Remote jobs are the vogue right now in the career and professional world. 10 years ago almost no one gave remote work much thought. Fast forward today and more companies are hiring for remote jobs more than ever. More people now search for remote jobs online.
Remote work is now a growing trend that appears to have come to stay. It is no longer a fad. Huge companies are beginning to factor in remote work into their overall HR architecture. While this throws up some issues to deal with, overall it is something more employees and employers are embracing. Entire companies now run fully remote with every employee working from wherever they want.
Remote Work in Africa
Africa, as the last frontier continent, tends to always be left behind in major global shifts and trends but certainly not on this one.
Remote work in Africa is becoming as popular among workers as in, if not more, than most parts of the world. In a survey by Michael Page 71% of respondents/applicants think that working remotely will be more important than before.
Why Remote Work
More people are attesting to the advantages of working remotely. A lot more people in Africa say they would work remotely for an employer with no physical presence in their country, in a willingness to work remotely study.
So why is remote work becoming so popular?
There are many advantages now being associated with remote work. There is the improved productivity from having not to deal with daily transit/traffic hassles (which can be more pronounced in African cities like Lagos and Johannesburg). The high cost of living in many African cities means that employees who work remotely get to save significant money from transportation costs, feeding etc when they work from home.
The quality of life also improves for working parents who can adapt to raising their children while working from home.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Remote Work
It is not all rosy when it comes to having a remote job. Especially in Africa where there are still teething issues with infrastructure.
While remote work has its many advantages such as
- Less commuting time
- More autonomy
- More savings from having to commute less
- Better work life balance
- More productivity
- Increased motivation etc
There are also disadvantages that may face anyone deciding to opt for remote jobs in Africa. Some of these may include;
Infrastructure challenges: In many African countries like Nigeria internet connectivity and power is not as reliable as we would like. So working remotely may present challenges of internet downtime where you may have to provide alternative internet connections just to keep up with your work schedule, join meetings etc. If you live in parts of the continent where power is not reliable this may mean extra expense for you as you may need to rely on alternative sources of energy
Cultural Challenges: I have interacted with a lot of younger African workers who work remotely from home and there is a common issue about how parents, older siblings do not yet realise the need for boundaries. Some parents never take it seriously that their kid(s) work from home as you would get interruptions throughout the day. However this is improving as with the Covid-19 pandemic many older parents are now beginning to understand that remote work is actually a thing. Young people working from home can create quiet workspaces for themselves, talk to their family members about how important their job is and minimise the distraction while working from home.
The Level of Development and Nature of Many Companies: While a lot of companies are adopting the flexible work approach, a lot of companies in Africa are still somewhat unable to, mainly because of the hands on nature of their business or the structure (which will require management to change their thinking and restructure their companies for effective remote work). So for these types of companies their employees may find it difficult getting a significant amount of their jobs done remotely.
Work Life Balance: For some people they need that ability to meet co-workers physically and interact with others. While there are indications of mental health challenges associated with remote work including isolation, loneliness and difficulty getting away from work etc these may be more evident for some people who are more disposed to an extrovert personality. Some of these can be solved by actively engaging in non-work activities, maintaining a social life outside work etc.
If You Have Made up Your Mind
For you, working remotely may be for different reasons. However if you really want to work from home/work remotely the aim of this article is to give you tips on how to search for and find remote jobs online.
But first you need to decide ….
What Kind of Remote Jobs are You Open to?
Remote jobs come in different mixes so first understanding the right kind of remote work for you is important.
Types of Remote Jobs
Remote jobs can come as full time, part time or even one time/contract/freelance jobs. So it depends on what you want.
Are you looking for a full time, completely remote job that you can do from anywhere, allowing you travel as you wish and work out from any location, including a coffee shop?
Or you want a full time, partly remote job where you will still have to go into the company location a few times a week or month?
Perhaps you are looking for a part time remote job (with fixed times/hours) that can complement your current job and bring in extra income
Or the even more freelancer remote jobs that are project based, time based and offers you more flexibility as you only get paid for specific jobs you complete.
Your preference will determine where you go to search and look for remote jobs online.
Different Ways to Search for and Find Remote Jobs
There are different ways and places to find remote jobs online. Since they are remote jobs you will most likely not find them offline. The internet is your playground/tool for finding remote jobs.
Here are some places and ways to find full time, part time, partial and or freelance remote jobs;
When it comes to finding remote jobs online Google is one of your surest channels. You just have to type in the right keywords.
For eg if you search – remote jobs in Nigeria – you get a decent amount of results. More importantly Google Jobs (a feature of Google where it scraps and presents in an organised way, the open jobs from a location) is improving. Google Jobs displays for you on top of the results page, a results box showing hundreds of remote jobs in Nigeria
You can then click on the More Jobs button to display the full results of remote jobs in Nigeria from Google Jobs. It takes you to the Google Jobs page for the keyword – remote jobs in Nigeria where you can filter remote jobs by category and even set alerts.
You can do same for remote jobs in (Insert your country name).
See the example for South Africa below.
You can also scroll down more on the Google results page for your query and see more relevant links with remote jobs for your location.
