Rejected from remote role based on location + launching remote work resources & mentoring!

letter #8

Hi!

A few months I opened up office hours where I met with folks from all over the world for 30 mins. It was a fantastic experience and I talked to a wide range of people from all backgrounds and disciplines. Weekly (until I run out of questions) I’ll be pulling in 1 question I received and share it here with you. Hopefully, you find this helpful!

Q1: I’m based in Syria and can’t seem to find remote roles. Do recruiters turn away applicants based on location, even if it’s a remote job?

  • Totally possible! When you’re applying for remote roles ensure you thoroughly read the job description, check out the About Us and teams page to get a better handle on where the team is distributed. At times the job posting will mention US-Remote or Canada-Remote, as examples. And that means they’re specifically looking to hire folks in those areas. It’s easy to miss though and sometimes companies fail to even state it. If you’re really stumped, send a quick note to the recruiter to clarify before applying.

Questions? Leave a comment by viewing this post in your browser.


Launching resources, coaching and mentoring for remote individuals and teams.

As part of the #WomenMakeChallenge for October, I created RemoteNewbie. It will be released officially today, 10/31, and I’ve spent the last month working on pushing this out. I also shared this milestone on IndieHackers, because why not.

October was probably one of the roughest months of this year. It started out smooth and I felt productive and really dedicated to creating and developing RemoteNewbie. But then, I had a really close family member pass away and turned my world upside down. After that, I had about 1 week to get back in and re-focus to push out RemoteNewbie. It was hard but I’m glad to say, I’m ready to launch and iterate.

Check it out below and reply to this email with any thoughts, questions, or feedback and follow me on Twitter for launch updates!

Visit RemoteNewbie


Our “You get a job!” Corner 💼

Findings Across the Web 📢

  • Tulsa Remote! Woah, when I first stumbled on this I was shocked but in the most positive way. Tulsa remotes will pay remote workers and digital nomads to re-locate, work, and live out of Tulsa, OK. How cool is that? $10,000 in cash for moving expenses.

  • The Remote Work Stats 2019 is out! Lots of neat statistics around remote work challenges, hiring, meeting, and more.


If you’ve read this far (thank you), make sure to subscribe to the weekly letters to stay notified. Hit the “❤️” icon, if you enjoyed this.

Follow me on Twitter or find me here helping individuals and teams get better at remote work. Send any questions my way!

Irma.

Wondering if remote work is right for you?

letter #7

This week we start with a blog post from Thor Schroeder

Remote work is becoming more of a norm. It is being adopted by a wide array of industries for tons of different reasons. Some companies do it because it is cheaper, opens up their talent pool, increases productivity and opens up work hours, so they can be up and running 24/7. The part of this idea that goes less spoken about, is if it’s right for the employee? Specifically, is it right for you? 

The most common industry that you’ll find remote work in, is ‘tech’. This could mean you are a dev, product or project manager, designer, salesperson, customer service rep, marketer or a ton of other roles. Generally, most remote workers will work from home, with the occasional coffee shop day, if your calendar is thin on meetings. The idea of remote work sounds great too. You wake up five minutes before you need to be ‘logged on’, you make a coffee and plop down on your desk chair, still in your pj’s, while not even bothering to brush your teeth. That doesn’t sound sexy to me, mainly because I love routine and fresh breath, but this is a pretty common approach. When I say I like routine, I don’t mean go to the office five days a week, routine, but more like a schedule, regardless of location. The point I am trying to make here is, without the structure, the forced routine, can you still enjoy work? Can you work effectively? How about performing at a high velocity. 

If you are: 

  • A self-starter: can work without micromanagement 

  • A person that Googles your question before asking it to someone else

  • Someone that works best alone, without much face-to-face interaction

  • A person that doesn’t require co-worker/friend lunches or happy hours

  • Stick to deadlines without the idea of ‘clocking out’ for the day

…..Then I believe that remote work can be ideal for you.

Though:

  • If you have a tendency to get lonely when at home too long

  • Like to be surrounded by ‘office noise’ 

  • Crave group lunches and regular outings with the team

  • Like working with physical components while collaborating (stickies, whiteboard, flashcards, etc.)

