5 tips for getting your first tech job remotely
If you’re considering a career change, it’s easy to be drawn to remote tech jobs. It’s an innovative industry with high paying gigs and plenty of job openings at all times. Plus, you can work from home while enjoying flexible hours.
Sometimes you might not even need a college or university degree to get hired. A relevant skill is all you need to get started. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to get a good job from a distance. There are things you will 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 identifying a tech industry that’s right for you. You can find out by chatting with an industry expert or by using a simple idea map to determine which tech career best matches your strengths. To get started, note:
- The parts you enjoy most about your current job (or the parts you would like most about a job).
- The parts that you find less interesting or horrible.
Examples of areas you might like or hate might include idea pitching, presentation, brainstorming, teamwork, working with spreadsheets, and more. But, again, be as detailed as possible in as few words as possible.
Find the remote tech jobs that interest you the most, and compare the responsibilities of those tech roles with your likes and dislikes. If a tech job has responsibilities that overlap a little too often with your dislikes, it’s probably not a good idea to take it on. Conversely, if a technical job has responsibilities that you find interesting, pencil it in for further research.
You can further narrow down potential technology areas by taking a personality test. Online personality tests that focus on understanding your career-related strengths and weaknesses are a good place to start. Tests recognized as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) can help you narrow down your career comfort zones based on your personality profile.
SpringBoard Career Assessment Test is another widely used option that you can use to refine your career interests. It’s important to note that idea mapping and personality testing are pseudo-scientific processes. This means that you might not always come up with a remote tech job that fits your personality perfectly.
If you already have relevant technical skills in the remote working industry, it could help you settle into a tech niche much faster.
2. Acquire relevant technical skills
Once you’ve identified a remote technical job that matches your needs, acquiring skills is the next step. If you don’t have a relevant technical degree, such as a BSc in Computer Science, you can still land a technical job remotely by learning online. While a college degree can prove useful, technical skills and passion sometimes trump formal degrees in the distance technology industry.
You can begin to acquire technical skills by spending time in technology-driven media. As insignificant as it may seem at first, you can reap immense benefit from it.
Tech websites like MakeUseOf, Engaged, CommentStuffWorks, and TechCrunch can significantly increase your technical knowledge. They will provide you with an endless stream of concise and concise technical topic covers. It’s a great place to start. Just pick the areas that interest you and make a habit of reading more often.
While technical websites are useful to you, you will need professional technical classes to better explore complex technical topics. You will find many high quality online courses that can introduce you to any technical topic imaginable.
- Udemy, Coursera, Team Treehouse, Plural Sight, W3 Schools, Khan Academy, and Udacity are great places to learn programming, UI, and user experience, as well as web and app development.
- Google’s digital skills course, HubSpot’s Content Marketing Course, Alison.com’s Ecommerce Course, and Neil Patel’s Blog are all great resources for learning digital marketing and SEO.
- Udemy, Coursera, Institute of Data and Marketing, Copyblogger, and Copiers offer quality creative writing, writing and technical writing courses.
- edX, Tableau E-learning, Udemy and Kaggle provide valuable courses in digital design and data visualization.
- FutureLearn, Coursera, and Open classrooms offer renowned courses in digital product management, social media management, and web analytics.
You are always on a Google search for a valuable technical course. Whenever some form of certification is offered after class, whether it’s free or paid, aim to achieve certification. Digital skills certificates can be very useful on your resume when looking for a job.
3. Learn soft skills
Despite all the weight given to technical skills in the tech industry, soft skills are essential to professional success. In addition to technical skills, you should be able to work in a team, communicate your ideas, learn effectively, accept constructive criticism, and build relationships with other workers within a company. Working remotely doesn’t take away the need for soft skills.
It is these skills, sometimes even more than technical skills, that make you more suitable for a technical role. Many organizations would rather hire a passionate team player who barely knows how things work and spend money on training them rather than a technical genius who has no idea how to work with others. Below are some of the most valuable soft skills for remote tech jobs:
- Analytical thinking
- Decision making
- Team work
- Detail orientation
- Intrepersonal communication skills
Goskills, Coursera and edX have reputable soft skills courses that can help you get started.
4. Join relevant communities and build networks
In the world of remote technology, it’s not just about what you know, it’s about who you know. Recruiters are bombarded with hundreds of applications; just one sponsorship can give you a huge advantage and make you stand out. Strong communities and networks can give you that benchmark.
Once you’ve got the prerequisite skills, you’ll need a lot of connections to get started. Since you will be building a career working from home, you will need to “know someone who knows someone” in order to increase your lack of physical connections that traditional workplaces offer.
However, don’t see networking just as a way to get to know someone who matters. Communities and networks are among the most important learning channels within the distance technology industry. Use it to gain real-world experience and understand what it means to work in a tech niche before you land your first tech job remotely. It’s one of the easiest ways to learn about the tech industry from a distance.
To build strong and valuable networks, you will need to:
- Go to events, conferences and seminars. Meet new people, interact with them, share your technological interests and express a real desire to know more.
- Offer to help others in your tech field, even if you know very little. By helping others, you learn in the process and also create a space for them to return the favor.
- Start a blog or use sites like Medium.com to write about your tech interests. With consistency, you will attract like-minded readers who can grow into a large community.
- Don’t forget to join LinkedIn. Contact and connect with professionals and companies with similar interests.
- Do not be shy. Contact the industry experts you admire. They will probably respond. Remember, they’re probably also trying to network.
- Join relevant communities on Facebook, Reddit, and Quora.
5. Contact recruiters and companies
Once you’ve gotten to grips with your technical and soft skills, you’ll need to get a little aggressive. The technological labor market is very competitive. Everyone wants a piece of the pie. As a result, companies and recruiters are faced with many applications. To get ahead of the game, you will need to be creative.
Reach out to recruiters and companies in your field and show them the value you can bring. They don’t have to categorically announce an opening before you contact them. Don’t just be another resume on the table.
Instead, write a list of the companies you would like to work with. Research companies and describe their challenges. If any of the challenges is something your skills can solve, there you have it, you have a potential job offer.
There are a lot of opportunities in technology
The remote technology industry is huge. Chances are, the work you do in a physical office can be done remotely. Do your research and contact the companies. There might be something for you.
Despite stereotypes to the contrary, looking for a job without a degree doesn’t mean you’ll be banned into roles that pay peanuts. There are a lot of well-paying tech jobs out there, even for people without a technical degree. Don’t be left out.
Work from home and remote jobs are now a necessity. These free websites will help you manage layoffs and find current job sites.
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