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I want to transition into remote work completely. However, I am having a hard time getting work.

mattsmithies profile image Matt Smithies ・5 min read

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

This one is a question from Prasun Srivastava through Bulldog Mindset's private facebook group.

The question is:

Thanks for creating this. I have been working remotely in a few client projects for some time and wanted to transition into remote work completely. However, I am having hard time getting work. I am an ML engineer with average skills. Any suggestions?

Firstly, thank you for reaching out 🚀

This observation is one that we all struggle with when making the leap into the world of remote work.

As a quick snippet, behind the scenes, I've written a lot on the topic of winning your first remote client and one of the first big projects we are going to do is make that content as digestible and bite-sized as possible.

This topic is vast but I'll give 3 actionable suggestions which should help you get started.

1) You need more self-belief in your abilities.
2) Create a consistent narrative about your authority with your work.
3) You need to be able to clearly communicate the value you will bring to your clients.

Believe in your abilities, or at least convey that you do.

Reading your quote I get the feeling that you suffer from imposter syndrome, at least a little.

I am an ML engineer with average skills.

Why do you think you have average skills, you need really question this, and question if these feelings have deeper roots.

What is the difference between you and your peers?

Are you comparing yourself to reality or developers that seem out of reach?

Personally, watching some developers on YouTube like Bisqwit I have so out of my depth and that I could never reach that level. Its easy to feel inferior.

I'll be frank, looking at your LinkedIn I really believe you already have what it takes as it looks like you have 8-10 years of experience behind you.

If on the other hand, you want to level up or need validation, spend some time creating or contributing to open source machine learning projects through Github.

It will be hard for anyone you take you seriously if you don't tell them you are an expert in what you do.

You need to market your skills and change the framing.

Think in terms of:

I'm an expert ML engineer with x years of experience and I can help you solve y problem, this will provide z benefit to you.

More about this content later.

Photo by Fabian Grohs on Unsplash

Building authority a consistent narrative of your skills.

If I was a client I'd be looking for a provider that was consistent in their messaging.

These are the items I would be looking at for evidence where I would feel confident that a provider can deliver the work.

  1. A Resume/CV which highlights a career.
  2. An up to date LinkedIn profile.
  3. A website of an individual, that describes who they are, what they do and links to all of their resources.

The aim is for all items to be consistent in messaging, but not be an exact duplication.

If I was hiring you I'd be looking for these data points.

  • The resume should be relatively short (but it doesn't matter), bulletpoint based which succinctly tells the reader what impact you have delivered.
  • The LinkedIn profile can be longer for each job role you can go into detail, as reader aren't forced to read them.
  • The website and domain name provides a open canvas for a provider to display their work and passions a custom format.
  • Other things like insightful blog posts or GitHub comments can greatly help to prove that the individual's authority.

If done correctly will be builds authority without having to rely on any third parties.

Personally for me these are my main links I'd expect a client or employer to look at: website and linkedIn.

If you want to get a website I use Carrd and it is a fantastic no-code solution.

If you read the same story over different source and there is evidence you'll start to believe the words, the message.

One thing worth remembering. Most resumes aren't fit for purpose, they don't communicate value. Most individuals haven't set up their LinkedIn or don't even have a website.

If you can get these items done and make sure the the messaging is consistent you'll easily be inside 5-10% of the top individuals in your field.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

Clearly communicating your value to a business decision maker.

There is alot of places that you can find and bid for work.

I personally have had alot of success with Upwork and I encourage you to explore there and see what is available.

Finding work through such platforms is a big topic and there have been courses made around the topic which sell for ALOT of money.

Regardless it all comes down to one main focus from the client point of view.

Do I truly believe that this individual is capable of delivering?

Everything you have built, the consistent messaging and your brand, all help toward framing you and your work.

In these cases of bidding for work instead of bombarding a client with links, pricing within a proposal just stop and take a moment.

The majority of other freelancers in this case will use that tactic.

The majority of other freelancers will fail.

Client relationships matter, and asking insightfull questions with options before sending your qualifications and price will help you.

Everyone gets rejected at this but if you keep going you'll find the work, and you'll be successful.

It isn't easy though.

And keep working hard at it.

Take the time to understand the problems your clients face, offer advice and don't be afraid of letting work go if you know that you can't deliver on.

Keep your integrity, be professional, and keep in touch.

Know your abilities, the risks and your clients will thank you for your transparency and honesty.

Photo by Amanda Jones on Unsplash


I hope these tactics and insights helped you, let me know if I can help you with any else.

Follow along with my posts and my project world class remote.

Matt.

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