By Becky Wong
Where should you begin?
When most people think of working remotely, a few roles spring to mind: writing, editing, marketing, social media, web-development, coding. It is true that there are plenty of work-from-anywhere opportunities in those areas, they are definitely not the only opportunities that lead to remote work or freelancing. Most digital nomads I’ve met are working remotely as marketers, social media managers, writers, or software developers. Many others are virtual assistants (VA) which is often a great catch-all for working remotely to cover all of these roles. I do not work in any of those fields. My background was in operations, project management, client accounts and client/customer experience. I (and many others!) wear many hats and have more of a ‘portfolio career’.
You’d be surprised at what roles you could do remotely!
A great place to start is to think about what sort of work you are interested in doing, what work you are good at, and think about if you’d be open to branching out to other things.
If you’re at the start of your exploration into remote work, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve put together a few useful starting points for you to look at here below.
Where can you find remote jobs?
There are SO MANY remote job sites out there! If you type “remote work” into a Ecosia or any search engine you will see heaps of results. Here is a handy list of websites that I found to be useful in my searches when I started on my remote work adventure.
We Work Remotely
My Work Hive:
Are there remote recruiters who hire for remote roles?
Yes! Here are three remote recruiters below, the top two focus purely on remote freelance contracts, the last one is popping up in more and more cities and focuses on freelance work but you can filter to remote-only jobs. These are not the only ones who do so but are a great place to start.
Are there companies out there who already hire remotely?
Absolutely! This list of 100 companies hiring for remote roles is from 2018, but it’s useful to see what companies have remote jobs. Though I mostly freelance remotely now, I used to bookmark links to all of the companies that I felt drawn to and regularly checked back to see if they have any new vacancies.
Take a look at the list here:
What books do you recommend reading to help along the way?
“Start With Why” by Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek started a movement to help people become more inspired at work, and in turn inspire their colleagues and customers.
“Remote: Office Not Required” by the Founders of Basecamp
Basecamp founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson explore the “work from home” phenomenon and show precisely how a remote work setup can be accomplished in Remote.
“The Escape Manifesto” by the Escape School
Rob, Dom and Mikey were fed up with the corporate treadmill. When they decided to change careers, they looked for a website to help them escape – except there wasn’t one. So they started their own. Three years later and they have started a movement called Escape the City.
“The Multi-hyphen Method by Emma Gannon
Emma Gannon’s book teaches readers how to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit within themselves, reject the “Jack of all trades” stigma and to channel creativity and drive to start living more fulfilled and varied lives.Her podcast ‘Ctrl Alt Del‘ is also pretty awesome. Do check it out!
“The 4-Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss
I never aimed for a 4-hour work week but some of his ideas are fun to hear, and nudges you away from only viewing work as a traditional 9-to-5.
How do you know if remote work is the right path for you?
Reflect on what you want versus what you really need! An exercise I found useful before I left London is what is often described as a values & goals check-in (they also go by other names). I do these at least once a year to check if my life feels on track with where I want to be right now. (Can you tell I’m big on personal growth yet??).
Check out the video here:
I also quite enjoy YouTube videos and interviews by Marie Forleo:
Many folks tell me that they want to be a digital nomad for the freedom and flexibility that comes with it, which for sure it does give you all of that (and I love it), but it comes with its own many challenges: you have to be your own boss to make sure you can make it all work (which I’m sure you can!!), there’s a fine balance swinging between always feeling switched on to your work and not feeling motivated to be productive some days. It’s not the only option to give you freedom and flexibility either, so I recommend the best starting point is to find out what your ideal day-to-day would be like, what the ideal work is that you want to do where you really feel driven by and gets you in the zone before looking at jobs because you can easily fall into the same traps as a normal 9to5 – because you are reading this now, I’m sensing it because you don’t want that just like I didn’t!
Good luck and enjoy the ride!
I hope all of this helps to start you off as you explore what types of roles or projects feel like the right fit for you as well as helping you to discover what the right work- or life-style is for you!