When people ask this question, it’s often because they have an image of working on a laptop, next to the beach, while sipping a cocktail.
Having worked remotely for over five years, the number of times I’ve worked outside can be counted on one hand.
Now we’ve squashed that image in your head, let me tell you that working remotely and travelling is the best and you should do it. Beware of people though, trying to sell you a dream that is not reality. So, what jobs can you do from anywhere in the world?
Let’s take a step back here and look at the types of remote work.
WORKING FOR A FULLY-DISTRIBUTED COMPANY
What is a full-distributed company? In simple terms, it’s a company where the workforce is mainly working from home and usually based all over the world.
You could apply for a remote job with such a company. One of the benefits is being paid regularly as an employee and receiving benefits, like healthcare and contributions towards a pension.
Bear in mind that you will not have total freedom. Usually, you will be asked to work on a specific work routine. So, spend time researching the company and its work culture.
You have escaped the office, but you might still be trapped into working 9-5, and that reduces a lot of the benefits of working remotely.
CREATE A FREELANCING BUSINESS
For more freedom and flexibility, the next option is becoming a freelancer and having a client base that provides you with regular work. You choose how much you charge clients, who you work with and the hours you work.
Until you’ve built your client base, it’s going to be tough, which is why it’s advisable to start your freelance business before quitting your office job.
While you have more freedom, it’s important to know that payments will be irregular. Some companies will be better at paying than others. Invoicing and chasing payment can be tiresome, so bear this in mind.
Make sure you have at least six months salary in savings should work dry up or, during quiet spells of the year, it happens.
CREATE AN ONLINE BUSINESS
This is the toughest option out of the 3. Create an online business where you sell a product or service that people want.
From my experience, it is not a good idea to work on your business while living off savings. The focus will be on making money and this adds lots of stress. Focus on your audience and the value that you can add.
My advice would be to choose option 1. Have a regular income and in your spare time work on the business and build it gradually. It takes time to build an audience unless you have a budget for marketing.
Now that we identified the types of remote working, let’s dig into jobs that you could do from anywhere in the world.
Being a remote “developer” is a blanket term for a huge variety of tech-friendly jobs. This category can include anything from software engineering to app development, to website design, systems administration, testing, and ops infrastructure.
Video is very big. If you have a filmmaking background, being a remote video maker could work well for you. Companies want a video for their various promotions for advertisements and also documentary style content.
This covers a raft of possibilities and is probably the most advertised remote job. It covers work such as supplying website copy, blogs, transcribing interviews and general content creation. Pros: Easy entry to this field.
The web and his uncle need written content and it’s everywhere. The good news is you don’t need any particular experience or qualifications.
This remote job goes hand in hand with website design. Pros: can be well paid and in demand, especially for niches such as infographics Cons: need to be competent with all the design packages and pay for subscriptions, such as Adobe CC.
Increasingly, websites with worldwide appeal need translating into another language. Language skills, especially in more unusual languages are in high demand. If you have a good level of education, you should find it easier to get work.
This is the digital equivalent of the old personal assistant job, without the tea-making. Perfect for highly organised, digital wizards. A growing market. Easy to underestimate how long simple tasks will take. May be expected to be available outside normal office hours, or even on call.
A growing industry, highly suitable for trained marketers keen to embrace digital. Email marketing is a popular niche but training needed or evidence of previous success to be trusted to get the first job. You need to know all the current platforms, such as Mailchimp, Buffer and Trello.
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
If you live on social media and know the platforms inside out, this could be one for you. Pros: Firms are eventually waking up to the fact that social media is not going to go away and to do it properly, they need help.
You may need some training to be able to develop a credible company strategy, rather than just posting for personal reasons. You also need to be highly organised and multi-tasker. You will be expected to respond out of hours.
ONLINE ENGLISH TUTOR
There is a high demand for conversational English tutors, especially from China. Business English is another option, taught to adults. If you have good conversational English, this might be a useful part-time supplement to your income. You will have to be available to suit the client’s time zone. Some agencies insist on a bachelor’s degree and teaching experience.
You will have noticed that “Can I help you pop up?” on some websites. Nowadays, it’s a real person. You will be helping online, by phone or email. You need a helpful, friendly voice and may have to deal with difficult people who are having technical problems, so need to stay calm under pressure.
You often work a shift so it’s guaranteed money and you are paid whether anyone contacts you or not. Rates may be low in some countries. You have to be available and at a laptop or desktop for your whole shift.
Hopefully, this article gives you insight on where to start. I’d recommend subscribing to my free, weekly email, where you will find more advice. Don’t forget to download my 12-step guide to escaping the office to work remotely.