How I found my first remote job/remote gig
Finding a remote job or gig is not easy, especially when you’re starting your remote career!
Today, we are sharing some of our tips to help you find your first remote gig or even remote job.
8 of our awesome members have put together how they found their first remote job/gig.
We hope you will enjoy reading these tips. 🙂
Sam has been traipsing around the world with her laptop in tow since 2016. She works as a software engineer at Curiosity Media and throws darts at a map to choose where she’ll live next month. (Kidding, she usually picks based on the cheapest flights.)
After interning at a software start up, I left to finish university, with plans to return as a full time (non-remote) engineer the following summer.
While I finished my studies, I picked up some part-time projects for the company that I worked on remotely, and after graduating, I moved to the DC area – still without any expectation of switching to full-time work.
During the year that I lived in DC, I met others that worked remotely, which piqued my interest in pursuing a similar lifestyle. After spending a cold winter in DC dreaming about warmer climates, I started bringing the idea up to my boss. He wasn’t too keen on the idea at first, and I spent the better part of six months occasionally revisiting the topic with him.
I brainstormed different ways to mitigate his concerns. Since I wasn’t the only one looking to switch to remote work, I organized a random weekly pairing for coworkers to chat informally, to replace spontaneous “water cooler” conversations in the office. I discussed expectations of productivity with my manager, and my previous experiment with remote work helped me make the case that I was capable of doing my job from afar.
I promised to start out in the same time zone, but I created a plan for adjusting my working hours in other time zones to show that I was flexible and committed to being available to my coworkers.
Eventually, he agreed to let me try it – as part of the deal, I would come back to DC every 3-4 months to spend a week in the office, and I agreed to give up my employee status and work as a contractor. I set my departure date for a month later, during which time I “practiced” working remotely from the same city, planned logistics for my first destination (Boston), dropped my apartment lease and downsized my life into a backpack.
The month flew by, and finally, I was no longer tied to DC! My job itself hasn’t changed much since I switched to remote work, but my life has taken a turn for the interesting.
I’ve since lived in four different countries, and I don’t plan to stop traveling anytime soon!
Fernando is a Product Manager working fully remotely since 2012. With three children, two dogs and a bunny “the nomading” is complicated, so Fernando happily works out of his home office at a fairly small town where he can still keep his house’s door open all day and the kids can have lunch with grandma.
A long time ago, I was running some web development projects for clients. Since the local jobs market was pretty small, I turned to online freelance marketplaces to look for skilled labour.
After a couple of years running projects like this, I figured I should try looking for remote freelancing work for myself.
That quickly led me to my first full-time role as a remote Product Manager, working for a company based in Austin in the US.
I was very fortunate because those people were extremely supportive of remote work, and I made friends over there that I gladly keep to this day.
Since then I have worked for a number of companies from all over the world – United States, England, Germany, Japan, Malta – and with people from an even wider range of nationalities.
It’s been wonderful to learn how these different companies operate and how people from different places like to work. But mostly, it’s been great to realize that even if our preferred beverages vary wildly, we’re still all human beings with the same yearnings and desires.
Working at a startup, Argos VR. Writer at Stuffi. Maker. Previously student at ENIB.
My first real remote gig* was during my second year of high school when I joined Stuffi. Stuffi is a news website where we write news articles, reviews, buying guides and more, on the Internet of Things, wearables,…
I was reading Stuffi] since several months when I saw they were searching writers. I was in revision at that time for an exam so I didn’t have time to apply. So I was waiting for the end of my exam.
The day I finished my exam, I came back home and send an email to them to ask if I could write for them.
After a week or so, I received a positive response from them. I could join the team ! I became the first writer at Stuffi and worked with the 2 founders Jean-Guillaume and Vincent since.
I began by writing news articles. It then evolves with some interviews, even a review and now a series of articles every Saturday. This job even allowed me to interview the Buffer team (an awesome experience) and even the director of a big music festival in France (where I went twice 😉) and more.
I am still working there more than 2 years later. I don’t write much these days but I am still working with them and plan to go back more actively in 2017. This is an awesome experience to have as a young person to be able to use my passion to share it with others via articles and other types of content.
I am grateful for Vincent and Jean-Guillaume who let me join them and for the team at Stuffi who shares the same mission of informing people. Thank you so much 🙏
*I have had past experiences before as a moderator on a forum and as a writer on a news blog about Apple during my first and a part of my second year of high school.
Bayu is a Creative Visual Designer with skill set of UI/UX, Graphic Design, a bit frontend and illustration. Working remotely for Powerfront.com from Bandung, Indonesia. He is also an organizer at UXID Bandung (Indonesia UX Design community).
My first remote job I got via friendship.Yes, an old friend of mine who I keep communicating with in years.
It began in mid 2015, when I was thinking that Jakarta Capital City was not suitable for my wife and son. The climate was too humid and hot, while they are more into cool & valley-like climate, like Bandung City or Garut town.
So I began searching for alternative job, but couldn’t find what I’m looking for since the tech and design scene are not really good on those cities.
I keep communicating with friends via social media and messaging service in hope that one of them could one day bridge me to a job that I need. As there is a proverb says: ”A good companion will lead to wealth and prosperity”
Thank god, on April 2016, a friend give me an opportunity to be a full remote work on his workplace.
