to a much larger pool of applicants. This means more competition.

When seeking a fully remote job, patience and persistence are key. Improve your job-seeking skills and look at sites specifically posting remote-work positions. With time, you can find an excellent role you’re qualified for.

 

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What are the pros of remote work?

If you’ve thought about working for yourself from home or getting a remote job, weigh the pros and cons first.

Here are a few pros of remote work:

1. Flexibility

Data from the 2022 US census shows the average commute time is nearly 30 minutes, an all-time high. Full-time office work translates to almost 5 hours a week — or 10 full days a year — sitting in a car or on public transport.

Working from home saves time for focusing on other things that matter. Use it to find a better work-life balance, spend more time with family, have fun with free time activities, or improve your sleep hygiene. Parents who work remotely can enjoy the perks of being home with their kids.

2. Option to travel or relocate

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Some remote roles have flexible hours that aren’t specific to a single timezone. Many remote companies even allow employees to choose their hours. You may be able to move to a city with a lower cost of living or relocate to a suburban or rural area with a more relaxed lifestyle.

Digital nomads use the freedom of remote work to travel. This might involve staying in another country, traveling in an RV, or renting places to live in the short term.

3. Increased creativity

According to BetterUp® research, many workers experience a boost in creativity when working from home. They feel they can do their jobs more effectively and develop innovative ideas.

What are the cons of remote work?

As great as remote work is, it can have a few drawbacks. Before starting a new work model, consider the potential challenges of remote work.

Here are a few obstacles that come with remote jobs:

1. Steeper learning curves

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all method for learning. Remote training and employee onboarding processes are some of the biggest challenges for human resource departments.

Certain workflows are harder in remote environments, and online work can stunt knowledge sharing. Some people prefer to gain understanding through hands-on observation and face-to-face communication.

2. Home office costs

Working from home might sound like a dream, but it isn’t that simple. A good work-from-home setup is key to productivity, but it can be expensive.

You’ll need a computer, a desk, and a comfortable chair. You might want high-quality headphones, an extra monitor, and a wireless keyboard and mouse. Most workplaces also need a strong WiFi connection for attending virtual calls without hiccups.

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3. Strained work-life balance

In the past few years, 40% of workers say their workdays have grown longer. This makes it harder to unplug and balance work with personal responsibilities. Hustle culture and remote jobs normalize always working long hours.

With an online job, responding to work emails after hours is easier. But blurring the line between the personal and professional can fuel toxic work environments. A lack of boundaries can make you feel guilty about taking a moment to rest or logging off when the day’s complete.

Transitioning into fully remote work requires discipline and setting boundaries to maintain a good work-life balance.

Tips for getting a remote job

Getting a remote job is like getting a regular job. You apply, interview, and do any requested tests. The difference is this all happens online.

Here are four tips for landing a remote job once you find positions that interest you.

Identify your niche

One way to make yourself an indispensable asset is by offering something no one else does. This thing that sets you apart is known as your niche. It combines your interests, skill set, and a solution to a market demand.

The last point is crucial. Even if you are the only one offering a specific service, there must be demand for that service. Find what you have to offer that’s unique and use it as your sales pitch.

Prepare your resume & cover letter

resume that stands out tells a hiring manager you have the skill set and experience to perform the job. Remote workers get less hands-on help. Hiring managers want to know you have the skills to stay on task.

Include work experiences and abilities relevant to the job post. Write hard and soft skills in each description that relate to the nature of remote work. These include things like time management, organization, and communication skills.

cover letter shows why you’re passionate about what you do. It’s also a chance to relay to the employer what you know about their company. Mention the specific things that drew you to the job and how certain company values align with yours.

If you’ve worked for remote companies before, mention it in your cover letter so they know you can handle the responsibility.

Build your online presence

Your online reputation precedes you. Hiring recruiters will review your personal and professional accounts and any articles that mention you.

Having a LinkedIn profile is a must for modern job seekers. Building connections there establishes that you’re known in your industry. There’s even a section where people can vouch for your skills. Use a professional headshot, and be sure to write an engaging summary.

If applicable, building a portfolio website is also a worthwhile investment, and not just for writers and photographers. All remote job seekers can use them to describe projects they’ve completed and experiences that have advanced their skills.

Practice, practice, practice

Marketing yourself to remote employers is a skill to develop. Learn what hiring agents are looking for and practice your interview skills.

