I first became obsessed with the idea of careers you can do anywhere when flat broke and unable to land a job while essentially stuck in Italy. Then people were calling these “portable careers” (and now it’s known to many as being a “digital nomad“). But whatever you call being location independent while still making money, this lifestyle isn’t a unicorn. It does exist, and this can be your reality too.
If this is the kind of life you’re looking for, the odds are good you’re in the same boat I was in back when I lived overseas. You want to do it, but you can’t figure out how to make it happen. Heck, most people who yearn for an all-remote work environment are right there with you!
Your options for careers you can do anywhere
There are several tracks you could take to attempt to land this lifestyle. You could pick a path, but there’s no guarantee of success for any one angle. You may give one avenue a go, only to find that it’s not going to be for you, and then it’s time to try something else. But you have to pick a route to start with. So what can you choose from?
Freelancing is popular because there is low barrier to entry, thanks to freelancing sites like Upwork. You just get on there, apply for gigs, and hopefully you’ll be making money before you know it!
Yes, it’s more complicated than that. (You can read more in my journal: https://julieewald.com/journal/ to find out how to make go-anywhere freelance life work for you.) But freelancing is more accessible than ever.
Additionally, there are a wide range of careers you can take on as a freelancer. These range from writing, editing, and translation to web design, development, and coding to virtual assistant work to remote customer service. Frankly, you can be a freelancer in just about anything today.
There are employment opportunities designed to be all-remote. Online teaching gigs happen to be the work I originally lusted after… until I got no traction there and chose to move on. But there are more and more actual jobs where team members report to work from their computers from wherever they may be.
And then there are those in more traditional working arrangements, but they don’t need to be. Showing up at the office has become a formality, and these folks realize they can work from anywhere and still be effective at their job. Some of these people already work from home some of the time, and they’ve probably found themselves to be happier and more productive. A well-worded request to the boss is all that stands between them and independence.
Language teachers and buskers are just two examples of jobs that you need to perform in a location, but you can easily take them somewhere else. Most certified English instructors can land gigs in any number of countries with their credentials, and a street performer can be a living statue in Brussels, Budapest, or Boise (as long as they’ve brought along their face paint and soapbox).
Other is a very broad category, but it’s some food for thought. Many careers and job titles have always been work from anywhere gigs. Authors, speakers, models, and actors are a few folks who enjoy a pretty high degree of flexibility in terms of location. These people generally work for themselves, but we wouldn’t consider them freelancers. And there are plenty of entrepreneurs and solopreneurs who could fall into this category as well.
What Defines Digital Nomad Life?May 12, 2017
What’s it REALLY Like to be a Digital NomadMay 8, 2017
Digital Nomad Diary: Here We Go!March 21, 2017
Also published on Medium.