I got surprised.
I never thought that I would work across nation without leaving my house. Furthermore, I can live wherever I want as long as I can keep the pace. This is the answer I was looking for. Yippey!
So don’t cut your communication with your friend as good as you can :).
You may know Thibault as a friendly french freelancer. Or as a podcaster. Or as That Guy From Twitter. The internet is my home, welcome!
My first remote job kind of just happened. I didn’t plan for it, but started working remotely out of necessity. Let me explain…
I had been looking for a new job for about 6 months, and was coming towards the end of my resignation period: I had to find something, fast. I leveraged my network and the kind word of mouth from my friends, only to find a B2B SaaS company who was looking for a profile similar to mine: a hybrid marketer with a strong experience in customer support.
The company was looking to hire a new full-time role. All the employees were already working from home, with 60% of them in the UK, and the rest in the US. However, I knew that, given the choice of working from anywhere, I’d try to move closer to home, on the sunny French Riviera.
This company they offered me a position as a contractor, on a freelance basis. And I worked with them for just over a year before moving on to more diverse, exciting and better paid missions.
How did I get my first remote job? Out of necessity.
Emilie is a Data Analyst at Smile Direct Club and the brains behind Burke Does, inspiring millennial women to live financially, physically, and professionally fit lives. When she’s not blogging, she’s probably building a new web app for fun or using R to manipulate data and ETL processes. She loves Crossfit, data, and learning, not in that order.
In college, I started dating a West Point cadet. After graduation, I knew he had to serve in the Army. Military families move on average every 2-3 years.
I knew quickly that if I wanted to have my relationship and my career, I was going to need to work remotely.
Before signing my first post-college job offer, I negotiated that within the first year I would be afforded the opportunity to transition to remote work. Nine months into my role, I made good on that ask. Now, I could not imagine working any other way.
The spouses and significant others around me are educated with high quality skills, but because of our military member’s decision to serve we are stationed in remote parts of the country, most of which without thriving local economies.
Between stigmas that military spouses face in employment (Who wants to hire someone who will leave with short notice at some point in the future?) and limited work opportunities in the communities surrounding military bases, many spouses experience severe under and unemployment.
I’m grateful for remote work opportunities, as it has given me the opportunity to have both my love and my career.
If you’re interested in learning more about the work struggles of military spouses, I encourage you to check out the following links: R Riveter on Shark Tank, In Gear Career (for spouses), the MilSpo Project (for entrepreneurs), and MadSkills (for employers).
Ugo is the Chief Technical Architect at the Shadow Robot Company, where he drives the technical roadmap.
I started working as the only Software Engineer for Shadow Robot in 2009. At that time it was still a very small company of around 10 people.
At the end of 2011, the company had grown a bit and we were hiring a new Software Engineer to help me with the work (over)load: Toni]. At the same time a happy event happened: my wife and I had our first daughter Moira.
With our parents and most of our friends living in France, we decided it was a good time to leave the thriving city of London. We wanted to get closer to our loved ones, and raise our daughter in a more quiet environment. We decided to move back to Brest.
Yet I have always been passionate about my job at Shadow and the amazing culture of that company. I had no intention of leaving my job if I could avoid it.
I scheduled a talk with my CEO: Rich. We went to the pub and I explained my intention to move back to France. With his usual flexibility, Rich agreed that we would find a solution for me to work over there.
Then it was simply a matter of finding the right solution. We hired a french accountant to guide us and take care of the paper work and settled on a specific status.
I was to represent the company in France instead of going freelance and be a subcontractor.
As I was the first remote employee at Shadow, I spent a few weeks working from home while still in London. This way we ironed out some difficulties before I crossed the Channel.
Being remote didn’t penalise me as the company grew. I was able to evolve in my role at Shadow: Senior Software Engineer, Head of Software, Chief Technical Architect.
It took some time for everyone to adjust to the remote culture, but with everyone on board at Shadow it was a great success. We now have more than 5 people working remotely from Spain, Ukraine, Columbia…
Virtual Assistant, Author, Podcaster, and Translator based in Buenos Aires. Until recently, I had a day job in the Argentine criminal courts system, and left to create a life with more freedom for travel and adventure! I co-authored The Antarctica Logbook – The Ultimate Journey
I haven’t had a full-time remote job yet. I don’t have a family of my own (I do have two cats!) so I am perfectly happy freelancing, with all its ups and downs.
My first remote gig was as virtual assistant for a British developer. I found it via Upwork in 2014. Two of my best clients came from there, but I haven’t used the platform for the past year.
I found my second steady remote gig (social media management for EVELO Electric Bicycles) via Remotive’s Slack]() in June/July of 2016.
In addition to that, I have partnered with a too-busy developer friend that is also a digital marketer and webmaster in need of some help with his freelance work.
He is based in Buenos Aires but I can do the work from anywhere in the world. I spent the first two weeks of 2017 in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, and I was able to do so thanks to my freelance and remote lifestyle.
All I need is my laptop, a decent Wifi connection and a good cup of coffee and I’m good to go!
What an awesome list of tips! We were astonished when we first read them all. What do you think? Let us know below. 🙂