How I Got a Remote Job and Why It’s the Best

working from home
Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

I love working remotely, and I feel so excited that so many more workers and companies are going remote. If you feel like you know more and more people who work from home, that’s because remote jobs have increased 159% since 2015Buffer’s State of Remote Work 2019 Survey interviewed 2,500 remote workers and found that 99% of them would like to keep working remotely for the rest of their careers! And 95% would encourage others to work remotely. That’s a massive endorsement for not living your life in an office.

The flexible nature of remote work goes a long way towards keeping women in the workplace, especially working mothers. 76% of women in tech said that flexible hours are an absolute must to be able to stay with a company. Things like childcare become much more manageable when working remotely. Coordinating school runs, activities, housework, and social lives while commuting to an office every day requires expert-level logistical organisation. Working from home makes this so much simpler, and you’ll be able to spend time with your family! 

How I Got My Remote Job

This post will focus on how I got my current job and what my day is like as a remote worker. If you want to read more about my tech journey overall, you can read my last post.

I just started a new job in central London with an hour-long commute. I was a stay at home mom for many years, and this was my first time working outside of the home. My family and I had a hard time adjusting to me being away all day and leaving the kids with a childminder. I’m sure that we would have eventually gotten used to the new situation; but every time my son clutched on to me, begging for me not to leave him again, I felt sure that I was causing damage.

It felt obvious that I needed a work from home job, and I started closely paying attention to remote job boards. For perspective, at this point, I had about one year of experience freelancing and one month as a full time junior front end developer. I heard back from one company, had an interview and coding test over Zoom, and …. didn’t get it. They contacted me again a few weeks later saying that I made a good impression and they wanted to hire me on in a junior role. So alhamdulillah it was all good.

The interview itself was such a different experience from what I had before interviewing at non-remote companies. It was over Zoom, both of my kids were home, and I found myself sitting against my bedroom door so that they wouldn’t unexpectedly burst in during the interview. It happened anyway, and my 3-year old leaned over my laptop to see what I was doing, giving everyone a closeup of his boogers. I’m just keeping it real here ladies. ???

What My Day Is Like As A Remote Developer

My company is 100% remote, so we have fully embraced the remote lifestyle. We use Zoom for daily standups, Jira to keep track of issues, Miro as a notice board, and Slack for all internal communication. We follow an agile methodology and work in two-week iterations, with a retrospective and planning call on the first day of each iteration. There is a conscious effort to connect as a team and use initiatives like pair programming, regular catch-ups, team calls, check-ins, and Slack channels dedicated to appreciating each other or just hanging out.

My work routine mostly revolves around my kids’ schedules. I wake up at around 5 am to pray and do some work before the kids wake up and leave for school. This time mostly gets spent planning out what my top 3 tasks are for the day and setting up what I’ll need. I won’t get into any actual coding during this time, because it gets so hectic as soon as everyone wakes up.

After I come back home from taking the kids to school, I have about 6 hours to myself where I can focus on my tasks. I have plenty of calls to break up the day my team talks to each other more than at my last job, even though we’re all in different cities.

I leave in the afternoon to pick up the kids from school, and we’ll usually go to the park for 15 minutes if it’s not raining. When we get home, I’ll put in about another 2 hours of work to tie up any loose ends and then check out to cook dinner.

Alhamdulillah, I’m happy with my work-family balance – especially now that the summer holidays are over. I believe that this setup is truly the best way for me to build my career while raising a young family at the same time. Remote working isn’t for everyone, but if this feels like something you would like to do, here are my best tips for getting a remote job.

Bonus! My Daughter’s Feelings About Me Working Remotely

When I told my 7-year old that I was working on this article, she wanted to add her thoughts:

Your new job is different because now you are around more and working from home. I don’t like it because you are still working most of the day. I like it because now we don’t have the childminder and you can play with us more.

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