While remote work isn’t a new concept, it’s certainly garnering a lot of attention these days. The global pandemic has opened companies’ and workers’ minds to the possibilities of working from anywhere and more and more people are seeking a permanent remote work situation.
Roberto Jasso is one of them. A PHP backend developer from Querétaro, Mexico, Roberto is well educated, experienced, and highly skilled. Like many of us, his exposure to remote work started with working for companies that allowed him the option to work from home a couple of days a week. But the in-office requirement meant he wasn’t able to work from alternate locations, which presents a problem when your vacation time is limited.
“I like travelling, and getting to know new places. Here in Mexico, by law there are only six days of vacation per work year. That’s very little time to get to know new places.”
Intrigued by the flexibility of remote work, and not being tied to a location nor a set schedule, Roberto set out to find a remote position.
Having a desire to find remote work is one thing. Actually landing a remote job is another.
The pandemic created many more opportunities for would-be remote workers, like Roberto. But the bulk of these opportunities were not fully remote. They’re work-from-home for now. But Roberto was looking for a more permanent remote arrangement.
When a software development company reached out to him back in February about the Remote Ready program—a specialized training course dedicated to remote work best practices—he enrolled immediately. It was what he needed to boost his confidence and complement his experience, particularly around remote working tools and software.
The course features lessons on tools such as Notion, Slack, and Zoom which are popular choices for distributed companies or those adopting asynchronous-style of work.
Not only did he grow his catalog of tools for work and developed a good grasp of software that make remote working easier, he learned how to search and apply for remote roles and perform in a remote environment. It was something he found both “motivating and eye-opening.”
When I asked Roberto what was holding him back from exploring remote work prior to this, he said he simply didn’t know what’s possible or what’s available in the job market. “Because of not knowing that part, I was sticking to what I know.”
Roberto landed his first remote position by the end of the course. An El Salvador-based software-development company contacted him about an open role as a PHP backend developer. And after completing a few exercises for them, he ultimately landed the position.
While his company employs 450 people, some of whom work remotely, he spends his time working for a US-based client with a team of 14. This position lets him use his skills as a developer with the added bonus of working from afar.
He’s already reaped the benefits of his new flexible working environment, travelling back to Guadalajara to visit his family and friends during a normal work week without using any vacation time. And for that he’s thankful.
For other workers daydreaming about remote work life, Roberto offers this advice: “Don’t settle with a regular job…. Build a professional network, reach out to people in companies where you’d like to work.”
While technical skills will help you be successful in your remote role, often it’s the non-technical skills that will help you land the job. Roberto highlights the relationship-building lessons which he knows will help him throughout his remote career. Lessons like finding an internal champion at companies, creating a standout resume and cover letter, and writing his story in a compelling way. For now though, he’ll keep spreading the lessons and advice to his friends so they too can become the next generation of remote-ready workers.
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