This post may contain affiliate links. See our affiliate disclaimer here.
This is a guest post by Camille Attell. We met Camille at our first RV Entrepreneur Summit back in 2017 when she had just started RVing full-time with her husband Bryce. Back before the road called, Camille worked for 20 years as a corporate trainer, helping hundreds of people land jobs, develop skills, and get promotions and raises. Now that she’s on the road, she’s doing the same things—but focused on how to find remote work for fellow travelers.
I asked Camille to write a guest blog on how to find a remote job because:
- This is her jam
- We talk a lot about entrepreneurship here on our blog, but starting a business isn’t for everyone. Many people just want to clock out at 5 and that’s fine too.
So if you’re not really interested in starting your own business, but you need to find some way to make money while traveling, finding a remote job is an ideal solution. In this tactical guest post, Camille will walk you through ten steps to finding and excelling at a remote job (including the internet setup that allows her to work from everywhere).
In August of 2016, my husband, Bryce, and I quit our jobs, got rid of nearly everything we owned, jumped in an RV and started traveling full-time. We started a blog (because y’know, apparently a blog or YouTube channel is a must when you start RVing), and shortly after that, began answering a ton of questions about how we afforded this lifestyle. Most of our answers centered on one main theme: remote work is everywhere and here’s how to find it.
If you too are hoping to live the RV lifestyle—or simply have more flexibility and freedom—and income concerns are holding you back, then this article is for you. I’ll walk you through the main phases of finding remote work and job options, and offer tips and resources along the way.
How to get started on your remote work journey
I call the transition from a traditional job to working remotely, the “remote work journey.” That’s because it isn’t always neat and tidy to get from point A to point B.
It may take a little soul searching, exploration and resilience. That said, there is a logical flow to this process that greatly reduces the overwhelm and fear that will likely creep in as you make this transition.
Let me start by saying what is least effective, before offering a step-by-step process in the remainder of this article.
Try to avoid throwing a broad, open-ended question into cyber-space. An example of that is something like this post:
The question is so broad that you are going to receive a ton of ideas, which may or may not be aligned with your lifestyle needs or skill sets. I have seen responses to questions like these range from:
- Start a blog
- Do drop-shipping
- Be a travel nurse
- Open an Etsy shop
- Sell goods at festivals
- Write an e-book
- Sell stock photos
The ideas go on and on….
I’m not saying these ideas aren’t helpful. However, they may not match your skills and interests at all, and in some cases, too many ideas create a lot of confusion and overwhelm as you start your research.
Instead, follow this step-by-step process and you will find a much clearer path that can save you time and your sanity.
Step #1 Get very clear on your ideal lifestyle.
Spend some time brainstorming exactly the kind of lifestyle you want to live.
Are you traveling full-time or part-time?
Are you living in an RV or taking extended trips?
What activities do you like to do?
How do you want to spend your day?
Do you want to work full-time or part-time?
Do you imagine working for someone else or yourself?
This is a starting point to get as much clarity as possible. It’s always more empowering to start from a place of what you want, instead of asking other people about options or letting the job market dictate your decisions.
Step #2 – Determine your budget.
A lot of people think that they will have to take a pay cut when they make the leap from traditional employment to remote work. They also believe they need to make the same amount of money as they used to.
These assumptions may or may not be true. It depends on the lifestyle you want to create and how much money you need, which is why Step #1 is so important.
Starting with a budget can liberate your remote work search. You may discover that you need less money, or only need part-time work, or are ready to freelance, etc, and that discovery can open more opportunities than you realized.
Step #3 – Try to make your current job remote (if you like it).
One of the most overlooked opportunities is making your current job remote. I teach an online course called Remote Work 101: Work, Live and Travel Where You Want (affiliate link), and one of the issues that many of my students struggle with is that they like their current job and don’t want to leave it. I do quite a bit of coaching with them on how to negotiate to make their role remote.
But there’s a right way and a wrong way to do this.
Start by planting seeds about working remotely with your employer. Then, try offering to experiment with a few days a month, then a couple of times a week. Additionally, offer very clear ways to measure the success of this method to prove to the employer that there would be no impacts on your work. Also, you can share with your employer the cost savings they will achieve by no longer having to provide you with office space and furniture.
Step #4 – Complete a skills and interests inventory.
One of my first jobs back in the late 1990s was helping people get off of welfare and back into the workforce. One of the biggest trends in that population was (and still is) people undervaluing their skills and lacking confidence in what they have to offer.
Everybody has something to offer and everyone has strengths in something. But if you’re making a transition, have been out of the workforce, or just starting to freelance, then you may lack confidence in certain areas.
A great activity you can do is to complete one or more skills inventories. This allows you to see your own strengths objectively.
I’ve been using skills and interests inventories as a corporate trainer and coach for a very long time, and I offer several valuable resources for this in my Remote Work 101: Work, Live and Travel Where You Want course.
Step #5 – Refresh your resume specifically for remote jobs.
One of the major trends I see as it relates to remote work is that people don’t realize they need a remote work resume.
If you haven’t updated your resume with your latest work experience, or if you haven’t updated it with the right keywords for remote roles, then you don’t have a remote work resume. This is one of the biggest reasons that your remote job search might not be working for you.
I offer extensive resources on creating your perfect remote work resume inside of my Remote Work 101 course. Resources include: five pre-built remote resume templates, a resume checklist and video lessons on exactly what to put in each section of your resume so that it is optimized on various platforms leading to your being found more often. This one lesson alone has helped so many students land their perfect remote job.
