At the beginning of this year I was running my own company. I wasn’t thinking about finding a job, let alone a remote one. But then my partners and I decided to shut down our business. That decision led Rebekah and I to buy an RV and hit the road. Since we settled into an extended stay spot in Virginia Beach today (for the duration of Rebekah’s show), I thought it was a good time to share my process of finding a remote job that embraces RVLife.
If you spend any time on LinkedIn you’ll see one of two articles – one calling remote work the future and one saying that companies are giving up on remote work. Those are pretty much clickbait, but a good insight into the passions surrounding remote work. Companies tend to be for or against it. So as I began to look for a remote job, I spent a good deal of time researching companies that loved remote work. I didn’t want to fight the culture of a company with our nomadic life.
As I applied for positions and interviewed, I found that there was an even smaller set of companies that embraced a nomadic remote worker. One job that I was really well qualified for dismissed me because ‘we haven’t seen employees be successful at focusing on work under those circumstances.’ I was getting a bit discouraged by the number of roles available and the enormous amount of competition for these roles. But that didn’t change my belief in finding a company that encouraged RVLife.
Like any job search, I began by figuring out what I wanted to do and what kind of company I wanted to work for. My ideal role was working on software development projects in an early stage startup. Then, I started googling for remote work job boards. Most sites have some sort of way to filter by remote work, but some sites are far superior. Since I was looking for a startup job, my best friend was AngelList (I had hired off of there before). The salaries are upfront, and they have a great matching and messaging system.
Unfortunately, I had very little luck getting matches in the beginning. I began checking each of the sites listed below daily for new postings. I spent three months looking for a job and sent in 2-10 applications a day. The good news was that there were new jobs daily, the bad news was that I wasn’t getting responses (much less interviews) for the roles. I spoke to some friends and tweaked my resume to tell a better story. I also came across a blog post from the CEO of Aha! that gave me a new way to write cover letters or intro messages. After a few revisions, I started to get some phone interviews and finally some real interviews (well, not in person real, but remote real). I can’t definitively state that the changes made a difference, but I believe they did. Before I accepted my current position, I had 3 legitimate options.
Why I Decided to Work for Reply.ai
Reply is an early stage startup, and the role was to manage software development projects, so it checked both of my ideal role boxes. Reply’s founders are also people that I wanted to learn from, and they are working the machine learning/artificial intelligence space; two things that I was looking for, as well. So, the last piece was the ‘living in an RV’ issue. I had started to not volunteer the RV information unless it came up directly. But on the first call with Reply, I brought it up. There were the usual ‘how does that work’ questions, but they didn’t dismiss me. That was a good sign.
No one on subsequent calls thought of it as a huge issue either. Reply has an office in New York, but only 4 people are there. Most are across Spain with a few more scattered in the States. When it came down to the offer, I wanted to make sure they were good with me traveling around. They pretty much said as long as you get your work done, we don’t care. That was good for me, and I’ve been really happy so far.
AngelList – search ‘Remote OK’
Remote.co – they also have a list of companies
Flexjobs – you have to pay, but one month is like $15.
Indeed – I really dislike Indeed, but they have a lot of jobs
Glassdoor – search ‘Remote’ for the location