A Remote Job - How Can I Get One?
Let's talk about remote jobs! Working from home, Teleworking, Smart working. Whatever you would like to call it.
We might as well get straight to the point. That is why you are here right? Don't worry though! I get back to my usual rambling self further down the page.
There are many people who say to me that they would love a remote job! They have big dreamy eyes when they tell me, then they snap out of it quickly, accepting their reality, when they tell me that they couldn’t do what I am doing now.
There are a variety of reasons.
- No idea how
- Daren't do it
- All that tax business is too confusing
- I don’t have any qualifications
- I can’t, I have a house and a family to feed, I can’t just have a career change
- I don’t have the time
Jeez, this list also goes on.
But, the very fact is there are more and more people asking me about what I do and how they can do it shows me that this needed.
You need someone to write about it clearly. Not like some of those confusing articles I have read silly graphs and other things that make you think "erm, what?" I am here for you! Worry no longer.
So, I'll work through some of the questions which I get asked quite a lot, then we will look at some of the excuses in the list above.
What do you do?
I am self-employed and I work remotely with a company called Bandzoogle. I am Technical Support, answering and assisting members building their website should they have questions, issues and suggestions relating to their website, domain, email and more.
What is remote work?
Working directly with a company in a certain role on your laptop or home computer. As long as you have good wifi and a good computer, you good to go. Bandzoogle doesn't have a physical office and there are many companies like this or working to becoming this way!
Take advantage of technology. My colleagues are around the world and I can communicate with them straight away with email or chatting on Slack.
What qualifications do you have to do what you are doing?
In the way that you are thinking, probably none. I have past experience in customer service and working with people. I did an online course on UDEMY.com in HTML and CSS and I was trained on the job for 3 months before being set free to help people freely.
Check the job advertisement, they might just train you on the job. Some remote companies, for their full-timers, will provide you with the equipment you need for the job. They might just send you a shiny new laptop and some extra perks. Be sure to check that out.
Where do you work?
I can work at home in my PJs, in cafes, libraries, a bar on the beach watching the sunset just as long as I have good wifi and my laptop.
What can I do to get started? I don’t have any skills.
Well, I think a lot of our skills are transferable so it is good to have a think about your current/past employment and what your life has taught you so far. There are many courses you can do to gain skills for a job you desire to do. If you want to become a Software Developer, Social Media Manager, English Teacher, Content Writer or something which requires a few extra skills, get online and search for some awesome courses! (Note, not all companies require a degree EVEN if it says it on their advert)
With technology these days the opportunities are actually endless!
If you still don’t believe me, speak to someone who is well versed in this. Someone who has started with being stuck in an office job made mistake, built up skill and now shares his knowledge!
He will support you on your journey and teach you how to become a freelancer or a remote worker. Niall Doherty (pictured above, that lovely, friendly Irish fellow up there). I cannot begin to tell you how much this gentleman has helped me and thousands of others. You can even pop on to his website and check out what he has to offer: ebizfacts.com
Here is the BIGGY that everyone asks...
How do I apply for a remote job?
Just like any normal job! Simply visit the sites where they are advertised - here, I’ll do that part for you:
You may also want to check out the Facebook page: Want Remote Job?
Back To The Excuses
Let’s cover some of the excuses with understanding and without judgement because I have been there with some on the list (not all but I'll try to advise)
No idea how
I have been there!
I heard about it through the grapevine really and was clueless at the beginning. Really, there are so many people who have no idea what remote work is or that it even exists. That’s where research comes in. No one will just put all the answers in your hand, although this article I am currently writing for you is helping a lot! Links to find jobs and highlight a pro to help you, Mr Niall Doherty, himself.
I daren't do it!
I have been there too!
It can seem really scary, but the fact is that you don’t need to take that leap of faith everyone talks about and you don’t have to drop everything to chase the dream. Find something you can work towards and take steps to move you closer. Talk to people who have done it and ask questions.
All that tax business is too confusing
Yes, it can be and that is why you email a good accountant and ask them to do your taxes for you. They will tell you what you need to provide them with and when to send it all over. All you will have to do is pay the bill on time. They will also tell you how to do that and when! Simple. (The cost of the accountant is tax-deductible too. Sweet!)
I can’t, I have a house and a family to feed, I can’t just have a career change
This, I can only speak from the paying for a house side of things as I do not yet have children. But, I am a strong believer that when people have commitments and start a family, the blocks they put up are in their mind.
There is no rule which says you must stop everything, risk losing money and go after this kind of lifestyle. You can take baby steps (excuse the pun)
You can keep a full-time job whilst researching the steps you would like to take, asking questions you would like to ask and maybe study some extra skills. You can reach your goals in your own time, but taking steps towards it don’t have to risk providing for your family. Then, when you are ready to apply for your first remote job or take on your first clients as a freelancer, you can transition over.
I don’t have the time
This is where speaking with someone like Niall comes in really useful. There are things you do without even realising that they could be put aside to give you some extra time. If you are dedicated, then you can sit down a look at some things you could save time on.
He has a cool article about freeing up time too: Free up your time
So Yes, You Have Been Asking
Over the past few years, I have had friends, family and even strangers who have seen me working on my laptop working away in different locations enquire about what it is that I do and how the hell can they get themselves something like that.
It seems that they ask in hopes that they could have something like that one day. Not that they all want to jet off on their travels halfway around the world or try out a new nomadic lifestyle in a tent in the French Alps, but simply have some more flexibility, pursue something that doesn't involve a "Monday or Friday feeling" - You know what I mean, you hate getting up on a Monday and THANK GOD IT'S FRIDAY!!!
