Author Topic: Remote workers/ Digital Nomads! How do you tell employers you're remote only?  (Read 2864 times)

SmileAllDay

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 118
  • Traveling full-time with my wife since '16.
    • So, where were we?
Hello all!

The TL;DR version of this is: When you're applying for 'digital nomady' work (like design, copywriting, or anything else that you can do from home), how and when do you break the news to prospective employers?

Quick overview: I'm a remote advertising copywriter. I'm very fortunate to have been able to move to this role with my old "in-house" salary intact. I'm trying to take on some new clients to pad out my resume but mostly to get to write about something new. Here is how it goes:

I'll apply for a job on, say, Glassdoor, if they don't explicitly mention that I must be onsite. I have great success getting from this stage to "Loved your resume, can we hop on a call?" But once I mention that I'm remote, they always say "Thanks, but no thanks".

I would feel bad not disclosing the remote thing at this stage, and wasting their time. But I'm wondering if maybe I should stay quiet about it until they're a little more invested in me.

Has anyone had a similar but more successful situation? Thanks!

12321

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
There are remote only job boards, why not start there and avoid the hassle of having to argue for remote?

SmileAllDay

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 118
  • Traveling full-time with my wife since '16.
    • So, where were we?
I appreciate that advice, thanks!

Unfortunately, the companies I want to work with wouldn't post there.

jps

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 174
I appreciate that advice, thanks!

Unfortunately, the companies I want to work with wouldn't post there.

Does this mean that the companies you want to work with won't accept remote-only work? If so, there's your answer.

SmileAllDay

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 118
  • Traveling full-time with my wife since '16.
    • So, where were we?
No, that's too defeatist my friend! My answer is to fail again and fail better until I figure it out.

I have already convinced two great companies to work with me remotely and I'll figure out a way to win more around to my way of thinking. Thanks, everyone!

Papa bear

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1216
  • Location: Ohio
We get this all the time in the recruiting world.  Not disclosing up front makes everyone look like asshats.

Especially if the job says - on site.  I get someone on the phone, and itís usually one of the first questions that I ask.  But if someone were to mislead me? Oh I would be pissed.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3211
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Texas
Posting to follow.

I the bank I work for deal out this garbage constantly.  They'd only hire "on-site", but were pretty quick to let someone go work remote.  Why not just hire the best person regardless of where they are if its not an on-site type job.

SmileAllDay

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 118
  • Traveling full-time with my wife since '16.
    • So, where were we?
Thanks for sharing, PBear.

I mentioned in the initial post that I won't apply if it explicitly mentions 'on-site only' or something to that effect.

And I'm very open about the fact that I'm remote well before setting up a time to talk, so as not to waste their time (or mine).

Hopefully, there are some remote workers on here who have experienced my situation and have some advice. I'm definitely not looking for people to tell me why I shouldn't ;)




Papa bear

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1216
  • Location: Ohio
Thanks for sharing, PBear.

I mentioned in the initial post that I won't apply if it explicitly mentions 'on-site only' or something to that effect.

And I'm very open about the fact that I'm remote well before setting up a time to talk, so as not to waste their time (or mine).

Hopefully, there are some remote workers on here who have experienced my situation and have some advice. I'm definitely not looking for people to tell me why I shouldn't ;)
Youíre a good one!  I work in 3rd party recruiting.  I canít tell you how often I get the ďis this remoteĒ after 10 minutes of conversation.  And we have in the title and the description pretty clear about on site!




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4882
Networking is hugely beneficial to this.

SmileAllDay

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 118
  • Traveling full-time with my wife since '16.
    • So, where were we?
Great point, @ender ,Thanks!

In fact, that has proven to be the case with one of my regular gigs. I brought a group on a little tour of my home town in Ireland as a favor and it turned out one of them was CMO of a fintech company in CA and asked me to work with them.

I don't think I'll ever be able to say 'networking' and not feel like a DBag though. Maybe just 'being nice to people, sometimes in a professional setting.' :D

Padonak

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 486
Ptf

LPG

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 116
    • 1000x Faster Blog
Great point, @ender ,Thanks!

In fact, that has proven to be the case with one of my regular gigs. I brought a group on a little tour of my home town in Ireland as a favor and it turned out one of them was CMO of a fintech company in CA and asked me to work with them.

