Your Income Options
Before we jump right into your options, let’s clarify what kind of jobs this article talks about.
You basically have three choices of how you can generate income remotely:
- With your own business
- As a freelancer
- As an employee on a remote basis
Obviously, when you want to start your own business, you don’t need to find remote jobs but your own way how to make money online. Looking for jobs as a freelancer is slightly different, too.
That’s why this article will purely talk about how you can get a permanent remote position with a company.
If you are interested in where you can find remote jobs as a freelancer, check out the linked article to see 45+ job portals for online freelancer positions.
The Remote Work Trend
In the last couple of years, remote work got more and more popular. Only ten years ago this kind of work was rarely seen and if, it was often some kind of scam. But due to the evolution of technology work-from-home jobs are almost normal to us.
While in 2003 only 19% of all workers did all or at least some of their tasks remotely, this number grew to 24% in 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Around 37% of these workers are in areas like business, management or financial operations. 68% of U.S. workers state, that they believe they will work from home in the near future.
A Virgin Media Business survey of 2012 backs this statement up: It estimates that 60% of all office-based employees will be working remotely on a regular basis by 2022.
And looking at the positions that companies offer, it is clear to see that flexible jobs are indeed a growing trend. The online job search platform FlexJobs can confirm this. They have noticed a 36% increase in remote job listings from 2014 to 2015. On top of that list are IT jobs, medical and health jobs, sales, administrative, customer service, education, and training, as well as marketing.
Read more about the pros and cons of working from home in the linked article.
How To Find Remote Jobs
Now to the most important question: Where do you find remote jobs? As already mentioned, there are several ways to get a permanent position with a company on a remote basis. Let’s look at the most popular ones:
1. Talk To Your Boss
This could be the easiest way. Does your current job qualify for a remote position? Is it work that you could technically do from home? If so, talk to your employers about your plans. They will probably not be happy about it. But often they are willing to compromise if the other option is losing you and having to find someone to replace you.
You wouldn’t have to look for a new job, apply and get training but simply find ways to switch your office tasks to remote ones. So if you like your current job, this would be the best option.
2. Job Boards
Too simply to be true? Just head to the usual job portals like Indeed or Monster and look specifically for remote positions. Search for keywords, such as remote job, online work or work-from-home. You will be surprised how many well-established companies are offering their remote positions on these job boards. An easy way to find remote jobs.
3. Remote Job Boards
Besides the usual job boards, there are also hundreds of platforms that list remote jobs only. While most of these websites address freelancers, there are also a few ones that are specialized in bringing companies and employees together or at least list a couple of permanent positions as well.
For example, Crossover. Here you can find 40+ hour/week, long-term jobs, that are also high-paying. Another great website to find remote jobs would be SkipTheDrive. This platform lists remote employment opportunities with some of the Fortune 500 companies.
4. Company’s Website
If you already have a few companies in mind you want to work for, check out their websites. They usually list all current open positions and remote ones are getting more and more popular.
You will be particularly lucky with startups, as they often don’t have the budget for office spaces or have a distributed team around the globe anyway. So they are more likely to list online positions.
Even big corporations have realized that their employees want more flexibility and are now more willing to employ them on a remote basis.
5. Direct Approach
Not the easiest way to find remote jobs but could be very effective: In case you can’t find your dream remote position on the website of the company, approach them directly. As long as you have a clear vision of your end goal and are being systematic, an unsolicited application can be very effective.
First, you should check out which companies are remote friendly. Find the name of the hiring manager that is relevant for your job position and send him or her an individual, on point email, that tells exactly who you are and how the company can benefit from your skills. Let them know what you are looking for and ask if they have any positions available.
Never underestimate the power of networking! So many professionals have their current position just because of their networking skills. Sometimes you only have to know the right person and that connection can open a whole new world for you.
The easiest way to find remote jobs via networking is (re-)connecting with old colleagues, employers or maybe even former fellow students.
LinkedIn is a great way to showcase your experience and skills and get in contact with other professionals.
For more networking opportunities, check out local meetups. The website meetup.com is a great way to find people with similar interests and professions and to meet with them in real life.
7. Social Media
While people get to see your professional side first on LinkedIn, you could use other social networks to give a little insight into your personal side. Facebook groups are a fantastic place to meet your future employer.
You can join groups that focus on the remote life, for example “Digital Nomads Around The World”, check out groups that serve as job boards, such as “Remote Jobs, Work Anywhere”, or go for groups that are specialized on the skills you offer, like “Virtual Assistant Savvies”.
These are fantastic ways to network and to find remote jobs. You will be surprised how often companies look for potentials employees via Facebook groups.
Another great social media platform to find remote jobs is Twitter. Some employers tweet their open position directly and hope for candidates to apply directly or redirect them to their job portal. Look for Hashtags like #jobsearch or #openposition. But beware that most of these positions won’t be remote so always double check.
