April’s Member of the Month is Darlene, a VIP member who just landed a full time, remote position as Customer Experience Specialist for TeamSnap. Before we hear from her, I’ll share the story of how Darlene started job searching, how she improved along the way, and finally achieved her dream of working remotely.
Darlene was searching for a remote job where she could use her account management background with her passion for client services. She knew her client facing skills would land her the remote role she’d been dreaming of, but she wasn’t sure if that would be in customer service, account management, or travel planning.
As my one-on-one client, we worked to sort this out and fix her approach to applying for remote jobs. We worked on transforming her resume, customizing every bit of her applications, and even making videos! The biggest change I saw in Darlene while working with her as a one-on-one client was her self esteem and true belief that she was a valuable candidate for remote teams.
When Darlene’s one-on-one support from me was over, she kept going with the remote job search process on her own. In a short while, she figured out that going it alone when you’ve still got mountains to climb is not the easiest way to do things. So she joined our VIP group in order to finish what she’d set out to do. As a VIP member, she honed in on her interview skills and participated in group calls to connect with like-minded women on the same exact journey.
In a total of about 3 months, Darlene had a job offer from TeamSnap that she could not resist! As I hope for all of our members, Darlene excelled during this Success Cycle (3 month membership period) and is now a full time remote worker!
Now, that’s my version of the story… but why don’t you hear some tips and tricks from Darlene herself. She’s got tons of insight on how to make this dream come true.
Darlene Branco, 30
Current Location: Palm Coast, Florida
Remote Role: Customer Experience Specialist, TeamSnap
What was your life like before working remotely? What has changed?
Lots and lots of commuting back and forth to work. I never found a job close to home so I was always commuting about an hour to work and back home (sometimes even further!). I always had to set my schedule up based on if I could make it on time. You just never knew with traffic when you would be home. In this past year, I was taking the train to and from work, and I never knew if the train would fail.
But now, I do not have to worry about any of that. I set my own schedule! With no commute times, I sleep in just a little bit longer and I have time for myself throughout the day. If I want to take a fitness class at 5PM, now I can. I am also eating a lot healthier because I am not distracted by all of the snacks and goodies that come into the office. And I take daily walks (the joys of having moved to Florida! – I previously lived in NJ, PA, and most recently in Boston.)
Overall, so much of my life has changed since I started working remotely and am excited to see more to come!
What was one thing you learned from Remote Like Me that helped you to go remote?
Confidence. Prior to joining Remote Like Me, I was applying for remote jobs left and right for about a year with no bite. But after joining the group, I realized I needed to make some changes not only to my resume, but how I presented myself in interviews. I gained a lot of confidence and it really showed when interviewing for positions.
Why did you enjoy being a VIP member so much?
All of the trainings, feedback, and support were priceless. After applying to jobs for over a year before landing my last office job, I knew that I could not go at this alone this time around. So I shopped around for coaches/assistance. The Remote Like Me Community was exactly what I needed. However, I wanted more help and more attention. Then, Taylor introduced me to the VIP group and I never looked back.
With all of the feedback from my resume and support from the other members of the group, it was like nothing I ever experienced. It was good to know that others are going through the same things as you. And they have the answers you are looking for when you are job searching. It was the best package out there.
What is your favorite part about your remote career?
I am still in transition right now – I am still working with my previous employer, but remotely, until I start my new position at TeamSnap. With that said, I love the freedom the remote lifestyle brings. It really does not matter where I live as long as I have an internet connection, which is obtainable pretty much anywhere. Now I live in sunny Florida and have no regrets!
Was there ever a point when you thought that your remote work dreams might not come true? What did that feel like? What did you do to overcome that?
The first time around I thought it was not possible for me as I was not landing the opportunities I thought I was a great fit for. It really felt horrible and I thought I was not good enough.
However, I changed gears and secured a 9-5 job at an office where I could improve upon my skills. It was the best decision because although I was still commuting to an office, there was much more flexibility and I learned how to use tools like Slack and Zoom. With these new skills and tools, I was well prepared for my new remote opportunity.
I changed my mindset the second time around and knew that I could not go through this journey alone. That is when I found Remote Like Me. The support and feedback I received from Taylor and everyone in the VIP group was priceless and it definitely changed my perspective on how to job search.
There was a pivotal moment in your job search when you decided to focus on one type of remote position instead of a couple. How did that turn out?
Not as I planned. In the beginning, I was applying for customer success and account management roles. I then shifted my focus to marketing roles as I have my degree in marketing. But as I began applying to marketing roles, I started to hear back from the customer success opportunities I had applied to. As a result, I stopped applying to marketing roles.
Although I may have not received a marketing role, I still secured a role in with something I am passionate about, Customer Experience.
One lesson I learned from that: do not be afraid to shift focus if you have to. The right position is out there for you and it will all come together eventually.
Now that you can choose your work environment, how do you work best?
I am still trying to figure this one out. As funny as it sounds, for right now, I have a typical office set up at home. For right now, this is comfortable since I am used to sitting at a desk coming from a typical 9-5 office setting and this is great while I am transitioning. I will explore other options suchs as co-working spaces, working out in my lanai, and even coffee shops once I become more familiar with the remote work environment.
But don’t be afraid to explore options. The world is your office now!
What do you do when you want to spend some time away from your laptop?
Being in sunny Florida, it is easy to walk outside. For me, I need my eyes to rest away from the laptop, so going for a walk helps immensely. It wakes me up too, especially while sitting down all day. I am fortunate to have a lanai, so on the not so sunny days, I relax there. On really nice days, and when I have the time, I will drive to the beach (about a 10 minute drive) and will take a stroll in the sand.. 🙂
What advice do you have for others looking to go remote?
Never give up on your dreams. I am a true believer on the Law of Attraction and that really helped with finding my remote career. Before even landing my remote job, I set up my future lifestyle dependent on getting a remote job no matter what. I committed to moving to Florida; I committed to quitting my previous role; and I committed to continue applying until it was all possible. Now all of the stars aligned. I never gave up on the finding one and no one ever should. There is a remote role out there for everyone!