  • Or are just unsure if you could perform your best

You might want to consider something in the office or at least partially remote/remote optional. 

I am honestly not straying you away. I personally believe that a lot of people should be remote workers. What needs to be taken away here, is that you should truly assess it, regardless if you think it’s perfect at first glance. There are positives and negatives for sure. You just don’t want to be a few months into that dream job and suddenly realize you hate every second of it. 

If you are the kind of person that doesn’t mind ‘hustling’ or working a second/third job or gig, maybe try it out on nights and weekends. It doesn’t even need to be with an actual job or ‘company’. You could try to work on some passion projects with a remote team. See how productive you are, see if you crave that in-person interaction. If you are bold, maybe even ask your current employer to work a couple of days a week remote. Who knows, maybe you’ll even shift your entire jobs work environment! 

How ever you go about it or whatever decision you make, try it, or at the very least think about all the good and bad reasons for remote work. I am all about jumping in feet first, just double check if you’re not too tall for the pool. 

Read more on RemoteNewbie


Don’t Crush It Alone (The Podcast)

#1 A typical day in the life of a remote digital founder with Masha a.k.a The Coding Blonde. Masha is an entrepreneur and the founder of Coding Blonde, a brand that empowers women to break into tech.

Check out the episode

Our “You get a job!” Corner

  • Fullstack Software Engineer @ Standard Notes, apply here

  • Technical Account Manager @ Arc, apply here

  • Customer Happiness Specialist @ Theranest, apply here


If you’ve read this far (thank you), make sure to subscribe to the weekly letters to stay notified. Hit the “heart” icon if you enjoyed this.

Follow me on Twitter or find me here helping individuals and teams get better at remote work. Send any questions my way!

Irma.

Share The Weekly Human

Dear Founders, Here's How To Handle The Surge Of Remote Work

A letter to founders and managers, if you’re a startup founder or if you’re a hiring manager whose company has held a physical office with no remote employees, it’s sorta time for you to think about why this is.

As the wave of millennials starts breaking and changing the workforce (for the better) there are going to major changes in the way on-boarding, job descriptions, inclusion, communications and more start to evolve. I mean, we’re seeing it right now

Gallup’s State of the American Workplace Report concluded that 43% of employees work remotely at least some of the time. And among those who work remotely at least part of the time, the percent of employees who work remotely 100% of the time is now 20%, up from 15% four years prior.

This is HUGE. The more access technology brings the faster we’re going to see emerging and rising demand for opportunities that allow folks to have:

1. flexible scheduling

2. autonomy

3. PTO

4. no commute

5. freedom

6. settings that allow for optimal productivity

So, if you know of a company that is not keeping up with the trend of remote work or maybe you are someone who’s trying to figure out the space of remote work so that you can start exposing your teams to it.

Here are my actionable suggestions:

Take a step back

Pull up your employees, document their responsibilities, interactions with co-workers, and communications with customers - can any of these roles be done from home? That’s it. 1 simple question to ask yourself. Can all of the roles at my company be done from anywhere where this is solid internet connection? If you have a digital product, the answer is most likely, yes.

Educate

No team can be built without ground-work and attention. Remote work has been around for a bit and some companies have somewhat perfected what it looks like to manage and structure a fully functioning remote team. Some of my favorites are, Buffer and Gitlab. Read through the docs and share your findings with your team.

Find what progress and successes did these companies make by having a fully remote team? Let me tell you, a ton. Why? Because the setting where you work doesn’t take away the effort, intelligence and thought behind executing work.

Start with 1 employee or 1 team

When I first started working remotely I was the first in-office employee to go off and start working remote from another location 1,000 miles away from HQ. Starting with 1 allows companies to experiment, document and course-correct as they work to define expectations of having remote employees.

These 3 suggestions are suggestions. But those that commit to doing all three, starting right now are way ahead of the game.

About Me

My name is Irma Mesa. I'm a Product Manager in the ed tech space and I love love love talking to and meeting new people. I've learned a ton through my years being in tech, at times being the only woman on a team, working remote and having incredible mentors. Now, I'm paying it forward.

I run remote consulting for individuals, companies and teams of all sizes. Join our community and receive coaching to become successful at remote work here.

