For many professionals, especially those with kids, remote work is ideal because it often allows for greater flexibility and improved work-life integration. Some people find themselves more productive when they’re working from home (WFH), and others prefer it because it is a better fit for their personality type. However, up until March of 2020, finding a remote job that wasn’t sales or technology-related was often difficult. But, if the COVID-19 pandemic gave us anything, it was a major shift in how many companies feel about their employees working from home.
Remote Work By The Numbers
After surveying and researching post-pandemic work trends, Upwork released its Future Workplace report in December 2020, which took a deep dive into remote work. According to this report, before March of 2020, 78.8% of the workforce was not remote. In fact, only 12.3% of the workforce was working in fully remote jobs. So, it’s no wonder it was so difficult to find (and land) WFH jobs.
In March of 2020, everything shifted. Many companies sent their employees home, thinking they’d be working remotely for a few weeks while the country hunkered down to stop the spread of COVID-19, and by April 2020, only 40.1% of workers were not remote.
Weeks quickly turned into months, which turned into a year, which gave employers plenty of time to observe how the WFH model would work for their organization. By the end of 2020, some companies started calling their employees back to the office, but others told their staff they'd be working remotely indefinitely. Suddenly, what was viewed as a “perk,” full-time WFH jobs became more normal. In the Future Workplace report, it’s estimated that by 2025, 37.5% of the workforce will have either a full-time or hybrid work from home job.
Now that things are settling down and most companies have decided whether they’ll be keeping their employees working from home, a growing number of job postings are for remote roles. So, if you’ve been searching for a WFH job for years, or you got a taste of it during the pandemic and have no interest in returning to an on-site job, you’re much more likely to find something you’re qualified for and that fits your needs.
Your resume in its current form should have a skills profile of some sort. Now that you’ve successfully worked remotely for an extended time, you should update that profile to reflect this new experience. Think about the new platforms and programs you’ve learned how to use and how you adapted to collaborate remotely. Here are some new skills you may have picked up:
Organizing or leading video conferences with multiple attendees
Collaborating with co-workers using Google Docs, Sheets, etc.
Communicating with your team via Slack or other messaging platform
Managing projects using a platform like AirTable or Asana
You’ll also want to think about your accomplishments while you were working from home. Did you meet or exceeded a goal? Create new systems for your team? Train co-workers on new technology? Master the art of working from home while helping your kids with remote learning (this is no small accomplishment)? Find ways to articulate these changes and new responsibilities in your resume so that if a hiring manager read it, they’d feel confident that you would be productive working from home and that you’d be able to deliver results.
Finally, if you earned any certificates or started any side hustles during the pandemic, be sure to add those to your resume, too. Not only will this strengthen your profile in general. But, if you include the dates, it will also show potential employers that you could accomplish these things during a time of crisis and uncertainty, which means you’re good under pressure and can rise to the occasion when things abruptly change.
Finding Remote Work
Before this pandemic, searching for remote work was rough because there just were not many opportunities. Plus, many jobs that could be remote didn’t list “remote” out as their location, so they’d get filtered out in searches. Now, since so many employees prioritize jobs with remote options, more companies are listing it as the location (or at least as one of the locations).
Most job-search platforms like The Mom Project, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, etc., as well as larger companies, have the option to filter job search results by location. If that’s the case, start your search with that filter first. From there, you can refine it more and more based on things like department, schedule, or salary.
If there is a company you’re interested in with a job opening that is perfect for you, except it’s on-site, don’t lose hope. Many organizations had no other option than to move to remote work during the pandemic so, while they may prefer having their workers in the office, chances are high they have the capabilities to support remote employees.
Don’t be afraid to apply for the job and send a note to the recruiter or hiring manager letting them know you’re interested and asking if they’d consider a remote employee. Of course, this isn’t a guarantee, but it’s worth a try and most organizations are much more likely to consider something like this now than they may have been in 2019.
Remote Work Is No Longer A ‘Perk’
Post-pandemic, fully remote (or even hybrid) opportunities still aren’t as prevalent as on-site ones are, but your chances of finding one are significantly higher. Today, many employers no longer view WFH as a job perk to be given out on an as-needed basis. It’s a real option for employees who can show that they can do it successfully. So, if you’re on the hunt for a remote job, the best thing you can do is revise your resume and be blunt by flat-out asking recruiters and hiring managers if remote work is an option. You have so much more leverage now than you did two years ago, and honestly, any company would be wise to hire you now after you mastered the juggling act that was parenting during a pandemic.
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