How I Landed My First Remote Job
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Early in my career, a remote job was something that I didn't really think about actively. I was happily working for Monster.com for almost two years when one day when I got a surprising message via Twitter:
It’s not every day that Zapier’s marketing lead sends you a DM on Twitter! (And don’t worry, I’ve fixed the web contact form, in case you were thinking about messaging me.) I wasn’t looking for a new job at the time, but when Danny cold-tweeted me about an SEO & Growth position with Zapier it entirely changed my outlook.
You see, a few years before I took a European Discovery tour with Contiki, traveling to 9 countries in 12 days. That was a life-changing trip, and it made me wish I could go globetrotting more often, and perhaps even become a full-time digital nomad. (Spoiler alert: I am now a full-time digital nomad. #dreamsdocometrue.)
Since Zapier offers a remote working environment, it was a no-brainer for me to apply for the job. Even though I wasn’t really qualified for it at all! This is something that surprises people, but I want to let you in on my philosophy of job-hunting: employers always ask for more than what they want. Job descriptions are often much broader than what a company really needs. You don't have to be 100% qualified. If your skills match even 50% of the job, you should just go ahead and apply.
In any job, there will be some in-house training. Show them you are willing to learn and can learn very fast, on your own.
Employers always ask for more than what they want. Job descriptions are often much broader than what a company really needs. You don't have to be 100% qualified.
To this day, I am confident admitting that there are things that I don’t know – even when working with clients. But I know the path to get there. I can educate myself to get the job done. It’s helpful to always keep in mind that nobody knows everything, it's more about how you can level up, and get yourself to the level your employer expects.
So, I got the Zapier job and to be honest I was very surprised when I got it. I admit I did half-ass the application a bit. But I also paid more attention to what I thought the company wanted than the job description. In the end, this was a very good strategy – and something to keep in mind if you are looking for your first remote job.
Here are some other things I recommend:
Make sure you have a website, or some kind of online presence beyond your LinkedIn. In my case, Danny found me via LinkedIn, but he wanted to contact me on my website, and then tried social media when that didn’t work. Luckily, my Twitter account is very visible. I definitely recommend being active on different social platforms, and using a consistent name/URL whenever possible. A lot of remote companies are active on social and use different channels for communication. Be ready to meet them where they’re at online!
Remote Job Boards
Search job boards specifically for remote jobs! Working remotely may not be the norm yet, but fortunately it’s become common enough that there are places to search specifically for remote jobs. We Work Remotely, FlexJobs and RemoteOK are a few of the biggest.
Hire a Coach
If you’re not sure how you could take your career remote, I recommend visiting RemoteLikeMe.com, or joining the Remote Like Me Facebook group. This is my friend Taylor’s project (we met remotely, of course, she was in), and in addition to providing a community for remote workers, she offers coaching to help people go remote. Taylor will look at your resume clean it up, look at your skill set. Even if you think your skills are not compatible, or if you don’t have the tech skills for remote work, she can really help you to find a remote job and polish up resume to appeal to remote companies.
Those are my thoughts on finding a remote job. If this is something you are really passionate about, I encourage you to search with an open mind. You never know what will happen (or who will slide into your Twitter DMs!) when you put yourself out there just a little bit?
Do you work remotely? Are you looking for your first remote job? Leave me a reply below!