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When you start working remotely, if you are learning the ropes you will work hard.

mattsmithies profile image Matt Smithies ・2 min read

Cover photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

Back in 2013 when I started trying my journey to become a full-time professional software developer I fell into a trap.

There were some weeks I pushed myself hard, probably working in the region of 80-100 hours to get the projects done.

I'd won the work on Elance (now upwork), started to build the relationships with my clients and all that I'd have to do is build and deliver.

I am extremely thankful for the opportunities I had, and retrospectively it makes me wonder why I was selected, perhaps I was the most qualified I did go to university after all.

I knew I wasn't the most technically talented but I was driven and consistent.

The truth is early on in a career writing proposals, building these sales skills, trying to match a customer's need to the value you provide is the easier part of the process.

This process will be a long boring slog, you will be rejected but the time investment and risk to comprehend problem then write a proposal is low.

Initially expect the process for prospecting and lead generation to take 40-50% of your time.

When you start a job you'll be committed for weeks if not months, you need to be able to motivate yourself and keep going.

That is where the real work starts.

Penguin walks on rock

Photo by joel herzog / Unsplash

Some advice:

  • If you are starting your remote journey be prepared to work hard, consider that if you are new to the field there is a lot for you to learn.
  • Keep Stackoverflow and YouTube tabs open to ask and reframe questions you may have.
  • If you are using a site to bid and send proposals for work, speed is of the essence. If a project gets 50-100 proposals it'll be harder for you to be visible.
  • Check-in with your client as frequently and consistently as possible, focus on the relationships and be upfront about the project's status.
  • As you become more competent in your field don't be afraid to question the problems and assertions your clients may have, offer unique solutions.
  • Remember that the knowledge you are gaining is not common knowledge, you will learn new skills sooner rather than later that most people don't know.
  • You'll be rejected many more times then you are successful, and that is ok, trust that you are on the right path.

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


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