Contemplating a remote job that may involve a laptop, a beach & a cocktail
Many people dream of a remote job, but how many actually try it? Some think of a remote job simply as a job that can be done from home. It seems like a very attractive option for certain types of professionals. Take working parents, for example. Many parents would very much like to work from home and spend more time with their kids.
Some others think that a remote job can offer them a fully flexible lifestyle and give them opportunities to travel, explore the world, while working, and meet other cultures and exciting people. They actually believe they are more productive working in this fashion and they’re probably correct.
The remote job tree
Nowadays, there are many jobs that can be successfully done remotely. For example, chances are you don’t have to be physically present in a business office, in order to write code or articles. If you can do your job using a laptop and over the Web, then why would you choose to do it in an office? Why bother commuting to and from work, spending a good 8+ hours glued in a cubicle and running to endless meetings, that could have been group emails? You can avoid all that hassle simply by setting up a space at home or any location that you consider “home” for the day/week/month.
There are many employers that support that incentive and encourage their employees to work remotely. Some of them don’t even have physical offices, but only offer remote job opportunities, like Buffer. It’s a trend we see more and more frequently, while job hunting. Also, many studies have shown that in a few years time the global workforce will be fully remote.
Taking the leap of faith
A while back I shared my story about how I became a digital nomad. I explained what led me to this direction, what my end game is and how I see my future doing it. It wasn’t easy — still isn’t — but it changed my lifetime for good. When I look back, I have no regrets and I’m convinced that it was definitely worth it. Some days are good, some are bad, but all of them have a lesson to teach me.
The road to success
You can’t just make a decision like that overnight. It needs a lot of thought, research and prepping. And a realistic mindset. You would probably need to discuss the option with your current employer or find a new one, willing to let you work remotely. Also, you need to arrange your daily schedule around your new reality. That involves creating new routines, establishing new rules and boundaries and communicating them to your closest ones.
If your goal is to work from home and spend time with your kids, think about how that would affect your job. Having kids that need constant attention can easily prove counterproductive for you. On the other hand, if your goal is to work and travel, you cannot expect to be always drinking mojitos on a sandy beach in your surf suit. I’m not saying it can’t happen; sure it can! I’m just saying it’s not very practical. Just imagine the sand on your laptop… terrible!
Especially for those one who want to become digital nomads, there is a lot of information on the Web, offering guidance, tips and resources. There are even courses you can complete, in order to get some help from guys who have done it successfully. Needless to say, you need an initial budget, to fund your first trip(s) and accommodation. Yes my dear, being good with numbers is a key factor here. Maybe a good idea would be to stay put in your current location and work from home, until you save enough money to start moving around.
The passive income mumbo jumbo
There’s also this idea, mentioned by many, stating that you definitely need a source of passive income, in order to succeed. For example, renting out your current house, publishing a book or creating a premium online course can get you some extra money.
Honestly, when I first read that my first thought was “What the #*$!, I’m not a homeowner, I haven’t published any books and I have no idea what courses I can offer. So am I doomed?”. Hell, no! I completely disagree with this suggestion of having a passive income to survive. Of course, it’s going to be tough at the beginning and you surely need a savings cushion, just to be safe. But you cannot base your nomadic lifestyle on a few extra bucks coming from a backup income source. You need to be good at what you do, in order to afford adopting a nomadic way of living.
The remote community
If you start looking into it, you’ll be surprised to find a whole lot of forums and communities that support remote work. They even promote remote jobs to help people find their next professional venture. Just to name a few, I came across Location Rebel, a very helpful website with an even more helpful newsletter, Digital Nomads Forum and Nomad List.
Whether you want to quit your 9-to-5 job and just work from home or you simply want to see the world, you will never know unless you try. It won’t be easy and it won’t get you where you want to get immediately. However, with hard work and dedication, thing are more likely to get better and lead you to success. Some people fail along the way — sad, but true — however, many others succeed. Those should be the examples you need to look up to during this journey.
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