You’re not going to want to hear this, but, I had a connection. That’s how I got my foot in the door at the first company I worked remotely for.
That’s the “fear factor” for people looking for new jobs – remote or not. You worry you’re not connected enough or you don’t have the personality type to knock on doors, rub elbows and hit “connect” on LinkedIn.
There are some rough statistics that say about 70% of people get hired through networking and connections.
Based on my past experience, this is very true.
In fact, I’ve only gotten one full-time job ever that didn’t come through networking or a connection. (Fun fact: It’s actually the role I’m in right now – proof that it doesn’t all come down to connections!)
I landed my first remote job in 2017.
When I started job hunting, I was three years into a corporate marketing job at a large organization. I loved the team I worked with. The compensation and benefits were excellent. But, the working environment was inflexible. I’d find myself anxiously rushing back from grabbing coffee or stress endlessly over needing to go to the doctor. I found one of the only dentists in the city who did Saturday appointments.
On top of that, I wanted to grow out of the type of marketing work I was doing. I wanted to run fast with big ideas and make strategic decisions.
I wanted to see the world, without sacrificing my income.
So, I started looking for a new job.
Right away, I found myself getting interviews at startups. I thought they’d be more flexible, even if they had a head office.
One company wanted to hire me and offered me a role, telling me I could work remotely for four months. I originally just wanted to spend a season in Buenos Aires, living a little remote work dream.
But, my manager-to-be told me they wanted to install a software on my computer that would take photos of me every five minutes and send them to the team so they could see I was working. That didn’t signify trust.
I would be the only one with remote working privileges and I could see how this would create jealousy among co-workers.
I kept looking.
My then boyfriend (now husband) had only ever worked remotely or for himself. He had just wrapped up a few months of job hunting and had landed a job.
During his job hunting process, he’d had an interview with a company but the role wasn’t the right fit.
By the time I was deep in my remote work hunt, they had another role open up. They reached out to him and he declined, but recommended me. Within a week, I had an interview with their head of marketing.
My growth marketing experience was shoddy at best. I’d built a few landing pages and run a few paid campaigns, but I’d never worked for a software company and I’d never really seen my campaigns pay off.
I took the interview on my lunch break, renting a Breather workspace.
I was terrified and felt like I’d performed horribly. The interviewer asked me to send a link to a landing page I’d built and I fired it off in an email during the call, not even adding a “thank you” message.
I cried on the walk back to work. I thought it was a sign that I’d never be cut out for a Saas company or remote work. I just wasn’t “that kind” of marketer.
Three weeks of silence and, BOOM. I got a second interview. I was floored, but thrilled. Maybe the landing page got me in the door.
The confidence getting a second interview gave me made the conversation a breeze.
I was offered the role on a part-time trial basis, working five or so hours a week on top of my full-time job (this was standard for the company at the time). After six weeks, I quit my full-time job and nervously awaited my first day in a totally remote workplace.
What happened next? I think that’s an entirely different blog post. But, I will say, it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
And I’ve never looked back.