In the fourth episode of Opportunity Knock$, Lauren and Jarred grapple with a common dilemma of parenthood: how can you be an engaged parent and a working parent at the same time? This is a challenge in American society since “parenting” has basically meant “mothering” and women’s work has been historically woefully undervalued.
To recap, Lauren wants to be a stay-at-home mom. She and Jarred moved in with Lauren’s mom so this could happen. They don’t see this as a long-term solution but they don’t have the finances to afford a place of their own. They talk with their financial coach, Jean, about the obvious solution which is to work from home. However, many remote jobs have traditionally been low paying or flat-out scams (I’m looking at you, LuLaRoe!)
Jean, however, brings up a good point. Lauren has a master’s degree and remote work is not the same as it was prior to the pandemic. Organizations have discovered just how many jobs could be done from home and this includes well-paying, highly-skilled white collar jobs. There are so many more options now than there were previously.
If you are in a similar situation, what can you do to find well-paying, interesting remote work? Here are the steps that I use with my clients:
Know what you want. Do you want complete flexibility or a structured schedule? If the latter, what hours do you want to work? What kinds of tasks or responsibilities do you want? How much money do you want to make? Figure all of this out before you start looking. You may want to have two visions for yourself, an ideal and an acceptable one.
Divide the amount of money you want to make by the number of hours you want to work to determine your hourly salary.
Brainstorm which of your tasks and responsibilities is a best fit for that hourly wage. If there is a severe mismatch, you may need to brainstorm with someone else who knows the employment landscape.
Once you know what you want to do, how much you want to make, and how much you want to work, look for employers who need what you have to offer and can afford you. You may want to ask your network, or do research on websites like Glassdoor. Know that your ideal job may not be posted or even exist yet so keep this in mind when researching potential employers.
Update your resume and LinkedIn profile to focus on the work you want to do. Highlight and expand what is most relevant and remove bullet points that aren’t. You want everything to set you up for your ideal job.
Start connecting with potential employers. I recommend informational interviews, but this can also include responding to job postings.You can certainly search for job postings by entering in a job title and checking the “Remote” box on many job boards, but know that jobs that are advertised as remote may not suit your needs.
You have the most leverage when you are given a job offer. So, don’t disqualify yourself too early by either not applying, or withdrawing early if the job doesn’t look like your ideal. If an employer wants you to work for them, they may be willing to make the job remote, part-time, etc. Especially if you learn through your research what is most important to them.
If you are looking for a flexible, remote position to support the life you want to live, start with your goals and find a way to achieve them rather than starting with what is easy and obvious. Often what “drops into your lap” is something that belongs in the trash, not in your life.
If you want to get clarity about your job goals and strategies, sign up for My Career Design Studio and create your ideal career!