Talk soon.

Irma

How To Deal With Loneliness As A Remote Worker?

Ever since I've started to work remote I've felt loneliness almost consistently. It's normal to feel this way and if you're feeling this way right now, please know that you're not alone. Remote work can be isolating. It's true. Everyone knows it but we find creative ways to overcome it. It does require a bit of extra effort so be prepared!

Unfortunately, we aren't in an office environment where being around other humans for 8 hours a day is a given. Let's dive into a few ways you can sorta defeat the lonely while working from home or at least how to get comfortable with it.

Online communities

This is probably the most accessible for many remote workers. Finding online communities that are dedicated spaces for remote folks, digital nomads or location independent individuals has the lowest barrier to entry. These spaces are usually free and they're made up the most genuine and easy-going people who are feeling the lonely as well.

Join a space, you can probably do a quick Google search. Try staying active in the community and maybe you'll even end up with a few internet friends you can chat with daily.

Co-working spaces (virtual or physical)

Co-working spaces are fantastic as they provide that in-office feeling without actually being at your work office. These spaces are usually spacious, clean, homey, and provide you with free coffee, snacks, and wifi. The biggest plus is that other people are working on their projects as well! So you can swoop into a desk with another co-worker and work near them making it feel as if you're not working alone. Some co-working spaces require memberships but some allow day passes to be purchased for a relatively affordable price. It's an easy way to get out of the house and into a super quiet space.

Coffee shops

Okay, so I may have some disagreements here because it's too loud and you leave smelling like delicious Central American coffee beans (who doesn't love this?!?) but I still believe that coffee shops are my sweet place. It's not too expensive like frequenting a co-working space but it's low cost to be able to be near other people.

It's also super simple to strike up a random conversation in line or with the barista. There you go! Your human interaction for the day, complete! But seriously, coffee shops are a great choice to keep in mind. If you're not a coffee drinker there's usually tea, sparkling water, etc. there for you and + free wifi and stuff for snacking.

Meetups

For us introverted remote workers this may be the last thing we want to do BUT hear me out you'll find lots of opportunities at meetups to network and find others who are in the same boat as you.

If you have any specific questions on stomping on that lonely feeling while being a remote worker, reach out!

About Me

My name is Irma Mesa. I'm a Product Manager in the ed-tech space and I love love love talking to and meeting new people. I've learned a ton through my years being in tech, at times being the only woman on a team, working remote and having incredible mentors. Now, I'm paying it forward.

Join our community and receive coaching to become successful at remote work here.

Talk soon.

Irma

💌 letter #7: no-code apps, #remotenewbie, it's October!

Sunday’s newsletter is here. Crazy it’s already October, right?

You’ll start noticing hiring for roles start to slow down in preparation for the holidays. If you’re currently job hunting, don’t get discouraged as things should pick back up in Q1.


Don’t Crush It Alone (The Podcast)

#1 Hacking social media to help grow your audience with Masha a.k.a The Coding Blonde. Masha is an entrepreneur and the founder of Coding Blonde, a brand that empowers women to break into tech.

#2 How to close that deal with your next client or investor with Jaap Vergote. Jaap is the Executive Sales Manager at ViaBill and the founder previous co-founder of CAMPO.

Check out the episodes

#RemoteNewbie has landed.

Coaching, resources, tutorials, & community helping you learn remote work best practices. I would love your thoughts, feedback, or questions!

Learn more

Land yourself a job

Building with no-code

I’ve been creating with no-code for more than 6 months now and have learned a ton! Thanks to Ben Tossell and Makerpad. I’ve also met new makers and beta tested no-code apps. It’s an amazing movement and excited to see where it goes.

I recently launched, RoadmapClub. RoadmapClub is a list of product and software roadmaps that you can use for inspiration while you build your 2020 roadmap. Check it out!

Built with: Notion, Airtable, and Buttondown Email


If you’ve read this far (thank you), make sure to subscribe to the weekly letters to stay notified.

Follow me on Twitter or follow my website to learn more about remote work, entrepreneurship, tech, psychology, and coding. You can also find me here helping individuals and teams get better at remote work.

Irma.

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