This is the second part in our series diving into the details of remote jobs. If you’d like to know what exactly a remote job is, take a look at our first post ‘What are remote jobs?’.
If someone were to ask you “hey what job is best suited for remote work?” What would you reply?
From my experience, when most people picture a remote job, they usually mention some form of software development, with good reason. According to Owl Lab’s 2019 state of remote work, IT has the highest percentage of remote workers relative to its share of the total workforce. It makes perfect sense that this is the case. Because it is through the power of the internet, and the innovative products developed by the IT industry that enable remote work.
But, if you look at the other industries with the largest relative proportion of remote workers from the study, they are as follows: Customer support (service or success), sales and marketing.
Now you may be thinking, what makes a job a good candidate for moving remote? Let’s take a look. Flexjob’s post titled “5 Criteria for Turning Office Jobs into Remote Jobs” states that for a job to be a good candidate for going remote it should ensure that the team does not need to be together physically, the technology for enabling them to go remote exists, or the absence of a particular team does not impact other departments. Having only the required employees in the office saves $11,000 per employee on average.
Common Remote Jobs
Now that we know what makes a particular job a good candidate for being remote, let’s take a look at some of the most popular jobs that are remote friendly.
All of the technology exists to enable software developers to work remote. It typically requires a few things, a computer to write code, an internet connection to research and collaborate, and some form of software to enable collaboration. When you start researching remote positions, you will see that roughly one third of them are developer positions. Common remote positions include:
- Full stack developer
- Data engineer
- Back end / front end developer
Developers tend to spend almost all of their time at the computer. What you may not know though, is that only 10-20% of this time is spent writing code. The remainder of the time is spent planning, researching, or debugging among other tasks. In terms of education, roughly 75% of developers hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, but it is possible to get a job without a degree – though, it will be more difficult. The most important skills include being persistent and able to research to solve problems, and a love to learn and adapt to an ever changing technology landscape. I put together a guide that will serve as an excellent starting point for becoming a front end developer which I believe to be the most accessible developer position.
Writer or Editor
As with the developers in the previous section, working remote as a writer or editor involves a very minimal amount of tools to get the job down. A computer with internet, a word processor, and internet as a means to publish, research and collaborate. Common remote positions include:
- Blog Content writing
- Technical writing
Writing and editing jobs involve researching topics until they have a comprehensive understanding at which point, they put their newly acquired knowledge to use writing blog posts, content creation, technical writing, or translating. Depending on the topic, and type of background the writer has will determine the extent of research required. One thing to note, however, is that a strong grasp of your target language is required as is the ability to manage your time, and be able to hit strict deadlines.
Marketing is another excellent fit for remote work. Especially digital marketing – which as it turns out, is the direction the marketing industry has been trending. From e-commerce companies looking to expand their business, to writing copy that converts – marketing is a relatively broad, all encompassing category. Similar to the remote positions that we have seen before, the standard marketing tooling requires a computer, internet connection, and team collaboration software.
- Email marketer
- Marketing Manager
- Marketing Director
- Product marketer
A marketer’s job includes meeting with clients, or stakeholders (virtually, or in person if it is required) to understand the vision of the brand or product, analyzing current marketing campaigns to identify areas for improvement, researching the product demographics, as well as content creation. A sense of creativity is very important in marketing as is the ability to meet strict deadlines. One needs an eye for detail to pinpoint areas for innovation and improvement. They must also be thorough and detail oriented with a solid understanding of software related to design and analytics. For the best guide to finding remote work in marketing, take a look at Remote Habit’s post.
Closely related to marketing, is sales. Out of office sales have been popular since the advent of the traveling salesman – so basically forever. It is only fitting that they are now one of the most popular remote jobs. Sales people tend to be the direct line to the customer, work independently, and usually have the best understanding of the market trends. With this in mind, it is one of the reasons that they tend to work closely with the marketing team. Remote sales positions require a computer, internet connection, as well as some collaboration, and depending on the position, some form of VoIP phone software.
- Sales associate
- Sales engineer
- Sales development representative
- Account executive
Soft skills are vitally important to being a successful salesman (or woman). One should be comfortable in negotiating, as well as conflict resolution, and relationship building. We have all heard the saying, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. This is even more applicable to sales. They must always be networking to build a network of leads (unless one is provided). They should also be adaptable, and able to multitask.
Finance & Accounting
The majority of remote finance, and accounting work will be done through the use of a computer, and an internet connection. These careers typically require a degree. They are employed in nearly every industry, so it only makes sense that in the growing remote workforce, they will also be present. Not only present, but one of the fastest growing fields in remote work. Some common titles include:
- Tax preparer
- Financial analyst
- Financial manager
- Financial coordinator
Depending on if you are more on the financial spectrum, or accounting spectrum your day to day tasks will vary. For example, if you are more of an accountant, you can expect to spend more time monitoring and maintaining the books whereas if you lean more toward finance, you will be responsible for analyzing market trends and the financial health of your organization. If you would like a more detailed guide for finding remote work, the Lifestyleaccountant has put together the ultimate guide to finding remote work as an accountant.
Customer support is another position that has been telecommuting for years. If you have experience in retail, or in another customer service related field, this may be a good option for you – so long as you like delighting customers, and helping others! While there are some technical service related roles, the vast majority of them tend to simply be customer facing roles. Common titles include:
- Customer support
- Customer success
- Customer happiness
- Product support specialist
The majority of your time in these roles will be spent ensuring the customers happiness. In a remote setting this is usually accomplished via chat, or email communication. Though that depends based on the product you support. Sometimes, there will be voice, video support, and even desktop support. In any case, you should also possess excellent soft skills and be able to effectively represent and promote which ever brand you work for. In this short summary, it is impossible to get into the full details of what customer support entails, but I can point you to an excellent resource. Hubspot has published a post titled ‘The Ultimate Guide To Customer Support’.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should give a good idea of the diverse range of remote jobs available. The Balance Careers has made a more exhaustive list of the best remote jobs if you’re looking for more inspiration. As always, if you have questions, feel free to contact us, or drop your comment below and I will get back to you! Stay tuned for the third instalment of this series where we will take a look at the best resources for finding remote jobs.