How to Get a Remote Job (and Pitfalls to Watch Out For)

How to Get a Remote Job (and Why) - When I Have Time by Sara Rosso

Hello Sara!

I’ve actually been working with a coach on a career transition and she suggested that I get in touch with people I know who work remotely and love their experiences. You’ve always been so open and happy with your work at Automattic (and I realize you joined them quite awhile ago) but I wondered if you might be able to share some of the process that you used during your remote work search? Are there any specific resources or listing sites that you found particularly helpful? Or was discovering your position just something that happened organically? I know you like your work quite a bit, but are there any potential pitfalls to working remotely that I may think I know but perhaps don’t?

I’m getting this question more and more — how do I find a remote job? I’m going on 6 years working remotely for a 100% distributed company, and the number of companies who are valuing remote work just keep growing. That’s encouraging, but how do you find them all?

Personally I was already deep into WordPress and stumbled onto Automattic (they only had 22 employees in 2008 and I didn’t think I had a chance) so it wasn’t like I was searching for a remote company, but I was excited to be a part of one! I had worked remotely when I was at Hewlett-Packard, so it wasn’t a foreign concept to me, and a remote job was just another way to get stuff done.

Now there are more any more companies who are 100% remote, or are trying to add jobs and resources all over the world, and it couldn’t be a better time to look for a remote job. I’ve included some resources below to help you find your next remote job.

I know you like your work quite a bit, but are there any potential pitfalls to working remotely that I may think I know but perhaps don’t?

Regarding pitfalls and remote working, go read my 10 Lessons from 4 Years Working Remotely as that’s the best place to start. I believe the #1 potential problem still lies mainly in scheduling YOUR time re: health and appointments, etc., because there will always be work to do, and the lack of office may result in you being unable to cleanly transition from personal time to work time, often ending up working more because you can continue to do things while watching TV in the evenings or checking email ‘just one more time’ before bed.

If you end up prioritizing yourself a bit first, that will impact everything else you do, allowing you to be healthier emotionally and physically and this will make you a better worker, too. Schedule your personal and health appointments into your calendar just like your work appointments.

Another caveat I have regarding remote work is make sure you set aside time to form relationships with your coworkers. We know that people who have best friends at work are more satisfied even though it’s harder to make friends at work, so it’s important that your interactions with your colleagues aren’t purely transactional and you make space to get to know each other.

We have regular meetups with our teams and once a year as an entire company so we have a chance to have those non-work moments. If you are working remotely and don’t have these opportunities with your teams or clients, see if there’s a way you can work some personal/non-work discussions and fun back into the interactions. For some it might mean a ‘watercooler’ Slack channel or blog, or a little personal update before the week’s meeting.

Ready to find that remote job? Here are some resources to find distributed / remote companies and I’ll add more links as I come across them.

5 replies »

  1. Hi Sara

    Thank you for this blog post. I am in the fortunate position of being at a crossroad with my career and looking at many different options about where to go from here. I have been considering remote work and your points about scheduling your priorities is good food for thought.

  2. “make sure you set aside time to form relationships with your coworkers. We know that people who have best friends at work are more satisfied even though it’s harder to make friends at work, so it’s important that your interactions with your colleagues aren’t purely transactional and you make space to get to know each other.” So important….

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