Are you sick of working a full-time job because your growth potential has stopped in your current position? Do you constantly run into entrepreneurs who are living their best lives at half your age and are steadily on an upward path in their careers? Have you thought that you’re pretty tech-savvy and have the determination and dedication to make working from home be a full-time income source for you?
If you answered yes to any of those questions this remote jobs guide is for you.
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Questions to Ask Yourself Before Looking for Remote Jobs
There’s no doubt that remote work isn’t for everyone. It’s completely different from working a conventional corporate job. You don’t have the same benefits as an employee, and you won’t have a boss breathing down your back to make sure you stay on track.
Let’s look at the key questions you need to ask yourself to make sure that remote jobs are the right move for you.
Is Getting a Remote Job Right for Me?
It takes the right kind of person to make remote jobs pay off.
First, you always need to be focused. As said above, you won’t have a boss or a manager forcing you to get to the office at a specific time. Nobody is going to be on your back motivating you to go the extra mile to get that project done.
You must be a self-starter if you’re going to be a remote worker.
Furthermore, if you’re hoping to start applying for remote jobs keep in mind that you’re still going to have to work with people and be a team player.
Most of your time as a remote worker is spent looking for work and marketing your services. It’s a constant battle to network and market yourself to others. In the beginning, you’ll find that you spend more time marketing and applying for jobs than you spend working.
The exception to this is if you are a remote worker that is also hired on as an employee (we’ll talk more about this later).
Finally, you must be the sort of person who’s able to balance and juggle everything in their personal and professional lives.
Being a corporate employee is easy. You know when to come in and when you get to leave. Your work life is set out for you, with the remainder of your time being yours to do what you want with.
Remote workers are known for getting sucked into working a crazy number of hours each week. For example, when I first started, I easily found myself working 60-70 hours week frequently. However, thankfully in the past 2 years, I’ve been limiting myself to 40-hour work weeks.
You must be able to find that balance yourself or it could cause real problems later. Don’t end up like me and start forgetting the last time you left your house because you’ve just been working nonstop.
What Motivates Me to Work?
Not enough guides on remote working raise this point. If you’re here, just because you want to be your own boss and because you think this is easy then you’re in the wrong field.
Yes, remote jobs offer a range of benefits, but the reality is that being a remote worker involves much more work than being a salaried employee.
Ask yourself why you want to do this and why you believe it’s more beneficial than working for a corporation.
For me, when I started my motivation was that I wanted to be in control of my income. Also, I wanted to be able to work fewer hours and earn more. Furthermore, since I’m someone who likes to be challenged and excels at multitasking, I felt remote working was what I needed to stay excited about my work.
Do I Want to Be an Employee or an Independent Contractor?
When making the switch to working remotely you have the option of doing remote work as an independent contractor or as an employee. I’ll go over the realities of both so you can see the difference.
Here’s the reality of being an independent contractor:
- You don’t get benefits. Only employees in remote roles can gain access to benefits like health insurance and 401(k)s.
- You may or may not have set working hours. There are some remote jobs for independent contractors that require you to be available at certain times of the day and there are also some that require you to work set hours each day. Personally, I only do jobs that allow me to work on my own schedule and give me deadlines as I feel if I’m working set working hours, I should get employee benefits. But the preference is up to you.
- Your salary is never guaranteed. Employees know what they’re going to be paid weekly, biweekly, or monthly if they show up for work. However, as a remote worker, you can never guarantee how much income is going to come in. For example, if you’re an independent contractor you must keep marketing for clients. Even if you have retainer clients, they could stop using your services at any time and a big chunk of your income is gone. As a remote employee, you can have a better idea of what your salary is going to be. However, they can let you go at any time or cut back your hours.
Here are the realities of being a remote employee:
- You may not be able to work for multiple clients. As a remote employee, you’ll have stipulations on what you can do. For example, if you’re working for a call center company, they’ll permit you from taking on additional work that is a conflict of interest for them, which limits your earning potential.
- You’ll probably have set working hours. Remote jobs that hire you on as an employee will come with benefits such as health insurance and 401 k, however, if it was flexibility with scheduling you were hoping to achieve by leaving your day job, you’ll be disappointed. Most remote employee positions will give you a set schedule to work and you either must accept those working hours or not take the job. That means you’ll basically be living the same life that you’re living at your current day job, however, you’ll be doing it from home.
