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How our community found remote work

While before Covid Grow Remote was all about offline, it’s been pretty great to see the remote working community come together online since we opened our Slack Group.

We’re all about facilitating the community to encourage active participation. Every Tuesday at 3pm GMT+1 we get together for a Zoom coffee, and every Thursday we host a ‘Talking Point Thursday’. This week we wanted to gather knowledge from across the community on how people found their remote job.

It’s clear there’s a reflection of the old way, where you would apply for an in office job and get let go remote, but there’s also great insights into finding a remote job from scratch.

A big thanks to Alan, Ian and Mags for putting so much care into their answers, and living our values of giving first.

Mags

Where did you get your remote job?

I wasn’t looking, but when interesting jobs came my way I was always very clear on what I expected in terms of my remote working.
I think it’s also reasonable to contact HR folks and ask them, if there’s a job you like the look of and aren’t sure about the remote policies.
I think being clear from the get go, and not waiting to use it as a bargaining chip after you are offered the role is the best way to go. In that case no one’s time is wasted.
Decide what you are willing to negotiate on and what your limits are re remote work. For me, I’m willing to do 2 days in the office and I’m will to commute 2 hrs by train, or 1 hr by car.

How did you find out about it?

They contacted me on LinkedIn. I told them I would be willing to talk after the project I was currently working on, and they contacted me towards the end of my project. They were amazing – super professional.

What was the recruitment process like?

2 phone interviews, followed by 4 hrs in person interviews. They then introduced me to a remote worker who was doing the same role as me for a chat.

What words of advice would you give candidates about this process?

Establish your boundaries from the beginning. And decide what aspects are negotiable for you. One of the biggest things for me in life is just to always have an open mind and don’t be afraid to take a few risks
Also, be honest with yourself in terms of your stage in life. Different stages in your life mean different things in terms of your career, and don’t be afraid to do what’s best for you.

Ian

Where did you get your remote job?

Through a recruiter cold calling me after getting my number from LinkedIn.
The recruiter was Garry from Stelfox https://www.linkedin.com/in/garrybarcoe/ he’s now full time with a tech company.Normally I wouldn’t entertain recruiters from firms – In my experience they are rarely good, never matching skills correctly, never actually reading your CV, never listening to what your looking for, etc. I get so much irrelevant rubbish in on LinkedIn. Garry wasn’t one of these thankfully – If you do ever find yourself talking to a good recruiter be sure to save their details, they’re always a handy contact to have if your looking to move or even to just get insights into the job market.

How did you find out about it?

I was actively looking for a job, I wasn’t happy at all in my current position. My girlfriend was also wanting to move to Cork, Ireland. I had done a lot of detailed research into different technology companies within Cork – Teamwork.Com, Mc Afee/Intel security, Nginx, VoxPro, Dell/EMC/Vmware, etc. I wanted to get rid of the Dublin cost of living but still earn a Dublin package.I loved the idea of remote working, It gave me everything I wanted (good package, no location ties). I never thought it would be possible and idolised the likes of hotjar and gitlab. I applied to them but didn’t get past CV filtering stages – remote experience was required.I was very excited when I got the call from Garry, he said the company name and I was extremely familiar with the company – I had previously looked at purchasing their services in a past role. Knowing what they did, and that they were 100% remote and required zero remote experience and just happened to be head quartered in Cork made it seem perfect!The package bit didn’t go fully as planned, ended up taking 10k hit but even with this, the package was still better than all the other Cork companies could offer. I’m happy to report that in the recruitment stages I was told yearly reviews were done and people do get incremented accordingly – this is true and happened :).

What was the recruitment process like?

3 video calls. One with a company owned recruiter and two with the team I’d be hired into. I’m a bit weird and I absolutely love interviews – there was a moment in my life where I was just attending them for sheer fun and practice (I’m 27 and have done around ~13 interviews).Every interview other than one with Google I’ve managed to get an offer from. Normally I’d be able to gauge how an interview went and if it was going to go somewhere….. with ScrapingHub I wasn’t able to do that, the video call format and how technical the interviews were and knowing that they’d been advertising the position for ~4 months and still hadn’t found someone left me feeling a bit deflated and thinking not a hope – a dream, so close but won’t make it. I was delighted to find out I was wrong.

What words of advice would you give candidates about this process?

Not the process but rather than the transition in general – make sure you are wanting to go remote for the right reasons, remote work is still a job, you still must work, you must deliver things. Sure some people live in different countries every month, have ultimate flexibility and many other things – always respect and appreciate these as perks, don’t join a company because they are remote, join a company because you believe in the company and feel like you have potential to fulfil the role they have open. 

Alan

Where did you get your remote job?

I joined a traditional office based company in 2002, where they were the only company in the country hiring for my skillset.  Shortly after joining they announced that they were considering teleworking as an option.  Mostly because they were growing like weeds and were running out of physical space.  I was keen to move back to Limerick, as I met a girl :).  So as soon as my probation was up, I hassled the manager who suggested it until she said yes.  7 months in to the job and I was moving to Limerick again.  That was 18 years ago and I’m still here, still remote.

How did you find out about it?

It was internally discussed.  Remote work barely existed in 2002.

What was the recruitment process?


Not really relevant here as I was hired for an office job.  But I did have to continually go above and beyond to ensure I wasn’t asked to come back to the office.

Words of advice?

Back your self.  Always.

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