Saurabh Jain

Learn how Saurabh used Law of Averages to find his dream remote job ๐Ÿ˜Ž

June 5, 2019

Product developer working remotely from Pune ๐Ÿ 

โšก๏ธ Quickfire Round

Where is your current homebase ?

Pune

Where have you travelled/lived after working remotely?

Traveled many places for holiday but tried to work remotely from: Goa and Italy. Did not go down well :)

Highest education qualification ?

I hold a Bachelors in Engineering (Computers) from the University of Pune.

Occupation

Software development

What is your family/friends reaction to remote working on a scale of 1-5 (where 1-negative and 5-very positive)

5 - Very Positive (and confused initially)

How much do you earn per annum?

> 40L

Years of total experience ?

13+

Years of freelance/remote experience ?

4+

When I think about the ability to work freelance/remotely, I feel ____

Extremely grateful and privileged

What was your key motivation for being freelancer/remote work

Spending more time with my daughter (now +son) while they were growing up in their early years.


๐Ÿ”ฅ Fireside Chat

How did you land your current remote job ?

Apart from the numerous freelance projects I have worked earlier in life, my current gig is my 4th remote job.

โš ๏ธ 2 of these 4 jobs lasted only 5 weeks. I quit before probation ended, so this is my 2nd real remote job which has lasted > 1.5 years.

I found these guys on Hacker News and they were looking for a Full Stack developer. We had a good connection with respect to philosophies and work ethics. So we knew we were a good fit for each other even though I had never worked on their tech stack before (AngularJS + Python).

I was applying and interviewing with a number of companies at that time. I had tried my hand at going 100% freelance for 6 months just before I picked up this job and realised I wasnโ€™t cut out for the uncertainty of freelance gigs. Even though they tend to pay much better than regular jobs.

Hence, I started looking for like minded companies. I believe I had applied to 28 companies during that time and got through to this one. Had a small, fun, coding challenge after which it was just light hearted interviews with the lead engineer and the CTO. Was a good experience.

Do you have any rituals or habits which help you to work remotely ?

My day looks quite staggered with a 5 year old who needs to be dropped to classes and stuff. Hence, I tend to get an early start. I am often up at 6 in the morning and am able to put in a couple of hours before the normal routine kicks in.

After that, once the rest of my team wakes up (we are all 100% remote and are scattered around India, Amsterdam, UK and Russia), work tends to slow down a bit due to the multiple interactions and meetings.

I however try to wrap up by 6pm at max.

We recently moved to a bigger house and have converted a spare bedroom to an office (my wife works remotely as well), so that definitely helps with the routine. I like to have my own place and setup which helps me to be productive.

What advice would you give to someone who is out there looking for a remote job ?

For remote, there are plenty of opportunities out there. Of course I speak from the experience of a programmer.

Some tech stacks have more demand (python, nodejs, react native, etc) compared to others (java, .Net, etc) but many companies (the better ones) donโ€™t bother with tech stacks and will trust you to pick up a new language in a few weeks.

The most important point is that you need to track each and every job application on a spreadsheet and work out your law of averages.

The first time I tried landing a remote gig, I tracked each and every application. Date sent. Did they reply? When did they reply? What are the next steps ? etc.

When I first started working remotely, here are what my odds looked like: - Every 20 companies applied: - 6 will reply - 2 / 6 outright rejections - 4 / 6 will be tests or interviews - 1 would convert to a job which I would be happy with

Knowing this is very powerful because I now know that if I apply to 20-30 companies, I will have a job in hand.

The first time I looked for a remote job, I sent like 108 applications and had 5 offers in hand by the end of it (1 month effort).

What is the biggest benefit of working remotely?

You control your time. Period.

When you control your time, you can do a lot of other things. Some of these things can help you become financially independent and get you out of the rat race. I havenโ€™t as yet but I know it is possible.

Not having to commute saves you between 1 - 2 hours of your life a day (16 DAYS annually). Also keeps you in a better mood ๐Ÿ˜„

Do you see any challenges of working remotely and how do you try to overcome it ?

Ummโ€ฆ Not really.

It is harder to work remotely for sure.

When you go to a regular desk job, just showing up is good enough to get paid. No matter how productive you were, how many chai and cigarette breaks you took, you will get paid just for showing up.

When you are working remotely, your work speaks for you. So that is the only metric.

Even if you are having a bad day or are sick, if you are reporting to work (remotely), you need to be productive. Personally, I havenโ€™t seen any challenges (I know I cannot travel and work, so I donโ€™t attempt that anymore).

For me, there are always people at home, so I donโ€™t get bored as such. If you are single or your better half goes to work, then I can imagine it would get very lonely and boring (I know friends who are here) and they are generally Starbucks hopping or prefer working from a co-working space.

Where can people can find you on the internet (if they have more questions)?

My DMs are open at @saurabhj on twitter. My website / blog is at: https://saurabhj.com but I havenโ€™t written in a while.

Abhishek Bose

Abhishek Bose

Creator of RemoteIndian community

Community for remote workers in India ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ’ป that enables Indian professionals to help each other navigate, balance and grow in a remote career.

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