How to Land a Remote Job

Part 2: Travel & Tribulations

If you’re reading this post, you probably have some interest in knowing more about working remotely (pants optional), and finding out how the hell to even make this job possibility a reality. In Part 1 of How to Land a Remote Job, I talked about life before remote life and I shared my top 5 online resources I used faithfully to finally land the remote job of my dreams. If you haven’t read it yet, start there!

 

The Search Begins

Now, before I started my dedicated, daily remote work search, I was wrapping up some “stuff” in the states. I was working 2 jobs/7days a week, I’d moved out of my house and sold much of my belongings. I was preparing for a HUGE move abroad for a year with my daughter to do volunteer work, AND she was doing 4th grade online. It was chaotic and wild and after our volunteer gigs ended, I started my fulltime remote job search (in Italy… so things coulda been worse).

 

How Travel Can Leverage Your Job Search

In my case, I had to make a dramatic move. Across the world.

It’s not necessary to be traveling, but it sure can help. I knew what I wanted and I created that environment to better receive what I was wanting aka manifesting.

Simply put:

  1. I wanted a job I could do from anywhere while traveling– so I took a trip.
  2. I wanted to be working during the day and enjoying museums or beaches by evening–so I traveled through Europe and Central America.
  3. I wanted to make sure that the only jobs I could search for and apply to were remote– so I removed the possibility of having a conventional job to fall back on.

I created the life I imagined I would have if I had a remote job. Then I just injected the missing piece when I finally got the job! A touch unconventional? Perhaps, but trust me, I had my fair share of freakouts, money worries, and unfortunate online encounters before the job offer dance party took place.

 

Don’t believe me? Keep reading to discover my 3 interview horror stories

 

Experience #1 is more of a psychological thriller and one I KNOW many of you have experienced before. The looooong waiting game. These companies may be newer startups and could potentially have hundreds of people applying for the same position. They will weed out the weakest applicants by requiring short essay questions. {I happen to be the queen of cover letters and short essay questions, so I make it past the first round}

Then the waiting

After they get back to you, IF they get back to you, there is the preliminary video interview with one of the co-founders who is probably 21. Nailed it. Next round, please.

Then more waiting

If you’ve made it this far, your hopes are getting pretty high and you’re feeling confident it’s in the bag. One more video interview with a few other founders and an HR person. They begin to ask me weird questions about my age and some other kinda personal stuff, but it’s ok! That’s what they do in Amsterdam, right? They’ll confirm that I’m ok with the pay. I was never told the pay, I just assumed it was competitive for the market.

{Oh… $5 an hour? Oh. Yeah. That’s fine} And I find myself saying YUP even though my heart and stomach are about to split open in disappointment. ‘We’ll be in touch shortly,’ they say.

Even more waiting

5 weeks and 2 countries later. I get a weak-ass email saying they went with someone else. I’m disappointed and angry. But relieved. Emotionally drained after the ordeal, but now I know my worth.

Nobody puts Baby in the corner and pays her 5-freaking-dollars an hour.

 

Experience #2 By this point I’ve signed up for all of the online job sites, my resume is out there crossing the virtual desks of awesome startups and I just know the right job is gonna come along anytime now. In fact, THEY contact ME. This isn’t unheard of, it’s called head hunting and it’s how companies recruit the best of the best. {Obviously, that’s why they contacted me}. ‘Dear applicant, we would love for you to apply for this position…’ Yes, of course! I officially apply for the position, and the SAME DAY I have a Gmail chat with the hiring manager to sign paperwork and get a rundown of the job.

But something doesn’t feel quite right.

Maybe it was that Comic Sans used in several lines of the email offer… or perhaps it was chatting online with the hiring manager “Nancy” a white collared, middle-aged looking white woman who typed as if English was not her first language. Now, you may ignore this nagging feeling in your stomach because once again you’ve found yourself in Desperadoville, willing to take a chance– after all, you’re new to the whole remote job world, this could be totally normal?

The company is FedExing me a check so that I can buy all the fancy new work equipment. Over the course of the following week, the check mysteriously “gets caught in a snowstorm”, “gets lost” and “gets resent”. By this time, I know without a doubt this is a scam. I do research and find out this is an ongoing ploy to get bank account info that a group of hackers in India is pulling off via identity theft, lying, and being horrible human beings. I report it, I block “Nancy” from Gchat, and I drink a bottle of wine for dinner.

Listen to your instincts, you will be right. Don’t let your eagerness/desperation for a remote job, cloud your judgment against people like “Nancy”.

 

Experiene#3 Ok, now that I know my worth and I’ve learned to trust my instincts, let’s see what happens with the next interview. I connect with a brand new San Francisco startup and they want to bring me on as the second employee! I fill out paperwork and set up accounts during my first day of training, and I can’t believe how seamless the process is!

Then things get weird.

The person training me is also simultaneously working behind the scenes in a small bedroom office with the co-founder, who is too busy to turn around and greet me. He starts barking orders at me {What I should have done was shut off the video conference and drink a bottle of wine for dinner}. But I stick it out and try to piece together the manic training I’m receiving while trying to perform tasks without any support. After that horrible first day of work, I check my inbox the next morning and find an email saying ‘there’s been some legal issues we can’t iron out’ — and you actually don’t have a job with them. They pay you $100. You take it, but morale is low. You know you’ve been fired from the world’s worst job. {I still have some PTS from that experience!}

Yikes, that was uncomfortable, but I think we’ve learned some good lessons, yes?

 

Next, Do Yourself a Favor and Read this article:

I want to finish Part 2 of How to Land a Remote Job with some outside advice for this stage of the remote job search. You’ll be applying to dozens of jobs and one of the biggest mistakes you can make is half-assing application tracking. Take it from Zen working at Zapier, who wrote this aptly named article How to Land Your Dream Job With One Spreadsheet. 

Bookmark this, and see how sexy, and indispensable, measuring your job search metrics can be!

 

Next week I’ll be wrapping up the How to Land a Remote Job series with some valuable tips on preparing for phone and video interviews, as well as the top 5 tools and technology remote workers need to be using!

 

Do you have a job interview horror story we need to know about? Share that shizz in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

About The Author

Reader and writer of flash memoirs and travel narratives. Traveler. RTW trip taker. Pizza. Remote life live’r.

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