- You may have to invest in new work equipment. Many remote employee jobs require you to have a desktop computer and an additional monitor. As an independent contractor, you can use your normal laptop and usually won’t have to invest in any other business software as a requirement to work.
As you can see determining if you want to be an independent contractor or remote employee both come with pros and cons.
Am I Willing to Learn to Use New Tools?
Corporate employees use new tools too. The difference is you’ll likely be given a formal, mandatory training session. Independent contractors don’t just need to be willing to learn how to use new tools, they also need to be curious enough to find out which tools remote teams are using in the first place.
Nothing is handed to you on a plate. You need to take the initiative.
Let’s look at some of the most common tools you’ll have to use if you want to find a remote job.
Slack is one of the biggest work platforms around. Administrators can create specific chat channels for teams and projects. The platform has full control, so certain people can be allocated to specific channels.
Clients can also be integrated into Slack so they can follow the progress of their project and everyone knows what’s going on.
Furthermore, Slack can be integrated with a variety of apps, including Dropbox and Google Calendar.
In 2019, it seems like everyone in the remote job’s world uses Slack as the main communication. Gone are the days of Skype. If you’re not familiar with Slack, I highly suggest you go ahead and sign up for an account now and familiarize yourself. But, don’t worry, Slack is super easy to use.
Trello is another excellent organization platform for work. Administrators create different columns and add ‘cards’ to each column, with set deadlines attached. This makes it easy to organize tasks in a way that everyone can see what their responsibilities are.
Each member has their own profile and picture, which can be attached to each card. It’s also possible to create checklists and link Trello with Google Drive.
You can also attach documents to each card, so it’s easy to keep work documents all in one place.
Even if the organization you’re trying to work for doesn’t use Trello, I’d highly recommend it. As a freelance writer, I use it for my personal use to make sure that I don’t miss any client deadlines.
For project management, teams in 2019 are using Asana. It’s completely free for teams of 15 people or less. Even with the free option, project managers can create an unlimited number of tasks, projects, and conversations.
Asana is there to keep projects on track. Every project has tasks and due dates that can be viewed from a central dashboard.
It also supports email reminders, so everyone within that project knows when they need to submit their work.
Asana is very similar to Trello. If you’re planning to apply for remote jobs with marketing agencies this is a tool that you’ll want to be familiar with.
Another popular project management platform is Microsoft Teams. It’s all about bringing people together, so not only do you get the usual group chat but also access to online meetings, calls, and web conferences.
It’s integrated with Office 365, and with Microsoft Teams different workers can collaborate on the same documents.
As you would expect, it’s fully customizable, so different teams will be able to integrate their preferred Microsoft apps.
From my experience, I haven’t seen many companies using this with independent contractors. However, if you’re planning to secure a remote employee job, especially if its call center related, you’ll want to be familiar with Microsoft Teams.
Most clients use Gsuite, as its an easy way to monitor company documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and emails. If you’re going to be working for a marketing agency be prepared to receive a Gmail company email and know how the different aspects of Gsuite work if you aren’t already familiar with it.
Zoom is another tool you’ll need to learn how to use. It’s one of the most popular video conferencing tools in the business.
It ranges from personal conferences to web conferences hosting up to 100 participants at the same time. There are no limits on how many audio or video calls you can make.
Most businesses prefer to use Zoom instead of Skype due to their superior quality.
If you’re someone who is planning to become a virtual or executive assistant, Zoom should be on your to-learn list.
Remote Job Options That Can Replace Your Full-Time Income
There are a variety of different things you can do in order to replace your full-time income.
Here are the main types of work you may want to consider starting out in when you initially jump into the world of remote working.
If you have writing or editing experience, you can make a full-time income as either a freelance writer or a salaried remote writer. Below is some income thought starters that can help you decide if writing or editing remotely is a good idea for you.
Are you good at writing that results in sales? Maybe you’re leaving a job where you were on the marketing team. Copywriting or copyediting could be a great remote job for you.
Copywriting consists of writing different marketing materials such as landing pages, sales funnels, email campaigns, and more. It pays pretty well, but clients demand a great ROI.
In the beginning, you can start off as a general copywriter/copyeditor to see which niche you like best. However, since this field is so competitive now, you’ll find you get the best results from being a niche copywriter/copyeditor.
