- Most of India’s workforce now works remotely, at least part-time.
- Improving your English skills and free online training programs can help you land a high-paying remote position in the U.S.
- Freelance job sites and boards are an excellent place to start your search.
- You must understand how to stay safe and avoid scams when looking to work from home.
Working remotely is the new normal and many professionals are making the most of an increased work-life balance. Most of India’s workforce now works remotely, at least part-time, with many creating a full-time income solely online. This trend is great news for young Indians who are still in school. Remote work provides the flexibility to continue studying and an income to pay for living or education expenses.
Working for an American company could provide higher wages and sometimes sought-after benefits. However, there are a few crucial things to keep in mind when searching for a high-paying job or to increase your chances of getting the position you want.
Improve Your English Skills
Most American-based jobs require candidates to speak English at a native or high-level proficiency. If you already speak and write English with high proficiency, you can prove this by taking a standardised test like the STEP1, TOEFL2, or IELTS3. If you’re not already confident in your ability to speak, read and write English, consider taking online courses or using a language learning app to improve. There are many free and low-cost English language learning programs available.
Consider Free Online Training
If you’re brand new to the workforce, you should consider using free online training to increase your skill set. HubSpot Academy is one option if you’re looking to get into customer service, marketing, or freelance writing.4 Another option is Alison, which has a range of free courses you can take in your spare time.5 Try to find free online training courses that most benefit the field you’re hoping to find work in.
Build or Update Your Resume
A strong, well-written resume is crucial to finding a remote position with a U.S. company. Even if you don’t have a lot of (or any) job experience, there are plenty of ways you can make your resume stand out. For example, if you made the honour roll throughout high school, you could add that, along with any advanced classes you took. You should also add any additional training, certifications, volunteer work, or extracurricular activities you’ve done.
Build a Portfolio
To build a strong portfolio, you don’t have to be a seasoned professional. The idea of a portfolio is to showcase your abilities in the field you hope to find work. It doesn’t need to be extensive, either. For example, if you’re considering a freelance writing position, you could create three unique content pieces to show potential employers. If you’re looking for work in graphic design, you could create a website or a few small graphics.
Search Freelance Job Sites
Once you’ve prepared yourself, you can begin your job search. Online freelance job sites or boards are an excellent place to start your search. Most of these sites allow you to narrow down results based on the company’s location, remote-only positions and whether you want to work full-time or part-time.
A few great sites to start with include:
- Fiverr9, and;
But, if you don’t succeed in finding a job on those sites, don’t worry. There are alternatives to freelance job sites and boards.
Other Places to Find Remote Work Online
If freelance job sites and boards don’t provide the opportunities you’re looking for, there are other places you can look. For example, Indeed is an excellent resource that allows you to upload your resume so companies can find you.11 You can also search for jobs yourself.
You should also consider building a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn operates as a social network for business professionals. However, many companies also use the website to post job advertisements and recruit individuals matching their criteria.12
How to Safely Search for Remote Work
Working remotely can be an excellent job choice, but it also comes with unique challenges. Since you aren’t meeting people or companies in person, you risk running into scammers or criminals.
The most important thing you need to do is install robust security software on your computer. This will help identify dangerous sites and let you know when you’re being redirected to another website. You’ll also want to be cautious about giving out personal information. Avoid giving out your address, social security number, date of birth, or other identifying information unless you’ve adequately vetted the source. You should also familiarise yourself with the red flags of work-from-home scams.
Avoiding Work-From-Home Scams
Unfortunately, there are dozens (if not hundreds) of work-from-home scams you’ll need to watch out for when searching for a remote job with an American company. A few red flags you should be aware of include:
- You have to pay to work.
- You’re asked for your credit card information before starting work.
- The company has really bad reviews online (you should always check).
- A company avoids telling you how much you’ll be paid or how often.
- Anyone asks for remote access to your computer (never do this).
If you see any of these red flags, your best bet is to avoid the company. By doing so, you can avoid difficult situations like being cheated out of your pay or having your identity stolen.
Preparing for a Remote Interview
In many ways, preparing for a remote interview is similar to an in-person one. You’ll want to ensure you’re prepared to answer any questions a potential employer may have about your experience, skill set, and why you want to work for them. During the interview, remember it’s normal to be nervous, but you should aim to be confident yet friendly. Be clear about your expertise but don’t overstretch your abilities.
Sometimes, a remote interview will be a sample test of some kind. For example, a company may call you to assess your customer service skills or ask you to write a relevant content sample. Take your time and avoid distractions to do your best work.
Learn How to Negotiate a Reasonable Salary
One downside to remote work is that quite a few companies try to pay international workers meagre rates. Generally, you’ll want to avoid any position that wants to pay you pennies an hour as this won’t be worth your time. Additionally, you should learn how to negotiate a reasonable salary effectively.
Perform online research about what people are being paid in the position you’re going for and your relevant experience (usually a beginner position). Then, if a company offers you significantly less than this, politely explain (and link) your sources and what you’d expect to be paid. If they refuse to pay a fair wage, politely decline the position and look for work elsewhere.
Consider Work Relevant to Your Studies
It’s an excellent idea to find a remote position relevant to your current studies. This way, not only will you be working in a high-paying position, but you’ll also be accumulating experience that can help you land a significantly better-paying job upon graduation. It looks much better to graduate from a four-year program with a few years of experience already under your belt than to graduate with zero experience. You may even find that working in your chosen field (or a similar one) helps with your studies.
Additional Important Considerations
There are a few additional important considerations if you plan to work remotely while in school. These include:
- Having a fast, reliable internet connection (preferably at your home).
- Having a reliable computer (preferably a moderately newer model).
- Ensuring you have any other equipment, software, or tools necessary for your required field.
- Making an accurate estimation of your availability.
If you already meet these requirements, you’re well on your way to finding a high-paying job with an American company. However, if you don’t, now is the time to prepare for your future position.