Remote & Async Work 10 min

Guide to remote career opportunities & paths

Written by Gillian O'Brien
December 27, 2023
Gillian O'Brien


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In the past decade, there’s been a dramatic shift in the way we work. Technology made it possible for more and more people to telecommute, and an increasing number of companies are offering remote work options to their employees. 

Elite professionals are finding a lot more opportunities to pursue careers from home, or from anywhere in the world. It's possible to find jobs that can be done from anywhere, and many employers are open to hiring remote workers. This gives job seekers a lot more flexibility when it comes to finding a career that fits their lifestyle.

Remote careers and opportunities are becoming increasingly common across all sectors, as businesses strive to stay competitive in today's ever-changing marketplace. Employers can also benefit from increased hiring flexibility, and hire at scale even with limited HR resources.

Is there growth in working on a remote basis?

Working remotely can provide numerous opportunities for growth. You can control your own career advancement by how much effort you put into finding and applying for new roles, or by taking on additional responsibilities within your current organization. Additionally, many employers are beginning to see the value in offering remote work options and are increasingly open to accommodating employees who request it. This means that there are likely to be even more opportunities for remote work in the future.

There is certainly a caveat: some remote positions are intrinsically limited in terms of vertical movement. Gig economy tasks such as human post-editing of machine-generated data, data labeling, and data entry are currently not designed to offer workers upwards mobility within a company. Of course, much depends on the specific role. Most knowledge workers will find opportunities to grow within companies offering remote roles depending on how the relationship is set up.

Clearly there are two overarching factors dictating growth in remote career opportunities: the role and the company.

How to grow in your career while working remote

Growth is important for any worker, but especially for those who work from home. Without setting and achieving goals, it can be easy to become stagnant in your role. Additionally, pursuing growth opportunities shows that you are motivated and invested in your career, which can make you a more attractive candidate for future opportunities.

As mentioned previously, however, there are a few bottlenecks for career growth in remote opportunities.

Once you’re already working in a remote role, for example, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd when you're not working face-to-face with your colleagues. You may need to be more proactive in networking and seeking out mentorships since you won't have as many organic opportunities to advance your career. Some companies may also be hesitant to promote or invest in remote employees because of the perceived lack of commitment or engagement.

Still, the opportunity for growth is there, and you can take some important steps towards it:

Be proactive in asking for feedback

Giving and receiving feedback is an important part of any job, but it can be especially challenging when working remotely. Because you are not in regular face-to-face contact with your colleagues, it can be easy to feel like you are out of the loop or that your work is going unnoticed. Asking for feedback proactively shows that you are invested in your work and want to continue improving.

When you do, be specific about what you would like feedback on, and time your request thoughtfully. For example, do not wait until your annual performance review to ask for feedback on your work — this will likely be too late to impact your current project. Instead, try to schedule a regular check-in with your supervisor or team lead throughout the year to discuss progress and get input on areas of improvement.

Take advantage of stipends offered for continued learning

Many companies offer stipends for employees to continue their education. This is a great way to grow in your career while still being able to work full-time. Continuing your education can make you more marketable and can help you advance in your career. Additionally, many companies will reimburse you for the cost of tuition, so continuing your education is a win-win situation!

Some companies will offer stipends for employees to take courses related to their position or field. Others will reimburse employees for the cost of tuition if they take courses unrelated to their job. Either way, this is a great benefit that can help you grow in your career. Additionally, many companies have partnered with online education providers like Coursera and Udemy, so you can take advantage of these discounts as well.

Map out what you think your career journey should look like

Creating a career map is a great way to visualize your goals and plan to achieve them. Start by listing out the positions you would like to hold, then research what skills and experience you will need to attain each one. Once you have a clear idea of your direction, you can start taking actionable steps towards achieving your goals. Finally, don’t forget to revisit your career map periodically and make adjustments as needed – life isn’t always linear, and neither is your career!

Network with people who have been in similar positions

Developing relationships with people who have been in similar positions as you can be helpful for a number of reasons. Firstly, they can provide advice and guidance based on their own experiences. Additionally, they may be able to put you in touch with other helpful contacts or refer you for new opportunities. Finally, simply networking with others can help increase your visibility within your industry and make it more likely that you will be top of mind when new opportunities arise.

