It is now more important than ever to know how to get a remote job. With many countries still in some form of lockdown due to the pandemic, the number of on-premises job opportunities is limited. But on the bright side, the number of remote job opportunities has exploded with unprecedented growth.
How do I get a remote job?
Like any job, you need the skills first.
There are a number of remote job listing websites that have remote jobs that you can apply for. To save time, you can use our remote job search tool which finds jobs all over the web.
Getting a remote job is not much different than getting a non-remote job nowadays: you apply online and submit your resume in digital form. For certain types of jobs like computer programming, you might be asked to do some sort of coding test. Then if you pass to the next stage, you’ll be asked to perform an interview through an online video call. If your skill and experience level meets the requirement for the role, you’ll be given a job offer.
What kind of remote jobs are there?
Any job that primarily involves using a computer can be done remotely. These digital jobs consist of writing, graphics design, computer programming, and more. Learn more about the different types of remote jobs that you can get.
What are the benefits of working remotely?
Working remotely means that you can work from home. Since you don’t have to commute to an office, that saves two trips per day in both time and money spent on gas. Working from home means that you aren’t as compelled to order fast food because your lunch break can be spent in the kitchen.
There’s also the perk of being able to live wherever you want. High-paying jobs tend to be located in areas that have a high cost of living. But if you work remotely while making a high salary, then you can drastically reduce your cost of living, and save more money.
If you are an adventurous person, then you can travel to a new location every week or month while continuing to work remotely! You’d be considered a Digital Nomad at that point.
What is the day-to-day experience like when working remotely?
On a day-to-day basis, having a remote job means that 99.9% of your work will be performed on a computer. Whether you choose to use a desktop or laptop computer is up to you, but you’ll need to have a webcam so that you can hop on a video call sometimes.
The specific daily activities can vary depending on the job type, but most remote teams have a periodic “standup” meeting through a video call. During standup, each person takes a turn to describe what they did yesterday, what they plan to do today, and anything they need help with.
Working remotely means that different team members might work in different timezones, so there is a limited amount of overlap for collaboration. The day might start with a synchronous meeting where all team members join in. But after that, the activities are generally performed “asynchronously”, meaning that people work at different times.
Applications like Slack allows a team to communicate throughout the day with chat messaging without directly interrupting each other. Different teams within the company will use different “channels” in Slack to keep the chat focused on specific topics, like “marketing”, “engineering”, “design”, “announcements”, “incidents”, and “random”.
How do I convince my company to let me work remotely?
The short answer is: you don’t. While it’s not impossible to convince your company to let you work remotely, it is highly improbable that a company will allow an employee to change from non-remote to remote.
For a non-remote company, there are a number of perceived risks to letting you work remotely. For example, what if you’re the only remote worker? Then it would create a cultural rift between you and other employees. It might also cause jealousy from coworkers. Eventually, everyone else might demand the privilege to work remotely too.
Ultimately, it’s easier to start a new 100% remote job within a remote-first company, rather than to try to turn your non-remote job into a remote job.
Do remote jobs pay the same as non-remote jobs?
Yes. Remote jobs have the same requirements, pay rates and benefits as non-remote jobs.
If you’re applying as an employee, you’d sign a W-4 and receive health insurance (if the company provides it), the same as a non-remote job.
If you take on a role as a contractor, then you’ll likely sign a W-1099 and generally not have benefits- all the same as a non-remote job.
The forms are mostly signed digitally online, but some companies may require you to physically go to a local notary service to get your forms notarized and faxed to HR in order to verify your identity before you are officially onboarded to the company.
Can I work internationally with a remote job?
You might be able to work internationally, but it depends on the company’s policy. Most companies only want employees that live within a certain range of timezones so that everyone can collaborate synchronously without issue.
If you plan to ever work internationally, it’s very important to let the company know before you accept the job offer. Otherwise the company might be caught by surprise and be reluctant to keep you as an employee. Some companies have major concerns about data security as well as the political stability of the employee’s resident country.
What kind of computer do I need to work remotely?
Generally, it’s best to have a laptop rather than a desktop machine because it gives you the most flexibility, and if you have a power outage in your home, your laptop can still run off of battery (unlike a desktop machine).
The type of laptop that’s best for you to work remotely depends on the type of work that you do. If you’re a writer, then you don’t need a powerful laptop. But you do need a comfortable keyboard that won’t break after a few hours of typing. If you’re a computer programmer or graphics designer, then you will need at least a mid-range laptop to run all the software like Photoshop and code editors.
If you’re a video editor, then you’ll need a more high-end laptop because video-editing software requires a lot of memory and CPU power for high-definition video. You might even want to consider a desktop machine since it packs more power for a cheaper price.
You may have noticed that many laptop users out in public use an Apple Macbook Pro. Although there is a bit of a cult-like behavior at play, the truth is that Macbook laptops have the most consistently good build quality of all laptops on the market. You can buy an Asus, Acer, Sony, or any other type of laptop, but the build quality is a hit-or-miss.
However, there is one downside to choosing an Apple laptop- the price. Expect a Macbook laptop to cost up to 1.5x to 2x the cost of a competitor’s laptop. But maybe it’s worth it, if you spend 8+ hours a day using the machine in order to make a living?
What is a Digital Nomad?
A Digital Nomad is a person who works online through their laptop and frequently travels while working remotely. Digital Nomads are usually not employees for a company. They are usually known to operate their own online business and make money through monetizing YouTube videos that show off their lifestyle. They might operate an online store in which products are drop-shipped to customers.
Some Digital Nomads work as freelancers that take on small jobs that consist of writing, graphics design, or marketing/SEO.
Digital Nomads are also known to live throughout South-East Asia because of the notoriously low cost of living. Places like Vietnam and Thailand are among the most popular Digital Nomad destinations. In order to stay living in these countries for months at a time, a Digital Nomad will frequently perform a “visa run”. A visa runs consists of performing a round-trip flight to a neighboring country (e.g. Thailand to Vietnam) and then returning- which will allow the person to get a fresh visa stamp on their passport and stay for an extended period of time.
Most remote workers are not Digital Nomads. The Digital Nomad lifestyle is not for everyone.
Is Getting a Remote Job Easy?
The difficulty of getting any job depends on a number of factors.
- How many years of experience do you have?
- How confident are you about your skill level?
- Do you have a portfolio to show off your accomplishments?
- Do you have good references from your previous jobs?
Getting a remote job isn’t just about being a skilled professional. It’s about being able to provide evidence of your skills so that a company will trust you, without having ever met you face-to-face.