I’m in the market for a new job, and so many of the MOPs positions out there are for remote-first or international teams. To be honest, I’m wary of joining a team where I don’t get to meet up with people in person (I haven’t had the best experience working remotely during the pandemic) and I’m not sure I have the bandwidth to onboard into a brand new company from afar. Am I making too big a deal out of this?
Hey, Frankie. First things first: your job is a big deal, and you’re more than allowed to ask these questions as you try to find the right one.
Looking at your question, I’m hearing you say that you don’t think remote work is the right fit for you. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why that might be?
For generations, we’ve been conditioned to believe that we can only be productive in the office, surrounded by our colleagues. But is that really true? For me, the fact that I can more easily weave in and out of my work and home lives makes me much more productive in both areas. If I ever get five minutes between meetings, I can put on a load of laundry instead of just waiting around at my desk.
Another concern might be the social aspect—and I hear you. It can be hard to imagine how you replace casual water-cooler conversations with text on a screen, but just because it’s different doesn’t mean it isn’t effective. Slack and all its various integrations (does anyone else use the giphy randomizer?) make it easy to communicate your insights, share style of humor, and meet new people on other teams. Every day, I see people take advantage of these tools to build relationships both within and outside the professional setting. Not only that, joining a remote team helps you expand your network outside your region. That’s particularly valuable for the marketing operations industry, which has such widespread expertise.
Now, if you’re someone who just can’t imagine working at home because you live in a small apartment with your very loud roommate, who also works from home, that shouldn’t stop you from looking at remote positions. Companies taking a remote-first approach are really looking for the best possible candidates, and if that means providing a stipend so that you can rent a small office, I’m sure they’ll find a way to make that happen. We’re in an unprecedented time in the workforce, and you should never be afraid to ask for what you need to have an optimal work experience.
Another important thing to remember is that your aversion to remote work might be based on working with your current employer, who had to scramble to figure out remote work during the pandemic. For a lot of companies, the shift to remote work was messy (at best) and it left a lot of people disillusioned with the idea of joining decentralized teams. Consider this: leaders today have spent a lot more time thinking through what they can do to empower their distributed teams, supporting them with the right tools, policies, and processes. Don’t let that one experience put you off from testing out something different.
You may be saying to yourself “OK, you’ve addressed a lot of my concerns, but am I equipped to join a new team remotely?” I think you are. The skills you need to succeed in a remote team are the same ones you need to be a good MOPs professional: proactivity, accountability, problem solving, and good communication. As long as you’re able to proactively think about solutions to any problems that might arise, and communicate those solutions effectively, you’re golden.
You’ve got this,