Name Samara Al Badr
Location Sydney, Australia (Current Homebase)
Remote Position Client Success Manager
What was your life like before landing this remote job? Why did you want to go remote?
I was commuting to work from Monday – Friday, roughly about 1.5 hrs to and from work so I felt mentally drained and found my health wasn’t the best either. I did this for about 4.5 years so you can probably imagine how draining that can be. I also felt stuck in a cubicle for not having enough time in the day to do the things that I loved. My creativity died and I had lost my passion in doing my work. I felt very unhappy and unsatisfied!
On a daily basis, I was thinking there must be something I can do to change my circumstances.
I was applying to so many roles but I wasn’t getting any response until I tried applying different strategies to get noticed. Then I finally saw an increase in response rate.
I started seeking a remote role as I wanted to have more flexibility and time to pursue other passions such as traveling and volunteering, starting an online business, and not waking up to an alarm early morning to commute to work.
How long did it take you to find and land this position?
What did you do differently when applying/interviewing/negotiating for this position?
I applied Taylor’s tip on submitting a video application with 3 reasons why they should consider me: a sentence about aligning myself with the company’s mission and values, work experience, and something related to personality and how I can apply it to the role.
I also connected with the Director of Client Success on LinkedIn after she emailed me keeping me posted about my application status. I sent a request to add her to my LinkedIn network along with a personalised message, thanking her for her time and consideration. I had about a week before the scheduled interview, so I did thorough research about the company and luckily I came across a webinar which I registered for to learn more about the product. I also joined their email list to access their freebies and video tutorials they had on their website/ capterra software review website to learn more about the culture, customer reviews and the product.
But what happened next blew my mind!
The CEO/Founder noticed I signed up for the webinar and freebies as my name popped up on their email list. He found it very entertaining on the day of the interview. It was the perfect ice breaker and we had a great laugh about it. I believe that left a lasting impression on him…And I wasn’t expecting that reaction so I was really happy about that!
The marketing specialist from the company called me the next day to ask about my interest in using their product as he also got a notification of my signups. Oh, you can probably imagine the embarrassment and the giggles along the way but hey, it WORKED and they noticed.
I had no previous experience working in the tech industry. However, in the interview I shared concrete examples of my corporate work experience which involved using technology software from management to online conference software to do the work-related tasks. I explained what they were for and how I used them in my work.
I took it a step further by being familiar with online tools that can be used virtually, such as participating in online communities from Facebook groups to Slack communities and other tools I’ve used personally. I also spoke about learning WordPress on the side to show my passion for tech and love for learning.
In regards to salary negotiation, I did market research and gave a range that I was happy with.
Why did you seek out Customer Service type roles?
I’ve always had a passion for helping people! Plus, being in a customer service related role gave me a sense of ownership and responsibility to create my own reputation and build relationships with others from all walks of life. I’ve previously worked in the retail industry in customer facing roles, which involved team coaching and customer service monitoring. I also had administrative experience in the healthcare field, doing project work for global clients. For me, it was a great starting point to leverage my current and previous skills to find a remote role.
What was one thing you learned from Remote Like Me that helped you to go remote?
After realizing that there was so much competition out there and everyone fighting to get a remote role, I started submitting video applications to stand out from the competition even when the companies didn’t ask for it. I used to just apply for roles and not take that extra step to do something different. This is mainly because I never did this when I was in the corporate world, so it was a mindset shift for me as well. Once I changed my approach and added in the extra effort, my results changed.
I had so much fun doing these quick videos which really pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me gain confidence.
I started tailoring my resume to each job description to match the skills that they were looking for in a candidate. I changed boring job duties into accomplishment/achievement based statements on my resume as well.
Why did you enjoy the VIP group so much?
I really loved the group because every month Taylor focused on a new topic to help us with the remote job search. And the awesome thing was, she always seeked feedback from the group to see what we needed help with the most. It has been awesome being part of a small group, as we all know that job hunting is hard. So having the community there made the process feel less daunting and stressful at times. We are all in it together!
Now that you are starting your new remote job, what will your 2018 look like?
Oh my, this is only just the beginning to my online career and I’m so grateful that I have come across Remote Like Me community to get where I am today! 🙂
I am so excited that I’m still pinching myself. I hope it’s not a dream!
I will be starting my new remote role in late January, so I have plans to launch a lifestyle blog to share what I’m learning about my career change and my transition from corporate to the online world. I hope to inspire others with my story as well and use that to build an online portfolio, as I would love to find a remote part-time role in online marketing. I am also planning to move to London, UK mid-next year. So I’m super duper excited about the new lifestyle changes!
What advice do you have for others looking to go remote?
Don’t be afraid to test out different tactics to get noticed, especially if you’re not receiving responses or invitations to interview.
I highly recommend using a tracker to monitor your applications and your progress for each role. I personally found this spreadsheet from Zapier’s blog.This really helped me change up my application approach, see a pattern for the response rate and play around with different strategies to get me noticed.
Good luck! You can do this!