Remote work isn’t new, as evidenced by the rising popularity of online job sites. This isn’t surprising as remote work has numerous benefits, such as a great work-life balance. There are numerous reasons for choosing remote work, too, from taking care of a sick relative to travelling the world while still building a career.
In a way, remote work may well become your ticket to independence! In the current coronavirus pandemic, it can also be your career lifesaver, particularly when you’ve been furloughed or laid off. You will find dozens of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities online that will change your life.
But these opportunities won’t be handed on a silver plate! You have to be patient in looking for these opportunities and persevere in the face of rejections.
With that said, here are the best careers and jobs that are suitable for remote work. Take note that not all of these jobs will fit your personality, training and aspirations. But you should find one or two that will be up your alley.
Your Current Job
More often than not, your current job is the best one for remote work! There are several advantages to it, too, both from your point of view and from your employer’s perspective.
On one hand, you can still deliver on your job deliverables from the comfort of your own home. You will save time on the commute, decrease your exposure to the coronavirus, and spend more time with your family. You may even be more productive in a work-from-home arrangement since there are fewer distractions at home.
On the other hand, your employer will likely see the merits of keeping your services for many reasons. The monetary cost of hiring and training new employees can be higher than retaining current employees. There’s also the inconvenience of office operations being disrupted while the new employees are being trained.
Many employees are surprised about their employers’ open-minded approach toward remote work, too! As such, you shouldn’t hesitate about asking your employee for a work-from-home arrangement. Your request may well be granted under certain conditions.
But before you request for remote work, you should also assess your bargaining power. You should have established a track record in reliability, trustworthiness and productivity even with minimal supervision. You must be able to prove that, indeed, you’re an asset to the company and, thus, keeping you on the payroll will be to its advantage.
And don’t just ask verbally! You have to make a formal proposal for a flexible remote work arrangement. You and your boss will then have a common reference point for bargaining about the terms. These can include the hours of work, deliverables and their deadlines, and regular office appearances, among others.
Own Your Online Business
Do you dream of being your own boss but you don’t have the resources for a brick-and-mortar location? If you do, then you should consider being an online business owner!
You neither need to rent office space nor pay for overheads since you can use available space in your home. Your home’s basement, attic or garage can be converted into an office space for this purpose. You have to register your business obviously.
But being an online business owner isn’t a bed of roses, far from it. You have to be a jack-of-all-trades even when you have an unpaid assistant, such as your spouse, by your side. You likely won’t have the extra resources to hire people to perform the myriad of jobs necessary for launching a new business successfully.
You should then have basic knowledge and skills on a wide range of topics related to your business. These include product development, sales and marketing, and customer services as well as bookkeeping and supplier relationships. You can ask for advice from your mentor, family and friends but you have to do most of these tasks.
The bottom line: You will work harder than you’ve ever worked in your life as a new online business owner! You will also experience plenty of challenges including rejections from customers and suppliers. You will lose sleep over losses until your business achieves breakeven level, which can take several months.
Fortunately, being an online business owner has its rewards. You will enjoy financial independence in a way that you’ve never enjoyed before as an employee! You will also enjoy the feeling of being able to make a difference in your employees’ lives, perhaps even in your community.
What kind of online business should you engage in? Think about your knowledge and skills, experience and expertise, and personal interests.
The term “marketing” includes programs and plans designed to drive revenue growth, usually through lead generation, brand awareness and brand recall. With businesses prioritizing online platforms including social media, there’s a corresponding increase in marketing jobs. Most of these jobs can also be done remotely.
Business owners, however, will not hire any Tom, Dick or Harry with self-proclaimed marketing prowess! You have to be a great marketing professional with a proven track record to catch their attention. You must prove that, indeed, you have the skillset in driving their revenue growth, scaling their business, and promoting their brand.
The fact that you will be contributing to increased income without adding to their overhead expenses via remote work is a bonus. You may have to report to the office for orientation and for regular updates. But most of your work will be done at home while your employer should be able to maintain communication during pre-agreed hours.
Before applying for marketing jobs, you have to determine whether you’re a generalist or a specialist.
Generalists have the skillset for everything related to marketing, from brand development to social media management. They are typically needed at start-ups, new businesses and smaller companies where the owners are still determining their marketing strategy. They can work with smaller budgets, too, as well as take on diverse challenges that come with launching a new business.
You may also appreciate being a generalist if you like the challenge of having multiple projects with different challenges at once. You will learn something new with each project or employer, which can be applied in your specialist career.
Specialists are marketing professionals with extensive experience and expertise in a specific area. They are typically employed in larger companies with larger budgets, and their employment can be as consultants, freelancers or in-house employees. Their specialization can be in one of these areas: content marketing, paid advertisements, social media, public relations, and SEO.
Business Development and Sales
Nearly every company with a product and/or a service will need a sales team! For this reason, the sales profession encompasses a diverse field that, in turn, represents a goldmine of opportunity for employment.
But if you want to succeed in remote work as a sales professional, you have to build meaningful relationships with people, make customers’ quality of life better, and solve problems with innovative solutions. You have to work harder, too, because there are unique challenges that come with remote interactions with customers and owners.
Sales is, of course, typically viewed as face-to-face interactions between people. But it can also be about remote interactions with others and it can be made effective.
Many companies want their salespeople to communicate and connect with their target customers in other places but aren’t keen on opening new branches in these areas. With remote work, fortunately, it’s possible to expand geographical coverage without monetary expenditures for new offices and employees, among others. In short, more target customers can be reached with fewer dollar spending and lesser risk.
