On Friday June 26, 2020, WEtech Alliance and the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation’s Institute for Border Logistics and Security (IBLS) joined forces to host “Land the Remote Work Opportunity of Your Dreams” panel discussion aimed at supporting post-secondary students and tech professionals in Windsor-Essex & beyond.
With the increased importance of remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, this gave students the opportunity to hear from recruiters and tech talent networks of global and national organizations on best practices and tools and resources for finding a remote job, how to excel in a remote role, and how job seekers can #TechConnect with opportunities between roles.
Our panelists included Maddie Whibbs, Talent Acquisition Lead, Universities & Colleges, BlackBerry, Marianne Bulger, Founder & CEO, Prospect, Alyssa Boucher, University Relations Manager, Rock Central.
Maddie, Marianne, and Alyssa offered phenomenal insights across five main themes to help you land and excel in a remote opportunity near you:
Do your homework: Avoid applying to every single role just because they are available. Take the time to ensure that the role you have identified is a role that you are passionate about and something you will excel in. If this is reflected in your application, your passion will shine through to any recruiter or hiring manger reading it. Research the company’s vision and mission. Is this something you are passionate about? Is this something you care about? Is this something you can contribute to? If so, take some time to understand how that role you are interested in will contribute to this mission. Not sure where to start? LinkedIn is your friend! Leverage your network and ask someone who is in the role you are looking at in that company if you can have a chat with them or even shadow them for half a day. By the end of the engagement, you will have earned yourself a better understanding of the role and the organization, and possibly an internal referral to the opportunity you have been dreaming about!
Show your human side: You have done the work to cultivate this passion. Now its time to show it. Highlight the projects you have done on your resume, GitHub, and LinkedIn. Explain why they are important, what you learned from doing them, and how you plan to extend them. Showcase the technologies you have learned and what you did to overcome their associated learning curves.
Recognize and celebrate your accomplishments: Worked at a grocery store? As a waiter? A dishwasher? Recognize the transferable communication skills, customer service, and problem-solving skills (just to name a few!) you earned working at these jobs and celebrate those on your resume and professional profiles. Everything you have done has value whether it be volunteer work on a friend’s start-up or washing dishes for a bustling downtown restaurant. These are all valid work experiences that will serve as steppingstones to the professional opportunity of your dreams. Obviously, the more technically relevant work you can do, the better, but do not knock your other experiences!
Use this time wisely: Employers are going to ask how you have used this time to stay engaged and build your skills. Obviously, everyone is impacted by this global pandemic differently. However, if there is any opportunity for you to learn a new skill, update your GitHub/LinkedIn, work on a passion project, volunteer, or get involved, now is the time to do it! This will make for a great way for you to diversify your portfolio, engage and expand with your network, and avoid COVID-19 boredom! This is also a great time to pursue that new business idea you have been rattling around in your brain but haven’t had time to execute on. COVID-19 has driven innovation to unpredictable new feats. If you have a great tech idea that’s spurred out of your time in quarantine, we’d love to hear about it.
Set yourself up for success: You have done it! You earned the remote role of your dreams and are setting up your home office in a city with a low cost of living, high quality of life, and beautiful hidden gems (hint: we’re talking about Windsor, Ontario aka #YQG!). Now what? Now its time to turn. it. out.! Show your employer why you are worth that lucrative offer you earned. Set yourself up for success by establishing a regular daily routine that requires you to have a normal schedule and routinely meeting your deliverables. Do not slip into unhealthy eating, sleeping, and working habits. Communicate with your manager and team regularly about issues you are having or just to chat! They will appreciate hearing from you, and you can use this opportunity to network and get a head start on the next opportunity!
Want to learn more? Watch the full recording of the session.
Be sure to stay tuned for an exciting remote work campaign to be launched in our region soon! Check out WEtech’s latest blog post that features local technology workers who chose Windsor as their home and work headquarters!