There are also those who dream of saying goodbye (and good riddance) to the office, getting away from micromanagement, being their own boss, creating more time to spend with family, save big on childcare (it is ridiculous the prices they charge), go on holiday when they want (granted they have to get some work done too but better to do it by the beach, ehy?), They might want to cut down on commuting, say bye-bye to business attire and if they want, a big HELLO to Pjs!
The questions are I am asked to seem, as I would call it "half-arsed", with no intention of following through for a variety of reasons. Maybe it is because they simply don't believe they can do it. I wonder why?
What Is My Opinion?
I believe that today's society doesn’t really instil self-confidence (maybe it never did), the drive to create your own path, make a change when you aren't happy and go against all odds. But where does it all stem from? We are definitely born with the will to give things a try, fall over, get up and give it another bash!
In my option, it starts in school. The majority of kids don’t even know what is going on around them until it is the dreaded, inevitable year of G.C.S.Es and they get hit with that hard! (Final year exams for those who are outside the UK)
Going through it like they are fighting a whirlwind blindfolded, all the while their teaching has them ‘by the scruff of their necks’ shouting " you better not screw this up”
Not because they care about you, your grades or your future, but god forbid they mess up their yearly pass percentages.
When the last exam is over, all the children walk out of the examination room looking like they have just been dragged through a hedge backwards, not sure which emotion to choose, looking around them with their mouths open as there is a silence that everyone else is collectively experiencing.
Everyone walking in slow motion through a dull sound as if a bomb had just gone off and temporarily impaired their hearing, backpacks scraping along the floor, a few kids jumping and throwing their old textbooks up in the air in the true belief that they will never have to learn anything ever again “freedom” they shout! Then, of course, we can't forget that one kid whose school shirt is off already, it being whirled around in the air and their tie around their head like they "Education Rambo".
The little kiddy winkles all stood there, taking in a deep breath and ask themselves “what now?”
“What the hell do I do now?”
Looking around to see their former teachers waving them off with a falsified smile and what seems like a dismissive wave, proud of themselves thinking that they have done a great job.
Ok, so... School is done with. "No seriously, what now?"
We all remember that we had to make our decisions about our whole life at the age of 16. We were lead to believe that if we didn’t get good grades as a 16-year-old child we would fail. Our lives would be ruined.
Preparation For Life
There were some children (not many in my school) skipping along with their A*s, hoping the BBC was coming to their school so that they could say how hard it was leaving with 10 A*s and they were torn between Oxford and Cambridge.
Then, Little Johnny and many like him opening their GCSE results and their mothers quickly folding up the paper and bundling them out the door as fast as they could before Mrs A Stars enquired “oh how did your child do?”
School is supposedly the “preparation for life”. To provide you with knowledge and development, physically, emotionally, mentally, socially and all that jazz. Correct me if I am wrong, but a few mock interviews, a pamphlet of the local colleges and a careers counsellor meeting one Thursday for half an hour, in the last few months before you leave isn’t my idea of “preparation for life”
We leave school (the majority of us, not you Mr and Mrs Execption To The Rule) with little to no knowledge of what we really want, next to no confidence in ourselves and no guidance.
We are lead to believe there are a few paths (there may be a couple more that I have missed):
- Get yourself off to university
- Straight into work and work up
- Start an apprenticeship.
- Dole (Claiming Job Seekers Allowance)
Speaking from certain experiences and observations, I see that we wander off into our directions and some of us see things fall in to place over the next few years, there are those who go off to college and continue to uni, some drop out of colleague and head on in to work (a jobs a job), some crack on at working up through a trade or some kind of office job, others being shiny new apprentices with big dreams of the day they get to minimum wage, there are a few who are kept by mummy and daddy, a few people I know created their own business and yep, some are on the dole.
What is wrong?
Hey, I am no professional! I only speak from my experiences and my untrained opinions. So, if you don’t like it, lump it.
Anyhoooo, where was I? Ah yes, what is wrong?
To be perfectly honest, I am not sure where to begin. I do know that when I was living in the Netherlands, I would say that 1 out of 3 people was striving to build their own business, working for themselves, had a side hustle going on as a project they were growing, or young, budding CEOs full of confidence in their ideas and we are giving it a go.
Their schools, it seems, had instilled a particular self-confidence and self-awareness that no matter which path they took, they could do it with clarity. Now, I haven’t been to school in the Netherlands, but that is pretty awesome. They must be doing something right.
Thinking back to our school, I was ecstatic in school when I made my purple pencil holder in woodwork. I was most certainly amazed at myself if somehow after hours of repetition I understood that long division stuff, over the moon if I got to play on a bunsen burner in Science, Very proud that in Physical Education I beat all the kids in 100m, Javelin, shot putt, 4x1 relays and for most races in cross country and boy oh boy I loved how "pro" I looked in Spanish saying "I have a table, a chair and a bed in my bedroom".
Not used much of that stuff since. There are skills I wish were in schools and believe the absence of them does not help us at all.
Let's start with the who, what, where, when, why and how of:
- Managing your money, budgeting
- Paying Taxes
- Building your own business
- Private pensions and how important they are
- Savings and Investments
- Real interview skills - what an employer looks for not a shitty mock from your form tutor
- Professional CV building
- How to get the wages you deserve, to sell yourself and confidently ask for a pay rise.
- Critical thinking
- Alternative approaches to life
Jeez, the list goes on. (That should have been the title)
School rant over, I think. But, it plays a major role in what we believe is possible. Especially for those who didn’t choose higher education. That and parenting.
Oh, it is just me working from a treehouse cafe with Oreo cake in Thailand.
I think the main thing we lack is confidence and sometimes pure laziness to go after what it is we want and hope that someone will come along and save/fix or give us an opportunity.
We believe that we are confined by social norms. We are not.