How does one go about even finding remote jobs not in tech?
May 6, 2018 12:37 PM   Subscribe

My wife got a really prestigious grant to go study in Japan next year as part of her PhD. I'm hoping to follow along. We're trying to square the circle of me not shooting myself in the foot career wise if I do so. More details inside.

I currently work as a data analyst and want to keep doing that. However, my company does not allow remote work, period. (I'm going to ask, but I'm expecting a flat no.) I've been looking for remote work positions and they all seem to be looking for either a.) transcription services or b.) coders/designers for apps and such. As far as I can tell, analysis is a job which could be done completely remotely, but no one seems to be contracting for that or offering remote jobs.

So, am I stuck doing part time grunt work (transcription, call center, etc.) or teaching English in Japan (I'll be able to work just under full time on the Visa I'd be going along with) or is there some way to find remote jobs that actually fit my work experience? I speak about 5 words of Japanese and can read about the same amount, so I'm not about to get any technical type job in Japan.

Also, for those of you who have taken a year off, how easy was it to transition back into the workforce and what steps did you find helpful?
posted by Hactar to Work & Money (6 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Have you ever dipped your toe into the html/css/php pond?
posted by humboldt32 at 12:46 PM on May 6, 2018

Have you tried searching on sites like I work in a different field (remotely), but wonder if you may have more luck looking at startups, which might be more open to different working arrangements. Or, working freelance. If you are not freelance, I think being in Japan might be a problem for companies for tax reasons (assuming that they don't already have offices in Japan).
posted by pinochiette at 1:29 PM on May 6, 2018

When you say "not in tech" do you mean "I wish to avoid the tech industry" or "I am not a software engineer"? I think there may be a catch-22 where tech companies that are open to remote developers might be open to a remote analyst, but will never advertise for one. I worked at a company that was enthusiastic about remote and, while most people who were remote started in the office and then followed a partner to another part of the country (including a data analyst), there were one or two who had been hired as remote or in-the-office-every-other-week. I think those people had mostly been referred by someone who already worked there, rather than applying to a not-advertised-as-remote-friendly position and negotiating.

Point being, you may have to network your way to finding a company that's open to the idea of an analyst in Japan, rather than finding an advertised job. On the other hand, if your wife's grant doesn't start until the fall, you have a bit of time, and you could just try proposing "X months in the office and then going to Japan".

Depending on where you live now, the time change likely makes this especially difficult. (If your current location is accurate, me-mail me, especially if you have some coding experience. I believe the aforementioned company is still trying to fill my engineer-y data scientist spot and was hiring analyst(s) recently, though I don't know the status of that.)
posted by hoyland at 1:32 PM on May 6, 2018 [4 favorites]

I live in Japan part of the year and work remotely. While I'm a freelance writer and marketing copywriter, it seems to me that someone with more technical skills could do it, too. Indeed, the project manager for an adtech agency I work with currently is based in Bali.

Sites like HackHands and Upwork make it pretty easy to work anywhere.

In terms of not burning bridges, the trick would be to "create your own company", so you can put that on your resume whenever you return to the States.
posted by JamesBay at 2:10 PM on May 6, 2018 [3 favorites]

Fellow data analyst (and hopefully digital nomad soon) here! Job boards such as Indeed typically allow you to search for remote positions by typing "remote" in the where field. I've snagged a few freelancing gigs that way.
posted by Young Kullervo at 11:00 AM on May 7, 2018 has all remote jobs. it's free and they're all real jobs, not weird mlm ads or whatnot.

just keep an eye out for data jobs

here's one for zapier

good luck! remote work is the best!
posted by sio42 at 9:26 AM on May 8, 2018

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