I don't think I'll ever be able to say 'networking' and not feel like a DBag though. Maybe just 'being nice to people, sometimes in a professional setting.' :D

As far as I can tell that's the difference between being good at networking and being bad at it. It reminds me of how my boss hates doing business development because he can't stand "schmoozing." Schmoozing? I just talk to people, take interest in their problems, and offer any potential solutions that come to mind. What is "schmoozing"? And, for some odd reason, I have better success at business development than he does... Huh...

Back to the original topic, I've gotten a little confused here. Are we talking about self-employment/free-lancing, or searching for jobs that let you work remotely? In one case I'd expect it to be very easy, in another I'd expect it to be quite hard.

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4882
Great point, @ender ,Thanks!

In fact, that has proven to be the case with one of my regular gigs. I brought a group on a little tour of my home town in Ireland as a favor and it turned out one of them was CMO of a fintech company in CA and asked me to work with them.

I don't think I'll ever be able to say 'networking' and not feel like a DBag though. Maybe just 'being nice to people, sometimes in a professional setting.' :D

As far as I can tell that's the difference between being good at networking and being bad at it. It reminds me of how my boss hates doing business development because he can't stand "schmoozing." Schmoozing? I just talk to people, take interest in their problems, and offer any potential solutions that come to mind. What is "schmoozing"? And, for some odd reason, I have better success at business development than he does... Huh...

Back to the original topic, I've gotten a little confused here. Are we talking about self-employment/free-lancing, or searching for jobs that let you work remotely? In one case I'd expect it to be very easy, in another I'd expect it to be quite hard.

Yep.

People are surprisingly easy to "bribe" into being good relationships... if you actually care about them and express that well.

MaaS

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 152
Hello all!

The TL;DR version of this is: When you're applying for 'digital nomady' work (like design, copywriting, or anything else that you can do from home), how and when do you break the news to prospective employers?

Quick overview: I'm a remote advertising copywriter. I'm very fortunate to have been able to move to this role with my old "in-house" salary intact. I'm trying to take on some new clients to pad out my resume but mostly to get to write about something new. Here is how it goes:

I'll apply for a job on, say, Glassdoor, if they don't explicitly mention that I must be onsite. I have great success getting from this stage to "Loved your resume, can we hop on a call?" But once I mention that I'm remote, they always say "Thanks, but no thanks".

I would feel bad not disclosing the remote thing at this stage, and wasting their time. But I'm wondering if maybe I should stay quiet about it until they're a little more invested in me.

Has anyone had a similar but more successful situation? Thanks!

If anything, you should be more up front about being remote than less. Stop seeing yourself as a remote employee and start seeing yourself as a consultant or freelancer, and pitch your services as such.

You shouldn't even have a resume IMO. Concise examples of your work, a LinkedIn profile, and a solid pitch. That's it. Applying to job ads puts your outreach in the wrong context.



SmileAllDay

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 118
  • Traveling full-time with my wife since '16.
    • So, where were we?
Amen @ender !

@MaaS , you raise an interesting point. Thank you.

Perhaps one approach could be to keep an eye out for jobs advertised (i.e. there is a need), but then contact their careers page directly with a pitch (instead of applying through conventional paths with an unconventional proposition).

I've been toying with the idea of creating a 2-3 page PDF brochure touting my services and the benefits of working with a contractor. Now may be the time.

I appreciate the back and forth. Thanks everyone.

MaaS

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 152
Amen @ender !

@MaaS , you raise an interesting point. Thank you.

Perhaps one approach could be to keep an eye out for jobs advertised (i.e. there is a need), but then contact their careers page directly with a pitch (instead of applying through conventional paths with an unconventional proposition).

I've been toying with the idea of creating a 2-3 page PDF brochure touting my services and the benefits of working with a contractor. Now may be the time.

I appreciate the back and forth. Thanks everyone.

Absolutely! Job postings are a big sign of intent/need. But, I wouldn't bother with the careers page either. Just find people in the appropriate role on LinkedIn and shoot them a message. HR/recruiting should be avoided IMO.

