If you want to work from anywhere, one possibility is to start your own business. But running a business isn’t everyone’s cup of tea! So assuming you still need an income, the other choice is to get a job that lets you work from anywhere you want.
Finding Remote Jobs through Online Job Boards
There are tons of job boards online. Due to the increase in remote jobs due to COVID, many of these now allow you to filter your search results for remote jobs that let you work from anywhere. For example, you can go to Monster.com or Indeed.com, search for a job, and then in the filters, check a box to only show remote job opportunities.
Most of these jobs will allow you to work anywhere, although some may occasionally require you to visit a specific location, so you’ll want to read the descriptions closely.
Of course, word of mouth and referrals from colleagues are always a great way to get a new job. Consider putting your resume on various sites, including LinkedIn, and note that you would especially like a remote job. And let everyone in your network know what you’re hoping to find, because they just might be the key to finding the perfect job.
What Kinds of “Work From Anywhere” Jobs are Available?
If you have technical skills, you can be a web developer or software developer, or you can get into technical support either online or by phone.
If you are better at marketing, you can manage a business’s social media, paid advertising, and more. If you like to write, you can be a technical writer or an editor online. If you prefer to teach, there are lots of teaching positions available, especially to teach English as a second language to people inside the US and also in other countries.
There are jobs for lawyers, accountants, executive assistants, virtual assistants, product managers, graphic designers, and many other careers.
What you can’t do remotely is usually pretty obvious: you can’t be a waitress, a gas station attendant, or a babysitter without being in the same location as your customers!
Figuring Our What Hours You Will Work
Being able to work from anywhere certainly allows you to travel more, but location isn’t the only thing to consider. Some jobs let you work whatever hours you want, but many of them require you to be available for a specific shift. That might be “business hours” of 8am to 5pm in the business’s local time, or it might need to coincide with when they need you, for example, if you’re applying for online support positions.
If the hours you need to work for the business coincide with when you want to work, and you’re in the same time zone, all is well! But if you’re applying to work for a company halfway around the world, you’ll need to consider whether their 8am-5pm is really your 5pm-2am…and does that suit you?
This is where it’s important to understand the difference between being an employee and being an independent contractor. (The following applies to laws in the United States; other countries may vary.)
Are You an Employee or a Contractor?
An employee is someone who is hired by a company to work a set number of hours, at either a fixed rate per hour (maybe with overtime) or a fixed yearly salary. The company handles your payroll taxes, pays their half of your Social Security and Medicare payments, and provides you with a W2 each year to file with your income tax return. A business can set the hours for its employees to whatever it wants. In other words, your employer determines your work schedule.
A contractor, in contrast, is someone that a company engages with almost as they would a separate business. Your income is negotiated with the company, and could be based on hours worked, performance, or whatever you and the company agree to. The company gives you a form 1099 each year, and you use that to file your taxes.
As such, you are really a business, what’s known as a sole proprietor. You will need to pay quarterly estimated tax payments, or incorporate yourself and manage your own payroll. You pay your own payroll taxes; your employer doesn’t withhold anything, nor do they pay your Social Security and Medicare.
Being a contractor therefore puts an additional burden on you, but the benefit is that your employer can’t set your hours. If you want to work in the daytime, at night, on weekends, only every third day, etc… that’s your right. In fact, if the company even attempts to require you to work certain hours, the government may decide you’re an employee after all, and require the company to manage your payroll, withholdings, etc.
Don’t take my word for it; here’s what the IRS has to say about employees versus independent contractors.
Of course, the flip side is that if you’re not meeting whatever contractual requirements you and the company have in place, they can simply stop sending work your way, or outright terminate the relationship, and you don’t even get unemployment compensation.
So when you start a job, understand what the relationship is and make sure the hours suit your needs…especially if you will be traveling among various time zones!
Is a Remote Job Right for You?
Not everyone will enjoy having a remote job, even if you can work from anywhere you want. There are some benefits to going into the office for your daily grind, such as being able to interact with your colleagues and friends in a face to face manner. There’s also a clear line between work and home – you do your work when you’re at work, and the rest of your time is typically is dedicated to your personal and home life.
When you work from home, your chances to interact with others is more limited. It’s harder to build working relationships, much less friendships, when you don’t see people in person. It’s also more difficult to separate your work from the rest of your life; you may find yourself working longer hours, leading to more stress. On the flip side, the temptation to do laundry or take a nap or simply see the world may make it hard for you to buckle down and work!
You have to be a self-starter. Sure, you have a manager to report to, and specific goals to meet, but you have to be willing to make yourself sit down and do your job. No one is looking over your shoulder like they would be if you sat at a cubicle or in an office located on-site.
However, if you can do that, the benefits of working from home are amazing. One of the biggest benefits lower costs in transportation (no commute!) and fewer hours traveling to your job.
You may also spend less money on your wardrobe, if you’re not meeting in person with colleagues and customers every day. Working from home also lets you grab a bite to eat from the refrigerator, rather than either planning ahead to bring your lunch to work, or running out for an unhealthy fast food meal.
And most of all, a remote job can allow you to travel more. Even if you’re working normal full-time hours, you can move from place to place in the evenings or on weekends, allowing you to be in a new-to-you location as often as you want.
For more blog posts about being location-independent, so you can work from anywhere, please see the following: