Ep 82 The Best Remote Work Opportunities for 2024

blog Dec 20, 2023

 In episode 82, we explore the best remote work opportunities for 2024.

You're listening to the remote work retirement show. I'm your host, Camille Attell. And this is the only show that helps semi-retirees figure out the remote work options. 

I believe that remote work is the new retirement plan and that many retirees have both the ability and desire to work, how they want so they can live how they want. Let's dig into today's episode.... 

Hello, again, it's time for the next chapter in our Future of Work Predictions for 2024. Now in episode 80, I shared the top predictions or trends to watch for. And in episode 81, I provided a list of skills you should know, or develop based on those trends. So today we will pull all the puzzle pieces together into a big picture to talk about the next or The Best Remote Work Opportunities for 2024. 

Now, one thing I want to mention as I go through this list is that you may hear some of these opportunities and have thoughts. Like I'm not qualified for that job, or, well, I have never done that kind of work so how could I start now? Or maybe you think things like, well, I don't want to learn something new, or I don't even have a degree so who would hire me? Or whatever thoughts you might be having that actually prevent you from moving forward on something you might actually like.

So here are some thoughts I think you could have that would be more productive. You could think things like that job sounds interesting, I wonder what else I need to know about it. Or maybe my favorite, I might have transferable skills and maybe I could do that job if I were to also up-skill or re-skill just a little bit. So, I really want you to suspend any kind of thoughts you might have that try to talk you out of being qualified or even being interested in the jobs on this list. I'm also not saying that you should only be interested in jobs on this list because you might be doing something completely different. And it's not to say that whatever you're doing or want to do, wouldn't be a good job, or a popular job, or an in-demand job. I just want to make sure that I'm giving you the best list of the best opportunities that you could keep your eyes open for in 2024.

Now, let me circle back for a minute to the concept of transferable skills, because I don't know, maybe not everyone, everyone knows what that is. Transferable skills are skills that can basically transfer from one job to another job, one industry to another industry. It could be a certain type of task transferred to a different type of task. An example of some transferable skills would be communication skills, listening skills, being flexible, and being adaptable. In fact, a lot of the skills I talked about in episode 81, quite a few of those are transferable skills. And this is something that we talk a lot about inside of Remote Work School which is my online coaching program. In fact, we spend a good chunk of the program just uncovering people's transferable skills so that they can see what else is available to them.

New work types, new jobs, maybe even a new business. Now I'm going to use myself as an example here, because I think I'm a really good case study because when I left my job my long, not just job, but my long-time career in corporate training in 2016, I left with collecting a lifetime, practically a lifetime of skills. I mean, I shouldn't say lifetime, but gosh, I hadn't been in the workforce at that point for over 25 years. So, it feels like a lifetime. Right. But. I still have a lifetime to go, and I will certainly collect more skills. But some of the skills I had were things like I was a classroom trainer, so I knew how to set up a room, and lead discussions in a classroom, in a group setting.

I knew how to set up all of the things we needed, like a projector and notebooks and pens and pencils and all of that. I was a project manager, so I knew how to do things like manage a budget, manage deadlines, manage a team, and manage work, et cetera. I had also done a continuous improvement, which is a whole discipline around finding improvements in a workplace.

And that could be an improvement with a process or a procedure that could be saving people time or saving money in some cases. So, I had skills around all of these different things, right? Because we're never just one thing. Not really. Even if you've done one job your whole life, it's not like you only use the same three skills. You're collecting a lot of skills. And so, I had all of these skills when I left my corporate job. And then I started completely brand new from scratch in a whole world I knew nothing about which was working remotely and working really 100% online. And so, in some ways, I had to learn some new skills. I don't want to say I didn't have to, but in some way, many ways I was able to take the skills I already had and just use them in new ways.

So, for example, I was an okay writer. I wouldn't call myself a writer or an author. I've never written a book or anything, but shoot, I can write a paper. I mean, I went to school like I, you know, I wrote an MA Master's Thesis. See, sometimes I forget this. And so, I was able to take those skills and transfer them into becoming a freelance blog writer. It was different for sure, but I had enough of those core transferable skills that it wasn't like I was starting from scratch completely. I just had to up-skill a little bit. By the way, of all the things I've ever done, this is kind of ironic, of all the jobs I've ever had I've never actually gone to school for any of those jobs.

I didn't go to school to become a classroom trainer or a corporate trainer. I did not go to school to be a project manager. I never got certified. I didn't go to school to be a continuous improvement coach. The one thing I went to school for which was counseling, I've never actually done, you know, in an actual job, I've never been an actual counselor. So, this is, this proves the point that you don't need to go back to school and get a big, fancy degree to do jobs. I mean, I did it and then I didn't actually use that degree as a counselor. Now. I certainly use a lot of the skills that I learned from that degree in my coaching business. And there again is another example of transferable skills. So, I bring that up because again, as I go through this list, your immediate reaction might be I could never do that job. And I don't know.

I think the answer really is maybe you could, maybe you couldn't, and you might have some transferable skills you don't even know about that could actually contribute to these jobs. So just keep that in mind as I go through the list today. All right. I better get off my soapbox pep talk about skills.

The next thing I want to talk about is the word “best” because this podcast episode is called The Best Remote Work Opportunities for 2024. And I used that word on purpose because I don't want to say the top 10 or the highest paid. I think the word best is pretty subjective. Actually, best might look different for each person. So, what do I mean by this word? Well, I think this really means the most in-demand jobs, the ones that you're going to find the most if you go job searching, the ones that employers will be looking to fill. And that's why I think these are some of the best jobs and most of these can be done remotely.

If not, you know, 100% remotely then certainly in a hybrid way. That doesn't necessarily mean all employers will be offering these jobs remotely, but they can certainly be done remotely. With that let me give you the list. I did count to 10. I just can't help myself. But again, that doesn't mean that it's only these 10, or if yours isn't on here, it's somehow it's not a good option. It just didn't make the list cause you know, I only have so many minutes in a podcast episode.

All right. So, number one will be AI and automation specialist. I'm going to read the list and come back and define these. So, number two will be virtual assistant, number three data specialist, number four sales specialist, number five digital marketer, number six social media manager, number seven content manager, number eight customer service representative, number nine cyber security specialist, and number 10 project manager.

So, let's loop back up to #1. AI and automation specialist

And I actually put AI and automation together because they really go hand in hand. And what I think this job will consist of because again, we're still trying to figure it out. I don't know if anyone knows for sure. But it's definitely going to be someone who understands AI enough that they can help businesses and companies implement it in different ways. So, this is really broad because it could involve anything from knowing enough programming so that you can write a little bit of code to using AI to do analysis to using AI to speed up different tasks to using AI to implement a new technology. Or implementing an AI technology and all of it, all of the knowledge and skills would be used to help improve operations, and make things run smoother and faster with fewer errors.  

Sadly, in some cases, it would be replacing a human that does a particular job. But it would also be something that could create a new role. For example, you might be an AI specialist or an AI and automation specialist because you still have to manage the AI that now maybe does data entry. So instead of having a human doing data entry, you would have AI do it, but you still need a human who's an AI specialist to manage the process.

Now the automation part of this has to do with being able to use a few technologies to automate certain tasks and by technologies, I guess I could also interchange that with the word AI, because it could be software, but it could also be an AI that understands how to automate tasks. So we're going to see a lot of this in 2024, we saw some of it in 2023. But I think in 2024 it's finally the time when companies get very serious about carving out this role.

#2. Virtual Assistant.

This has been around this job has been around for a really long time. Really the better part of a decade. And a virtual assistant is very similar to what an administrative assistant used to be. The only difference is they're really doing it remotely or hybrid. So these are going to be things like managing calendars, setting up meetings, emailing, you know, providing email support. It might be scheduling appointments. It could be handling customer inquiries. The challenge about a job like a virtual assistant is that there are literally a hundred or more different things that this person could do. And so, the word virtual assistant is one of these big blanket terms. Um, And they're like niches inside of virtual assistant.

For example, I have two virtual assistants that work with me, but one of them focuses on writing blog posts, which then you could say, well, isn't that person called a blog writer? There you go. That's why it's better to focus on transferable skills and not job titles. And then the other person focuses more on customer service and community management. And then you might ask yourself, well, why isn't that person called community manager or customer service support? Why not? Why, why are we, you know, picking one title? Well, that's just the way the world works because a virtual assistant is someone who can do a lot of different things. It's another reason why focusing on skills is so critical in this day and age. Because you can transfer those skills in and out of different roles. 

#3. Data Specialist.

This is another one that could be data specialists, data manager, or data collector. I think there's one, not called data cleaner cause it doesn't sound right. But I know that there exists someone who actually scrubs and cleans data. So this role could be responsible for anything like collecting data, analyzing data, managing data, and organizing it. Maybe light data entry, although the AI could do that. Maybe they are managing databases. Maybe they're even looking at data and interpreting it and putting it into reports to help with decision-making. So this is a pretty broad role. And it's a role that's been around for a really long time, but it continues to evolve. And with AI hitting the scene, it will evolve even more. And I should pause and tell you that you should insert the words “artificial intelligence” into any of the roles that I'm talking about today, any of the remote work jobs and opportunities. Because AI will impact every single one of these in some way. And if you need a refresher on that, go back and listen to episode 80, because I spent a lot of time talking about why and how exactly.

So our top three were AI and automation specialist, number two virtual assistant, and number three data specialist.

#4. Sales Specialist.

So this is someone who could do anything from selling products or selling services. It could be online like meaning online services or digital products. This could be physical products. This could be someone who gets on calls with people to talk to them about a program. The skills around this one would be anything from communication and negotiation to being able to present something in a persuasive way. It could be closing sales because you know, maybe there's some close rates.

So again, this is a pretty broad role that relies on a broad set of skills. Now here's something really interesting. Well, I don't know if it's really interesting, but in my head it sounds interesting. Let's just see. I was never in sales my whole life. I never did really any sales, but then when I left corporate and I got into remote work and eventually blogging and creating my own digital products, I had to learn sales and marketing which is also the next one on the list, digital marketing. And it turns out I'm actually really good at sales and digital marketing. And the reason why I'm good at those is because of those transferable skills that I mentioned. I'm a pretty decent communicator. I should toot my own horn, you know, for someone who encourages people to toot their own horn, I don't really do it enough for myself.

I should really walk the talk. Right. So I am a darn good communicator. But I am a better listener. Well,  unless it's something I'm not interested in, then I'm a terrible listener. I think I'm good at negotiation. I'm really good at talking to clients and coaching. I think I'm effective at talking about my program and teaching on webinars and in trainings and things like that. So it turns out I was good at sales and I didn't even know that until I was into my late forties. And I actually really like it. So, you know, there you go. There's a little story about that. So that's sales specialist.

#5. Digital Marketer.

This is kind of similar to sales. But I think if you don't love sales, this is another one that could be interesting because this is really all about marketing in general. This would be about understanding what consumer needs are. It could include market research. It could include even some of that data analysis that we talked about earlier on our list and looking at data and creating marketing strategies. It could include things like SEO: search engine optimization 

So if you have a blog or a website, that's part of digital marketing, it could be content marketing. So all those people who do things on Instagram and TikTok and talk about products or talk about the problems you have and how their products might solve it, products or services. That's part of digital marketing. t could be writing emails and being persuasive in emails. So, again, this is a really broad role and another one where a big swath of skills could really transfer into this role. And again, it's another one that turns out I'm pretty good at, and I really do like it. All right.

#6. Social Media Manager.

This is someone who's going to pretty much how his sounds, are going to set up social media campaigns. They're going to know the ins and outs of various platforms. They might be creating content for those platforms. They might be talking to people, commenting and answering questions. They could also be analyzing social media metrics and coming up with new strategies and campaigns. They could be making pretty graphics. I mean, there's so much that could be done with a social media manager or even social media coordinator job. It doesn't always have to be at the management level. A lot of these remote work opportunities that I'm talking about today have different levels, right? Entry-level, manager level, specialist level. So whenever you hear me say something, just know that there are varying levels of expertise inside of each one.  

#7. Very similar is Content Manager.

So content manager has a little bit in common with a digital marketer and a social media manager or marketer. And that is someone who's really focused on the content. So they maybe don't need to know social media so much, but they really need to understand content creation and content marketing. So someone who understands how to communicate with content. How to find people to connect with that content. It could be planning, content editing publishing. Research and content could be in anything. It could be a podcast like this one. A YouTube channel. A blog. It could be other written content. Short-form video. Long-form training. Content is really anything that people consume in some format.

And again, I think this is a super creative role, much like some of the other roles on the list so far. And a broad set of skills. So you might have some transferable skills that fit in this category. 

#8. Customer Service Representative.

This one has been around for a really long time. I think it will still be popular and still be a good remote job to have. The caveat here is I do see a lot of impacts to this job because of AI.

I think there's a lot of AI that can replace customer service jobs. I think there are automated AI. There are chatbots. There are AIs that are pre-programmed to respond to customer questions with a keyword. So I think that this job will change. I still think it will be around and there will be a need. But I think what you'll have to consider in this one is learning enough AI or chatbots, really so that you know how to work with both tech, the technology around it, as well as the customers.

So I still think this is all about dealing with customer questions and inquiries and resolving issues. I mean, let's get real, not everyone loves talking to a chatbot and a chatbot can only go so far in solving a problem, right? And so there will still be humans that will need to solve problems and talk to customers. And that could be on the phone, in email on other chat platforms. But I still think it's a really great option for a lot of people.

The next one on the list. Let's see what we're up to. Let me recap what we've done so far. Number one, AI and automation specialist, two virtual assistant, three data specialist, four sales specialist, five digital marketer, six social media manager, seven content manager, eight customer service representative.

#9. Cyber Security Specialist.

This is another one that's been around for a number of years, but it's just getting more and more in demand because there are more and more scams and schemes and people trying to crack codes and, you know, break into cyberspace. So this role focuses on protecting a company's computer systems and networks and protecting them from cyber threats. This one, you would need to know things like the security protocols you would need to understand threat detection. You would have to be trained in incident response.

And I think that this role, even though you can use AI in this role, there are still people who will outsmart the AI. And you will need a human to actually detect some of these breaches. And I think that more of this will be created in 2024 because of AI. So it's kind of like this weird circular argument. AI solves problems, but it also creates new ones and therefore you will need humans involved to solve the problems AI created. Ooh, if you follow that, then more power to you.

#10. Project Manager.

Last on our list, this one has also been around for a number of years. This is being able to manage a project from start to finish. It can include everything from planning and executing, monitoring the project, managing the budget and the timelines. It could even include managing the team. If you have a team of people a project manager can span across so many industries. It doesn't just have to be an IT project manager. I mean, I was a project manager managing training projects for a number of years and then continuous improvement projects 

And again, I was never certified for that. And so I think this role continues to expand and evolve. I still think you're going to need to learn AI because a lot of the project management tools out there have AI built in and you really have to learn the AI technology to keep up. I won't recap the list again, because I feel like I've done it enough times, but the last two on the list were cybersecurity specialist and project manager.

So there you have it, The Best Remote Work Opportunities for 2024. And again, if you didn't hear your job type, whether the one you have, or the one you're interested in in the future on the list don't despair. 2024 is shaping up to be another great year in the job market despite all the doomsday economists talking about how we're going to have massive job losses.

In 2023, the unemployment rate stayed really low and the job market stayed really strong month over month. We're still hovering at a 3.7% unemployment rate, which is very solid. And while AI is replacing some jobs, that's happening and will continue to replace some jobs, it's creating even more opportunities. As long as you invest in your ongoing learning, dabbling in a little bit of AI and some other things, you'll create more opportunities than most people. All right, that's it for today. I hope you enjoyed it.

Meet me back here next week for a very special chat with Sir Isaac Smith, he's been on the show a couple of times, where we will talk all about all kinds of remote work stuff. See you then.  

If you're looking to get back into the workforce, change jobs, work remotely, or learn artificial intelligence, check out my free remote work training so you can get ahead of the trends and stay ahead of the pack. Click the link in the show notes, or go to www.camilleattell.com and press the free training button.

As always, thank you for tuning in to the Remote Work Retirement Show. I'm Camille Attell, your host, and I'll catch you in the next episode.

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