Browsing Tag:

remote work

work-from-home must-haves

Posted in Career by

I’ve been super lucky to have been working remotely for almost five years now, and I think I’ve gotten it down to a pretty productive science. There’s definitely a lot to be said about creating a workspace that is comfortable for you, but not getting too comfortable. Through a lot of trial and error (and too many days working from my bed,) I thought I’d share some of my most-used products and setups for getting the job done!

I really like ambient background noise, which is funny, because usually that kind of noise pollution while I’m at a coffee shop or something will make me crazy. Ambient-mixer is one of my favorites, but when I’m really struggling to focus, I bring out the big guns: Brain.fm. It’s an AI composer with music and sounds that help you focus, relax, or even sleep. The Beach Focus station is constantly on repeat for me, and I always feel hypermotivated when I have it playing.

In your home office, it can be really easy to think of something in the house that needs to be done, then doing it. Instead, I keep my bullet journal next to me wherever I’m working. This has been more effective for me than any other planning method – even my much-beloved Passion Planner – because it is so customizable. In addition to pages of to-do lists, I also keep my weekly schedule here, including meetings, scheduled breaks, and my weekly work outline. (If I don’t schedule breaks, I don’t take them, and not only does my productivity tank, my burnout hits me like a ton of bricks.)

Not sold on scheduling breaks into your day? Watch this video from Marisa Mohi on how scheduling breaks and sticking to them is an important part of self-care.

Create a dedicated workspace that you enjoy being in. I’m guiltier than anyone for working in bed more often than I should (i.e., at all.) Sometimes it just happens – it’s 1pm and I’ve been typing away since 7 without relocating or moving more than once. It’s important to have a place that isn’t your bed in order to work – trying to condition your brain to be more work-oriented will not only increase your focus, but it will also help you sleep better and improve your posture. Eventually, if you work in bed long enough, your brain and body will be conditioned to work when you’re laying down to sleep, and that’s no good for anybody. (My office is a work in progress, but by the time I’m done, it will feel like you’re on the beach in California – sand in your toes and all.)

Honestly, a dedicated workspace doesn’t even need to be fancy – it can be your kitchen table or a desk in your bedroom. Being in that space is a good physical symbol for your brain that now it’s time to work.

Find a desk that you love (or pop on craigslist to find a cheap one and do a DIY revamp so it becomes a desk you love,) and outfit it with things you want to be surrounded by. A vision board of inspirational quotes or your dream vacation, a candle of your favorite scent, and easy access to your favorite pens – whatever it takes to make it a space you like to spend time. I like a really simple, empty desk – otherwise, I won’t want to sit there. The file organizer that sits on my desk was $1 at Target, as was the wall calendar I have tacked up. I’ll rotate candles out with the season (I’m currently loving Bath & Body Works’ Salt Flower, thanks Dani.) Other than that, there’s not a lot of clutter on my desk.

(Yes, I do have a treadmill desk, but it can be hard to type and walk. I still sit at my old stationary desk pretty often as well when I’m working on copy-heavy projects, like blogging.)

Another thing that can help you get out of bed or off the couch and over to your desk is a mug you love that’s for work only. I have a giant one from my old arena that I love, and I only use it when I’m working at my desk. It’s important to keep a water bottle nearby too – when I moved from an office to a home office, I was constantly dehydrated because I wasn’t drinking water at all. My favorite is this Contigo one, which keeps drinks cold for hours.

Get dressed. I hate this as much as the next person, but to be honest, my work uniform isn’t even that fancy. I get up, put on a sports bra and workout shirt along with workout capris, and call it a day. The act of changing out of my pajamas is all I need to get the creative juices flowing. You could even change out of sleep clothes into sweats – as long as it works for you. This could also be the start of a morning routine – another way to slide into your workday. Get up, maybe do some yoga, start the coffee machine, make breakfast, take your vitamins, say some daily mantras – it’s a good and gentle way to transition from sleep to work.

Lastly, it’s important to have a place to escape to. Luckily I have the option to enjoy my outdoor patio office (since I live in Chicago, I get to do this for about two weeks a year, but still) but sometimes being home at all is too much of a distraction and it’s time to get out of the house. Or maybe the internet has gone out for the tenth time in a day and you can’t deal with one more router reset. Knowing what coffee shops nearby helps because some days you just can’t focus on the work at hand with all those distractions – or the power will go out, the internet goes down, or your neighbors decide that 9am on a Tuesday is the appropriate time to have band practice. Escape to the coffee shop for unlimited caffeine, camaraderie (there’s always someone else working in a coffee shop,) and internet connection.

Do you work remotely? What are your home office must-haves or favorite products?

June 6, 2018
/

7 companies hiring work from home employees this month: march 2018

Posted in Career by

This month as I continue on with my Skillcrush class, I’m focusing a bit more on the development side of the remote world. While it’s still possible to find plenty of customer support jobs (so you can start working from home without any previous experience!)

Developer Program Manager at GitLab: This tech company has a great reputation and reviews from employees. The program manager is responsible for growing the community of GitLab developers, working to improve open source contribution and work on educational programs.

