Kevin Henriquez had always been curious about remote working. He’d held a few positions in the past as a software developer in Chile that gave him a taste of what remote work would be like. Maybe a day at home when repairs were being done. Or like many of us, his in-office job turned temporarily remote during the pandemic and has since adopted the remote model permanently.
“For a long time I wanted to get a remote job because I want to travel the world and work,” he says. It’s a common motivation for remote workers—the flexibility and freedom to work from anywhere, without worrying about having to take extended periods of time off or changing jobs simply to see more of the world.
From software developer to product designer
A software developer by trade, Kevin has a Bachelor of Telecommunications Engineering from the Universidad de Carabobo in Venezuela. While he loves software development and was very happy in his newly permanently remote role, his career aspirations had him thinking about making a move into Product Design.
Happy with his new remote setup, he knew whatever opportunities he took in the future needed to be remote. And while his remote working skills were more advanced than some, he decided to brush up on what he knew when he stumbled upon Oyster’s Distributed Bootcamp, formerly Remote Ready, program.
Gaining more than remote work skills
While Kevin was well-versed in remote-friendly tools Miro, Trello, and Notion, he decided to enroll in the program to gain more theoretical knowledge so he could easily explain why remote work is highly beneficial to companies, and, of course, to improve his soft skills.
The program fit his learning style because it’s asynchronous with a deadline, so you can take the lessons on your own time, at your own pace, but you’re still motivated to complete it by a specified date. The best of both worlds.
One of his biggest takeaways from the program were the tips on working with the LinkedIn algorithm to ensure you appear in search results for recruiters. He says it’s a key factor in finding employment opportunities and he should know, he landed his new position in Product Design at a SaaS company in Chile after being contacted on LinkedIn. He credits what he learned from the program in helping him first be found by recruiters but also for helping him showcase his abilities during the interview process.
He’s excited to start working at his new company in the fintech space with about 40 employees who are fully remote.
The future of work
When asked if he plans to continue working in remote positions, Kevin says candidly “I hope that in 20 to 30 years, remote is the wonky way to work in my industry and in the work that I do.” Returning to an office isn’t in the cards for Kevin. While he still wants to meet his colleagues in person, he references many companies who have a distributed model but hold annual or semi-annual meetups for employees to spend time together face-to-face.
For those looking for a remote job, he simply says “be out there.” Whether that’s being active on LinkedIn or social media, or trying to find specific remote companies, keep trying. Finding a remote company can be tough in Latin America, he says. Chile offers potential for good-paying remote work. And most of all, if you find yourself in a position where you are working remotely, even temporarily, “put in the work, communicate, show that you are doing better than you were doing before, be very visible, and be an advocate for remote work.”
Want to read more stories of how workers found their remote jobs? Check out Chintan's story.
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