Today’s blogpost is written by Tanja Blicher, here we are’s Key Resource Person on location independent work. Tanja has for the past 12 months traveled the world as a digital nomad. As an expatiated partner you might not be location independent, but you can still find a lot of work-life inspiration from the always traveling digital nomads.
One year ago, I left home to travel the world. Traveling being a costly activity, I knew I needed to keep some kind of job if I should hope to last more than a few months on the road. Both in order to support myself financially and to satisfy my need for professional development while being away from a traditional office environment.
With a background in corporate communication I came from a traditional office job, going into the workplace every day attending various meetings and working from my desk the rest of the time. Something that doesn’t easily translate into a remote position.
Location independent work seemed to provide the answer. This allows you to work from anywhere in the world with basically just your laptop and a decent internet connection. Most professions can be turned into remote positions with some goodwill from your employer or a bit of creativity from your side as you build a freelance business.
But how to get started?
When I decided I wanted to be abroad for a year I needed to be creative and apply my skillset in new ways in order to keep working on the road. For me writing appeared to be the most accessible way to get started and I looked into a couple of ideas.
Creating content for websites is always in demand whether it be short product descriptions or lengthy posts about a topic or theme.
I do translations as well, mostly English or sometimes Scandinavian languages into Danish, my mother tongue. Once you have a conversational understanding of a language you should be able to do simple translations into your first language.
The Classic Location Independent Jobs
Those lucky ones with a career in digital / online marketing, software development or graphic design are already off to a good start. These are professions that traditionally can be done remotely and most companies and employers are used to working with freelancers and employees who don’t come into the office every day.
Virtual assistant (VA) is a popular gig for many people on the road. It requires no particular background or knowledge, however, your administrative skills and ability to stay organized should be on point. You will usually work for other location independents or smaller companies who are outsourcing some of their administrative tasks.
Not to mention a number of life / career coaches and counselors. Having a one-on-one with your client might as well be a video call on Skype than face to face in person. And you can still stay in touch regularly on e-mail.
Even lawyers and nurses…
No matter what your professional background is, chances are that you should be able to transform it into a location independent job.
On the road, I met people who were able to work remotely with professions that are traditionally quite location specific. Have a look:
- a nurse working as an assistant to a professor, grading papers and providing feedback to the students
- a lawyer researching human rights legislation for an NGO
- a statistician forecasting consumer behaviour and analysing data for big companies
- a remote project manager
- a psychologist doing personality test assessments for potential new students at a university
- a dietary consultant advising hospitals and schools on nutritious food
Obviously, not every job type can be turned into a location independent gig but I hope that the list can still provide some inspiration on how to get started.
Photo by Anna Gorin