If you’re great at capturing people’s voice, ghostwriting can be a lucrative remote job for you. I started out as a ghostwriter and had a lot of success. However, ghostwriting doesn’t give you much room to grow.
As a ghostwriter, you’ll produce books, guides, newsletters, articles, and more for your clients to pass off as their own. You won’t be able to use this created content as a sample to land future work nor will you be able to add it to your writing portfolio.
You can use the client’s as references, for future work. However, if writing is something you want to have success with long-term, I’d highly recommend working on getting published samples that you can show to prospective clients.
Starting a Blog
Blogging is still a viable path to go down if you want to make money. But take note that blogging is about so much more than just writing blogs. You need to market your blog, connect with others, and figure out what your readers want from you.
You’ll make income primarily through affiliate ads and writing sponsored posts for brands that want to promote their products or services.
While it’s not instant money, after about a year or so you have a guaranteed passive income source AND since you have to figure out marketing, you’ll have gained some useful skills that can help you demand more for your writing in general.
If you’re interested in starting a blog and have no clue where to start check out my detailed blog creation tutorial.
Editing and Proofreading
Editors and proofreaders can take jobs managing practically any type of content. So, you have a lot of scope for finding work.
You may even find yourself working as part of a freelance writing team as the resident editor. If you’re able to spot even the smallest of errors, you’ll be in high demand.
It’s also an industry that will never lose importance.
If you’re leaving a sales or marketing position looking for remote jobs in this niche will be beneficial for you. Below are some marketing positions that you may want to consider starting with during your remote job search.
One of the most vibrant industries is marketing consulting. Big businesses all the way down to one-man operations need help with their marketing efforts. It’s the one skill entrepreneurs find difficult to master, so if you have marketing experience then consulting work can pay big.
You’ll need to make sure that you not only know the fundamentals of marketing but can apply those principles to any type of business.
Creativity is a big plus as a marketing consultant. Knowing the technical side of marketing is one thing, but creativity will allow you to achieve better implementation.
Marketing consultants succeed or fail based on their results and are only ever as good as their last project.
Social Media Manager
Social media is the main channel for businesses that want to get attention in 2019. If you know how to master social media, you’ll be a highly desirable candidate for managing the social media channels of businesses all over the world.
Not only do you need to know how to get results on social media, but you need to be able to keep up with the changes made to the most popular social media platforms.
You need to be an expert in figuring out who your target audience is and how best to reach them. To do this, you’ll need to collaborate with the business and come up with a plan that will yield results.
Naturally, it depends on which company you work with. Some companies may decide to give you no creative freedom and simply want their social media needs taken care of in the way they specify.
SEO is not dead, contrary to popular belief. If you know how to get a website to rank on Google, SEO consultancy could be the job for you.
These consultants will specialize in helping businesses to improve their prospects on all the major search engines.
The key to being a great SEO consultant is to have your finger on the pulse of the changing nature of SEO. With so many changes hitting all the time, you need to know about them quickly as well as how to adapt.
Virtual and executive assistants are there to help take up the slack for businesses. Your job will be extremely varied. You may be researching travel options to help an executive to get to a conference in another country. You might be helping with research for an upcoming project.
Jobs can range from being challenging to repetitive, so if you enjoy taking on a lot of different tasks then this is the perfect role for you.
You’ll be expected to be diligent and timely in the completion of tasks. You’re also expected to remain professional when in roles where you may be communicating with third parties.
I’ve been doing executive assistant and virtual assistant work for a little over 2 years now and I find it very rewarding. In addition, to a great source of steady income, I am always able to expand my skills in my positions and once the new skills are mastered I’m able to apply them to my other businesses and therefore, increase my income.
The buying and selling of domain names and websites are big business. Purchasing popular domain names then selling them can make you money. However, this can take a while as you’ll have to be patient and sometimes you may have to hold on to the domain for a year or so before it sells.
If you’re looking to make more big-ticket sales, you can also get into the business of buying and selling websites. Designers and developers will create websites then put them up for sale as ‘premade’.
When you purchase the website, you can add in some long-form content, build up a readership, and get to rank for its terms and sell it for a profit.
The key to making flipping work online is to specialize in a certain type of market. You need to know what people are likely to be looking for as any sales you don’t make is a wasted investment.
I know this article is about remote jobs, but entrepreneurship goes hand in hand with this as I’m sure if you’re looking for a remote job the idea of starting your own business is what the end goal is. Therefore, here are some entrepreneurship options to help you get your brain going.
