Nexford’s The Global Grid augments the remote job market
For decades, the job market had not changed much until COVID-19 came and revolutionized how people work, where they work, and what jobs they would work in
Remember how we used to set that alarm for the same time each day, dress in professional work attire or uniform if the job dictated, ate breakfast quickly, and then ran for the door only to sit in rush hour traffic or on a train for what felt like an eternity? We spent the day tied to a desk, paid exorbitant amounts of money for a sandwich and a drink at the deli on the corner for lunch and then rushed home to catch a train or got in the car only to sit once again for what felt like an eternity. Then rinse and repeat for the next four days.
Remote work is changing the job market forever
Many people are reconsidering their personal and professional priorities as the Great Resignation and the Great Reshuffle continue. From pivoting in your career to finding a remote job that allows you to prioritize what is important to you to developing strategies to thrive in that role – there is a lot to consider as remote work establishes itself firmly as part of the work environment.
In response to the shifting nature of work, Nexford University launched The Global Grid (TGG), a mentorship program to enable talent around the world to prepare for remote jobs. The program aims to increase awareness around the millions of jobs that are moving online, and the skills required to qualify for them.
Before you turn in your own resignation letter, below are six considerations to keep in mind as you explore remote job opportunities. Whether it is your first time applying for a remote job, or if you have been a remote worker since before the pandemic, it is important to keep in mind the benefits and drawbacks of remote work.
Benefits of remote work
For many of us, commuting is not an experience that come retirement day we will look back on with fond memories. The job site ‘Totaljobs’ has measured hours spent commuting to and from work of the average UK worker and has found that they will spend well over 400 days of their life commuting and those traveling into London will spend upwards of 559 days. Imagine what else you could do with that time?
Remote work helps you save time on commuting, money by not having to eat out, and can help you improve your productivity without distractions from colleagues or a noisy communal working space.
Sounds idyllic, but you may find that you uncover new distractions working from home like quickly finishing lingering household chores or sleeping in since you do not have to fight traffic. With time and diligence, you can overcome these distractions to thrive while working from home – especially when you prepare yourself by committing to lifelong online learning.
Skills necessary for remote work
Certain skills become even more critical when you consider the uniqueness of remote working. From communication to managing your time, it is essential to understand the skills you already possess and those you need to procure to grow and thrive in a remote work environment.
Communication skills include several ways that you interact with others. It includes how you engage via email, chat, and in your presentation materials in addition to handling formal and informal conversations.
Another skill that is integral to your success when working from home is time management. Through trial and error, you can find a strategy that works best for you – from blocking your calendar, to doing a time audit, to using the Pomodoro technique. Whatever technique you use, remember that you may need to refresh what works best for you from time to time to shake things up.
Emotional intelligence is also key to succeeding in a remote-first work environment. In Nexford’s online MBA and BBA courses, we explore how to develop your emotional intelligence and its relevance in the work environment. One of our mentors, Yemi Faseun, recently explored the topic of leading with emotional intelligence at work, reinforcing the institutional level outcomes that are woven throughout the Nexford curriculum.
Pivoting industries to work remotely
Deciding to pursue remote career opportunities is one thing – pivoting industries on top of landing a new remote job presents its own challenges and opportunities. According to Glassdoor, some of the top fields for pursuing remote work include becoming a database architect, Salesforce developer, product manager, and customer success manager.
Curious how to position yourself for your next promotion as you prepare for your own career pivot? Check out this webinar from one of our mentors, Raymond Victorino, who covers the steps you need to take to adequately prepare for your next career move no matter what industry you are moving into.
Finding remote work
You understand the benefits of remote work. You have brushed up your skills and decided how you want to pivot. Now you need to find the perfect remote job! With so many resources floating around online it can be hard to find exactly what suits you. Never fear, help is at hand.
Here is a job board with a collection of over 400 remote companies. Make sure to use LinkedIn to find companies and connect with your network to find one that meets your different parameters and to ensure it is a global remote company.
Once you find the perfect remote job, you need to be ready to interview for it! Fortunately, Cybill Getgood, one of Nexford University’s mentors through The Global Grid, is an executive recruiter and recently shared strategies for acing your job interview. Since many interviews have some virtual components, phones, or video screens, it is essential to enter the interview prepared and equipped.
Building your network in a remote job
Nurturing your network in a remote job is something new for many people. While it may seem challenging at first to build your network in a remote role, there are many ways to do so. From making sure to reach out to new connections made through internal meetings and webinars that your company hosts, to building connections at in-person conferences and externally hosted webinars, you can find ways to meet new people who are experts in your industry and learn new skills.
A simple way to grow your network is by sharing what you learn online. Did you just complete an online course? Share one to two takeaways in a LinkedIn post and tag your instructor. Did you attend a webinar and appreciate the message the speaker shared? Let others know what your favorite part of the session was.
Building meaningful relationships is one of the most important things you can do in your career, and it is possible to do so in a remote work environment. Angela Maiers, personal branding and higher education expert and a mentor with The Global Grid, shares tips for building your personal brand here, which in turn can help you reinforce your network.
Mentorship in a remote setting
The Global Grid stems from Nexford’s belief that when equipped with the right education people should be able to access quality, remote jobs regardless of where they are. Through interactive webinars and Nexford-exclusive mentorship sessions, we are exploring the specific skills employers are looking for and how people around the world can join this virtual global talent grid.
One of the positive outcomes of the world moving even more online due to COVID-19 is that it has opened opportunities for mentorship from experts around the world through webinars and online networking events. While interacting with certain people was before relegated to exclusive in-person events that were hard to get to and prohibitively expensive for most to attend, remote work has allowed more people to engage meaningfully online.
Are you one of the millions of people reconsidering your professional priorities as part of the Great Resignation and the Great Reshuffle? Whether you are in the initial stages of exploring new career opportunities or someone who has a better understanding of your skills and how they fit in the remote world of work, the considerations listed above will equip you with the mindset and skills you need to thrive in this newly imagined remote work environment.
And with all the time and money you will save in your new remote job, remember to take the time to treat yourself. Find a café or co-working space nearby where you can go from time to time and work with friends – who knows, you may spark some new ideas for your next career move or work project!
About the Author
Dr. Jennifer Bangoura
Dr. Jennifer Bangoura is the director of Career Innovation for Nexford University and a consultant for the Future of Learning Fund, an early-stage investment fund to invest in new and improved models of learning that prepare Africans for the future of work.