If you’ve spent any time combing the internet for information about how to live abroad you have no doubt come across a huge amount of scammy, “RA-RA” stories about throwing caution to the wind and magically winding up with a successful business that lets you leisurely trot around the globe while working 15 minutes a week.
“Take our $5,000 dollar course and within 3 weeks you’re guaranteed to own your own island in the tropics! You can waste away the days sipping fruity drinks in your hammock while your personal army of pygmies fan you with palm fronds and tote around your giant sacks of gold!”
Ugh! It makes me want to puke.
While some of these people mean well, many are simply con artists who spew out bullshit narratives about how easy it is to quit your job, move abroad, and within two weeks be making millions with a software or consulting company. They take advantage of the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and sell them a lie.
That’s not how we roll at CopyEffect.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not impossible to find rapid success. Many people do. But these stories tend to gloss over the most important parts of the process. Learning, making mistakes, facing fears and getting to the place where you can sit back and reap the rewards of your efforts is not an overnight endeavor. And honestly, I don’t think it would be nearly as meaningful if it was.
Finding perfect balance and harmony in a few short weeks and succeeding on your very first try is the exception, not the rule. Building a business is hard work, and it is precisely that hard works that makes the process so rich and rewarding.
We focus heavily on building successful lifestyle businesses here, but that certainly doesn’t mean that’s the right path for everyone. Many people find freedom of location while still being an employee. Many more retain their job while traveling until they have an established a business that can support them.
There is no one size fits all, cookie cutter mold for location independent living and working. Here we will discuss some of the ways people live abroad while still working for someone else, and how you can take advantage of the opportunities made available by technology.
You must first figure out where you are in order to get where you want to be.
Take an assessment of your current job. As you are going about your day, ask yourself the following questions…
-If you developed a serious medical condition and had to work from home for a few weeks, how could you do it?
-What steps could you take to increase your output?
-Could you take on more work than you are currently doing?
Ask yourself these questions for a week. Take notes on the answers you come up with.
Put yourself in your bosses’ shoes. What questions and concerns do you think he/she will express when you start the remote-work conversation? How can you use the information you’ve gathered from the above notes to alleviate these concerns? Can you phrase your request in a way that will remove some of the questions your boss will be asking?
Remember, the company does not care what you want. It is imperative when negotiating for a remote work position that you phrase everything in a way that reflects how your absence will be better for the company, not just better for you. Your boss may be resistant, and your job will be to sell her on the idea that working remotely makes more business sense than having you there.
We live in a very exciting time. 50 years ago it would have been completely impossible for most people to achieve location independent work. But those days are gone! There has never in the history of man been a time where it was easier to become a globetrotter than it is now.
Needless to say, the scenarios below will not apply to everyone. If you are in a service profession that requires you to be physically present to perform the work, such as picking things up and moving them around, you will have a hard time doing that from 2,000 miles away. Teachers, plumbers, service technicians, bus drivers and the like will also have to face the fact that they may not be able to retain their current job and attain location freedom.
Check out the list below of 20 of the easiest jobs to take abroad. Does your current job fit in with any of the jobs in the list? If not, could you see yourself doing any of these things?
If your current job is similar to any of the above, you’re in great shape. I could write a book detailing the exact steps to take to convince your boss to let you take your job on the road, but fortunately, that work has already been done for me.
Consult the “L is for Liberation” chapter in The Four Hour Work Week. The author, Tim Ferriss, does a beautiful job of laying out the process of transitioning to a remote-work position.
Having already transitioned to global citizen status before the book’s release, I made the mistake of ignoring it for years. When I finally read it at the insistence of many friends, I was amazed all of the wisdom it contained. Don’t make the same mistake I did. The book is a goldmine.
If you’ve done your homework and come to the conclusion that there is no way to take your current job abroad then you may indeed have to kill it. Some jobs are simply beyond repair. My first company was a service business. After 5 years, I found myself in a very successful, but very all consuming and evil, death trap. The job totally ate my life. There was no escape, and no way I could separate myself from the business and let it stand on it’s own. I had to walk away, and let it die.
Fortunately, leaving your job doesn’t have to be a negative experience. In fact, it is often a godsend. Remember, if you simply can’t make it work to keep your job then the only way to become location independent is to walk away from it. I will go into the details of how to effectively quit you job with minimal damage later, for now we will stay focused on how to find a new one that works.
You could start by checking out employment websites like Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, and Craigslist. Search for jobs that match your current job or skill set. Do any of them offer work from home opportunities? Could you brush up on some rusty skills from a previous job that would enable you to pursue one of the jobs you find?
If you come up empty handed from the above, move on to freelance opportunities. Often times landing a freelance job will provide you with opportunities and connections to move into full-time employment once you show that you can deliver. Some good places to start are sologig, ifreelance.com, Elance, and Gofreelance.com.
If you have a specific skill or trade (designer, writer, electrical technician, building inspector, etc.) look for regional or national professional associations that you can join. You can then post your resume and availability for hiring managers and scope out their online job boards for positions that suite your needs.
Lastly, don’t forget about headhunters and staffing agencies. Search for agencies that specialize in remote-work placements. Make sure you ask them for referrals and confirm that they have experience and success in placing people in location independent positions.
The important thing to keep in mind is that nothing is fatal, final, or forever. If you have to part ways with your current job or make sacrifices to achieve your goals, in the big picture it’s not as dramatic as it seems.
If you have to take a job doing something you don’t enjoy to get the ball rolling in the right direction, so be it.
Remember, any discomfort is just a temporary inconvenience on the road to blissful location independent living. In fact, taking a job you don’t love will only serve to motivate you to find one you do love, or build your own passport business even sooner.
I look forward to seeing you on the road!
Do you have any tips for those seeking to transition to remote-work?
We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.