Best Jobs for Remote Work
Getting Started on Your Remote Work Journey
So you’ve decided that you want to join the growing tribe of professionals that work remotely. Good for you! Once you step in, you’ll discover that a whole new world of freedom awaits.
The purpose of this guide is to show you that achieving location independence is a very reachable goal for most people. We lay out the step-by-step process you need to take once you decide to embark on this journey
The first part of the guide contains tips on how to land remote jobs.
The second part of the guide provides a very actionable list of common remote jobs – you’ll for sure fit the bill for at least one of them!
Steps to Land a Remote Job
1. Decide if you want to be self-employed or an employee.
The difference is that if you’re self-employed, you’re working for yourself. Therefore, you have more autonomy, are not dependent on a single client, and have the freedom to accept more projects at a time. On the flipside, you are responsible for your own benefits (like buying health insurance and contributing to your own 401k – things that are typically provided by employers).
You are also expected to pay your own taxes, so you need to do some financial planning and put that aside, instead of having it withheld for you as employers would do. Check out our article on the best entity for FEIE if you are self-employed if you are considering this option. Before you start looking for a job, have an idea of whether you prefer one arrangement over the other. Depending on what you’re looking for, where you search for a job can vary.
2. Craft a Remote-friendly Resume
In addition to your qualifications and experiences, remote companies look for a special set of skills and values unique to the job arrangement. Highlight these qualities in your resume.
First of all, you should be a self-starter. You won’t be micromanaged when you’re remote, and your supervisor will not always be available to answer questions. You’ll really need to own your piece of work. Therefore, your future employer will be looking to see if you are able to work independently.
Second, you need to be trustworthy. No one is looking over your shoulder to make sure you’re doing your work – clocking in at 9am and leaving at 5pm. Thus, your employer is looking to see if you’re a responsible worker that honors his commitments.
Third, you should be a great communicator. The most important thing for remote workers is to know how to communicate effectively. Since you won’t be building rapport face to face, it’s crucial for you to know how to communicate about your work online and to make sure that tone is not misconstrued. When working remotely, it’s always better to err on the side of over-communication rather than under-communication!
Lastly, you should love what you’re doing. Employers want people who are sure of the remote lifestyle and are passionate about the job.
Obviously, they don’t want someone who will tap out in just a couple months because he misses the office environment – that’s a bad investment for them. Craft a resume specific for remote roles, and make sure these qualities shine through.
3. Mind the Time Difference
Though likely not the first thing that comes to mind, the time zone difference between your location and your employer or client location is extremely important. After all, you don’t want to be expected to be online when you’re supposed to be sleeping.
As a rule of thumb, time differences that exceed 6 hours tend not to work too well. With a time difference of less than 6 hours, it allows for at least 3 hours of overlap in your working hours. Example of regions with time differences that work:
• Europe & Asia
• North America & South America
• Australia & Asia
• Western Europe & US East Coast
• US West Coast & Australia
4. Follow Remote Companies on Social Media
Remote jobs are competitive: they’re trendy and the competition is open to the whole world instead of just people in your area. Therefore, you want to be the first to apply when jobs are posted to get that first mover advantage. There are known companies that often hire remote workers. Follow them on social media, like Twitter, and you’ll get notifications when jobs are posted. A good list to go off of is this article of the Top 100 Companies with Remote Jobs in 2018.
5. Search on Remote-Friendly Job Boards
All job listing websites are not created equal. Some are catered towards remote work, some have remote-friendly features, and some are utterly unhelpful for that purpose. The traditional websites like Indeed and LinkedIn are not very helpful when it comes to finding remote work. They don’t provide good filters for “remote ok” jobs.
Websites have sprung up recently to cater to this growing segment of remote professionals and companies that hire for these roles. Some sites to use to find remote work include:
For freelancers, there are additional online marketplaces where you can list and find work
Although the commissions for the services are steep, at 10-20% paid by the freelancer, it’s a great way to get those first clients. They also provide arbitration services, so you don’t have to worry about doing work and not getting paid. Fiverr is a similar marketplace, but instead of freelancers applying to projects, Fiverr sellers present their offerings for clients to buy. If you’re a graphic designer or translator for example, it’s especially a popular platform to use.
10 Common Location Independent Jobs
Teaching English (or any other language)
Everyone knows at least one language they can teach. If you’re an English speaker, you’ve especially got a huge edge – there is a massive demand to learn English online! The demand for the service globally is high and you’re serving a real need by helping people who want to learn the language. You can find work on one of the many teach English online websites: Colingo and italki, etc. or visit the local language school to apply directly (works especially well in Asia).
Skills: English language skills (or mastery of any other languages).
Pros: English-teaching jobs are easy to come by.
Cons: The pay can be good, especially in high-demand countries, but don’t rely on this to get wealthy.
Career tip: Getting certified as a teacher, with a TEFL course for example, can give you a huge edge when looking for a job as an English teacher.
Do you have a way with words? If so, then you may have a future in copywriting! Being able to write quality content is increasingly becoming a coveted skill. Content has the power to drive sales, generate leads, and even create virality. Anyone can pick up a pen and write, and the best writers can command top rates. Many companies are looking for blog writers and content marketing specialists. To become a copywriter, all you need is a laptop, some flair, and a dose of inspiration.
Skills: Writing skills.
Pros: It’s a truly location independent job and getting started is easy.
