1. Hey, can you please introduce yourself?
Hi there! I’m Candace, a Seattle-area content creator. I was raised in Nashville, and now I live in the Pacific Northwest with my boyfriend (who also works remotely) and our sweet golden retriever, Dolly. When we’re not working, we spend our time drinking oat milk lattes by the lake, taking weekend hiking trips in Olympic National Park, or going to see whatever spooky movie is currently in theaters.
Since finishing up my bachelor’s degree in public relations in 2014, I’ve worked for tech companies, advertising and public relations agencies, and even an art museum, with a lot of freelancing in between. I’ve had a couple of remote jobs now, and at this point, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I also volunteer as a content writer and graphic designer for a local nonprofit that advocates for survivors of domestic violence, which is a cause very close to my heart.
2. What motivated you to choose remote working?
I realized in my junior year of college that I wanted to work from home. I didn’t know what kinds of remote jobs were out there, or how to get them, but I remember telling my advisor that’s what I wanted to do. She looked at me in disbelief and said that I’d have to work 50+ hour weeks for at least a decade to make that happen. I’m so glad that wasn’t true!
I’ve just never felt comfortable in an office setting. I need to be cozy and completely at ease in order to focus on work. I’m a night owl too, so I do most of my best work at home in the evenings with my dog curled up at my feet.
And truthfully, there’s also a mental health benefit in it for me. I have PTSD, and working from home takes a lot of the stress out of my day.
3. What were your initial months like? Did it live up to your expectations?
I loved remote work immediately! The first time I worked remotely was for a company that had an office, but many employees worked from home anyway. I started working from home three days a week, then eventually went fully remote. I had time to adjust to remote work during that period, because we used Slack religiously, and most of our meeting had at least a few Google Hangouts attendees.
So later on when I went to work for a 100% remote company, I was prepared. It was a lot of Zoom calls, Slack pings, and generally being in charge of my own time. I loved every bit of that.
As for the new job itself, I ended up not feeling aligned with the company’s mission. After some soul searching, I decided to start my own business where I could focus on causes that really matter to me while still working from home. So far, that’s been a dream!
4. How did you find remote working roles?
I worked with Taylor Lane at Remote Like Me. She has a course called “The No-Bullshit Road To Remote Work”, and it was a total gamechanger, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to go remote.
She taught me how to track my job search, and follow up with employers. That was so helpful because when you’re just applying for one job after another, it’s hard to even remember what you’ve applied for.
I learned to go for quality over quantity with job applications too. Instead of firing off applications for everything I found (which was not an effective strategy), I started applying only for things that truly felt like a fit for me. I sent out fewer applications (about 5 a week), but they were better quality applications, and jobs that really interested me. I got more responses that way.
Taylor also taught me to get off of the job boards! I started using hashtags and boolean searches to find jobs on Instagram and Twitter. I found so many things that weren’t posted anywhere else. You can also find a lot by searching for remote job Facebook groups. Most people are on at least a few social media sites, but we don’t always realize they can be a great job search tool.
5. What have been the best, good and worst aspects of remote working for you?
The best thing for me has been the ability to set my own schedule. I’m not a morning person, I don’t like being told what to do and when, and I’m not a fan of being supervised all day. I’m so much more productive when I’m in charge of what I do with my time.
There are so many good things about remote work. I have no commute! I can use the time I would have spent on the bus doing something more productive like working out, taking a client call, or getting in some couch cuddles with my dog.
There’s really nothing I dislike about working from home. Though, I’ve definitely blurred the line between work-time and free-time a bit. Especially because I like to work in the evenings. I have to be very careful about how I divide up my day so I don’t burn myself out.
6. What tools do you swear by while working remotely?
Trello keeps me on track. With their desktop app I can see what I need to do for each of my clients, as well as all of my deadlines. I integrated my Trello account with my Google calendar too, so it’s really hard to just forget something.
Slack is one that a lot of remote teams use, and for good reason. It’s so much more efficient than email, and it feels more personal.
Zoom is a major part of my week. It’s the easiest way to sync with a client or with my business partner. You just share a quick link, and boom, you’re in a video chat. I find that Zoom is more stable than some other video chat platforms too.
Google Drive makes it easy to collaborate with my business partner. I love that it autosaves everything so you never lose your work, and that it lets us work on a project simultaneously.
7. Your most exciting/ hilarious experience since you started working remotely.
Starting my own business! Getting out of the office and working from home helped me realize just how much you can accomplish on your own. I don’t think I would have decided to take the entrepreneur path had I been in an office all this time. It’s just so much easier for me to go into autopilot mode that way. But if I’m at home, I’m very conscious of how I’m spending my time, how much I’m accomplishing, and how efficiently I’m communicating with clients and business partners.
I’ve had several laughs over time zone confusion since I work with people all over the globe now. Every time I set a meeting, it’s “My time or yours?”. I use World Time Buddy to keep things straight now. It’s a lifesaver!
The best part is that my dog tends to join in on my video chats. I’ll be talking through a project, and Dolly will pop up on screen with a ball in her mouth. Luckily, people seem to enjoy it!
8. What is your golden advice to a new remote worker?
Cold pitch yourself! It really is all about who you know, so you’ve got to get out there and meet people, even if you work from home, and even if you’re shy or you don’t feel qualified to be talking to someone. I started going on LinkedIn or Instagram and finding content creators who were one or two career levels higher than me, and working for companies I admired. Then I’d just send them a message letting them know I love their work, and would love to hear a little about how they got to where they are, and asked what advice they might have for someone looking to work with them.
The responses I got from that were always so positive, and sometimes even led to freelance opportunities!
Seriously, you can network from your computer without ever leaving the house, or even putting on pants. Just do it! You will be amazed at what you can make happen.
9. How do you see your career shaping up and your goals?
Things are really taking shape right now. My business partner and I are just about ready to start pitching new clients and I can’t wait!
It’s been really cool to see all the networking, freelancing and learning I’ve done pay off. I’m surrounded by a supportive, encouraging group of professionals, many of whom have become good friends along the way. I can’t imagine a better way to start a new business.
I think just overcoming the doubts and the fear that I initially felt is a big deal. It’s easy to get in your head and think, “I’ll never be able to work from home, I’ll be stuck in an office forever.” Or, “Most new businesses fail, there’s no way I can do this.” Or, “I don’t have the time or money or skills.” There are always so many reasons not to take that first step, but once I committed to it, good things started to happen.
It’s funny – I’d done so much freelancing and loved it, but only just considered turning that into a real business. It’s definitely time to take what makes me happy, and turn it into a full-time job.
10. How do you expect remote working to evolve in the future?
I think remote work is going to explode in popularity. So many people want to work from home. That’s why we have so many online communities devoted to finding remote jobs, right? The desire is there. My hope is that people will continue to speak up about wanting remote work, and keep striving to create the lifestyle they want. If we can do that, I think eventually more and more big companies will embrace it. I’d like to see remote work offered as an option for employees wherever possible.
It would be great if colleges started talking about remote work more. I think there are a lot of students out there who have no idea it’s even possible for them to work from home doing something other than customer service or maybe coding. There are so many jobs you can do from home that people just don’t seem to know about.
11. Where can we follow you on?
Here are my current links. Very soon, you’ll be able to find me at fullcupcopy.com. Still building my new business website!