It’s graduation season!! First off, congratulations to all of the graduates out there! What an incredible accomplishment. It’s time now, to consider and plan for the future and I know that can be daunting. Especially for those who want to take less traditional routes. People may think the world of remote work is for folks with experience in the workforce only but I like to think it’s for EVERYONE. Here are a few tips for the recent grads out there wanting to do great work from anywhere:
Tip #1: Customer and Administrative Work is a Great Way to Start
Entry-level work is an excellent option for people who don’t have a lot of work experience – ie people fresh out of college (or even high school). By “administrative work” I mean things like being an administrative assistant,
These types of jobs are a great entry into the workforce, into the remote workforce, and can often be done part-time even.
I know this is likely not what you went to school for but I think it can be an excellent starting point into remote work. It was actually my starting point. My very first remote job was doing customer service part-time for Toys R Us.
Here are a few customer service and administrative positions that would be great for someone who is new to the workforce:
Tip #2 Seek Entry-Level Positions at Remote First Companies
So it’s a given that as a recent grad you’ll be seeing out entry level positions. I just want to encourage you to look at remote-first companies as well. Many of those companies have the same positions you’re seeking at traditional companies. It’s the same job search you’re already on, just a companies that are truly remote or who are remote-first.
What I mean by “remote-first” companies are companies for which a remote workforce is one of their core values, it’s the way they’ve always worked or they’ve fully matured into a remote workforce. The reason I specified these companies is that they will already have an infrastructure in place to help you thrive and grow your career in a remote environment.
Here are a few remote-first companies to start with:
Tip #3: Play Up ALL of Your Work Experience
It’s been my experience that people often downplay their skills and experience because it doesn’t come packaged the exact same way its being asked for in the job posting. The job posting is calling for project management experience and because you’ve never had the title project manager you assume you aren’t qualified. But you were the Director if a student program and organized a campus event to raise money for a cause. You were a project manager. You planned the event, you set deadlines, you assigned tasks, you led meetings to review the status, etc. You weren’t CALLED a project manager, but you were a project manager friend. Go ahead and highlight ALL of the relevant experience you have even if the title doesn’t match.
Tip #4: Consider a Part-Time Remote Job or Freelancing
Working Part-Time is a great way to “break into” remote work and get some remote experience under your belt. My first remote job was a part-time job. It’s a great way to earn some extra dollars (which is so important as a college grad) but also to start establishing yourself at a company you may want to work for full-time or grow into other roles with.
Here are a few part-time remote jobs:
Freelancing is another way to do some work on the side but also to build your remote experience. I’ve also done some freelancing here and there to earn extra money AND extra creditability. Every time you complete a small project for someone as a freelancer, whether that’s setting up a project plan for them, writing some copy, doing a quick design, building an excel template, you’re adding to the skills and experience for your resume. the great thing about freelancing is it can be very flexible, you can set your own schedules.
Head over to one of these freelance websites (Upwork, Fiverr) and do a search for freelancers with your skills to get an idea of what kinds of freelancing work you could do. Then set up a profile and offer your skills to others!
Tip #5: Get Certifications to Boost Your Profile
I know you JUST got your degree or diploma and here I am asking you to get more training. I’m a huge fan of certifications. They happen to be a great way to make you more marketable and, at times, can make up for a lack of experience. I have two and there are at least two more I want to get. We also live in a time where you can get certifications and training easily (and sometimes FREE) form the worlds most reputable companies like Google, Facebook, Etc.
Consider getting certifications in the area you want to work in to add a little razzle dazzle to your resume.
Those are my five tips for recent graduates. Again, congratulations and I wish you all the best for your future!
If you need some additional help finding and landing remote work, check out The Remote Ready Bundle. It’s a minicourse designed to guide you through the four phases of landing a remote job and the cost is less than $50.