Cons: Barriers to entry are low, so competition is high and rates can be low when you start out. Also, anyone can do it, but it’s hard to do it well.
Career tip: Create a strong portfolio, for example by building a blog or working for initial clients (that are preferably recognizable names) for a competitive rate.
If you’re fluent in two or more languages, then translating is a job that you could do. However, being a translator does take some skill, especially if you’re interpreting live, so practice a lot to achieve perfection. Freelancing sites like Fiverr and Upwork are great places to get started to get your first clients. You should also network at local establishments like hospitals and police stations to be on their radar for your translation services.
Skills: Know two or more languages at a fluent or native level.
Pros: Low barrier to entry, though doing it well and quickly takes quite a bit of practice.
Cons: If your languages are common, like Spanish and English, then you may be facing more competition. With the popularity of sites like Fiverr, rates can be low.
Career tip: Getting certified (for example, with an online test at the American Translator’s Association) gives you a big edge against competitors.
If you have programming skills and the only thing stopping you from going remote is job uncertainty – you should definitely stop worrying and go for it! Whether it’s website building, database creation, or mobile app development, you have one of the most coveted skills in today’s job market. From small businesses to large enterprises, everyone is rushing to get their businesses online. You’ll have your picking of projects.
Skills: Programming skills: backend development skills and mobile development skills (iOS and Android) are especially in high demand.
Pros: The demand is very high and you can make a lot money from it.
Cons: Programming is a skill that takes years to master, so it’s not something you can just pick up.
Career Tip: Rates for developers are a lot higher at American companies, especially at those in Silicon Valley. Try to find remote work for an American company.
Although being a virtual assistant is not a job with a clearly laid out career path, it is a great way to make money by working remotely. The virtual assistance market is rapidly growing – it’s expected to grow at an annual rate of 11% over the next 4 years (2017-2021). VAs can command a rate of $20-$40 an hour.
Skills: Attention to detail and most of all, a positive, helpful attitude.
Pros: Anyone can do it.
Cons: Career progression is limited, you won’t be bringing in the big bucks from being a VA anytime soon.
Career Tip: Begin your career as a virtual assistant by finding work on sites as Upwork, Freelancer, and TaskRabbit. Build up your portfolio and positive reviews by getting as many clients as possible, even if it’s for a lower starting rate.
There’s no limit to the amount of money you can make online by starting your own business. People have gotten rich by selling niche products on Amazon, via affiliate marketing on specialized blogs, or even by offering e-books. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication before you see results, but as you’re your own boss, the earning potential can be very high.
Skills: Being able to identify opportunity and having online marketing skills.
Pros: With hard work and a bit of luck, you have the potential to make a lot of passive income.
Cons: It can be a long time before you see results and receive your first check. Also, not every business you build will become successful.
Career Tip: Take online courses on building niche sites or starting Amazon webshops. Absorb as much knowledge as you can from successful online entrepreneurs before you start. This way you do it right, the first time.
Believe it or not, a non-trivial group of digital nomads make their money via online trading. Whether it’s stocks, commodities, or Bitcoin, investing is something that can be done from anywhere with an internet connection. If you’re a risk-lover that wants to make an unconventional living and you have some starting capital, online trading may be for you.
Skills: An understanding of the financial markets, combined with having starting capital.
Pros: With the right luck, investment, and skills, you could be making A LOT of money.
Cons: You could also lose everything fast, especially in an economic downturn.
Career Tip: Learn everything you can about financial markets and trading to begin with. Many professionals on Wall Street dedicate their lives to this, so the odds are against you.
If you have a knack for communication, are a social media guru, or have a background in marketing, then you may have a future in digital marketing. The realm of digital marketing is wide – from managing social media accounts for brands, to crafting email messages that convert, to running search ad campaigns on Google.
Skills: A range of skills, depending on what you focus on in marketing. Common skills asked of you are analytics, social media, and copywriting.
Pros: Participation in a rapidly growing segment, as all businesses, traditional and new, increasingly realize the potential of online marketing.
Cons: The barrier to entry is low, therefore the competition can be high.
Career Tip: This is a rapidly changing landscape, and those who snooze will lose. Keep up with the newest digital marketing trends (know what Instagram Story ads are?) and take online courses, such as on Udemy, to get ahead.
Coaching is a rapidly growing industry. As people embark on their own journeys of finding satisfaction through their work and life, many find themselves looking for a new direction. As a coach, you’re working with your clients to help them facilitate change and achieve their goals. Whether you’re a life coach, a business coach, or a marriage coach, most these jobs are available online. You’ll be helping people, with the benefit of having a flexible schedule.
Skills: Having people skills and having the right credentials.
Pros: The pay is good as you typically earn $100 per hour as a coach – even up to $400 to $500 an hour if you’re coaching executives. Furthermore, you’re making a real difference to people’s lives.
Cons: Finding the right clients won’t be a walk in the park, especially when starting out, and you’ll have to learn to market yourself. Although anyone can become a coach, getting certified makes you more legitimate and that requires some investment.
Career Tip: Get certified by the International Coaching Federation, the authority in this field. This can cost from $3,500 to $20,000, depending on the program.
Your Current Job
If your current job involves using a computer, internet, and/or the phone, then more likely than not, your job can be completed remotely. Ask your boss if this is an option. If you’re valued at work, it’s much more efficient for your workplace to let you work remotely than to hire someone new.