As waste management and recycling jobs transition from pen and paper to more digitally centered operations, we’re finding that remote jobs are becoming more and more common. Waste management isn’t the first industry one thinks about when designing your home office or collaborative workspace, but remote positions in waste management are here to stay. So let’s talk about how to snag one of them.
Common types of remote jobs in waste
Here are some of the top remote job types we’ve seen in recent months on the Recyclesaurus job board:
- Sales and account management: Account executives and other sales roles are often the main opportunities for remote work—the more distributed a company is geographically within their sales team, the more options for visiting prospects or responding to questions in various time zones. Find sales and account management jobs.
- Software developer: Most companies are lenient in where their software development team can work, because it’s the type of work that’s easy to do anywhere. Waste and recycling companies are no exception. So if you’re a tech-savvy professional looking for work, don’t overlook this industry. Find software developer jobs.
- Recruiter: With modern software tracking applications and project management, members of the human resources and recruiting teams can often work remotely. As payroll, legal procedures and reporting come through, these tasks can often be done anywhere. And having a remote HR professional working from home can help everyone within the organization normalize any challenges that may arise from remote work. Find recruiter and HR jobs.
- Project management: With tools such as Asana, Trello and Notion increasingly becoming common within organizations, project managers are well-suited for remote work. PMs are able to ensure alignment across projects using high-powered software tools, or even visit project sites when needed. Find project management jobs.
- Data analyst/data management: The Recyclesaurus job board is seeing many data analyst roles that are remote. This makes sense, because these jobs require deep focus and frequent breaks—even data scientists need to stretch and go for a walk! Find data jobs.
So, how do I get started finding a remote job in waste?
Find a hub
Even with the current growth of remote work in the industry, finding remote jobs in waste management isn’t necessarily easy. In larger cities and metropolitan areas, many tech-forward companies work closely with startup communities and hubs to facilitate in-person networking and stay up-to-date on local tech talent. Startup hubs in cities like NYC, San Francisco, Denver, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Chicago (like Built In and Techstars) often have a recycling, sustainability, or waste management tech company as a member. Even if you don’t live nearby, you can still create a profile and keep tabs on potential growth opportunities in those companies.
Connect with a recruiter specializing in waste
Some recruitment firms have long recognized the value in focusing on a niche like waste management or recycling. Here are a few of the top recruitment companies in this space:
While these firms often work within other industries too, their core focus has been placing candidates in waste management jobs.
The main benefit of working with recruiters to find waste management jobs is that they typically have contracts in place with waste and recycling companies. However, while they may have access to the available jobs within certain companies, they may not be working with the type of company that offers remote jobs.
Just remember that recruiters care most about making the client company happy. In other words, they’re not necessarily focused on placing candidates, no matter how talented they are, into exciting positions. So, while you should certainly consider submitting a resume to these types of companies, just know that your profile may sit in their filing cabinet for a while. Or maybe forever. That’s why you should also get proactive—see below.
Build a resume that shows off your remote work skills
While casting a wide net for remote waste management and recycling jobs that fit your talents and interests, we recommend doing a self-assessment on the software tools you’re comfortable using. If you want to land a remote role, consider brushing up on your digital acumen in the following areas if you haven’t already.
Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, etc.
These programs seem ubiquitous at this point due to Covid, but if you haven’t practiced using them, now’s the time. Companies want their employees to appear confident and tech-savvy when dealing with customers and other partners—so we can assume they expect the same thing from job candidates. Something as simple as your lighting setup can make or break a first impression, so that’s a good place to start. Make sure your light source is located behind your monitor (instead of behind you) so that your face shows up well on camera for the interview.
Also do a test run to make sure your audio works, and you know how to share your screen if necessary. Having a handle on all of this beforehand will show hiring managers that you’re comfortable working online.
Waste management remote work will require some exposure to collaborative tools like Google Docs, Dropbox, and Microsoft’s suite of online tools. The days of sending documents or Excel files as attachments are rapidly disappearing. Instead, sharing a link of a “living” or dynamic document is the norm, so that other team members can add their portion or make changes when their schedule allows. This is all in service of what’s known as asynchronous work—the practice of working remotely on a team that doesn’t require everyone to be online at the same time. Ideally, these collaborative tools help reduce the amount of meetings and emails too.
Email vs. phone
A quick skill to consider, but often overlooked, is improving your email game. Setting up meetings with people you don’t know, who may be in different time zones, and who are very busy, requires different etiquette than what’s typical in a traditional office setting. At the office, you know or walk past most of your coworkers daily. In a remote job, you might never have met some of your coworkers in person. To improve your odds in getting a remote job in recycling or waste management, make sure your emails follow at least some of the basic rules:
- Write descriptive subject line that tells the recipient what’s inside
- Include a short note (instead of a multi-paragraph essay); use bullet points to keep it brief
- If you need to set up time to talk, provide multiple time slots on multiple days that you’re available for a Zoom or remote meeting
- Include what time zone you’re in, since many coworkers and clients are in different parts of the country or world
And while a phone call can certainly set you apart in terms of getting in front of people, it’s more and more common for fellow remote workers to communicate via email. So that should typically be your first method of communication.
Social profiles add credibility
So you’ve applied for some remote waste jobs. What happens when a recruiter or hiring manager searches your name online? Hopefully they find your LinkedIn profile—fleshing out your presence on LinkedIn should be your top priority, because it’s the easiest place for a hiring manager to double-check that you are who you say you are. No need to start tweeting like Elon Musk. Just make sure your LinkedIn profile has an updated, professional photo and your recent work experience listed. Also go through and delete any non-professional posts you may have made.
Project management skills and tools
If you already have the above bullets checked off, focus on learning about other software tools that are common in remote work, like:
- Salesforce or HubSpot for collaboratively working with sales and marketing
- Notion for updating documents and processes
- Asana and Trello for project management
- Airtable for data management
Depending on your role, these tools might come up in the interview process. And if nothing else, they could certainly help you onboard with your new team more quickly if you’re comfortable using them.
Get the gig
The Recyclesaurus team includes people who’ve worked across the waste and recycling industry, from remote sales pros to managers of large, in-person facilities. Times are changing in the industry, and those who’ve kept up with new technologies and methods of work have a big advantage. Still not sure where to start? Take a look at Recyclesaurus Remote Jobs, the internet’s largest list of remote waste management jobs.