Start an Online Store
Are you good at sales? Maybe you’re great at creating products. Then starting your own online store could be the right choice for you.
There are so many platforms in which you can get started these days by selling your own products, such as Redbubble and Etsy. Additionally, if you’re not crafty there’s always the option of starting a Shopify store and dropshipping.
To make an online store work you need impeccable marketing skills. Your first steps will involve targeting the right niche and building up your brand from scratch.
Start a Marketing Agency
Take marketing one step further by starting a marketing agency. If you know marketing and you’re good at managing people, take these skills and build your own marketing agency.
There’s a huge demand for marketers across all industries, so this is an industry that just keeps on growing.
The key to having a successful marketing agency these days, however, is to focus on a niche. There are way many general marketing agencies out there already.
Create a Startup
If you’ve always dreamed of building your own business, creating a startup can get your product to market. You’ll need to wear a lot of hats, though.
You’ll need to be proficient in creating marketing plans, budgets, and networking with potential investors to get the funding you need to make your brand a reality.
Furthermore, there’s no denying that the chances of making it big are slim, so you need to keep this in mind before you begin.
Sites to Look for Remote Jobs in 2019
Now that we’ve made it through all of that, let’s discuss the sites to look for your first remote job. While there are plenty of other remote jobs sites available, I wanted to just start off with these as these are the ones that I have personally had success with this year.
FlexJobs is one of the best sites for finding remote jobs as they have jobs in 50 different categories. You can find everything from part-time to full-time, with all levels covered.
All jobs are screened before they’re posted, so you won’t need to worry about anything shady coming up.
There’s an average of around 20,000 job postings available to choose from.
You do have to pay for a membership here. However, they are always running specials and it’s easy to find a discount code with a simple search online.
I decided to give them a try for the first time this year and I signed up for a year and have made more than my initial investment back already.
Before you sign up though, make sure to do some research online and read some of the reviews from others so you know the type of jobs to expect there. I may do a comprehensive review later since I’ve only been a member for a little over a month so far. At this time, I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to make conclusions about the type of jobs there but check with me after six months.
Do you want to work with startups and provide services to the hottest new companies? You don’t have to live in a tech hub in order to do this.
AngelList is one of the top sources for job listings that target startups. They also include in-house jobs, but all you must do is click ‘Remote OK’ and you’ll gain access to the different remote jobs they have on their platform.
LinkedIn is a social media network for professionals. Companies often headhunt top talent through this website.
There are also job postings on LinkedIn for remote work. You can find these publicly available or through the variety of groups on the site. There’s no better place for making contacts and displaying what you can offer to companies.
Additionally, they have the ProFinder feature where some have had great success with. I haven’t had success from ProFinder yet (I may look into it again this year), however, I have had success from clients reaching out to me directly.
If you’re skeptical about if LinkedIn is worth your time of not, check out this post to see what bloggers had to say about their LinkedIn marketing results.
Indeed, is another great option because it pulls job data from a variety of websites. All these postings are aggregated on a single platform, so you don’t need to waste your time crawling lots of minor job boards.
They offer jobs in practically every sector, from SEO to web design.
However, when going to Indeed for work remember to set filters as the site isn’t geared towards 100% remote work.
If you are someone who wants to do call center remote work Indeed is the website to use to land a job quick.
Believe it or not, Facebook can be another source of remote work. There are lots of freelancing and remote job groups, where job offers are regularly posted. Often, you can get access to job openings before they hit the major job boards as well.
The trick is finding the right groups.
To use the Facebook search feature correctly you need to enter your dedicated niche. For example, add ‘writer’ or ‘virtual assistant’ and see what comes up.
You need to look for groups that have things like ‘job board’ or ‘jobs’ in their names. Once you find a few good groups it’s easy to find others as you’ll connect with other group members and get recommendations from them.
Secure Your Remote Job This Year
Starting a remote job is the goal of many people. It sounds like it’s a dream to be able to work from the comfort of your home, not worry about a daily commute, and cut back on an assortment of expenses that come with working an out of the home job.
If you’ve made it through this guide you now not only know where to look for remote jobs this year, but you’ve also gotten a better idea of what type of remote work is available in addition to being able to decide if it makes sense for you financially.
Will you be starting the journey of looking for remote work this year?