QA Analyst at Modern Tribe: If you like breaking things, finding mistakes, and getting them corrected before a product is shipped, QA might be the life for you. Apply for this position with Modern Tribe, a digital agency that creates some really cool campaigns and websites – QA can be a really great opportunity for employees looking to make a jump from support to dev.

Release Manager at Analytics Fire: Always dreamed of being a rocket scientist… kinda? Analytics Fire builds software for companies in solar power, and that’s kind of the same thing. If you have a lot of experience in Ruby, Python, and React, the primary role of this position is communicating with clients to ensure smooth product launches.

Growth Product Manager at Creative Market: I love Creative Market and download the free goods every Monday (click here for those!) They considering remote candidates from specific states for this position that works with departments across the company to implement ways to measure metrics and grow the userbase.

Developer Evangelist at Twilio: Have a hardware product background but prefer to write about things, rather than create them? Twilio is looking for someone to create content for their blog and social channels, speak and volunteer at relevant events and conferences, and building partnerships with companies and developers. If I had the experience (and was at all considering leaving my position, which I don’t see happening ever!) this sounds like a great role.

Web Developer at Pennsylvania State University: Penn State’s teaching department is looking for a developer with two years experience in Ruby. I see a position at a university and all I can think of is FREE EDUCATION, but, you know, maybe that’s just me and my desperate desire to go to grad school.

Site Reliability Engineer at DuckDuckGo: DuckDuckGo is the search engine that protects users’ privacy – a pretty hot topic, considering. They’re looking for another engineer to keep the site online and stable including building updates and scoping new projects.

One of my favorite resources for freelance gigs is AND CO’s The Gig List. Every week they send an email with ten freelance opportunities – while they aren’t all remote options, many of them are (and they always find really cool options and companies!)

If you’re looking for freelance writing jobs, check out this post with tons of websites that pay for your submissions – or check out Contena, where you can search hundreds of new, legitimate writing and editing jobs every day.

March 30, 2018
/

monthly roundup no. 7: march 2018

Posted in Living by

It’s the end of March which means spring is officially here. That means it will finally get warm… right? RIGHT?! This long-lasting chill is making me crazy. Going through my Pocket this month shows me that I’ve been really career-minded lately, and this link round-up post is pretty indicative of that. Read on for some great resources to check out to build your employability and get organized (and also get clean teeth with really cute toothbrushes)!

Signature is one of my new favorite blogs, and their Memoir Writing Guide is awesome. I don’t have any grand plans to publish my own memoir, but past therapists have given me exercises to write about traumas and tough memories – this guide helped give me some more prompts on how to get started on this, and I love writing exercises.

I’m not a hypochondriac (said every hypochondriac ever,) but my family history of cancer has given me some pretty severe anxiety. Any weird ache or pain or ailment or symptom and I’m convinced that I’m the next in line for chemo. This post from WBUR on onco-anxiety – this specific fear I have is actually so common that it has a name – helps me realize that it’s a pretty valid fear for many.

Marisa Mohi is a Twitter friend-of-a-friend with a fantastic blog and super cute Etsy shop. I’ve been gearing up to clean and reorganize my office for literal months – this post with ideas on desk organization for creatives is what has finally gotten me off my butt to get moving.

Marlow is a new business and employment blog, but they already have promise. This article on expanding your network was really helpful – I’m very guilty of being a bit narrow-sighted in thinking that since I’m so happy in my current job that I don’t need to put effort into my career or brand (not to mention I get pretty nervous and awkward at networking events.)

Google’s Digital Garage is a really great free educational resource to work on your employment skills. I’ve been doing some of the digital marketing activities here, and they’re super useful! If you’re looking to career shift or even just build on your current job skills, it’s a really nice resource.

I’ve been a very long-time fan and reader of The Billfold, and current editor Nicole Dieker launched a podcast last fall called Writing & Money. I’ve ramped up my freelance pitching game lately, and this podcast has really helped me feel confident in pitches and stories! < If you have a LinkedIn profile and use any kind of software in your job, you could earn Starbucks or Amazon gift cards for adding reviews to G2 Crowd. They do apparently have a limit so even if you use a seemingly endless amount of programs, they’ll eventually put a cap on your rewards, but I used my Amazon gift cards from them (in conjunction with the ones I’m still loading up on from Swagbucks) to score some sweet new workout wear and running shoes. 

The Student Loan Refinancing Blueprint: I’ve been thinking for awhile about refinancing my student loans. This post from Comet broke down a lot of the remaining questions I had and helped guide me through which of my loans (if any) would be good candidates for refinancing. I also found this student loan spreadsheet from Student Debt Warriors which made me confront all my outstanding debt and really break it all down – something I’ve pushed off and ignored for years.

And now for something completely different, BF subscribed us to Quip a few months ago. I’ve never had an electric toothbrush before, so it’s a whole new world for me, but I really love the toothbrush and the toothpaste is super good. The brush has a built-in timer with notifications every 30 seconds so you know when to switch sections of your mouth, and my teeth are the cleanest they’ve ever been.

Do you read a lot of business or employment articles? Share your faves with me – I love to read career-related posts!

