Finding Remote Work as a Military Spouse
In a suddenly shifting employment landscape, one significant opportunity that has rapidly opened up for job seekers is the ability to work remotely. That means, potentially, that the candidate pool for employers has also expanded—they realize they don’t have to only recruit from a local market.
How does this impact you as a job seeker?
For one thing, it means more opportunities. No longer limited by geography and the jobs available near where they live, military spouses increasingly have the option to cast a much wider net when seeking work. This has become even more true since the COVID-19 pandemic has driven a move to remote employment in countries around the world.
Andrew Meadows is senior vice president of HR, Brand, + Culture at Ubiquity Retirement + Savings. Ubiquity is in San Francisco, but its workforce is 80% remote, says Meadows, and is located around the country. “With the advancements in technology, almost any job could potentially be remote,” says Meadows. Even if a job listing doesn’t indicate that the position is remote, it can be a good possibility to explore, he says.
It may also mean greater flexibility in terms of work hours, but that isn’t necessarily always the case cautions Darrell Rosenstein, the founder of The Rosenstein Group, a recruiting firm focused on tech and software development jobs. “Some companies still expect their employees to be at their desk from 9-5, Monday through Friday, just like they would be in the office,” he says. “Make sure you know the expectations of the job if this is something that’s important to you, and don’t be afraid to ask questions to clarify their expectations.”
So, how to find and land a remote job? Here we take a look at some best practices.
Look for the right opportunities
Deepak Shukla is a veteran and the owner of Pearl Lemon, an SEO agency based in the UK that uses remote staff. The jobs are out there, but be careful where you look, cautions Shukla. “I try to stick with trusted job boards.” he says. “Check company reviews on Glassdoor; you can pick out the poor performing companies very quickly this way.” You also can find reviews on Facebook, Google, and even Yelp, he says. “Companies with good, in-depth reviews are always a safe bet.”
Simple Google searches can also yield results, says Ben Taylor, the founder of HomeWorkingClub.com, and a remote working expert. Using search terms like “remote” or “home based,” says Taylor, can help you find these types of jobs, he says. They are “plentiful and hiding in plain sight.” Another helpful search phrase: remote first. “This new breed of company offers remote working by default, and there are plenty of them,” he says. These same search terms can be used through Google and other web browsers.
Hone your tech skills
Because remote jobs depend to a large degree on the use of technology to connect with employees, customers, and others, being tech-savvy and having experience using tools like Zoom, Slack, Google Meet, and others is a must. Be prepared to explain your experience and comfort with these tools, as well as your readiness to learn new platforms, as necessary.
Laura Moreno is the senior product manager at a public company and the founder of HomeFlow, a self-paced home buying platform. Since the pandemic, she says, she has hired more than ten people, all working remotely. She says that she has found product managers through communities like Slack. For instance, she says: “I went to the slack group of Product School, and I found great professionals there that I ended up hiring.” Those looking for jobs these days, whether remote or otherwise, she says, should become “really active in the top online community for your role and be open to job opportunities that are advertised there.”
Make a positive impact
When seeking remote work, “it’s important to emphasize your expertise or potential for succeeding in a remote role”, says Andrew Meadows at Ubiquity Retirement + Savings. “Reliability is of the utmost importance”, says Meadows. “The best way to demonstrate reliability is to know the mechanics of the required work and have as much experience as possible related to the role,” he says. If possible, it’s important to communicate that you’ve succeeded in a remote career in the past.
“Stating that you have an in-home office and that you’ve worked remotely in the past is important,” says Meadows. “Describing an impressive project you’ve completed where the team wasn’t centrally located is a great way to illustrate proficiency.”
Ace the interview
Preparing for a remote interview is different from preparing for traditional interviews, says Rosenstein. “If possible, get a list of the questions the interviewers will be asking, just in case there are technical issues that prevent you from hearing or answering the questions effectively,” he suggests. “If you live in a household with other people, ask if they can limit their internet usage during your interview to limit connection or signal strength issues.” This is important not only for the interview itself, but he adds: “You don’t want the interviewer to get the impression that your internet connection could be a deterrent to you doing the job.”
There’s never been a better time to look for remote work; opportunities from thousands of employers are plentiful on the MilitaryHire.com website.
Following the tips above can help you find and land a remote job at a time when other, more traditional, opportunities may be limited.
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