What's the deal with remote jobs?
January 10, 2017 7:01 AM   Subscribe

My life change and impending move has meant I have to figure out all over again where to work and what to do.

So, as my previous questions explain, I'm moving to Vermont. Deadline is May 31st but hopefully moving sooner.

Some background: I didn't finish college and I've never had a career. From 18-22 I worked in customer service, in call centers. I have worked in various admin positions, I've been an office manager at a very small non-profit, one of three employees (no bookkeeping experience but I did use quickbooks a little bit), I have been and currently am a receptionist. I've had many temp jobs, customer support, retail, I've been a bartender.

I've been browsing jobs around Bennington (we'll be living just north within a 45 minute drive, probably less than 35 minutes) and I'm really only seeing jobs in retail, hospitals, and jobs in higher education that require degrees - which I don't have. We'll be just over an hour from Albany, but we're doing all this to change our lives and I think commuting that far is defying the point.
I absolutely do not want to work retail anymore. I'd really prefer not be a receptionist but I don't know if that's realistic considering the job market there. But if I have to be a receptionist again I will, the move is about improved quality of life outside of work.

I got to thinking about remote jobs. I've done some searching and there are several sites that have listings for remote support roles and I'm wondering if anyone has used those sites to find that kind of employment?
1.Are they semi-legit? Are the jobs legit? I've been looking at Remote OK, Power to Fly, We Work Remotely, Working Nomads.
2. Do these jobs have high turnover? I'd love to look for something now. I'm not going to be considered for the mortgage because I will be quitting my job before we move and then job hunting in Vermont. Is a remote job something a mortgage company may be wary of or is that something I don't even need to mention? I don't want to leave my current job a couple months before moving and then find myself unemployed because a remote job didn't work out or was a scam.
3. Any other insight from people who work from home, especially jobs they've found on any of these sites, or just general advice/warnings.

I included some background because I'm not sure if I'm the kind of person they would be looking for. I assume I'd be applying for customer support/experience roles. I think I'd be ok with that if I could be working from home.

As always THANK YOU!
posted by shesbenevolent to Work & Money (10 answers total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
Apparently they have a questionable reputation*, but I have a friend who started Leapforce part time and now does it 30-40-hours a week around home/parenting duties.

*I did some digging around and it seems like a lot of the accusations of it being a scam are related to people who don't meet their hourly quotas or don't pass quality checks, but there are enough people doing it successfully that I think it just may be harder than people want it to be and are surprised when they fail the quality checks. Also some people seem unfamiliar with 1099 work and paying their own taxes. So, I don't know, maybe do some searching around yourself and see if you think it's legit.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:32 AM on January 10, 2017

wfh.io, We Work Remotely, Remote OK are all legitimate, normal job boards. Support Driven also has a job board, many of the jobs there are remote. Not familiar with the others listed. Obviously the quality of the jobs posted varies. Some are W-2 jobs, some are 1099, some are full-time, some are part-time, some are probably a bit more dubious. You'll need to do your own diligence on the companies, as you would with any job posting.

I have worked remotely for almost 5 years in software development as a full-time W-2 employee at 2 different jobs. I previously worked with a team of remote customer support people (chat and email mostly). It's just like a normal job, except bring-your-own-office, and the water cooler is a chat room or Skype. Remote isn't for everyone, and comes with it's own set of challenges, but I personally find it incredibly productive. Feel free to memail me if you have any specific questions.
posted by so fucking future at 8:09 AM on January 10, 2017

One thing to keep in mind is whether all of the company's employees work remotely vs. if only certain positions are remote. I work for a company that is completely remote, so we have no physical office. But if you work for a company where there is a physical office and you don't work there, things get trickier. I've heard of folks having trouble feeling disconnected from the company or passed over for promotions because they're not "there."
posted by anotheraccount at 10:02 AM on January 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'd recommend throwing your hat in the ring for local jobs that "require" degrees. If you have enough other qualifications and a good cover letter, many hiring managers will overlook that.
posted by radioamy at 10:11 AM on January 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

no bookkeeping experience but I did use quickbooks a little bit

Not useful for remote stuff but generally: You can find resources to learn the basics of QB, and if you've used it at all, put it on your resume. You mostly just need to be able to enter transactions and do a bank reconciliation in order to say you know QB well enough to satisfy most lower-level jobs, if you're willing and able to learn more, if that makes you more marketable for office manager or bookkeeper jobs. Most bookkeepers are not Quickbooks experts. Most people who are Quickbooks experts have been using it for years and just picked stuff up as they needed it.
posted by Sequence at 10:43 AM on January 10, 2017

I can vouch for We Work remotely and Power to Fly, although as PP mentioned, you need to vet the individual companies and the specific jobs they are offering. The Muse and Authentic Jobs also post remote jobs.

I've worked remotely for the last 8 years as a freelancer, a 1099 contractor and a W-2 employee. We've gotten a mortgage and refi-ed in that time period and the fact that I was remote was never an issue, the issue is always the stability of the income, i.e. 1099's can sometimes be a harder sell than a W-2. You definitely want to think about how you feel about staying home all day and try to find a company that has a 'remote first' policy, rather than being the only remote on a team where everyone else is in the office.

I'm remote b/c like you I am a transplant to a rural area with limited opportunities in my field (tech). The comparable jobs to mine in my area are farther away than I want to commute, especially now that we have kids (it looks like that might not be an issue for you based on prev. questions). On the other hand, I've recently thought that if I could make something equivalent (or good enough salary wise) and work close by I would take the out of the house job so that I felt more involved in my local community and was building a network here, instead of online. But everyone's different in that regard, if you don't have kids, you'll likely have more time of 'outside of work' getting to know people than I do at the moment. In your shoes, I might wait until I was on the ground and had exhausted the local job market to take a remote job, or take a remote job while conducting a local job search. If nothing else, you'll learn a lot of about the area you've moved to getting out there and beating the pavement.
posted by snowymorninblues at 12:14 PM on January 10, 2017

My employer (Apple), and my sister's employer (Princess Cruises) only hire remote people to do their front-line customer service jobs.

Well, I guess Apple Store counts as "front-line customer service" and they obviously aren't working from home, but all the people you talk to on the phone or over LiveChat (generally called "AppleCare") are working from home.

So yeah, remote customer service jobs are for sure legit.
posted by sideshow at 1:07 PM on January 10, 2017

Response by poster: Thank you so much everyone!
I was nervous because being able to work from home doing customer support seemed to good to be true but it's not. I have bookmarked these sites and applied for a few jobs today!
I'm definitely ok with not being part of the company culture physically. I'm so burnt out by that stuff. I don't have children and definitely won't be having them. Commuting is the most exhausting part of working to me so not having to do that will make a big difference to how lazy I am about leaving my house. I'll actually want a change of scenery instead of getting on my couch at the end of the day and not moving.

sideshow I'm not sure if you have any insight, but when looking at the AppleCare Home Advisor jobs they are all geared toward students?

As usual you're all the best!
posted by shesbenevolent at 4:02 PM on January 10, 2017

I'm interested in this too, and have also been collecting links here. All of the above, plus a few more. Hope it helps!

From what I've found, a lot of transcription, medical billing/coding, and maybe some translation can be done from home as well.
posted by jrobin276 at 1:46 PM on January 11, 2017 [3 favorites]

« Older ISO: WP Appointment Plugin or SaaS with a Twist   |   Wiring an electric guitar Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.