8. Slack Groups
Apart from professional networks and social media, there are also other online communities you can find remote jobs, for instance Slack groups. In case you have never heard of it, Slack is a cloud-based instant messaging service that increases team collaborations. It is also a great way for employers to find qualified resources for their work.
If you are into online marketing, the group Online Genuises is a great idea. For database expertise go to the Postgres community. If you want to find the perfect Slack group for you, check this comprehensive Slacklist or Slofile.
Remote Friendly Companies
While not all companies are willing to hire their employees on a remote basis, there are also some great ones, that operate exclusively online. Have a look at these fully remote companies and check out if they could be the right employer for you:
10up is a web design and development consulting service that has all open positions listed on its website. On top of that you can always apply even if you can’t see your desired position because they say they are always looking for talents in different areas.
The consulting agency Arkency builds business software and trains programmers. They are looking for talented coders who are willing to work remotely and at any time they prefer.
Automattic produces apps like Polldaddy, Gravatar or WordPress.com. They usually have quite a few open positions, ranging from marketing to engineering, product or business management.
“We focus on two things when hiring. First, find the best people you can in the world. And second, let them do their work. Just get out of their way.” – Matt Wullenweg, Automattic
The social media scheduling app Buffer has a fully distributed team, too. When you start working with them you don’t only enjoy a telecommuting job but also benefits like unlimited vacation, free books and annual retreats.
Doist is the company behind the popular productivity app, Todoist. Their fully distributed team enjoys benefits such as 25 paid vacation days each year, a great maternity/paternity leave program, a generous software and hardware budget and much more.
The online job board FlexJobs helps job seekers find flexible work, like part-time or remote jobs. No surprise, the team behind it is fully distributed, too. To see current opening, you need a membership (15 USD/month). With this you also get access to many job listings and they guarantee satisfaction with this membership.
GitLab is a code collaboration platform for modern developers that is used by the programmers of IBM, NASA and such. They have many open positions for account executives, product managers, engineers, and others.
The team of the popular time-tracking tool Hubstaff works entirely remote. Although he company is fairly small (with about 10 team members), they are actively looking for new people in marketing, customer support, PR, and development.
How-To Geek is an online tech magazine that provides easy to understand instructions on any tech subject you can think of. They are currently not in the hiring process but always on the lookout for new talented writers.
The design collaboration and prototyping platform InVision is used by companies such as Adobe, AirBnB and Evernote and operates fully remotely. They are usually hiring for a number of positions in engineering, product management and sales.
The people behind the cloud-based database tool Knack might be a small team but they have more than 3,000 customers, including Tesla and Harvard University. They are happy to receive unsolicited applications if you don’t see an open position you like and think you are a great match nonetheless.
Scrapinghub created the cloud-based web crawling platform Scrapy Cloud. The team of 130 people operates from all over the world and profits from benefits such as an open vacation policy, online courses for career development or a computer equipment allowance. Although they employ many engineers, you might be able to score other jobs with them, too.
Toptal is an exclusive network for talented freelance designers and software developers. They operate fully remote and usually have a number of open tech or business positions. More than that, they encourage people to contact them anyway even if they don’t see a matching job opening.
Zapier is an automation tool that connects web apps, such as Slack or Gmail. Not only can the team members operate from all around the world, but they also enjoy unlimited vacation days, profit sharing, health coverage and much more. They encourage every talent to apply and respond to every applicant.
Remote Jobs with Non-Distributed Companies
Although, these mentioned companies offer some amazing opportunities, you have even more to choose from. Many regular companies, including big names, are very remote friendly, too, and offer a great number of full-time telecommute positions.
Every year FlexJobs releases a list of the 100 top companies you should watch when you want to find remote jobs. Just to give you an idea, here are the 50 companies that posted the most remote-friendly job openings in the last year:
- LanguageLine Solutions
- Working Solutions
- Kelly Services
- UnitedHealth Group
- Hilton Worldwide
- Cactus Communications
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- BroadPath Healthcare Solutions
- Anthem, Inc.
- IT Pros
- Robert Half International
- Wells Fargo
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- CACI International
- CSI Companies
- Connections Education
- Thermo Fisher Scientific
- Vivint Smart Home
- A Place for Mom
- U.S. General Services Administration – GSA
- Direct Interactions
- World Travel Holdings
If you want to see the complete list, head over to FlexJobs and get additional information about the companies.
Find The Best Remote Job For Your Career
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to find remote jobs. If you enjoy the stability of a permanent contract but also want to flexibility of a telecommuting job, there’s no need to decide between the two. Today, there are so many companies out there that either operate in fully distributed teams or are very remote friendly and offer a great number of work-from-anywhere jobs. These companies have realized that not it’s not the location that matters but the talent.
How about you? Do you have any experience with working in a remote position? Or what do you find most challenging about the job hunt and application process?