While I talk a lot about freelancing and entrepreneurship, there’s another path to being a digital nomad or just being able to work from home. Yep, I’m talking about location independent jobs.
This kind of go-anywhere employment isn’t new, but it’s more popular than ever. While internet access everywhere and all kinds of mobile devices are helping to fuel the boom in these kinds of opportunities, the ubiquity of data in the cloud and virtual private networks mean that many people can now really work far more effectively at home than they could at the office.
As someone who runs an all remote marketing agency, I know a little bit about location independent jobs–it’s how our whole operation works. And when I’m hiring, there are a few things that someone can do to give them a better chance of getting on Team Impressa, and I know quite a few other bosses with remote gigs are on the same page.
1. Prove your independence
Working solo and sticking to the grind is tough. There’s a world of distraction out there, and when you’re working, reading Buzzfeed or binging on YouTube videos is more tempting than ever. This is why if you want to a location independent gig with us, I look for people who have proven themselves able to be effective, independent workers.
If you haven’t already had a work from anywhere role, you can make one for yourself to gain experience. Building a blog, maintaining a website, or freelancing on the side are a few options. Doing some continuing education such as an independent study certification is another. You just have to show that you can get things done without someone looking over your shoulder.
2. Have the right stuff
Yes, some gigs will give you gear (phone, laptop, tablet, and so on), but most won’t. This includes any work for Team Impressa–our folks are independent contractors, so we don’t stock them with stuff. That means anyone who doesn’t have their own computer (and a current version of Microsoft Office) can’t work for us.
3. Be chill
Not everyone who works from home can have a cool, relaxed, quite home office free from distraction. I’m thinking most folks who can work from home probably have pets begging for food, kids begging to go out, a spouse begging for attention, and a TV or three on in the background. And even with this shenanigans, most people who work at home get their work done just fine. But..
As an employer, I don’t want to think that a bunch of stuff will be competing for my new hire’s attention during working hours. So don’t tell me (or another hiring manger) about how nutty and chaotic your home life is. Paint it as relatively peaceful and serene–even if your home office is a corner of your kitchen table.
4. Apply to remote roles
This is a big one! If you want a location independent job, apply to those kinds of roles. Applying for a standard gig where you show up for a 9-to-5 and trying to convince them to let you work from home is almost destined for failure. If these folks wanted a remote employee, that’s what they would have been hiring for. Don’t take a gig and try to “change” it, as both you and your boss will be regretting you coming on board.
5. Don’t get discouraged
Location independence is hot right now. For every work anywhere gig you find, there surely are lots of folks vying to land the role. This means that regardless of how great you are as a candidate, you may not get the first gig you apply for. Or the one after that. Or the one after that. But you probably will get one eventually. Stick to it, don’t get discouraged, and stay optimistic. You’ll be a member of the location independent movement before you know it!