Once you have a resume that you are proud of, your confidence will go up, and you’ll be better positioned for Step #6.
Step #6 – Start networking and telling people what kind of work you’re looking for.
This is by far the easiest way to get started, but one of the hardest for people because they “don’t want to toot their own horn.”
Here’s the deal, you aren’t tooting your own horn as much as you are sharing the value that you provide to people. And people are always looking for problems to be solved, or more importantly, great employees. Side note: with a strong job market, and more remote work than ever, finding good employees is really hard these days.
If you put yourself out there, follow-through, and show dependability, you’re going to be way ahead of the pack. Additionally, once you complete your skills inventories and your remote work resume, this will feel much easier and more natural.
Step #7 – Get on LinkedIn and job boards. Set up your profile to get job alerts that fit your requirements.
One of the mistakes I made when I left the corporate world was not keeping my LinkedIn profile updated. I thought it was for “corporate” people.
I could not have been more wrong, and have since been working on getting my profile back up. LinkedIn is one of the best places for networking opportunities, being found, job searching and getting your work out there (if you provide freelance services).
Before you go build a million social media channels, consider starting with LinkedIn. Once you build your foundation on that platform, then you can branch out to other platforms and sites.
Step #8 – ALWAYS apply to remote jobs that you like
People often tell me, “I like this job but it doesn’t say that it’s remote.”
My answer is always, “Apply anyway.”
In fact, I tell people to apply to jobs they like even if they feel unqualified, are intimidated, or it doesn’t say remote. That’s because you really never know what’s possible until you try.
Too many people undervalue themselves and count themselves out of a job by not even applying. So many of my students in the Remote Work 101 course have landed jobs they never thought they’d be hired for, or negotiated a remote work option in the job offer process.
Please, if you take nothing else away from this article, DO NOT undervalue yourself and miss out on opportunities because you doubted yourself.
Step #9 – Practice interviewing remotely for a remote job.
Interviewing for a remote job is very different than a traditional job interview. For starters, the interview might be on the phone or more likely on a video call using Zoom or Skype.
This freaks people out if they’ve never had that experience. The interview itself is already intimidating, and now you have to figure out the audio and camera too? Ugh! It’s enough to make you crawl back under the blankets and put your travel dreams on hold.
An easy way around this is to simply practice with a friend or colleague. Have your friend simulate a job interview. Go through the steps of setting it up like an interview with questions and, “Tell about a time when…” scenarios. This allows you to practice using technology and answering tough questions at the same time. This will greatly reduce your anxiety and make you appear more confident in the actual interview.
One of the many benefits of my Remote Work 101 course, is that it’s online and I use a variety of technologies to answer student questions and simulate remote work environments. If the tech side of working remotely is intimidating to you, this provides a way for students to practice with technology well in advance of their interviews.
Step #10 – And finally, once you are working remotely, work hard and be a dependable remote employee.
Congratulations! You made it through the interview process and now have a real remote job.
Now comes the deceptively hard part—actually showing up and being dependable.
People vastly underestimate how difficult it can be to transition from a location-based job to working remotely every day. Combine that with traveling and wanting to see the sites, and suddenly you’ve lost all ability to keep a schedule. It’s a good idea to use a planner or calendar, and try to schedule daily and weekly routines.
Additionally, while internet connectivity isn’t as scary as you might think, you may have to get creative from time to time finding a reliable connection. I do complicated stuff online, like live video and webinars, and 95% of the time my set-up works fine.
Here is my internet set-up:
- Verizon mifi hotspot (unlimited data)
- AT&T backup phone with hotspot
- weBoost cell booster
When all of this fails (which is rare), I look for wifi at a coffee shop or this one time, at a bar.
Bonus though—I needed a cool Instagram photo anyway.
I’m not suggesting this should be your set-up because everyone has different needs. But staying connected is very doable and one of the ways you can prove how dependable you are.
How to avoid remote work scams
It’s worth mentioning that scams do exist, and it’s something that scares people. But they are quite easy to avoid.
Use these guidelines to avoid getting scammed when searching for a remote job:
- Make sure the hiring company provides identifying information, such as a website and email address.
- Use a platform like Glassdoor.com to see prior reviews from employees.
- Do a gut check—like if someone asks you to send money or give a credit card number so they can ship you expensive equipment—it’s probably a scam.
- You can use many different platforms for a remote work search, but platforms like Virtual Vocations or Flexjobs will filter out scams so that you only get legitimate jobs. It will cost you a small fee, but you’ll have peace of mind about the jobs.
I hope you found this article helpful, and that you have enough information and resources to start your remote work search.
Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich said, “A goal is a dream with a deadline.”
This is one of the best tips I can share. If you are thinking about full-time RV travel, leaving your job, or starting a new endeavor, a good practice is to set a date, write it on a calendar and start planning. Otherwise, you might just keep dreaming instead, and miss an amazing opportunity to put your dreams into action.
If you’re serious about finding remote work, taking the leap, traveling the world, and otherwise totally rocking at life, I highly recommend checking out Camille’s course. (You can see a little bit of the course curriculum on the right.)
For most people, finding mobile income is the only thing keeping them from traveling.
Selling a house? Doable.
Buying an RV? Actually kind of fun.
Finding a remote job? Crazy intimidating.
Camille goes in-depth on a few ways you can find a remote job (FlexJobs, Upwork, and LinkedIn to name a few) and provides a Facebook group where you can ask questions, share successes, and find encouragement.
You can learn more and check out the Remote Work 101: Work, Live and Travel Where you Want course here.
All cover photo credits: William Trinkle