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How to Work Abroad and Feed Your Wanderlust

Topics: Career Advice
Are you drooling over your friends’ travel snaps on Instagram while you toil away in a cube farm? If you want to see more of the world, but still need to make a decent paycheck every month, don’t sweat it … there are ways to do both! Whether you’re looking to be your own boss, or seeking jobs that let you wander, here are some ideas to get you started.
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Bone Up on Your Remote Skills

If you’re going to work remotely, you have to practice staying in contact with an employer when you’re not in the same building. You’ll need to be proficient at staying in touch, whether it’s through email, Skype, Slack, Basecamp or other online collaboration and communication programs.

If you’re not great at communicating online, you might want to think about how you’d appear to bosses who want to keep an eye on you from a different time zone (or country code).

Another fact to consider is that depending on where you land, you might be struggling against a power grid that can’t always keep you reliably connected. How would you work, if the hostel doesn’t have their WiFi working? Have backup plans to stay on schedule, and ways to communicate with employers in case deadlines are in jeopardy.

You *can* travel the world while earning a paycheck. It just takes some planning.Click To Tweet

Build a Network … Abroad

Start making connections now while you’re still at your home base. Online networking tools like LinkedIn are a great place to start, but you should also think about learning more about your future destination. Learning the language, getting tips on local customs, finding areas that might have good networking or co-working opportunities — these are all things you can start doing before you even get on a plane.

Blogger Nomadic Matt points out you can tap into organizations that help place workers for employment abroad, like the Council on International Educational Exchange Work Abroad (CIEE), Alliance Abroad, and BUNAC, to do jobs including teaching English, interning, and more.

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Start Your Own International Company

It’s not as hard as it sounds, really! With some time spent building up a portable skillset, you can start your own business from anywhere. World travelers and millennial entrepreneurs Shayleen Brown and Cassandra Torrecillas recently told Forbes how they fed their own need to travel and avoid the corporate 9-to-5 with a business they developed while on the road internationally.

“We combined the strengths of both our virtual assistant and graphic design businesses to become a one-stop shop for online entrepreneurs: offering everything from front-end website design, branding & marketing materials, sales funnel creation, to consulting on new products and services,” they said.

When they aren’t working on their first two businesses, they’re helping others live the dream: “Our third business, The Bucketlist Bombshells, is an educational community that teaches millennial women how to build service-based online businesses.”

Before You Get on a Plane

You’ll also need to investigate visa and tax requirements if you’re living and working abroad for a long time. Talk to accountants or tax attorneys now, and be prepared to pay your share to Uncle Sam while you’re relaxing on a beach somewhere.

Make sure you investigate anyone offering you employment and be wary of scams that want you to pay up front and promise something that sounds too good to be true (it probably is). Always talk to your friends and family about where you’re traveling and your itinerary, and stay in touch in case emergencies arise.

Tell Us What You Think!

Where would you choose to work if the world were your oyster? We want to hear from you! Comment below or join the discussion on Twitter!


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