Remote jobs and how to get there.

Admit it. At least if you’re a designer or engineer you would prefer work at your room in your house if you can to, particularly if you had family with children. Or whether you’re single or married you still prefer to work at the beach, coffee shop, even in Bali a.k.a remotely/offsite rather than in the office cubicle/onsite. The bonus is if you get higher standard compensation than your location by minimum wage salary of America or Europe. Who wants ignore it? Many of remote workers especially from U.S and Europe are worked remotely in Bali as their ‘offices’! So that’s why I think I need to share my experience. I won’t tell you from A to Z, but I will guide you how to get there.

I have a site Info DKV. There are design events, design jobs or designer interview on Info DKV. Since 2011 I created it on Twitter at first, then I’ve build the website in 2013. At a time I had a plan to interviewing remote designers on Info DKV just to pick their secret or ways to get there and learn from them (this is before I knew ‘Kami Kerja Remote’ has interviewing remote workers both designers and engineers regularly on Medium)

Okay, before you decide to have a dream or have a willing to work remotely, first, ensure your self that you’re not extremely extrovert. I’m an introvert definitely. I love working alone in my house or with my family in my house rather than in the office directly with team mates or co workers due to this industry is dominated by men. Despite of I’m an introvert, sometimes I feel bored but not significantly. So still I would rather to work remotely instead.

I wrote a list on December 2015 about what I did since June 2015 when I was trying to get a remote job especially in U.S or Europe on Evernote, just in case I want to share my tips/story in further but I deleted it since I resigned from remote job in Singaporean company with -eventually- the management there are Indonesian. However now I wanna write it again here :D

So here’s what I did to land a remote job (my current job is in Canada):

  1. Try with Upwork

You know, Upwork. We wouldn’t know how we will getting success to get a stable remote job. Is it from Upwork or not? Whatever it will become, you should try Upwork to begin your experience work remotely with abroad clients/companies especially from U.S and Europe if you want to have a remote job from these countries in further. I landed projects for three times on Upwork after I got 31 rejected proposals. So just don’t give up to start from there. Read the tips on the blog or course about how to win for the first time on Upwork. Well, you can read mine too if you want .

2. Research Remote Job Sites

This is digital era. We can find anything we need and want. Just search the keyword ‘Remote Job Sites’ or ‘Where we can find remote job’. I did it too in the beginning. After you found several sites (included dribbble and behance) to find remote job -usually the location work is written at ‘Anywhere’ / ‘Telecommute’ / ‘Remote’ / ‘Distributed’, then bookmark all these sites! then voala!, what you gonna do next is just praying. I’m kidding, but yes I was praying. Here’s my bookmark pages:

Almost everyday I was opened this, at least some of these sites.

3. Read Blog

Have you read this book? It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be by Paul Arden. If you really want it then read it, all about what you want. Read other people experience on blog about what we want to be and how they successfully achieve it is always inspire me and motivate me.
I mean if you really hard want something, then try it hard. Don’t be too lazy to read about what you want.

Especially on this Medium. This blog platform is full of designers and engineers to write their experience, their job, what they learnt, etc. Search keyword of ‘Remote Work’ on this Medium and you will find their stories. Even though many of them don’t share their tips how to get there, but to read their stories are always burning my spirit. For Indonesian, you could read ‘Kami Kerja Remote’ on their Facebook group for discussion and on their Medium for Indonesian remote workers interview. Oftentimes the questions on the interview is asking about how they get a remote job.

4. Practice your English

As you can see my english skill is actually not excellent, well maybe not poor, but not excellent. But I’m confident enough to talking with clients or my CEO or doing job interview on Skype Call because I had to. I have no time yet in previously to take english course (maybe after payday this month hehe, because my job is flexible hours now). So what I did to practice my english before I could take a lesson? a.) Write a blog in english like this blog to practice your english writing. I don’t care, just write it. If people critique my english, that’s fine and thanks. But you know what? I am writing in English everyday on chat or even sometimes Skype Call in my daily job! but my boss doesn’t event critique about my english. They only care with my works. Even though sometimes there is a job/project out there that has requirements for the employees as a native english or has excellent communication b.) Read english language blog/articles with your voice to practice your pronunciation. Don’t hesitate to check all on dictionary. c.) Watching movie (hehe, optional :p)

5. Update your portfolio and publish it

As designers, our portfolio has always evolved to be better and better again from time to time. Remote Work or Telecommute is identically with online and internet. So why we don’t update and publish our portfolio online? We can update it for FREE. Whether it’s on Behance, Coroflot, Dropbox, whatever. Sometimes they (company) only want to see your portfolio no matter where you put it online. Maybe you can still send them with PDF file by email, but I suggest you to publish your portfolio online. This means you are ready to work online too. How can they trust you to work remotely which is 100% online if you don’t even put your portfolio as your works and as the main thing when you apply job as designer, online.

6. Write blogs about your works or your work industry in English

Just do it, just write it up. It shows that you understand what you’re working on. It shows that you have great passion on it. And it shows that you love your work and dedicate your self on it. When somebody write about a thing they probably also read about that thing. People should read before they write something and company will amaze with people who love to write about their job field. I’ve got a job offer directly from the CEO/Founder from a local company just because I wrote a tutorial blog on a local design website. I think company’s abroad would be more excited with that thing. This is supposed to works to attract them. Don’t worry if you think your english writing skill is not excellent, moreover people who critique english skill are usually not a native english, that’s why they feel they are great than how a native english would react. But we should keep learning of course.

7. Apply, apply and apply

Do you think a remote job just came in without applying? of course not. Then why you don’t try to apply to several jobs or as many as the jobs you can find that you might think fit with your skills and experience after you found remote jobs sites? I got in from Indeed.com. Indeed is not a job site for remote jobs spesifically, though however it’s the world largest jobs search site. So some of them are remote jobs too. I don’t know how many jobs I’ve applied before I get the RIGHT ONE to be honest. But I know one even more of them has interested to hire me now. But I had to choose one, right? :D

8. Create social media that related with your job

Engineers and Designers are -people say- equal with geek things and it’s included with social media. Take a look with professional famous designers, mostly their posts are about their job related. It’s looks that you’re take seriously about your works so that you made your social media as a part of it. Medium is one of the best social media blog platform, second is Twitter, the third you can try instagram to put your portfolio or artistic photos to prove that you had great taste like @jessicavwalsh (all designers must be know her!). I think not with Facebook, hehe. Unless you created a page group for yourself as Designer maybe. However I just getting started this part. It’s not about how many followers especially on Twitter, but how you really passionate on your work.

So, that’s all my thoughts and as I remember how I landed my remote job. It take patient and time to get there, though. We should keep learning our skills expertise, learn what we do and love. I’m not the type of ‘Jack of all trades’ designer and what I do love in design is UI/UX Design. Do you have another tips or suggestions? let me know, please :)