Top remote opportunities you could sign up for

Many traditional jobs and industries are becoming increasingly remote-friendly, which means there may be more opportunities than you realize. Even if a role isn't traditionally remote, many companies are more open to flexible arrangements (such as partial telecommuting) than ever before. Doing some research can help you identify which roles would be a good fit given your skills and interests.

Below are some of the top remote opportunities that you can pursue, or take a look at to better understand the market:

Web designer

Web designers play a vital role in the success of online businesses by creating appealing and effective websites. As a web designer, you will be responsible for the overall look and feel of a website, as well as its usability. A successful web designer must have strong artistic skills and an eye for detail, as well as experience with various web design software programs. In addition to designing websites, you may also be required to maintain and update them on a regular basis.

There is a growing demand for web designers, as more and more businesses are moving their operations online. With the right skills and experience, you can expect to find plenty of work opportunities in this field. There are also many opportunities for freelance work, which can give you the flexibility to set your own hours and work from home.

Social media manager

A social media manager is responsible for creating and managing a company's social media presence. This includes developing strategies, creating content, and analyzing data to improve performance. A social media manager can work remotely, either as a freelancer or as an employee of a company.

The role of social media manager is expected to grow significantly in the next few years, as businesses increasingly recognize the importance of social media in marketing and communications. There are many opportunities for advancement within this career field, including positions such as director of social media or head of digital marketing.

Customer care agent

As a customer care agent (or customer experience agent), you will be responsible for providing outstanding customer experience and service to your company's clients. You will be expected to resolve customer issues in a timely and efficient manner. In addition, you will be required to maintain updated knowledge of your products and services. This position has historically offered the opportunity to work remotely, but recent global trends have seen even more companies adopt a remote work model for this role.

There will always be a need for this position. As technologies and workplace trends advance, you can expect its career path options to open up, both vertically and laterally: either to supervisory roles or same-level responsibilities in different departmental functions.

Virtual assistant

A virtual assistant is a professional who provides administrative, secretarial, or other support services virtually. They work remotely from their own home office, using the latest technology to stay connected with clients and colleagues. Most virtual assistants are self-employed contractors who bill by the hour or project. Many have set their own rates, although some companies do provide guidelines. The majority of virtual assistant jobs are part-time, but full-time VA positions are beginning to trend as well.

Graphic designer

As a graphic designer, you will develop visual concepts, either by hand or by using computer software, to communicate ideas that inform and inspire consumers. You will develop the overall design — from layout to production — for material like advertisements, magazines, brochures, and corporate reports.

In order to be successful as a remote graphic designer, you must be highly creative and have strong problem-solving skills. You must also be proficient in graphic design software programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Additionally, excellent time management skills are essential in order to meet deadlines.

Learning experience designer

The role of learning experience designer allows you to design and oversee the development of educational content for learners at all levels. As a learning experience designer, you will be responsible for creating engaging and effective course materials that meet the needs of your audience. In order to be successful in this role, you must have strong communication and organizational skills, as well as a deep understanding of adult learning principles.

There is a growing demand for learning experience designers as more and more organizations recognize the value of investing in employee development. With the right skills and experience, you can expect to see strong growth prospects in this career choice.

Data entry

Data entry works as a remote career opportunity by providing the ability to enter and update information from home or another location outside of the office. This role can increase productivity by allowing employees to work remotely, which can save on office space and commuting costs. Additionally, data entry roles may have flexible hours or be part-time, which can offer a good work-life balance for those with other commitments.

Data entry roles tend to be more rank and file positions, so upward mobility may seem restricted. In exchange, there is potential for additional freelance or part-time roles, as businesses increasingly seek to become more efficient and reduce costs. Additionally, with the rise of big data and data analytics, there is an increasing demand for accurate and up-to-date information, which data entry professionals can provide.

Software engineer

Remote software engineers are responsible for the design, development, and maintenance of software applications. They work with a variety of programming languages and tools to create scalable and efficient codebases. A remote software engineer must be able to effectively communicate with other members of a distributed team in order to collaborate on projects. They should also be able to troubleshoot issues that may arise during the development process.

There will never be a lack of demand for software engineers, and the responsibilities of this sort of knowledge worker are typically extremely compatible with remote work.

Explore remote career opportunities

As companies all over the world compete to attract global tech talent in the face of previous challenges like COVID-19 and future ones like impending recessions, there are rich opportunities in remote work. Exploring work from home jobs has never been so potentially fulfilling, especially given how much demand there is from a variety of companies.

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