Remote work is in
I’m not interested in waiting to get an office job. Instead, I want to lean into the “new normal” and make remote work, work for me.
By Ryan Carruthers
February 22, 2021
Remote work is in
But we know that already. We’ve been inundated with articles and news clips about how the world has gone remote and that it isn’t actually that bad. There are a lot of benefits to skipping your commute. Having more time with your family, not having endless meetings, and breaking up the monotony of the 9 to 5 are just some of the benefits of working from home.
That being said, we’re almost at a year of working remotely, and we realize that despite the benefits that remote work brings, there are also downsides. We’re all aware of them.
Loneliness, isolation, Zoom fatigue and repeated lockdowns have all taken their toll.
We’re starting to miss the office.
Or are we?
“Remote work was “in” and we all had the opportunity to figure it out together.”
I’ve never had an office job
To be more specific, I’ve not had a long-term, full-time job in an office. My resume is a mix and mash of growing up working at summer camps, washing dishes, cooking, and painting houses. My first “real job” was a CO-OP job.
I hated it.
I commuted every day to a large concrete building with harsh LED lights, cubicles, and a corner office where I was stuffed with four others. We didn’t have a lot to do because our managers didn’t know how to utilize COOP students effectively, and no one wanted to come into our stuffy office (I couldn’t blame them). The office had windows that created a greenhouse effect which only added to the discomfort that four people’s body heat generated.
I have no desire for returning to an office
My experience with a “real-job” left me with a desire to find another way.
When I graduated, the world had been thrust into the world’s largest work-from-home experiment, so I, along with everyone, would find the other way.
Remote was “in,” and we all had the opportunity to figure it out together.
Working in an office was never the ideal
Working from home is making us nostalgic for water cooler conversations and casual chats with colleagues. But why go back to business as usual? Even before the pandemic, GenZ and millennials pushed for a hybrid between remote work and in-office work. They didn’t want work-life balance; they wanted work-life integration. In my case, I’m not interested in waiting to get a job that will be like my old CO-OP. Instead, I want to lean into the “new normal” and make remote work, work for me.
How do you start a career in a pandemic?
I can remember forcing myself to go to job fairs for the sake of trying to get a job. I would navigate through hordes of other people and nervously approach booths to give them my canned “tell me about yourself” spiel.
Now, however, it’s all online.
Getting a job has always been about who you know and your conversations with potential future colleagues. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can’t still build these connections.
Resources for starting a career in a pandemic
The resources below are great opportunities to connect with others like yourself who are starting their careers and professionals who are willing to lend a helpful hand. The questions asked in Slack groups are a great place to enter conversations and build your network. Ask questions yourself and follow up with those who answer you. Put it out there that you want to learn about working in “X” industry and leave a Calendly link. You’d be surprised how willing people are to connect.
Networking no longer has to be awkward as well. You can use the excuse that you want to meet new people professionally because you’re remote right now. If you’re beginning your career, leverage the fact that you want to learn from people farther along than you. Doing so allows you to meet someone and makes them happy that they can offer advice.
Here’s a list of Slack groups and platforms that make starting your career in a pandemic much, much easier:
Slack groups and networking communities
- Online Geniuses – “Online Geniuses is a free SEO & Digital Marketing Community based on Slack.”
- Design Chats KW (For those in design in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario area.)
- Growmance – “Growmance is a free digital marketing, growth hacking, and lead generation community available to anyone that loves marketing.”
- CRO Hacks – “CRO Growth Hacks is a Slack group to discuss conversion rate optimization hacks that improve growth.”
- RevGenius – “Connect with 10,000+ members who are contributing to RevGenius’ mission and building the future of sales and marketing.”
- Superpath – “Join 2,000+ content marketers in the industry’s best Slack community.”
- Contra Community – “Our mission is to give everyone the freedom and opportunity to work independently.”
- Lunch club (match 1:1 with other professionals. It’s crazy how fast this can build your LinkedIn connections.)
Platforms that give you opportunities to gain experience
- Acadium – “Gain experience for a rapidly changing job market by working with real businesses.”
- Teal HQ – “Teal is an online community and digital platform that enables professionals working in the tech industry to grow their careers with confidence.”
- Skillup – “Transition to a better career with the skills you already have.”
- Skillfull – “We match top business talent with exceptional mentors in tech to learn what you need to know, from who you need to know.”
- Gradguide – “Online career guidance & mentorship program transitioning students from college to their first job in tech.”
- Skilled.space – “Live audio conversations that help you learn and grow.”
- Multiverse – “We’re a tech startup, founded to ensure young people have access to the best career-focused apprenticeships on offer.”
These are just some of the resources that I’ve come across that have allowed me to learn more about the industries I work in and meet other professionals. I’ve pursued opportunities, met some pretty interesting people and learned a lot as well, all things that are crucial for someone early in their career.
Learning how to work from home
While you’re starting your career, make sure you learn how to balance work and life. This is an opportunity to be independent with how you work. You’re not restricted to the same desk or work schedule that a 9-5 office job is. You can go for a walk in the middle of the day or re-energize yourself with a quick workout.
All that matters at the end of the day is if you’re doing your job well, not if your butt is in a seat.
If you’re starting your career right now, it can feel like there are no opportunities for you. But if you put yourself out there by leaning into digital communities and reaching out to those who are farther along than you to learn, you’ll make your own luck.
Ready to build a career from the comfort of your own home?
Find me here 👇