The days of being tied to a cubicle are over. With more and more companies allowing their employees to telecommute and more startups hiring mobile workforces, the ability to find a job that will allow you to work from wherever you want is easier than ever. If you’re tired of your morning commute and would rather work via your laptop next to the pool or from a coffee shop in London, here are some tips that will help you do that.
Ask Your Boss
Before you march into your boss’s office and quit your job for travel-friendly pastures, why not simply ask your boss if you can switch to telecommuting? If your job doesn’t require you to be physically present at meetings or visit local clients, you can make the case that telecommuting will cost your employer less than keeping you on site. Be wary, though: some employers who allow telecommuting allow it the old fashioned way: at a lower pay rate than they pay in-office employees because telecommuters have fewer expenses for work attire, commuting costs, etc. If you’re prepared to take the cut and your boss says yes, you’re all set!
If your boss says no, here are some tips to help you find a new job that will allow you the freedom you’ve been craving.
Begin searching for jobs that were created with telecommuting in mind. The easiest way to do this is to plug the keyword “telecommute” or “work remotely” into your searches on sites like Start Jobs. This will help you narrow your search results to companies that allow their work force to work virtually instead of on site. Other helpful keywords are “off site” and “virtual work.”
It is, of course, important to be wary when you search for these jobs. A lot of smaller companies will promise the telecommuting holy grail only for you to find out that they pay a dismal rate or only have a few hours of work available. Make sure work hours, pay rates, etc. are spelled out in a legally binding contract before you accept any position that is offered to you.
Every day more and more people opt out of the traditional work force and opt in to freelancing. Freelancing is great for wanderers because not only does it allow you to work from wherever is best for you, it builds in the option for paid travel. Many companies will pay for freelancers to travel to them to help them out for short periods of time (this is going to depend upon the type of freelance work you do). And, if you’re willing to travel, you’ll have a larger pool of freelance clients to choose from.
If you do choose to go freelance, it’s a good idea to start slowly and to take on small jobs while you are still employed full time. This way you can build up your client base and your savings so that, when you do make the leap into full time freelance you’ll have a financial cushion to keep you afloat. If you just dive in without experience you could find yourself desperate and taking jobs you hate just to pay the bills.
Start Your Own
If you really want to make a go of working remotely and traveling, you might want to start a company that will set you up to do just that. There are plenty of non-traditional business models that will allow you to build a business based on traveling. Writing guidebooks, teaching language, photography; all of these set you up to travel to wherever you want to go. You could also start a web based business; those travel with you.
The point is: if you’d rather be working anywhere but where you work now, you have options. These are just a few of them for people who want to ditch the cubicle. What other ways can you think of to build travel into your professional life?