Five Lessons I Learned Finding Remote Work

Five Lessons I Learned Finding Remote Work

Recently, I experience a major change in my COVID-19/caregiving lifestyle: I was hired for remote work. Job seeking during the pandemic has been challenging, but the transition back into remote working has been much easier than I would expect. My experience freelancing and caregiving helped me develop my skills, but my transition into remote work helped me learn five key lessons:

  1. LinkedIn is A Very Powerful Professional Development Tool – Although many people use LinkedIn as a professional networking tool, it has also been a great tool for professional development. By researching companies and organizations, pursuing leads (which led me to my current situation), and catching up on professional news helped me stay current. In talking with other writers on Facebook (I am also a New Pulp author, many of my colleagues wondered why they were still on LinkedIn. I believe that any social media channel works as long as you regularly engage. LinkedIn has always been a powerful tool for me, even now while I’m homebound. Speaking of networking…
  2. Networking And Professional Development Still Matters – Much of my time spent in lockdown was not only spend caring for my mother but also networking via a variety of channels. Thanks to Eventbrite’s search, I found many networking events and training via Zoom. Engaging with my peers via Twitter and Facebook helped me stay connected. Taking advantage of free classes and training from organizations like Free Code Camp and General Assembly, provided new skill sets to bring to the table.
  3. Doing Small-Scale Work to Keep Your Skills Sharp Is Not a Bad Thing: During the lockdown, even though this blog was minimal except for the occasional story (like this recent post about ChicagoMutualAid.net), I managed to find some small-scale, low-paying digital research/remote work positions. Sites like Remotive.io and We Work Remotely were invaluable in providing some great leads. (It also helped that I had worked as a contractor with Cultivate Now, who consults around remote work issues. However, some remote work situations aren’t that positive, and my next lesson was…
  4. Know When To Leave A Situation That Doesn’t Work For You – Perfect example: I had been hired by a company that was looking for “academic writers”. Given my background, I thought it meant either proofing academic papers or research journal articles. Their payment scheme was unusual (you had to wait a period after completing a piece), but I thought it would be fine. It turned out…I was doing other people’s homework. People would submit money to this site and have people write their papers, do other homework assignments, etc. After working for a few weeks and having my pay withheld because my work didn’t mean their standards (although it meant the clients), I realized there was no way to win…but I had some payback with both a strongly worded Glassdoor review and better-paying work from reputable companies from that point forward. And finally…
  5. Taking Small Steps Lead to Big Rewards – During my time of inactivity, I made the effort to engage in small, positive changes getting new business cards, renewing domains, turning over some small scale volunteer efforts. Although I don’t think there is a one-to-one-correlation, taking care of smaller, less important tasks allowed me to prepare mentally for remote work. Feeling ready in the short term helped me feel more confident. That confidence helped me through several job interviews which led to my current work situation

Finding any work in current times is challenging; finding and starting new work is an exceptional accomplishment. I refuse to take my new situation for granted, but with more employers relying on remote work and remote workers, I think I managed to hit the curve at the right time.

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