By Christina M. Nguyen
The coronavirus pandemic has forced companies to rethink many aspects of the employer-employee relationship. One of those has certainly been remote work. After all, the benefits of staff working from home have long been established: They can get work done without driving miles in traffic, or even dressing up, and such workers are reporting less stress, higher productivity, and higher performance. Business owners, meanwhile, can save money on electricity, office space, and equipment. And it allows those companies to hire talent beyond their immediate locality. Even the environment has benefited: During the pandemic, carbon footprints have been lowered dramatically, resulting in better air quality in some of the world’s most polluted cities.
Once thought of as just a fantasy for some industries, remote work now seems to be the new reality for many. For example, Twitter, Facebook, Shopify, and several other companies have given their employees the option to work from home permanently, even after all restrictions are lifted. Unsurprisingly, a Gallup poll showed that about half of workers preferred to work from home, coronavirus aside.
Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke tweeted on the shift toward remote work: “Until recently, work happened in the office. We’ve always had some people remote, but they used the internet as a bridge to the office. This will reverse now. The future of the office is to act as an on-ramp to the same digital workplace that you can access from your #WFH setup.”
Applying for Remote Work as a Marketer
With the direction now titling more heavily toward remote work, it makes sense that marketers too would want to “strike while the iron is hot” and look beyond their immediate geography when applying for jobs. With job openings tight, it certainly helps to have additional opportunities to find the best fit. Here are a few other things to consider when taking advantage of this particular moment:
- Select companies with a good culture fit and good employee communication. This is certainly true regardless of the role. However, especially in a remote environment, finding the right culture is more important than ever. That’s because issues that manifest themselves in an office are often magnified in a remote environment. One example is communication. If communication is poor in person, it likely doesn’t get any better from a remote standpoint. So, make sure to understand how the company communicates with employees. Do they collaborate well? What are the expectations of your boss to check in regularly? How will you get feedback? Do you need to be online during certain hours of the day? Do they video chat three times a week or not at all?
- Highlight your qualifications and ability to self-manage. Starting with your cover letter, highlight strengths that would positively contribute to more efficient remote work. For example, don’t underestimate the importance of examples where you took initiative or managed a project without much supervision. That said, don’t forget that most recruiters look for the core qualifications (hard skills) first, so make sure to match up your resume and cover letter with the responsibilities and requirements listed in the job description.
- Select a city you might eventually be willing to relocate to. Even with companies suggesting that remote work might be a permanent feature, it’s not a slam dunk that they will always follow through. Hence, one of the considerations when applying would be for you to consider whether you might one day relocate to the offices where a company is headquartered. If the answer yes, it’s certainly something to indicate upfront in your application – the fact that you’d be flexible to move near the company office if the remote work status suddenly changes.
- Understand the challenges. Don’t forget that remote work generally comes with a host of unique challenges. Not the least of which can be the nature of the company itself, which can serve to ease or exacerbate those issues. If you’ve never done it before, your home circumstances (family, Internet access, and room for you to focus) will certainly play a role in your success. In addition, other factors you’ll want to think about include your ability to draw the line between work and your free time, the potential for isolation, and even time differences with the home office. Regardless of the challenge you might face, make sure to go into applying with eyes wide open.
It's anyone's guess how long the current situation will last. But the one saving grace is that it’s a new world out there for everyone. So, don’t be afraid to take the leap on that remote job. It could be the opportunity you've been looking for.
At Find My Marketer, we're committed to helping you find the right opportunity – remote or otherwise. Make sure to create an account and apply to your dream job today.