Furthermore, sales activities can be done online and over the phone, not to mention that there are plenty of tools for effective distance selling. Companies will then look for salespeople who can leverage the available technologies and tools to drive sales, at any time and from anywhere.
If you want to venture into the sales profession with remote work arrangement, you have to possess certain skills. You must be a results-driven individual who can work well on your own and with a team. You must have great communication skills, both in the traditional and digital sense. You should strive to establish long-lasting relationships with customers to ensure their repeat purchases.
The best thing about most sales jobs: You don’t have to be a bachelor’s degree holder! For as long as you can sell yourself and prove that you can sell nearly anything, you will likely be hired.
The best thing about building a remote career as a writer is its high demand. Most companies will need writers for their business growth, from social media content to business plan creation. Writers can tackle a wide range of subjects, too, from health to zoology, as well as write in different styles like creative writing and technical writing.
The bottom line: Your skills as a writer will be put to the test when you become a remote worker! This is particularly true when you’re a freelancer who joins online jobsites. You can even have your pick of writing jobs as well as become a generalist or a specialist writer depending on your skills.
Do you want to work in solitude? If you do, then you will find remote writing jobs to be up your alley. You have to communicate with your employer and members of your team, of course, during the early stages of a job. You will also have to communicate your progress and work with others during the editing stage.
But for the most part, you will work alone. Your job will also be judged based on the quality of your work. You can then apply your unique writing process for as long as your results meet the brief. You can also work anywhere for as long as you can meet your deliverables and deadlines.
You should obviously have above-average to excellent writing skills to build an online writing career. You must also have self-discipline in following a work schedule, solid organizational skills, and strong interpersonal skills, to name a few. You should also be willing to accept constructive criticism of your work since clients have their criteria, too.
Software engineers solve problems related to software, usually by creating web apps and software designed for more effective and efficient operations. Online jobsites usually feature software designers and developers alongside software engineers, too, which suggest that companies welcome remote work for these positions.
For the most part, software engineers work autonomously and, thus, their work makes it ideal for work-at-home arrangement. But it should also be noted that they also have to work collaboratively with other professionals, such as software designers and developers.
Many companies also appreciate software engineers who prefer remote work. For one thing, software engineers can be more productive with little to no distractions at the office. Their focus is on meeting the employer’s requirements on time and, thus, it’s to the employer’s advantage.
For another thing, employers are more likely to hire effective and efficient software engineers who work remotely than to hire software engineers with unproven track record. They are also expanding their reach to software professionals in other areas instead of being limited to those in the local area. The more choices, the better for the company’s operations.
Remote software engineering jobs share a similarity with remote sales jobs: You don’t have to possess a relevant bachelor’s degree! You can learn about software engineering through coding boot camps and DIY learning tools. You can then apply for jobs to build your technical experience and expertise.
Along the way, you have to develop your soft skills including communication skills, interpersonal relationship skills and time management. These are just as important in remote jobs as they are in face-to-face office interactions.
If you have a creative mind, you should consider a design-related job. Your design skills have a diverse market, too, from media to technology and finance. You will take on a diverse array of jobs, from Fortune 500 marketing materials to websites for start-ups, book covers for authors and publishers, and graffiti for avant-garde individuals.
Indeed, design jobs are as demanding and challenging as they sound on job listings! But if you become successful at these jobs, you will find companies bidding for your services. You will likely not run out of clients and employers since your work speaks for itself and your reputation precedes your resume.
As with software engineers and writers, most of the designer’s work can be done solo and in a remote capacity. The work is driven by execution and results, as well as increasingly conducted via digital means. These aspects make design jobs well-suited for remote work.
You also don’t need a bachelor’s degree to become successful designer. But if you have formal training, you will have an edge over other job-seekers. You should also acquire experience and expertise in a couple of areas to be noticed by prospective employers.
What does it take to be successful design professional? You have to be creative and innovative. You must be able to work independently but still collaborate with others, when necessary. You should be a great visual storyteller with the capacity to use various media, from the paintbrush to the digital editing tools. You must be well-versed in online communication including social media.
Keep in mind, too, that the client is always right. You should then set aside your personal vision unless you’re asked for it. You must instead bring your client’s vision to life, contribute to its creation and make it better.
Do you have an aptitude for solving problems, responding to questions and maintaining your cool under pressure? You may well be suited to customer support positions as a remote worker!
Many of the customer support jobs are well-suited for remote work because of the 24/7 need for customer support, especially in the United States with multiple time zones. These jobs are also conducted through digital channels including phone, chats and emails. Many companies also exclusively hire remote workers to save on costs, among other reasons.
If you decide to be a customer support representative, you can choose your work hours. You may live in the East Coast and yet take calls from the West Coast or vice versa. You can even ask to be assigned to Asian countries, if the company has that option available.
These are just a few of the jobs that can be done remotely. You will find dozens of categories from virtual assistants to bookkeeping jobs with good pay and benefits. You may have to comb through the bad apples in the basket, so to speak, before you can get to the good apples but it will be worth your time and effort.
Before applying for remote jobs, you should reassess your application documents including your cover letter, resume and recommendation letters. Keep in mind that these documents are even more important in applying for remote work because employers will base their first impressions on them.
You can either impress them as soon as they read your cover letter or botch the opportunity at the first sentence! So, double check them before submitting them.