How to find a remote job in 2021

Monday, September 27, 2021

Remote jobs have become hugely popular in the past 2 years - and it isn’t all that surprising. Since the start of the pandemic, most jobs that could be done remotely, were. In this case, remote work wasn’t really a choice - more of a necessity. But even before COVID hit, remote work was already gaining popularity. According to a 2019 study, 43% of US employers were already offering this option to their staff. But why is this? What makes remote work so great?

Remote work offers benefits for both companies and their employees. Companies can save resources and offer fewer physical workspaces at the office (or none at all), saving money on rent, utility bills, and lots of other costs that usually accompany running an office. Staff can choose where they work, how they work (with some jobs offering flexible hours along with a flexible location), and set up a comfortable workspace that works for them.

Pretty much any job that you can do on a computer can be done remotely nowadays. So where do you start?

Where to find a remote job?

With remote jobs being so widespread, you have lots of different choices on where to find one, depending on your needs. Here’s a round-up of the three main options:

1. Freelance platforms

Freelance platforms are a great starting point in your remote job search. One of the most popular examples is Upwork. From graphic design to voiceovers to translations and more - these platforms offer a huge variety of different jobs. These do come with their own benefits and downfalls, however:

(+) PROS of freelance platforms

  • Flexibility & freedom to choose: With freelance platforms, you get lots of freedom to do what interests you and you can often combine different jobs. For example, if you’ve got experience in transcription but you’re also into making websites or copywriting, you can combine all of these (and more!) and take on separate projects for each one. Before you respond to a task/ job post, you’ll be able to see its budget, description, and even chat with your potential client to find out all the details. And if it’s not what you were after, you can just move along to the next one.
  • High-paying projects: You might land some pretty high-paying jobs once you get enough experience and reviews from clients. These can also turn into long-lasting contracts if your clients love your work, resulting in more financial stability. Plus, you can also get bonuses for jobs well done.
  • Great work experience: Not only will freelancing get you a great portfolio of different kinds of projects, but your experience will demonstrate to potential future employers that you’re responsible and organized enough to work remotely. This will make you stand out amongst all other candidates and work in your favor when applying for a remote job.

(-) CONS of freelance platforms

  • Takes time: When you first start, it’ll usually take you a while to land interesting and high-paying projects. You’ll need to get some experience and good reviews from clients before you can secure jobs that you’re interested in. This means you will have to take on tasks that don’t pay that well at the beginning. When you factor in service fees that platforms often charge their freelancers, this leaves you with a very small income at the start.
  • Not a stable source of income: This point is especially relevant at the start of your journey for the same reason as mentioned above – you won’t have regular clients and projects until you’re experienced and have a good rating. This may make it difficult to plan your budget and spending.
  • Competition: Depending on what you choose to do on these platforms, you may find that there’s lots of competition amongst freelancers in your niche. And with clients preferring those with more experience and higher ratings, this can feel like a vicious cycle at first – you need to secure jobs to get experience and boost your rating, but can’t secure them because you don’t have said experience and rating.

2. Message companies you’d like to work for

You can also view job openings of companies that you’re interested in on their websites or social media, or message them and let them know you’d love to work for them.

(+) PROS of direct messaging companies

  • You might land the job of your dreams: If there’s a company that you’ve had your eye on for a while and have dreamed of working for, you might find that they’re looking for remote employees!
  • You’ll stand out: If you reach out to a company/ employer directly, this will often make you stand out amongst the rest, because you truly want to work there, and aren’t replying to different job listings on autopilot
  • Way less time-consuming: You probably won’t have a lot of potential employers on this list, so it won’t take long to get in touch and message each one.

(-) CONS of direct messaging companies

  • Less to choose from: As you don’t have as much to choose from, so you might end up going for a job you didn’t really want to do.
  • Risk of getting turned down: Most companies will clearly state when they’re looking for a specific candidate – if you’re not responding to one of their job listings, it’s unlikely that they’ll have a job for you.
  • Fewer remote positions: Even though there are lots of remote jobs out there, it’s still less likely that you’ll find one if you search for them manually. Most companies outsource their remote jobs without creating a job opening.

3. Job search engines

Job search websites are an awesome time-saving option. A great example is Jooble, where you can filter your search to find remote-only jobs.

(+) PROS of job search engines

  • Lots of choices: These websites aggregate job listings from all over the web so you have lots of different options when it comes to niches, companies, work schedules, and level of experience.
  • Saves time and effort: Not only will you not have to search for jobs manually (i.e by visiting different companies’ websites in hopes of finding a vacancy you’d like) but you can also subscribe to receive job listings based on your search filters/ preferences.
  • Better salaries and more stable jobs: You’ll typically find better and more stable positions using a job search engine than you would be able to get on a freelance website.

(-) CONS of job search engines

  • Sometimes lots of choices = too many choices: You might feel overwhelmed by all the options. The best way to combat this is to use precise filters.
  • Not all options are great: You’ll have to weed out some companies that aren’t what you’re looking for. Not all companies provide enough details on their jobs, so you may need to put in some extra effort to get in touch and find out more
  • Employers/ companies don’t always update their postings: Sometimes job postings may have expired by the time you find them and respond to them. Companies don’t always update their info after filling a position.

All in all, the best strategy when looking for a remote job is to try different options. The best news is that are lots of them out there nowadays, which should help you find something you’ll really love. Most of the time, all you need is your computer – so go ahead and start searching today! :)