How to get a remote job (without freelancing or starting your own business)

The secret is out. Remote work is a damn good setup for workers. I’m on my third remote job. And I love it.

Remote work is all the rage right now for a simple reason: it makes the chaos of every day life a little more manageable.

It’s also good for your career.

It’s good for reducing stress.

It’s good for spending more time with people you care about.

I’m not the only one that thinks this. In the annual State of Remote Work survey, Buffer found that remote workers overwhelmingly were a content bunch:

In its State of Remote Work survey, social media management company Buffer found that 99 percent of remote workers would like to continue working remotely at least part of the time for the rest of their careers, and 95 percent would recommend it to others.

While headlines about robots taking our jobs dominate the future of work narrative, remote and flexible work is the future of work. Digital communication platforms, technology-savvy leadership, and new business models have created the infrastructure for remote work cultures and we’re not going back.

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Artificial intelligence, your career, and the job search

tl;dr: I dumped out all my thoughts on artificial intelligence, the future of work, and AI in the job search on Mac’s list career podcast.

We are living in the glory days of podcast content. I don’t even care that New York Times thinks we are at peak podcast, I am loving the variety and niche topics that podcast creators are delivering on a daily basis. There isn’t enough time in the day to listen to all the podcasts in my feed.

Right now I’m totally into season four of ZigZag podcast. The theme of redefining success resonates with me.

I’m late to this podcast series party, but I’m obsessed with Caliphate and the behind the scenes action of investigative journalism.

Having just wrote a quasi-self help book, I absolutely loved Unladylike’s How to Self Help Yourself episode, as well as How to Own your Talent with Ashely Nicole Black, as well as the hip hop Spotify playlist as a compliment to the episode, How to Be Da Baddest Bitch in Hip Hop.

And Innovation Hub shared a new perspective on how meritocracy is damaging our economy.

While I’ve been busy consuming all the podcasts, I’ve also been hosting my own tiny-but-mighty podcast for career changers and am busy guesting around on others. Most recently I jumped on the fabulous career podcast from the Pacific Northwest, Mac’s List.

I covered artificial intelligence in the job search and how new technology is reshaping our careers. I also tell you why the robots aren’t exactly taking over our jobs.

Give it a listen.

Could LinkedIn be a teaching platform?

In my last post, I wondered if people considered LinkedIn a learning platform given their immense collection of online training for the workplace.

Now I’m thinking about the flip side: is LinkedIn a teaching platform? Could it be?

One of my LinkedIn contacts frequently teaches in his updates. He stands out from the rest of my contacts in that he’s not just promoting himself (or sharing those terrible #humblebrag stories.) Instead, he teaches and when he does, I learn things.

Most of his content is related to data analytics, a subject I’m super interested in. I’m currently studying Python for data analysis and contract for an AI startup. So I found it mighty helpful when he shared this:


And I really enjoyed learning new vocabulary and concepts from the post below, even though it’s still quite advanced for me.

He also shared a helpful tip for job seekers:

His content stands out from everyone else in my network.

I thought about him as I was writing the post on LinkedIn as a learning platform. When I asked in a Facebook group whether or not LinkedIn is a learning platform, two responses reminded me of him:

I learn a lot from my connections on LinkedIn but it’s their content, not the platform, that initiates this. LinkedIn needs a lot of work!

You can find people from which you can learn but it’s not the main focus of the platform

I wondered: could LinkedIn be a teaching platform? And would it be a more valuable place to spend your internet time if it were?

I’m not referring to teaching a course on LinkedIn learning. I’m interested in using LinkedIn to teach a subject using updates, videos, and shared content. What would it look like? Would people engage? How would they engage? I teach a variety of subject in workshops, webinars, and online courses. I’m curious what it’d look like to teach using LinkedIn.

This isn’t a new concept. I see career coaches occasionally teaching on LinkedIn.

I’ve just never tried it. I’m a power user on LinkedIn and I share articles of interest frequently. But I’ve never tried using it as a teaching tool. I’m interested in intentionally tried teaching a subject, planning a curriculum, and seek out diverse resources for people to explore on a given topic.

So I’m going to try an experiment on LinkedIn. For the month of August, I’m teaching people how to upskill.

The term upskilling is a phrase thrown around casually in organizational development and future of work circles. Upskilling is mostly focused on managers who are deciding between hiring new people or training existing employees to adapt to new business models. However, there isn’t much coaching for the actual workers who are trying to figure out how to reskill. From evaluating bootcamps, to selecting online courses that build digital skills, to finding ways to up your skills at work, upskilling is still a relatively new concept to many.