Virtual interviews are the norm for remote companies. If interviews make you nervous, remember many companies will send possible questions beforehand. Preparing interview answers can help you feel more confident and capable.

Even if your interview isn’t in person, act professionally. For video calls, choose an uncluttered background and wear professional attire. Test your internet connection with a friend to ensure your voice and image are clear.

Best remote jobs

The future of work is changing, and virtual jobs include everything from customer service to health care. Here are just some of the best work-from-home jobs and their industries, according to McKinsey.

1. Business and financial operations

Business and financial careers include the following:

  • Business operations specialists
  • Financial advisors
  • Account managers
  • Insurance appraisers
  • Accountants and bookkeepers
  • Business development representatives

2. Computer science and mathematics

Computer science careers include the following:

  • Software engineers
  • Web developers
  • Data analysts
  • Cyber security experts
  • Actuaries
  • Computer systems and network administrators
  • Information technology specialists

3. Media and design

Remote jobs in media and design include the following:

  • Graphic designers
  • Social media managers
  • Editors
  • Copywriters
  • Translators
  • Art directors
  • User experience/user interface designers
  • Marketing

Job finding tools: 5 websites for remote work

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There are hundreds of virtual job boards, but they don’t all offer remote-specific postings or ways to filter out in-person listings.

Here are five of the best websites to simplify your remote job search and help you find a high-paying remote position.

1. FlexJobs

FlexJobs is a job board site with contract, part-time, and full-time remote and hybrid work. Their most popular job categories are tech, marketing, finance, project management, medical, HR, and customer service. All their remote job postings are 100% verified, so there’s no need to worry about scam listings.

2. We Work Remotely

We Work Remotely hosts remote companies and organizations with fully remote job opportunities. Its most popular categories are programming, sales, marketing, design, and customer support. The platform only posts fully remote jobs.

3. Upwork

Upwork is a job listing website designed for freelance contractors. It’s one of the world’s largest remote job sites, ideal for creative professions in graphic design, web and mobile development, and content creation. It’s best for side hustles and gigs, although there is potential to find long-term regular clients.

4. Virtual Vocations

Virtual Vocations scours remote job boards to curate 3,500 job posts weekly. Its top categories include sales, account management, and business operations. On your account, you can save jobs and apply to them later or hide jobs that don’t interest you.

5. Wellfound

Wellfound, formerly known as AngelList Talent, is a job posting site for start-ups. It hosts 130,000 jobs, including many flexible and remote job listings. Most job listings are in the tech industry. The free platform is ideal for people looking to join startups and fast-growing companies.

Beyond the horizon: thriving in your remote position

After acquiring a remote position, you’ll want to do your best to succeed. Working remotely can be an adjustment, but there are ways to maximize your productivity from wherever you are.

Setting up your remote office

The best work environment is free of distractions yet filled with comfort and inspiration. Plants, artwork, mood lighting, and photos can enhance the ambiance of a workspace. For those who can’t create a designated office at home, libraries, coffee shops, and co-working spaces are excellent options.

Mastering time management

Remote workers need a degree of self-motivation. In a remote position, no one is watching to ensure employees work hard and stay on-task. There’s less pressure, but there’s still a need to meet deadlines.

If you’re not paying attention, time can slip away, and work can pile up. Schedule your workdays and allocate a given amount of time to work on tasks. Time blindness can get the best of anyone, so setting a timer might create a sense of urgency to help you focus.

Put away phones, tablets, hobbies, and other distractions while working remotely. Willpower is a delicate virtue; a few minutes of scrolling could become an hour-long break. Take the simple route and avoid the temptation altogether.

Building interpersonal & communication skills

Remote work demands an extra level of communication. Project updates typically shared in person in an office must be relayed via email or messaging platforms like Slack.

To be successful, remote team members must rely on transparency and clarification. Voice concerns and ask for help when needed, especially in the beginning stage of the role. Many remote employers will happily hop on a video call to discuss work.

Find the right job opportunities with BetterUp coaching

Whether you want to embark on a digital nomad journey or simply enjoy the flexibility of remote work, now’s the time to get started.

At BetterUp, we show you how to maximize your potential and showcase your strengths to get a remote job suited for you. Coaching sessions can be the first step toward meeting your goals on your remote job search.