Every morning was a rush and I don’t mean from adrenaline.
Exercise (okay, not every day), personal devotional time, shower, wake the kids, family worship, breakfast, kiss the wife and out the door, oh, and don’t forget to grab lunch on the way out! Then began part 1 of a wasted 35 minutes of my life. The commute. Yes, I could listen to a book, or podcast, but what I really wanted was… to choose where I invested that time.
What would you do with an extra 70 minutes* every day?
* number of minutes may vary depending on your commute time
- Go for a Hike with your kids?
- Arrange a date with your spouse?
- Call up an old friend?
- Get your teeth cleaned?
- Go bowling?
- Write a novel?
- Plan your circumnavigation of the globe?
I could go on and on and on….
Making the jump from a brick and mortar to a remote environment is no easy task! Especially if you’re in an industry that doesn’t do remote work. I’m going to be honest, it’s not likely to happen quickly. It didn’t for me, but I’m so happy that it did happen.
Don’t give up on that dream of remote work. There’s much that you can do to stack the odds in your favor. Here’s a few things I’ve learned along the way, and I hope they’re helpful to you!
1. Leverage your network. (And if you don’t have one, build one!)
I’ve never been hired for a job just by applying and waiting for an invitation to interview. In most cases, I knew somebody who had a cousin who knew the secretary who knew the HR manager. It’s really all about your network. Not sure how to leverage or build a network? Here’s a few tips:
- Don’t be selfish: Look for ways to help others. Kindness always comes back.
- Go ahead and share that post of the person looking for the same role as you are and wish them good luck while you’re at it!
- Talk to strangers:
- I once got a job offer from a guy I met in a grocery store! Be brave and start a conversation with someone new each day.
- No really, today is a good day to get started on this one.
- Use LinkedIn: Do this right now…
- Look up the LinkedIn profile of a dozen remote companies in the industry you want to work in.
- Look at the people working there and find someone who fills the same role as you.
- Send them a message. Ask what it’s like to work there, ask about their experience, ask how they got their start.
Of course, connecting with a recruiter focused on remote job placements can’t hurt either. If you’re looking to make the leap, you can connect with me here as well, I’d be thrilled if I could help you make the transition!
2. Join a remote community
There’s a lot of places where remote workers and entrepreneurs tend to hang out. You just need to find them, this is by no means an exhaustive list, but I’ll save you some time and share a few places you could start looking:
- Slack: If you’re not using this tool yet, you will be soon. Slack is a staple among remote teams, so getting familiar with it now is a great idea. It’s free and there are heaps of communities in Slack. Go download this app and get started! Here’s some groups to help you get going:
- Buffer is a social media marketing icon and they’ve built a great community for remote folks.
- If you’re a developer and you’re looking for your first remote gig. Here’s a list of 10 communities you can join.
- If you’re in the HR space and want to make a leap, good news… You’ve got transferable skills! Go for it! Here’s a community specifically for the HR and Talent Acquisition professionals.
- Facebook: Everyone’s on Facebook, right? Everyone except me that is…. But it’s still got a few groups that could really boost your chances of making the switch. Join one or all of these
3. Be Yourself!
Being someone that you’re not because you really want to land the job happens all the time, and it’s really unfortunate. You’re an incredible person with so much value to offer, even if you haven’t discovered that yet. Don’t hold that value back from the rest of us. Tell us all your story, about the real you. Need some help? Here’s what you can do:
- Connect with a career and resume coach. Can’t find one? Let me know, I’ll give you a solid referral.
- A great writing coach can help you tell your story and highlight the value you bring in an authentic way that resonates with potential employers.
- Update your LinkedIn Profile: This could be more important than your resume.
- If you’ve been working somewhere for a while, it’s easy for that profile to get stale, it’s okay, we forgive you, but now’s a great time to breathe some life into it.
- LinkedIn is where most recruiters are spending most of their time. Get noticed!
- Many suggest that a strong LinkedIn profile could be more important than your resume.
So, if you’re trying to make the big switch, don’t give up. You can do this!
If you’ve already made the leap, what advice would you give to those who are following in your steps? I know there’s a ton that’s not covered here, what was most helpful in your experience?
A career people and operations professional with a focus on helping teams scale, Lance has served as a talent acquisition advisor to some of the world’s most reputable remote-friendly organizations. He believes building strong distributed teams is the first and most crucial catalyst for realizing the power a virtual workforce has to offer. Embracing the flexibility of a remote lifestyle, Lance recently spent 7 months traveling the US with his wife and 3 children as a full-time remote talent acquisition consultant.