So I’m going to teach it. I spent a third of my book teaching people how to upskill. I’ll use that as my framework and content for teaching the subject on LinkedIn.

Since this is an experiment, I’ll document along the way. If you’re curious, follow me on LinkedIn and participate.

You can check out the syllabus for Upskill Yourself here.

Stop shaming job hoppers: The future of work belongs to the job hoppers

Hopping right on out of that bad job

Though Intel forecasts flat sales in 2019, people inside the company said this week’s layoffs don’t appear to be strictly a cost-cutting move. Rather, they said the cuts appeared to reflect a broad change in the way Intel is approaching its internal technical systems… Intel will now consolidate operations under a single contractor, the Indian technology giant Infosys.

Intel is laying off hundreds of their IT staff, according to the Oregonian. Unless you or a friend or family member is immediately affected, you’ve probably scrolled right past the news. That’s no shame on you; stories of layoffs are a dime a dozen in our newsfeeds. It’s easy to scroll right on past.

In March alone, EA laid off 350 people. Bed, Bath and Beyond laid off 150 workers. SAP is cutting 450 US jobs, Oracle is heading into layoffs and playing coy, but rumors are estimating it will be in the thousands. PayPal plans to cut close to 400 jobs. It was just announced that 1,500 employees are losing their jobs by September at a Fiat Chrysler plant. In Wisconsin, Shopko is laying off 1,700 people. Disney’s recent merger with Fox is generating speculation that anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 workers will be laid off.

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This is what the future of work looks like part 2

I just fell in love with the Women Who Code job board. They’re making job hunting slightly easier by including two pieces of critical content alongside their job postings.

The first is an overview of the interview process, providing much needed transparency into a stressful process.

future workforce trends
Transparency ftw

The second piece of content is an interactive list of company benefits that actually matter to me. I look at hundreds of jobs a month. I rarely see such forward thinking filters.

future workforce trends
Benefit search

Talk about the future of work is dominated by robots taking our jobs. While that type of content makes for good metrics, the robot narrative ignores how organizations are evolving into better places of work. Organizations are finally shedding outdated Baby Boomer models of work. They’re open to experimenting with new ways of work and management.

I teach people how to find remote jobs. Each week I round up the most interesting remote jobs that I find online. I’m constantly running into companies that are changing the status quo. Many of them offer benefits like this:

future workforce trends
Benefits at Glitch
Glitch’s inclusion statement

I’ve got a massive crush on Glitch, the company whose benefits are listed above. They get it.

Companies like Glitch are the future of work. They’re also what we miss when we only talk about robots in the future of work.

When job boards like Women Who Code include searchable filters like parental leave, 100% work from home, and unconscious bias training, they signal that workers have a choice. Workers can choose to work for old school companies that preach meritocracy but believe work only happens between 9-5. Or they can find an innovative company that believes in lifting up underrepresented voices, flexible work, and supporting parents in the workplace.

Learning how to learn

The shelf life of your college degree is getting shorter and shorter.


David Blake, founder of Degreed on the podcast episode, Speaking the language of skills

Spend any time in future of work or higher education circles, and you’ll notice how often people throw around the term lifelong learning. It’s incredibly in fashion to tell people how they’ll need to become lifelong learners. Beyond that though aren’t a lot of resources on how people should make this shift.

Degreed is out to change that. This interview with the founder of Degreed is an inside look at the challenges and opportunities of cultivating life long learning among employees.

I really appreciated this podcast episode, especially where they talk about learning to learn and creating a learning environment in the workplace. Plus I learned about an entire new category of YouTube videos: bad corporate training.

If you spend any time in future of work circles or higher education, you’ll like this perspective.

This is what the future of work looks like

Note: I wanted to title this post What We’re Missing When We Only Talk About Robots as the Future of Work. The future of work is filled with new ways of working that challenge traditional career paths and organizational structures. I’m going to spend more time writing about these organizations just as soon as I finish up the first draft of my book and my life returns to semi-normal. 

I’m crushing on a small company called The Pudding. They’re a journalism meets data engineering company. As they describe it, their work  “explain(s) ideas debated in culture with visual essays.” And they do wild reporting, like The World Through the Eyes of the US and Music Borders, an interactive map of the top songs in the world in May 2018 (including audio!).

Their company culture is what really wooed me. Here’s how they put it:

We’re six full-time journalist-engineers who operate as a collective rather than hierarchical team.

I love that there’s no corporate fluff here. They continue:

Much of our work is done autonomously, with individuals choosing their essays and owning the whole story, from research to code. Each team member can do every step: research and reporting, data analysis, design, writing, and code.

Hot damn. They paint a picture of an organization where people own their own projects, collaborate, and bring a seriously impressive set of hybrid skills with them.

