According to a recent Intuit survey, roughly 40% of people will be self-employed by the year 2020. You’ve likely seen the evidence yourself in the form of bustling coffee shops and the growing popularity of the coworking space.
It’s easy to get caught up in the allure of the remote work economy. You’ll get to sleep in, travel the world, strike a better work-life balance, and so on. But if you’re thinking about breaking free from your corporate shackles, there are better places to find paying jobs.
Here are some better sources for remote opportunities that will (eventually) allow you that independent, global nomad life you’ve always wanted.
8 best sources for remote work opportunities
LinkedIn Profinder is the professional network’s answer to the freelance job board. While you can find remote jobs through the platform’s traditional job board, it’s hard to filter out say in-house writing jobs versus remote ones.
Profinder connects freelancers with leads based on keyword searches, connections and companies followed.
It’s worth noting that LinkedIn needs to approve your profile before you get started, though. You’ll need some experience under your belt, a few endorsements, and a professional headshot.
Still, it’s LinkedIn. You’ll need to pay to generate new business. You’ll get to bid on 10 proposals for free, and if that’s not enough, you’ll need to upgrade to their $47.99 a month plan.
Think of it as a means of biting the bullet and paying for marketing.
Problogger is a job board for anyone who writes for a living. Clients post on the board—updated daily—to find people to produce blog content. Assignments and gigs range from monthly blog posts to long-term arrangements. And while not every entry is a high paying opportunity, there are more than enough gems in the mix.
Toptal is a freelance network that aims to take the top three percent of engineers, developers, designers, and writers from over 100 countries.
Newbies will have a harder time making it in this cream of the crop pool, but there are some benefits to the company’s rigorous screening process.
Once accepted, you’ll join a community of elite freelancers—which will give you access to working with top companies like JP Morgan, Airbnb, and more—meaning, you’ll score clients that can pay top dollar.
What’s more, Toptal lets you set your rates—so there’s none of this disheartening bidding and back-and-forth you’ll find on free-for-alls like Upwork.
Yes, Craigslist is rife with scammers and shady opportunities. But you can also find some decent clients by doing a little digging.
We don’t recommend using Craigslist as your primary method for seeking out new opportunities, but plenty of smaller companies seek out talent through the site who may prove to be loyal clients for the long haul.
We recommend scanning jobs by the city — hitting all of the major metropolitan areas in the U.S. and looking in the “writing gigs” and “writing/editing jobs” respectively.
Same goes for design, development and so on.
Of course, you’ll want to protect yourself. Avoid jobs that seem too good to be true—if the post talks about how much money you could make, versus what the job entails, it’s probably a scam.
And, of course, never provide any financial information or personal information before you schedule a call or do some research.
We’ve included Proonto because it’s a little different than most of the other freelancer sites out there. Remote work generally falls into a few different categories— web design, writing, editing, graphic design, programming, and web development.
Proonto is a resource for people looking for customer service work. According to their AngelList profile, the platform brings together e-commerce businesses and sales and customer service reps.
Prospective reps can search by industry and find a remote job that fits their schedule and skill set.
WriteJobs+ is an aggregate job board for freelance writers. It’s not the prettiest site out there—and you’ll need to pay $5 a month for access to their Blogger-powered list.
The benefit of this platform is the site combs through the internet in search of the best writing jobs—weeding through Craigslist scams and leaving out the “no pay” gigs that promise connections and portfolio examples.
Indeed, of course, is a familiar name in the job board biz. They’re also a really decent resource for steady, remote work. Developers, advertising pros, bloggers, and designers alike can find long-term opportunities through the platform by selecting “remote” in the “where” section of the site. Easy as can be.
AngelList is an interesting beast. The site is typically used as a way for startups to seek out angel investors for their venture. But it’s also a decent source for remote opportunities that span web development, marketing, sales, and more.
The startup platform presents an opportunity to work with up-and-coming companies—which may appeal to remote workers. That said, founders don’t have a huge team of admins and HR reps to help them with the hiring process, so communication may be a bit tricky.
We recommend filtering by companies that have already received seed funding. Companies awaiting their first round might not have the funds to pay freelancers right off the bat—and sometimes switch gears, leaving remote pros in the lurch.
Wherever you look, prospecting is a daily slog
Between the social media channels and dedicated job boards, there’s no shortage of places to look for that next big paycheck.
But it’s important to know that, once you make the switch to remote work, the prospecting never ends. Scour the boards and do some in-person networking, too. The point is to keep your funnel loaded up, so the well never runs dry.