Live the ultimate expat life? Move around a lot? Make your dream career a transportable one
24 January 2016| Last updated on 18 October 2017
You may not have thought about it the very first time you moved because this was just one move, one adventure, and whether or not you could or would work, was probably not even on your mind. But then you move again. And again. Depending on the regulations you may or may not have been eligible to work abroad, and you may or may not have wanted to.
Whatever the case, if you want to work wherever you are, then build your own career from home. Rather than having to explain your life and the choices it entails to yet another recruitment person in yet another country, take action because the ultimate career for expat partners is transportable.
What is a transportable career?
There are two ways to think of a transportable career either you have the type of work that you can do in every country like being a nurse, a nanny or a teacher of English, but you may have to meet particular country specific requirements in terms of education, working permits or proof of your language skills. Or your job can be done anywhere in the world regardless of those requirements.
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In the first case for example, though you can be a nurse anywhere you may face issues relating to you not speaking the language (well enough), being in need of paperwork particular to the country, the culture, the province or as a non-resident you just are not allowed to work. Even if you have the skills you may not meet all the requirements in place.
A truly transportable career therefore is to have a job that you can do, from home, wherever you are in the world without having to start over in any sense of the way and you can keep building upon even if you move; a career rather than a job.
Examples of transportable jobs
What jobs are transportable? Here’s a list of ideas: photographer, writer, coach, online teacher, artist, selling arts and crafts online, virtual assistant, translator, editor, graphic designer, creating knitting/crocheting patterns, proofreader, google search engine page cleaner, accountant, music teacher, webdesign, copywriter, blogger…you get the idea. Think of jobs that you could do as a freelancer in your own country. With internet connectivity now you can have a bank account set up in one country yet live and work abroad while getting paid in your national currency.
SEE ALSO: 6 portable careers perfect for expats
How do you find or start your transportable career?
How do you go about this? Well, first do a little personal soul searching; do you want to work? Not working for a while might just be the ticket for you now. Maybe this is your first posting and you want to immerse yourself in your new country and language. Go for it. Is now the best time to think about having a family (yes, this also goes for male expat partners)? Babies take time and energy whether the mom or dad takes care of them. Or have you decided you now finally have time to finish or get a degree, Masters or Phd? Great choice too.
"A truly transportable career therefore is to have a job that you can do, from home, whever you are in the world..."
If you do want to work though, invest some time in deciding what to do best. Do you have a hobby you can turn into a job; what about writing, photographing or are you web savvy? What about a skill others do not have and are willing to pay money for: organizing events, coaching, doing accounts? Or are you a budding artist; can you (re)create and sell products or art? Maybe you just have a knack for buying and selling: products, services and so on.
Find something you can really get behind because you will be doing this pretty much on your own. Don’t worry about that too much though; this is your part of the adventure.
Connecting with customers
In order to connect to customers you will have to set up a website; either find someone to do it for you or do so yourself. Wordpress, Wix and similar website programmes are relatively easy to use. If you want to coach people set up Skype or Facetime. If you’re going to do accounts for clients buy the latest version of Fresh book and set up your Paypal account. Now start to market your skills, your products or services, use Facebook to spread the word, interact with other new and established businesses through Twitter all from the comfort of your own home.
Of course there will be a lot to learn, you may make mistakes, win some, lose some but what you build will be yours and you can take it wherever you will go.
About the Author
Mariken Zuydgeest is a Dutch expat spouse, freelance writer and blogger for hire, wahm and coffee & kick box aficionada. She has worked and lived in over 4 countries and currently resides in Toronto, Canada with her family.