Should You Take a Remote Job Right Out of College?

So you’ve just graduated from college and you have a few job options lined up — and one of them is remote. The remote job pays just as much as your other offers and it involves work that you’d genuinely enjoy doing, but is it really the right career move for you?

Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether to take a remote job right out of college.

Is Working Remotely Really More Flexible?

Working remotely from home usually implies that there will be flexibility in your schedule. You don’t have to commute to and from work, you don’t necessarily need to spend as much time getting ready in the morning, and you’re able to set your own start times and breaks as long as you meet your deadlines. From a social aspect, work schedule flexibility might seem ideal to a recent graduate because the rest of their social circle might not have full-time jobs yet; having a flexible schedule will allow you to spend more time with them during what would otherwise be working hours. After all, only 54% of 2015 college graduates found traditional full-time employment.

Furthermore, a flexible schedule means you have time to see the world during a time when it’s never been easier to see even the most remote areas. If you didn’t get to travel and record the world while in college, working remotely might give you the opportunity to do so.

However, having a flexible schedule might work against your social life as well. Many remote jobs exist because an international company needs workers from all over the world. This means that a remote worker’s headquarters might be in a different time zone, which could lead to odd-hour deadlines. You might find that you have time to socialize with friends during weekdays, but you might also find that you can’t spend time with your social circle because you have to stay up all night working to meet a 4 AM deadline.

So, when considering your social schedule, is this remote job opportunity really going to give you the flexibility you need?

Will Working Remotely Lead to Further Advancement?

Experience, obtainable both in-office and remotely, is necessary for every stage of employment. That said, experience and the quality of your work output are often not the only requirements for advancement in your career. Networking remains as one of the most crucial elements of career advancement as around 85% of all jobs are filled via networking. Not all networking is the same, however, so take the time to examine how you can network in your field.

Some fields, such as business and law, require the formation of personal relationships. As such, face-to-face interactions with your coworkers and employers are likely necessary for advancement. These interactions can be difficult to achieve while working from home and, thus, a remote job might not the best fit if this is your situation.

Conversely, if you’re in a field that involves less direct interaction, such as internet security or web development, working remotely might provide you with opportunities for advancement. Many remote companies operate globally, so you might be able to network on a much larger scale than you would otherwise be able to in a traditional office.

Networking is constantly necessary and usually should start prior to graduation. Does your career require the formation of traditional personal relationships? If so, a remote job might not be the best idea right out of college.

Does the Remote Job Really Pay as Much?

Having a steady, quality income is important to recent graduates, especially for those with student loans. Many remote jobs offer salaries that are competitive or even superior to the salaries associated with traditional in-office jobs. However, it’s important to remember that there are other important perks that come with traditional employment.

Many remote jobs classify their workers as independent contractors rather than as employees. This helps the employer avoid certain costs and fees while maintaining a workforce. Some of these expenses include health insurance, retirement plans, tuition reimbursement, and other forms of compensation. These may seem like inconsequential perks, but they can add up really quickly.

For instance, the average cost of an emergency room visit in the United States is $1233. With health insurance, this type of problem could be lessened or even completely covered depending on the type of insurance you have. Without insurance, this amount could represent a significant portion of your paycheck.

Do the math concerning your yearly expenses. Is your potential remote income really higher than the income you’d earn as an employee when considering benefits and savings?

Working from home might seem like the ideal situation right out of college. You get to set your own schedule, work on a global scale, and make good money. However, remote work is not ideal for recent graduates in every field. After reading the considerations above, does your remote opportunity seem like it’ll be the ideal fit for you?


Originally published at A Student’s Guide to Success.

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