2. Social – Linkedin
LinkedIn is not the leading professional social networking site for nothing. It has actually improved in its job search features (some similarities to the Google Jobs display).
Go to linked.com/jobs and type in remote in the top search bar. You’ll see a list of currently posted remote jobs in your location.
3. Social – Twitter
Twitter has become an even more powerful social network in countries like Nigeria and South Africa as it amplifies conversations on social issues, regularly getting issues to go viral.
Searching for remote jobs on Twitter is a bit more tricky than for instance on Linkedin. That’s because the microblogging site was not designed for job search.
However it has proven to be a good networking tool for career and business. Here are some tips to use Twitter to find remote jobs in your location.
Search relevant keywords: Enter keywords like remote jobs in xyz (your location) to see tweets containing the keywords. The skill here is to know the variations of keywords you can enter to see relevant tweets that may show some job openings or someone looking to hire for roles. Some keywords to try; jobs, vacancies, remote work, remote jobs, hiring remote, remote vacancies, etc
Find and Follow Relevant Handles: While searching for keywords you may come across people or handles that tweet good job openings from time to time. You can follow them or add them in a list so you don’t miss out on any remote job offers they tweet
Make your Twitter profile more professional, indicate skills you have and if possible put a link to your LinkedIn or a more detailed profile
Grow your Connections: Be deliberate about finding trends, hashtags about career growth and professional areas that interest you. Engage in meaningful conversations and grow your connections.
Post meaningful insights: If you have some experience and insights on some work areas posting those insights in threads periodically will attract more meaningful engagement and connections. Searching for remote work opportunities on Twitter is more of a thoughtful process and you will have to put some time into it.
4. Social – Facebook
One of the most effective ways to find remote jobs on Facebook is to look for and join groups focused on remote job opportunities depending on your location. You can use the search bar in your Facebook app or website to search for different keywords like remote work, remote job, freelance jobs etc. You can then filter by pages or groups.
You can also test including your current location or country in the keywords eg remote jobs south africa, remote work nigeria etc to see what comes up.
Granted, Facebook may not be one of the most effective places to find remote jobs but if you find and join the right communities you may be lucky to come across a few.
5. Specialized Remote Job Boards
A very good way to get remote jobs is to join job boards that are specialized on remote jobs. Some of these remote job boards are location specific, others are global. Here are some remote job boards you can try:
Applying for Remote Jobs
Finding remote opportunities is one thing, applying for them successfully is another. To improve your chances here are some things to consider;
Getting your CV ready and optimised
As in most other jobs your CV is the important professional representation of yourself. In remote jobs the CV becomes even more important as the prospective employer may likely not meet you face to face.
The CV together with other aspects of your application (tests, quizzes, cover letter etc depending on the job) will determine if you get to the interview stage where you can further demonstrate your skills, knowledge and suitability for the role.
If you have very little or no experience you can check out CV writing tips for jobseekers with little or no experience.
Aside from writing very good CVs that showcase your skills, expertise and experience for the job you should also present your CV in a visually pleasing and easy to read format. You can use our CV builder to create excellent looking CVs for your applications or check out some interesting CV templates you can use today.
Qualities employers look for that need to be emphasised
For every job there are qualities employers look out for in the best candidates. These qualities can be broadly defined in two ways; general qualities and job specific qualities.
General qualities for remote jobs will typically include
- Ability to work with little supervision
- Organisation and ability to plan and prioritise work
- Problem solving skills
- Ability to find, obtain and process information
- Communication skills
- Internet and computer savviness
Job specific qualities will depend on the nature/type of the job. You’d expect that remote writing/content creation jobs will require some different skill sets and qualities from, say, a web development job or product management job. You should know what qualities will stand you out for each job and project the ones you have in your CV.
Any experience working remotely?
Some jobs may require prior experience working remotely. Even you have never worked remotely, this should not discourage you from applying to jobs requiring remote work experience. You can boost your remote work experience by looking for short, freelance remote based tasks/jobs to do even if on a pro-bono basis.
Some employers may just want some proof that the candidate understands what remote work means and that the zeal, output required is no less than what is obtainable in on-site jobs.
What to Do When You’re Ready
When you are ready (and have prepared yourself enough) to apply and take on remote work you should
Apply to jobs that match or relate to your strength, interests and background
Starting out you don’t want to just apply to any remote job openings you see advertised online. You should be selective to apply for jobs that match your level of experience, strengths, interests etc. That way your chances of getting one becomes decent.
Keep track of the jobs you apply to
A lot of people don’t do this. One of the reasons to keep track of the specific jobs you apply for is so you do not miss out on responses from the employer. Also it helps that you know which jobs you applied for and the response or otherwise from the employer, the stage(s) you are in etc.
Keeping a spreadsheet will also help you identify how each progresses, feedback (if any) and lessons to learn and apply in subsequent applications.
Be prepared to tailor your CV and Cover letters accordingly for each application
Tailoring your CV to each application is akin to super targeting one’s ads. Using one CV to apply to different types of jobs may not really help your case. Look through each application and see what tweaks you can make to your CV and application letter to better project your qualifications and skills for that particular job.
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