Not All Remote Jobs Are Created Equal
Most remote jobs are not fully remote.
According to FlexJobs, 95% of remote jobs have a state or country restriction, often due to employment or tax laws. And, while only 5% of the jobs listed, “work-from-anywhere jobs,” are 76% of survey respondents’ first choice!
There are a lot fewer companies offering opportunities to “work from anywhere.”
If you’re interested in being able to travel while you work, or find a job that allows you to be anywhere in the world, stay tuned.
In this article and video, I’m going to go into exhaustive detail about how you can find them.
The Rise of Digital Nomads
Why would one want to “work from anywhere?”
According to MBO Partners:
Digital Nomads are a population of workers who choose to embrace a location-independent, technology-enabled lifestyle that allows them to travel and work remotely, anywhere in the world. Our research finds that 4.8 million independent workers currently describe themselves as digital nomads, and many more, 17 million, aspire to someday become nomadic.
How Do Digital Nomads Make a Living?
There are three typical ways I’ve seen digital nomads make a living:
Fully Remote Employment: Work as an employee for a company that allows them to work from anywhere.
Freelancing: Land projects or contract work from companies as a freelancer.
Self-Employment: Entrepreneurs and virtual business owners who run it from anywhere they want.
Being a digital nomad myself, I’ve leveraged remote work to travel and live in 15 countries in the past 6+ years of being remote. During that time I’ve had stints of all three varieties: remote employment, freelancing, and self-employment.
Consistent with the research about aspiring nomads, hundreds of people have reached out to me, wondering how they can also live the nomadic lifestyle, and find work that complements their ability to do so.
In this article, I’ll be covering the first option: working as an employee for a company that allows them to work from anywhere.
Distributed “Remote First” Companies
To find work from anywhere jobs, we must first understand which kinds of companies are offering these opportunities.
Start with fully distributed companies.
The growth of remote work, tech, and the digital nomadic lifestyle has created alternative possibilities for companies: who and where they can hire — fully flexible of location.
More companies are starting with remote work first, rather than forced adaptation (like we’ve seen with the pandemic).
Many people don’t realize how long some successful “distributed” companies have been around pioneering this movement. For example:
And, according to Lullabot:
A distributed company is one in which the vast majority of employees work from wherever they are comfortable and productive. Perhaps most importantly, communication and culture are moved outside the boundaries of a physical location so that everyone is able to be included wherever they live.
These companies are truly special!
They don’t have a central office, which distinguishes them from other companies — even ones with partially remote employees who have a physical HQ and satellite offices — and those with a partially expected on-premise workforce (hybrid companies).
The main difference is intention.
Distributed companies start with the intention of being “remote first,” and see the distribution of their personnel around the world as their inherent competitive advantage — not a lesser or compromised option to an in-person workforce.
They see remote work and virtual communication (especially asynchronous) as the default, rather than the exception. Their culture is built with “work-from-anywhere” baked-in.
3 Ways To Find Companies That Let You Work From Anywhere
The best (and most underutilized) place to search for jobs is in your current network – most people forget how many contacts they have!
Because these jobs are hyper-competitive, your main goal should be to get a referral or an internal sponsorship within the company.
Scan your network for those who already work at one of these companies and reach out for an informational interview.
Pro Tip: Everything you need in your life is within your weak ties! Understand the power of weak ties by reading about them here.
Remote Job Boards
Many remote job filters have filters you can use to sort “work-from-anywhere” jobs, and you’ll also see what roles they’re hiring for.
Example 1: FlexJobs (paid remote job board) has a filter called “Anywhere” in their advanced search which will pull up results of only fully remote orgs.
Example 2: WeWorkRemotely (free remote job board) has an “Anywhere (100% Remote) Only” tag which does the same.
Pro Tip: There are many different remote job boards, it can get overwhelming. I recommend using only a few. And invest in yourself and make your search easier! FlexJobs, a paid remote job search service, is arguably the most robust option. It’s also quite affordable. Use promo code “NOMAD” at checkout to save up to 30% on your plan!
Article Round-Ups Online
There are a ton of articles out there offering lists of companies that offer WFA jobs.
Example: FlexJobs “25 Companies That Hire Work-From-Anywhere-Jobs.”
Pro Tip: Each time you come across a new company you’re interested in, write them down on a spreadsheet, follow them on LinkedIn, sign up for their email newsletter, and build a strategy for how to enter their ecosystem and get connected!
BONUS: LinkedIn Similar Companies
LinkedIn is your greatest asset in your remote job search: it’s your way of connecting with employees of your target companies, finding jobs, creating content, and posting your experience for recruiters to see.
Search the companies you find above in LinkedIn to find their company page.
On the company page on LinkedIn, there is a “similar companies” column on the right where you can see other companies who are likely to be hiring from anywhere, too!
Pro Tip: Check out my Youtube playlist on LinkedIn Strategy to learn how to use the platform effectively for your remote job search.
Get Strategic to Land a Work From Anywhere Job
Now that you know where and how to find these companies and jobs to become a “digital nomad,” or “work-from-anywhere,” you’re all set, right?
The whole world is the candidate pool for these companies, and the positions they hire for are wildly competitive.
Amir Salihefendic, CEO of Doist writes says some positions they post receive greater than 1,000 applications. Over the years, they’ve done analysis on their application to hire percentage:
Most people, seeing those odds, would feel discouraged. I don’t blame you. It’s not easy to get a job at a fully distributed company, and you need to ensure you have the right strategy to do so.
Find out more about a winning strategy that helps my clients land remote jobs (even during the pandemic) by checking out this free training.
Artwork © Jerry Anderson.