The description continues:

So we experiment, a lot. The creative process feels more like workshopping a movie script than critiquing a bar chart. Consequently, many of our ideas are killed during production, but we wouldn’t have it any other way! It means we’re trying unproven, never-done-before things.

I’ve worked in creative jobs and non creative ones. The ability to workshop an idea and get feedback is an important skill that’s rarely mastered outside of creative teams. Companies frequently talk about the need for collaboration skills. Yet it’s hard to pin down exactly what they mean. Then you see it laid out like this and you instantly recognize it. Work at this company and you’ll collaborate to create impressive pieces of work.

But here’s what really got me: transparency.

They’re transparent about how they make money and how much they pay people.

From The Pudding website:

Our primary revenue sources are 1) essay sponsors and 2) white-labeled content. Sponsorship is akin to what you might find on a podcast…”this article was made possible by Blue Apron.”

Now take a look at their salaries:

TITLE COMPENSATION
Intern Not currently offering internships (follow our socials for updates)
Jr. Journalist-Engineer $70k
Journalist-Engineer $82k
Sr. Journalist-Engineer $100k
Editor $115k

Could you imagine your company doing this? Could you imagine how it might change your company culture if the place you worked embraced transparency around spending, budgets, and salaries?

If you want more, have a look at what it’s like to work here.

More organizations should follow this lead. With this level of detail you know what you’re going to get as an employee. If you’re reading this and thinking, I don’t want to work in a place like this, good. At least you know. It’s usually quite difficult to figure out what a place is really like without talking to someone.

The Pudding puts it all on the table.

The future of work needs more transparency. The Pudding is setting the example.

I leave you with the number one song in Iceland from May 2018.

Probably the best writing advice to date

I’m in the final sprint to finish the first draft of my book in the next four weeks which means I’m ignoring pretty much everything else. Except Twitter.

I’ve struggled all day, every day to ignore Twitter since I started writing this book back in October. I’ve failed on that pretty much every day. Though, I have reduced my addiction to my carefully curated information hose. I wonder how much more quality procrastination writers had before Twitter.

Sometimes though Twitter comes through and delivers something so helpful and timely that I’m reminded for all the reasons I love this site over any other.

Behold the best advice on writing ever:

I’ve had three mantras to get me through the first draft:

finished not perfect

the purpose of the first draft is for it to exist

let the editor sort this out

Those mantras help me with the writing process. They keep me moving forward.

But Ava’s advice validated all the feels that happen when you see your raw, messy thoughts masquerading as a future book.

I screenshotted her tweet and read it every day right now as I push towards the finish.

Share it with anyone you know who writes.

Remote jobs are going to be hot hot hot in 2019

In 2017, 43% Americans worked remotely during part of their work week. That was up from 39% in 2012. With the proliferation of remote job boards and a flood of digital nomad lifestyle pics on Insta, it’s no wonder people are getting curious about remote work. The days of sketchy Craigslist WFH jobs are over. 

Just looking through the perks and benefits of remote work makes me wonder why anyone is going into work on a regular basis. Some of these fully remote companies have better workplace perks than traditional workplaces.

Remote work isn’t just for programmers. There are plenty of opportunities for people outside of tech to work remotely. Take a look:

I’m on a mission to get people to experiment more with their careers. So I’m teaching people how to get a remote job in 2019. My online course, How to Get a Remote Job, opens in February.

Lazy blogging with Twitter

I originally joined Twitter because it was the perfect form of lazy blogging. I could put articles I was reading out into the world with short commentary. No full blog post needed. Now I write more and Twitter feeds what I write about. Despite the fact that Twitter is dumpster fire, I love it, massively.

This book writing thing is messing up my ability to write here regularly. So now I will use my favorite site for lazy blogging as the content for future lazy blog posts here.

My most favorite Twitter finds for the week. I tend to share posts on higher education, international education, and artificial intelligence.

Community colleges are full of innovation and teaching skills for career changers. Traditional universities should look to them for more inspiration:

This quote rang so true in the midst of reports about hunger insecurity on campus:

Again more smart thinking from community colleges:

In AI news, European checkpoints are going to use microexpressions to figure out if you’re lying. If I were writing a full post I’d research whether or not it’s based on the same tech HireVue uses when analyze candidate’s video interviews.

Also the AI Now Institute (an organization that I am majorly crushing on and want to work for) released their AI Now 2018 Report which presents 10 recommendations for navigating artificial intelligence technology. Everyone should read it. This isn’t the future. This is the reality now.

More on the wild wild west of AI hiring.

And lastly, any politician who sponsored this could count on the millennial vote. One can dream.