Remote Career Success Stories: Inspiring Examples of Remote Professionals

Working Remotely

What's it really like to work remotely? Our WFH community shares their tips for job hunting, career advancement, work-life balance, & more.

[image source]

Hearing real-world remote career success stories may help you decide whether working remotely is right for you.

And that's because WFH works differently for everyone.

While some people prefer a hybrid work model to leave room for office mingling, others prefer working for the top remote companies hiring across the globe. Then there are digital nomads, who live to explore the world and travel while working remotely

All these diverse perspectives can help you envision your future in a remote position. 

So we turned to social media to ask real remote workers to share their stories and advice. We'll highlight their best tips for how to find a remote job, climb the career advancement ladder, work productively from home, and more.

Real Remote Career Success Stories: 6 Inspiring Examples of Remote Work Professionals & WFH Advice

If you want to be in the remote game to satisfy your wanderlust, check out this guide on the best digital nomad Slack communities to join. You'll find more specific remote career success stories and tips aligned with your goal there.

This post contains anonymous, filter-free opinions and intel from our WFH community about:

Value Alignment: Finding a Remote Company that Shares Your Values

Our first remote professional is a Software Developer for a biotech company's marketing department. 

How long have you been working remotely?

I have ~20 years of experience helping companies do business online. I've had hybrid roles off and on for about 15 years, but I switched to fully remote shortly before the pandemic.

Why did you want to start working remotely?

I switched to a fully remote job after unexpectedly becoming a single dad. My son was only seven at the time and has special needs, so finding a job I could do remotely was my primary requirement.

[image source]

How has remote work impacted your career progression? 

It's been really great for me professionally. I moved into a team lead role and was quickly promoted to lead a department. 

Being a remote worker didn't hold me back from advancement in any way, but what matters most is that I found a company that really shares my values. They're 900 miles from home and in an industry I never really knew about, but I feel like it's a better fit than any of my previous jobs. Value alignment is an unsung benefit of remote work.

Any advice you'd like to share?

I wound up in this position mainly because I wanted to build a nice life for my son, and truthfully it's a big part of what gave me the courage to do it. But people deserve to live lives they enjoy at a sustainable pace, even if they're not a caregiver. Remote work is just a good way of life we're all worthy of enjoying.

Leveraging Manager Support To Advance Your Career

Our next remote professional is in Sales Operations for the tech industry.

How long have you been working remotely? 

I've worked in a hybrid environment for years. Then my company decided it was cheaper for me to work fully remote since the start of Covid. Now I'm earning six figures in a low-cost-of-living state.

How has remote work impacted your career progression? 

I've been lucky in that my manager is a unicorn. I've been promoted twice since WFH — a new role was even created for me to further my remote career. Seriously, my manager is amazing. Every job in existence is only as good as your direct manager.

[image source]

WFH makes it so the top performers get promoted, not the biggest brown-nosers. It's also not based on how you dress, how you carry yourself, who makes the best small talk, etc. WFH makes it so your quality of work matters most, as it should.

What do you love most about working remotely? 

I'm always productive! I spend less time and emotional resources commuting to the workplace, so I use that extra time to take care of more things for myself and my household.

Supporting Your Mental Health & Emotional Wellness

Up next we’ll hear from a Provider Data Analyst in the healthcare industry.

How long have you been working remotely? 

I've worked remotely for approximately 19 out of 21 years overall. I started as a Data Entry Clerk. I was completing my work so quickly that, within a couple months, I was moving my way up the industry in various roles. 

I now live in a different state from my company, but I travel to their headquarters two to three times per year for company all-hands meetings.

Why does working remotely work for you? 

I have severe depression and anxiety and get overwhelmed by noise and distractions outside of my control. Working remotely allows me to control my environment, not have to cope with those factors, and makes it easier to get work done even when I'm having a bad day.

Working remotely also made it easier to complete my Bachelor's Degree in Communications Design and a Master's in Business Administration.

[image source]

Any advice you'd like to share? 

  • Try to separate your workspace from your bedroom and your leisure areas. It becomes difficult to turn your brain off from work mode if your office is near those areas, and it's also too easy to get distracted when you're on the clock.

  • If you get work emails/messages on your phone and don't need to be “on call” for anything, silence it at night. Checking notifications when you're supposed to be off to see what problems you have to deal with the next day will drive you insane.

  • Working from home can be isolating and lonely over time, so I've made it a point to be more social and establish regular outings (I currently bowl in a league one night a week).

I also used getting WFH privileges as a negotiating point when I got a promotion at one of my previous companies. So if you're really serious about it, show your leaders how it will benefit them to let you telecommute. 

Harnessing the Power of Upskilling (& a Really Good Chair)

Now we’ll hear from a remote eCommerce Marketing Manager.

How long have you been working remotely? 

I've been working in eCommerce for almost seven years. During that time, I took advantage of on-the-job training, self-learning opportunities, and hands-on experience to advance my career. That commitment to upskilling helped me land a fully-remote job during the pandemic.

What advice would you give remote jobseekers? 

Identify fields with tons of remote jobs, and then figure out how to get those skills to put on your resume

I see a lot of people acting like working remotely is a field in and of itself, and they ask how they can get a remote job. That's not how this works. Nobody's lining up to hire you just because you vaguely “want a remote job.”

