If you’re planning a career change, it’s easy to be drawn towards remote tech jobs. It’s an innovative industry with high-paying gigs and many job openings at any point in time. In addition, you get to work from home while enjoying flexible schedules.
Sometimes, you might not even need a college or university degree to be hired. A relevant skill is all you need to get started. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to secure a good remote job. There are things you’ll need to put in place. Here are five essential tips to help you land your first remote tech job.
1. Identify a Tech Industry That Interests You
Once you’ve decided to join the remote tech workforce, your first hurdle will be to identify a tech industry that suits you. You can figure this out by talking to an industry expert or using a simple idea map to determine which tech career best suits your strengths. To get started, write down:
- The parts you enjoy most about your current job (or the parts you’d enjoy most in a job).
- The parts you find less interesting or dreadful.
Examples of areas you might like or dislike could include pitching ideas, presentation, brainstorming, working in teams, working with spreadsheets, etc. But, again, be as detailed as possible in as few words as possible.
Look up remote tech jobs that interest you the most, and cross-reference the responsibilities of those tech roles with your likes and dislikes. If a tech job comes with responsibilities that intersect a bit too often with your dislikes, it’s probably not a good idea to take it up. Conversely, if a tech job comes with responsibilities you find interesting, pencil it down for further research.
You can narrow down potential tech sectors even more by taking a personality test. Online personality tests focused on understanding your career-related strengths and weaknesses are a good place to start. Recognized tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) can help you narrow down your career comfort zones based on your personality profile.
SpringBoard’s career assessment test is another widely used option you can use to narrow down your career interests. It’s important to note that idea mapping and personality tests are pseudoscientific processes. This means you may not always arrive at a remote tech job that perfectly fits your personality.
If you already have relevant technical skills in the remote work sector, it could help you settle for a tech niche much faster.
2. Acquire Relevant Technical Skills
Once you’ve identified a remote tech job that suits your needs, skills acquisition is the next in line. If you don’t have any relevant technical degree—like a B.Sc. in Computer Science—you can still land a remote tech job by learning online. While a University degree may come in handy, technical skills and passion sometimes trump formal degrees within the remote tech industry.
You can start acquiring technical skills by spending time on tech-focused media outlets. As insignificant as this may initially seem, you can benefit immensely from it.
Tech websites like MakeUseOf, Engadget, HowStuffWorks, and TechCrunch can significantly boost your technical knowledge. They’ll provide you with an endless stream of bite-sized and concise coverage of technical topics. It’s an excellent place to start. Just pick out the areas that interest you and make it a habit to read up more often.
While tech websites will help, you’ll need professional technical courses to explore complex technical topics better. You’ll find lots of high-quality online courses that can take you through any technical topic imaginable.
- Udemy, Coursera, Team Treehouse, Plural Sight, W3 Schools, Khan Academy, and Udacity are great places to learn programming, UI, and UX, as well as web and app development.
- Google’s digital skills course, HubSpot’s Content Marketing course, Alison.com E-Business Course, Neil Patel’s blog are all good resources for learning digital marketing and SEO.
- Udemy, Coursera, Institute of Data and Marketing, Copyblogger, and Copyhackers offer quality creative writing, copywriting, and technical writing courses.
- edX, Tableau E-learning, Udemy, and Kaggle offer valuable digital design and data visualization courses.
- FutureLearn, Coursera, and OpenClassrooms offer reputable digital product management, social media management, and web analytics courses.
You’re always a Google search away from a value-packed technical course. Whenever any form of certification is offered after coursework, whether free or paid, aim for getting certified. Digital skills certificates can come in quite handy on your resume when job hunting.
3. Learn Soft Skills
Despite all the weight placed on technical skills within the technology industry, soft skills are critical to career success. In addition to technical skills, you should know how to be a team player, communicate your ideas, learn effectively, take constructive criticism and relate with other workers within a company setting. Working remotely doesn’t take away the need for soft skills.
It’s those skills—sometimes even more than the technical ones—that make you more suitable for a tech role. Many organizations would rather hire a passionate team player who barely knows how stuff works and spend money to train them over a technical genius who has no clue how to work with others. Below are some of the most valuable soft skills for remote tech jobs:
- Analytical thinking
- Detail orientation
- Interpersonal/communication skills
Goskills, Coursera, and edX offer reputable soft skills courses that can get you started.
4. Join Relevant Communities and Build Networks
Within the remote tech world, it’s not just about what you know, but who you know. Recruiters are bombarded with hundreds of job applications; a single referral can give you an enormous advantage and make you stand out. Communities and strong networks can give you that referral.
Once you’ve acquired the prerequisite skills, you’ll need a lot of connections to get going. Since you’ll be building a career working from home, you’ll need to “know someone that knows someone” in order to augment your lack of physical connections that traditional workplaces offer.
However, don’t see networks solely as a means to know someone that matters. Communities and networks are some of the most important learning channels within the remote tech industry. Use it to acquire real-world experience and understand what it means to work within a tech niche before landing your first remote tech job. This is one of the easiest ways to get acquainted with the remote tech industry.
To build strong, valuable networks, you’ll need to:
- Go to events, conferences, and seminars. Meet new people, interact with them, share your tech-related interests, and express a genuine desire to learn more.
- Offer to help others within your tech field, even if you know very little. By helping others, you’re learning in the process and also creating room for them to reciprocate.
- Start a blog or use sites like Medium.com to write about your tech interests. With consistency, you’ll attract like-minded readers that can grow into a sizeable community.
- Don’t forget to join LinkedIn. Reach out and connect with professionals and companies with similar interests.
- Don’t be shy. Reach out to industry experts you admire. They’ll likely respond. Remember, they’re probably trying to build a network as well.
- Join relevant communities on Facebook, Reddit, and Quora.
5. Reach Out to Recruiters and Companies
Once you’ve gotten comfortable with your technical and soft skills, you’ll need to get a bit aggressive. The tech job market is very competitive. Everyone wants a slice of the cake. As a result, companies, and recruiters are dealing with lots of applications. To get ahead of the curve, you’ll need to get creative.
Reach out to recruiters and companies within your field and show them the value you can provide. They don’t have to outrightly advertise an opening before you reach out. Don’t just be another resume on the table.
Instead, write down a list of companies you would want to work with. Research the companies and outline their challenges. If any of the challenges is something your skills can solve, there you go—you’ve got yourself a potential job opening.
There Are a Lot of Opportunities in Tech
The remote tech industry is massive. There’s a good chance that the work you do in a brick-and-mortar office can be done remotely. Do some research and reach out to companies. There could be something for you.
Despite stereotypes to the contrary, hunting for a job without a degree doesn’t mean you’ll be banished to roles that pay peanuts. There are a lot of high-paying jobs in tech, even for people without technical degrees. Don’t be left out.
Work from home and remote jobs are a necessity now. These free websites will help you handle layoffs and find current job boards.
About The Author