March 30, 2018
/

7 companies hiring work from home employees this month: august 2017

Posted in Career by

This month’s remote job roundup is support and content heavy, as normal – with a few big name companies included. You might not even realize that places like Snapchat or TED hire remote workers, but they do – and they’re hiring now! Update that resume and dedicate some time this weekend working on your job search!

Operations Manager at The Engine Room: Here’s a secret: I’ve always wanted to work in operations. In high school, I would think and think: “what kind of job organizes things? How can I spend my life getting people where they need to go?”Tour managers, for sure. Event planners? When I moved to Virginia and worked at the arena, I learned about the operations department. Their entire jobs are dedicated to strategizing and planning. If this is something you enjoy, this job with The Engine Room might be for you!

Customer Support & Happiness at Later: I just read a book about women in technology that talked a lot about working at a startup. I’ve never had the interest, but this customer support opening at Later isn’t strictly service. You’ll be doing technical writing, triaging bugs, and working with the engineering team to work on a new product.

Operations Support Specialist at Karat: Karat is a company working to ease the hiring process in engineering. They’re looking for some evening and weekend support on their operations team – you’ll be developing communication protocols, assisting on interviews, and working to ensure quality. Operations Support Specialists also provide customer support, addressing any questions applicants have. This is a great opportunity for anyone with some HR experience who is looking to go remote! 

Copy Editor at Snapchat: Yep, you can work remotely even for companies like Snapchat. This part-time contract position for a copy editor sounds really fun, and requires evening and weekend availability to cover the current entertainment news. You’ll be creating copy and editing graphics and filters for their Our Stories feature, and collaborating with the Content team to provide marketing assets that are pitch-perfect and on brand.

Marketing Manager at Code HS: If you’re passionate about technology and education, you’re probably familiar with Code HS. It’s an organization that makes it easier for schools to teach coding, with full curriculum and support. They’re looking for a marketing manager to spread the word through traditional routes, and favor those with a technical bent due to the nature of the product. If you have a blog, that includes you!

Customer Support Specialist at FormAssembly: Customer support jobs typically have the lowest barriers to entry for someone who is just starting a career with a remote position. Nearly everyone has some kind of customer service position on their resume, whether it’s in retail, serving, or a summer job at a golf course. FormAssembly gets great reviews from employees, and could be a fun and friendly place to start your new remote lifestyle.

User Experience Designer at TED: This job requires a bit more prior technical experience than I typically share here, but it’s such a cool one I couldn’t resist. TED Talks is looking for a new designer for user flows, UI mockups, running usability tests, and more. If you have a web and graphic design background, this would be an awesome chance to work at a really fun and influential non-profit!

August 4, 2017
/

7 companies hiring work from home employees this month: july 2017

Posted in Career by

It’s July! It feels a bit like summer is halfway over, doesn’t it? It hardly seems fair. Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean it’s time to lay off the job search, or that companies aren’t hiring. Here are seven jobs you can apply to right now – many of them with no previous experience working remotely, and applying your already great skills!

Finance Customer & Employee Support Representative at Remote Year: Remote Year is a company that I’ve showcased here before, and they’re growing rapidly. If you feel comfortable managing financial questions from customers and employees, this job’s for you – you don’t even need a finance degree or experience!

Fan Happiness Associate at Gametime: If you live in a few specific states, Gametime is looking for you! Providing support for their customer service team and keeping customers happy, they’re hiring for a few different shifts. Positions start at $15/hour, full time with benefits available.

Customer Support Specialist at Boords: If you’re looking to break into the tech industry, working for an SaaS is a great introduction. Boords is a storyboarding product that’s two years old, and looks to be expanding! They note that having excellent communication skills is desired, as is customer-facing job experience in the past.

Account Migrations Specialist at Convertkit: ConvertKit is a mailing list service built for bloggers, by bloggers. If you subscribe to any mailing lists (including mine!) there’s a good chance that you’ve at least received mail sent by them, if you aren’t a blogger yourself using their service. They’re hiring an account specialist to help new users migrate their existing mailing lists over, so check out a free trial, add it to your resume, and apply.

Customer Champion at Zapier: Zapier is a great company with a great reputation, continuing to grow exponentially. They’re hiring a support specialist with working hours that are outside “normal” North American business hours, which is great for a digital nomad (or American night owl.)

Technical Writing Lead at GitLab: GitLab has one of the best company cultures in tech, and they’re looking for a new lead for their technical writing staff. In this role, you’ll take charge of help articles, tutorials, and the knowledge base, while managing other writers and collaborating with the marketing and sales teams to ensure all information is accurate.

Game Day Monitor at MLB Media: If I knew anything at all about baseball, I would be on this job so fast. Get paid to watch games, make sure streams work, and keep up with what’s happening where? If only it was hockey… Apply now – they’re hiring more than one monitor, but it’s certainly competitive!

If you’re looking for freelance writing jobs, check out this post with tons of websites that pay for your submissions – or check out Contena, where you can search hundreds of new, legitimate writing and editing jobs every day.

Be sure to sign up for the mailing list to be notified when the ultimate resource for finding work from home jobs and companies that hire distributed workers is available!

July 7, 2017
/