You must have valuable skills/experience, preferably in a particular field, like marketing or software development.

[image source]

Anything else you'd like remote workers to know? 

Be ready to trial and error when setting up your WFH office right. I don't have the kind of space to follow the “separate your bedroom from your workspace” advice, so just do what's right for you. The one thing people bring up that IS absolutely necessary is you've got to find the right chair.

Advancing Your Career As a Remote Support Specialist

Our next remote expert is a Call Center Agent.

How long have you been working remotely? 

I've spent almost 20 years building a career in call centers. I only have a high school diploma, so being promoted to a higher position is not something most on-site places I've worked for would consider. 

But I started working in a remote call center almost two years ago and have already been promoted. So I definitely believe remote work positively impacts career progression.

What are the biggest perks of working in a remote call center vs. in person? 

No longer having 2.5-hour commutes. It's nice having that time back. Lower transportation costs also mean more money in my pocket. 

Another way remote support jobs differ from in-person support is that I can actually have an office. As an on-site Call Center Agent, I was always going to be stuck in a cubicle. But now I get my own office where I can work without dealing with hundreds of other conversations in my ear at once.

[image source]

Another reason why support jobs are best for working remotely? You can do productive things while waiting for calls. And since you have your own kitchen to make lunch, you don't have to buy lunch out or worry about a coworker stealing your lunch from the office fridge.

🫶 Check out our Comprehensive Guide To Becoming a Remote Support Specialist!

Finding a Healthy, Eco-Friendly Work-Life Balance

Our final remote work success story comes from an eCommerce Asset Specialist who's been working remotely for the last two years.

How has remote work impacted your career progression? 

Although there's more competition for remote roles, I love that so many more opportunities are open to me because of remote work. I can find legit work-from-home jobs that perfectly fit me and my skills, rather than being stuck applying to whatever is available within one hour of my physical location.

What do you love most about working remotely? 

The work-life balance. Without a commute, I've given myself back 10 hours/week to live my best life. This means I get to:

  • Spend more quality time with my friends and family. I feel more connected to them because I have more energy to really listen and give my best once I've clocked out. I'm closer to the people I love most, which is absolutely priceless. 

  • Spending more time on the hobbies I enjoy and self-care that nourishes and recharges my soul. Creating a flexible WFH schedule allows me to work as early or late as needed. I don't wake up to an alarm, and I've removed almost all the chaos and rushing around in the mornings (what a crummy way to start each day!). Instead, I begin my work day well-rested and in a truly good mood. 

  • My depression and general exhaustion have also greatly diminished. I always thought it would take winning the lottery or retirement to alleviate the weight of work and how little of me is left for living my life. But for the first time in many years, I genuinely love my life, and that includes going to work.

[image source]

How does working from home affect your productivity? 

All my energy goes exactly where I want and need it to, at my discretion. I'm way more productive when left to my own devices and peaceful environment — I've quickly become a top performer on my team! I get so much done without coworkers constantly around and being in a work environment I create to suit my personal needs. 

How do you counteract feelings of loneliness or isolation when WFH? 

Social situations at work can be fun and valuable, but are also a huge drain for me and leave me exhausted. I'd much rather be social on my own time than have it forced on me during work hours. 

But the culture on my WFH team is awesome; it probably has something to do with the fact that no one is faking it and everyone is truly happy. Between Teams and Slack, there's no shortage of connection between me and my coworkers! I found a great WFH community, have tons of support, and made dear friends. 

And because I'm in such a good mood and so much happier in general, I can really give my job the best I've got, which feels fantastic.

Any advice for remote job seekers?

If your goal is to work remotely, my advice is to:

  • Develop relevant skills for the industry you're interested in. 
  • Become a disciplined, self-motivated person who manages their time well and doesn't rely on constant support from others to get their work done. 
  • Be prepared to give the absolute best you can every day. Show remote companies how hiring you benefits them.

[image source]

What's something you wish more people knew about remote work? 

Working remotely is way more “green” and eco-friendly than working at an office! My carbon footprint has drastically decreased because:

  • I don't drive as much and save hundreds on gas, spending maybe $20/month instead of $250. I contribute absolutely nothing to the gridlock traffic in my state.
  • I don't need to buy nearly as much clothing or personal items to “look good” WFH as I did working at the office.
  • I garden, cook at home, make my own coffee, and use zero takeout containers most weeks.
  • I don't have the air conditioning blasting to maintain a constant 60 degrees in my home like offices so often do.

I consume way less in almost every way AND have all this extra time to give back for volunteering efforts like local cleanups. Imagine the difference and impact it would make if everyone who could do their job from home actually was.

🖊️ Time To Write Your Remote Career Success Story! 

We hope hearing real-world stories, advice, and tips from WFH employees has inspired you to find your next virtual role.  Want to hear more remote professionals dish about their gigs? Use this link to read more blogs in our series: Day In the Life of a Remote Worker.

Ready to start applying to remote jobs in your industry? Right on! We Work Remotely is the number one remote job board to find the newest contract and full-time opportunities all over the world. Go get 'em! 🍀

← Back to Blog