So, you want to become a remote worker? I get it. I’ve been working remotely for nearly a decade. (And I’ve never looked back!). In my years as a remote worker, I’ve worked full time, part time, and even freelanced.
Today, I work as a Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC). I specialize in helping remote job seekers, like you, kick their cubicles to the curb.
Needless to say, I know what it takes to become a remote worker. And I readily share tips and tricks on how to ditch your daily commute so you too can reap the benefits of remote work.
Remember, a remote job search is a lot different than a traditional one. But, don’t worry, it’s not impossible to land remote work.
Any new job search is best launched with a plan in mind. And, the very first step in any remote job search plan should be narrowing down your search to only include the right positions for you.
Determine What Type Of Remote Worker You Are
Often, I work with career coaching clients that want to work remotely so badly that they insist they’ll do anything. That is, it doesn’t matter what the job title is or nature of work as long as it doesn’t require a commute.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a great job search strategy — especially as an aspiring remote worker. You see, not all remote jobs are created equal. There are full time and part time employee positions, freelance gigs, and contract jobs too. You can even come across seasonal and temporary remote jobs.
Employee positions are different than freelancing and working as an independent contractor has unique requirements too.
That’s why, before you even start a remote job search, you need to determine what type of remote worker you are.
Employee? Freelance? Independent Contractor?
When it comes to remote work, positions typically fall into one of three categories:
EmployeeFreelanceIndependent Contractor They all have different benefits (and drawbacks) that you should consider. Once you weigh the pros and cons, you can confidently figure out which type of remote work is best suited to you and your circumstances. That way, you can streamline your job search and focus only on the type of work that’s right for you. But how do you figure out if you should pursue employee positions, freelancing, or contract gigs?
Employee Status As A Remote Worker
As a remote employee, you are expected to keep set ‘office hours’ and have a quiet home office in which to work. Telecommuting as an employee is very much like working a traditional office job. But, instead of driving to work, you get to work from your comfy home office.
Employees receive set pay and may be eligible for benefits, like health insurance and paid time off.
You should consider employee positions if you value steady pay, company-sponsored perks, and set schedules. If you need something that is flexible or allows you to work with constraints (like kids in your care), employee positions just won’t work.
Freelancing As A Remote Worker
When you work as a freelancer, you sell services to clients on a per project basis or for a set amount of time. Essentially, you are your own boss when you freelance.
With your ‘boss status,’ you become responsible for everything — finding clients, managing your schedule, pricing your services, handling payments (and more).
Freelancing affords a ton of flexibility. You can work when you want, for how much you want, and for whom you choose. This is a great option for anyone who has caretaker responsibilities or wants to create their own schedule.
Independent Contractor Positions
While employee positions and freelancing are on the complete opposite ends of the spectrum as a remote worker, being an independent contractor is a little mix of both.
As an independent contractor, or IC for short, you contract with a company and they supply the work. Typically, your contract is for a set amount of work each week or for a predetermined time.
For example, if you contract as a transcriptionist, you might be expected to complete at least 3 hours of audio each week.
As a contractor, you bill for your services and receive payment in set intervals. However, you don’t receive any benefits and taxes ARE NOT withheld from your pay. That means you will have to keep track of earnings and pay taxes accordingly.
Working as an IC is great for anyone who wants steady work and flexibility. Remember, as an IC, you don’t have to find clients like a freelancer does and you don’t have to keep office hours like an employee.
Streamline Your Job Search
I know it’s tempting to say, “I want to work from home. It doesn’t matter what the job is.” But, trust me, those are the most unproductive and frustrating remote job searches.
Often, I get career coaching clients that have tried the “I’ll do anything approach” with no success. After they redirect their efforts and focus on the right type of work — whether it’s employee, freelance or contract — they routinely make progress and find jobs fast.
But, remember, it’s not about finding any old remote job. You should strive to find the right type of work for you. And to find your ideal remote work arrangement, you need to first decide which type of remote worker you are.
You’ve got this!
P.S. This post may contain affiliate links, which allow me to make a small commission without costing you anything. Learn more about affiliate links in my disclosure statement.