How to Land (and Love) Part-Time Remote Work
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If your idea of the perfect part-time job involves wearing slippers all day, it is possible. Thanks to the rapid growth of remote work opportunities, millions of Americans now need only walk down the hall for a coffee break, and can save a bundle by not filling up the gas tank quite so often.
But how do you make it happen? How do you find a part-time remote job and make it your own?
Gear up to impress
Everyone has something unique to offer. Look at the experience you've picked up through the years, whether it's through jobs, internships, clubs, or community organizations. What are your superpowers? Are you an uber-organizer? Can you connect with just about anyone, even the grouchy-looking guy in line behind you at the supermarket? Are you practically a walking calculator? Are you able to calm the nerves of an angry toddler (this may also come in handy if you're interested in customer service)?
And if you're tempted to think you have no special skills to offer, allow us to assure you that you're wrong. For some of us, job-hunting brings out insecurities, and can even make us wonder why anyone would want us on their team. So hear this: You possess a combination of skills unique to you and your experiences in life.
Make a list of things you are good at, even if some of them don't seem like marketable skills (spoiler alert: they are all marketable skills). For example, your list may look like this:
- Good with pets
- Good with people
- Can see both sides of a situation
- Quick learner
- Great phone etiquette
So what if you don't speak Mandarin or know anything about coding? There will be employers looking for skills you possess. The trick is not to give up.
Show them what you've got
"To stand out, you have to tailor your resume for every job application," said Brie Weiler Reynolds, Career Development Manager, and Coach at Remote.co and FlexJobs. "That means using a professional summary and list of skills at the top of the resume that can be edited and updated to include keywords and phrases from each job description."
If you don't have a resume, do not be intimidated about putting one together. There are free resume templates available online, and if you use Microsoft Word, you have access to several user-friendly versions.
The professional summary that Weiler Reynolds mentioned is standard on many resumes, and super easy to change when you want to highlight skills for a specific job.
Weiler Reynolds also suggests highlighting any previous remote work experience, even if that experience was occasional. As long as you completed the work from home, you have remote experience. If you were productive working from home, highlight that.
Resumes include job titles. Be sure to add "Remote Work" to any job you ever worked from home (or anywhere away from the office). Let's say you formerly worked from home one day a week. Your resume should include your job title and "Remote Work (20%)."
Weiler Reynolds also reminds job searchers to include any abilities that would make them a great remote worker. This may include time management skills, strong communication, the ability to work independently, comfort with technology, or other skills.
Stick the landing
Once an employer believes you'd be a good match, prepare for a phone call or online video chat. While this is a good opportunity for an employer to decide if they like the cut of your jib, it's also your opportunity to determine if this is a company you would like to work for. Before the call, make sure you have your resume in front of you to refer to.
Don't be afraid to ask questions about the job. If the person interviewing you brings something up that's unclear or leads to another question, ask away -- asking questions indicates interest.
Make the most of a good thing
Once you have landed a part-time remote job, make the very most of it. Here are several tips that can make that easier:
- Treat it like a traditional job by setting work hours and sticking to them. Otherwise, it's easy to find yourself wandering back to your workspace 24/7, and that leads to burnout.
- Create a comfortable workspace. The more comfortable you are, the happier you are likely to be. Also, as tempted as you may be to work from your living room sofa, hunching over a laptop for hours can lead to neck and back pain.
- Minimize distractions. That may mean asking friends and family not to call during work hours.
Feeling good about your new remote job is essential. Ideally, you want to put money in the bank while doing work you find satisfying. According to a two-year study by Stanford University, people who worked remotely were less likely to leave the company for another company. And that's a win for you and your new employer.
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