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4882
Absolutely! Job postings are a big sign of intent/need. But, I wouldn't bother with the careers page either. Just find people in the appropriate role on LinkedIn and shoot them a message. HR/recruiting should be avoided IMO.

Internal recruiters are fine. It's the 3rd party ones which are generally a waste of time.

Papa bear

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1216
  • Location: Ohio
Absolutely! Job postings are a big sign of intent/need. But, I wouldn't bother with the careers page either. Just find people in the appropriate role on LinkedIn and shoot them a message. HR/recruiting should be avoided IMO.

Internal recruiters are fine. It's the 3rd party ones which are generally a waste of time.

For getting a remote position, I agree with you. No company needs to pay a 3rd party person to find a remote worker.  A remote job posting gets inundated with applies.  Itís ridiculous.

Outside of remote work, HR and internal recruiters are basically worthless. The only reason 3rd party headhunters exist is because of their incompetence.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

SmileAllDay

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 118
  • Traveling full-time with my wife since '16.
    • So, where were we?
It's great to have you all's insight on this.


FreelanceToFreedom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
I'm a digital nomad as well, and also a copywriter haha. Where are you traveling currently?

For me I just present things as 100% contractor based. I don't have a resume, just a portfolio site. So I agree with other suggestions here to start presenting yourself as a contractor rather than employee.

Then again, I'm going after more casual projects. I can't speak directly to this approach for more formal positions.

SmileAllDay

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 118
  • Traveling full-time with my wife since '16.
    • So, where were we?
Nice. Great minds think alike @FreelanceToFreedom ! ;)

I'm in Normandy right now. How about you?

Your approach is probably the way the best way to go. Do you have a particular website you search for remote jobs?

I'm not necessarily looking for more work, just the option to work with cool companies. And these types of companies tend to want full time, in-house staff. I'm kind of coming at it from a win-win angle but trying to fine-tune how I present myself.

mistershankly

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
There are remote only job boards, why not start there and avoid the hassle of having to argue for remote?

Do you have any links to remote-only job boards that are reputable/consistent?  I know regular in-house job boards offer a remote search function but remote-only job boards sound much more appealing.


SmileAllDay

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 118
  • Traveling full-time with my wife since '16.
    • So, where were we?
@12321 , legend. Thanks! :)

FreelanceToFreedom

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 93
Nice. Great minds think alike @FreelanceToFreedom ! ;)

I'm in Normandy right now. How about you?

Your approach is probably the way the best way to go. Do you have a particular website you search for remote jobs?

I'm not necessarily looking for more work, just the option to work with cool companies. And these types of companies tend to want full time, in-house staff. I'm kind of coming at it from a win-win angle but trying to fine-tune how I present myself.

I'm in Romania currently. I'm mostly a blogger who dabbles in copywriting, so I usually stick to blogging boards like ProBlogger job board.

Imma

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2001
  • Location: Europe
I'm not a fulltime traveller, but I do have a side business almost completely from home. After the first initial contact, I try to meet my customers face-to-face, even if that means travelling a few hours. I've noticed that people like to see a face and meet a flesh and blood person before they assign you any work, at least in my business. After that, most/all of our contact is usually by e-mail.

I'm in a very different line of work though, I have a law degree and give legal and tax planning advice and as an additional service I also offer bookkeeping. All bookkeeping software these days allows you to work remotely. I am way overqualified for bookkeeping, so I wouldn't find those kind of jobs if I applied for a regular 9 to 5 job as a bookkeeper, but it's something I enjoy doing a lot and by presenting myself as a contractor I still get those jobs.

12321

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7

klfire

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • Flex Workweek
I'm not a fulltime traveller, but I do have a side business almost completely from home. After the first initial contact, I try to meet my customers face-to-face, even if that means travelling a few hours. I've noticed that people like to see a face and meet a flesh and blood person before they assign you any work, at least in my business. After that, most/all of our contact is usually by e-mail.

Same - I meet with people at the start of a project, and it does seem to lead to a higher level of trust. So I suggest this, even if they don't, e.g. "I'll be in your area on Xday - if you have time, let's we meet up in person to make sure we're on the same page as far as project goals, etc". Even if I have met one of the team members previously, meeting the whole group in-person seems to lead to group "buy in".