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3 Reasons You (Still) Don’t Have A Remote Job

December 9, 2019 | By | Reply More

job seekers

Photo courtesy Warren Fong

 

Job hunting is hard enough, but landing a remote position can prove even more difficult. Even though remote working is becoming more the norm than just a trend, job seekers need to adopt thinking specific to finding remote jobs.

 

In the past, it was acceptable to blame the job market for being unable to find remote work. Or, to cite company ignorance to the benefits of telecommuting as the reason your boss wouldn’t let you work from home.

 

Now, however, if you’ve been searching for remote work for over six months and still haven’t received a job offer, it might be time to review your methods and strategies. It’s time for honest self-reflection, and the willingness to knock down some walls in your thinking.

 

With over two decades of researching remote employment, helping job seekers land remote jobs, and talking to employers, I’ve detected some consistent trouble spots with job seekers.

 

I’ve also noticed that whether someone is seeking a remote customer service position or one of a software developer, these trouble spots occur for both. Today I want to talk about just three of them:

 

 

  • Unrealistic Thinking

  • Self-Sabotaging Behavior

  • Lack of Networking

 

 

Unrealistic Thinking

There are two areas where unsuccessful job seekers are consistently unrealistic. One is about their actual ability to work from home. The other is about why managers deny their requests to work from home.

 

Do you have small children needing your care during work hours? Let me tell you from experience that you cannot work efficiently or productively if you do. Even if your job is one that can easily be done offsite, every distraction will cause serious delays and impairment of your work.

 

If you have young children at home, consider waiting until they are older or try to enlist someone to do childcare for a few hours at a time. Every ten-second interruption you get will cost you another twenty minutes just to refocus. I hate to say it, but, “been there, done that.”

 

The other unrealistic assumption is that your current manager will cooperate with a remote work arrangement once they realize the benefits of telecommuting. Even though remote work is now more the norm than a trend, managers still have a difficult time letting their staff work offsite. Fear and other psychological factors dominate their ability to see the benefits that data clearly show.

 

If you think showing them the latest facts about remote work will sway their decision, that won’t necessarily work. You must first try to understand their underlying emotions, and then work the facts around them.

 

For example, micromanagers may be fearful of mistakes because making mistakes means (to them) that they are incompetent, or that something dreadful will happen. Research the traits you notice in your manager and allow that information guide you as you build a work-from-home proposal. Then, let the remaining facts about remote work be icing on the cake.

 

 

Self-sabotage

Just as some managers make decisions based, in part, on their emotions, so do job seekers. Fear of scams, for example, becomes a reason not to invest in services than can clearly speed up finding remote employment. People are motivated by two factors: pain and pleasure. But, both can be crutches or excuses. For example, an automatic assumption that fee-based services are scams gives people a crutch to avoid doing research (pain) on what is a scam and what isn’t. That fear gives them an excuse to use that research time watching TV (pleasure) or working in their gardens instead.

 

The one that is closest wins.

 

Here’s what I mean. Over and over I have found that people who say they are trying hard to find a job will spend their last $60.00 on the movies, yet be unwilling to invest the same amount in a job service, career coach, or resume expert that will triple their chances of finding a remote job they say they desperately need.

 

The pleasure of seeing a movie now is in closer proximity than the regret (pain) they’ll experience later for not researching a service and using the money to get help. When regret catches up to them, they cover it up with justifications, such as, “there are lots of free places I can use.” And yet, they are still jobless.

 

Indeed, the internet offers free job sources and free resume templates. Unfortunately, free resources have serious limits. Why? Because they’re free! It is unrealistic (there’s that word again) to expect owners of free sites to do the in-depth and extensive research, or offer the personalized service that those running fee-based sites to do. Most of them have other jobs or businesses, and their free resources are often hobbies.*

 

 

Lack of networking

One of the first things career counselors tell college students to do is network. As early as their freshman year, counselors encourage them to join career-related associations, to attend career fairs, and to find relevant volunteer work. Those counselors know from experience that this not only puts students in touch with possible future employers, but teaches them skills vital to their careers now and for years to come.

 

A lack of networking is often why there’s a lack of remote job. Yet, even for the most introverted job seeker, there’s no excuse to avoid networking since so much of it can be done online.

 

 

But, networking entails more than just following great sounding companies on LinkedIn. It means joining groups and taking part in them. It means following industry leaders on Twitter and interacting with them. It means attending virtual job fairs and getting a feel of what companies’ needs are.

 

Networking is more than just a good way of “meeting” people and getting on their radar. It offers opportunities for job seekers to showcase their talents though their feedback in groups, forums, and chats. It’s a good way to make hiring managers interested in seeing their resume, even if there are no specific job openings.

 

Comparable to investing in a good job service, networking is a valuable investment of one’s time, that will pay dividends. Unfortunately, for too many people, if they don’t see immediate results they quit networking before they’ve even built an online presence.

 

 

Invest in yourself

When looking for a job onsite, won’t you invest in a new outfit for the interview? Perhaps you’ll splurge to get your hair done. If necessary, you’ll pay for parking during the interview. This is all on the slim chance you get the job. You want that job, and you know that your investment will pay off if you get the job.

 

Why should it be any different when it comes to finding a remote job? Why is a job search strategy that is already commute-free, requires no dry cleaning expenses, and offers the ability to network in your slippers any less worthy of investing?

 

 

“Are you sitting around waiting for the perfect job to fall into your lap? Successful job seekers know they need to be proactively pursuing jobs and leads, and actively strategizing their job search,” writes Jayson DeMers, founder of the highly successful remote-first company, AudienceBloom (now SEO.co).

 

It’s truly sad how many people scoff, saying, “why should I pay for job leads/resume services when I could Google them??” To which I can only reply, “Google away, then.”

 

Because that sort of thinking is exactly why they still don’t have a remote job.

 

 

Your turn: Do some honest self-reflection. What did you learn about your job searching efforts?

 

 

Let’s talk  more about it. Join me on Facebook or LinkedIn.

 


* This is not meant in any way to cast a bad light on free sites. They provide a valuable service.

 

 

 

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Category: Job Search, Networking, Telecommuting

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About the Author ()

Pamela La Gioia has been researching and writing about remote work since the early 1990's. She is CEO/Founder of RemoteWork Source, the leading provider of technical and professional remote career opportunities.

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