Ep #59: Remote And 5 More Freedom Work Styles
How To Find A Remote Job

 
 
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In life we have so many options but for some reason we grow up picking from the same restaurant at the same restaurant as everyone else, pretty much ending up with the same meal. If you’re tired of the menu on offer, you’ll love this episode.

The remote work style is just one of six freedom work styles you can enjoy. So before you dive into the remote job search I’m sharing all the different work styles I’ve enjoyed over the last 12 years while creating location independence and navigating the vision of life I really wanted for myself. We’re talking about:

  • The 5 other freedom work styles I’ve enjoyed for different reasons
  • The pros & cons of each (and what to do about them in the worksheet)
  • Why you don’t have to choose just one

 

Get the Podcast Study Pack 3 and receive a worksheet, guide or checklist workbook for every episode, so you can make your remote career & transition a reality ASAP.

 

The 6 Freedom Work Styles

Just like the previous episode where I offer transitioning to a remote role as an antidote — or alternative — to quitting your career to become a life coach, yoga teacher or starting your own business, well, this episode is to let you know that remote itself is one of FIVE freedom work styles that you can take advantage of. Yeah, right! Who knew there were 6!!

I originally created this content in response to the question:

 

How can I design a work life that frees up more time to travel and minimises the risks for my career and personal finances?

 

But the solution solves the question of more freedom and flexibility in general, whatever you want to do with your freedom. Surf more, spend more time with your honey, with your kids, keeping fit, getting healthy, enjoying some downtime and doing nothing!

And I’m sharing it with you today to demonstrate how many ways you can change your life and work style while creating a career you love simultaneously! 

It’s also good to know there is no blueprint that works for everyone, but several models that you can tweak to cater for your own life & career vision.

In my 12 years of location-independence I’ve worked remotely, had co-located roles, and run my own business, and I always knew I wanted a travel lifestyle. It’s something I’ve built my life around, and getting a remote job is just one way to do that. 

There are five strategies I’ve used to show you point-blank that there are different ways to model your life, and help you decide on the right one for you.

#1: Alternate work and other experiences.

Alternate long periods of work with long periods of travel. This strategy is really for people who want to travel and/ or want to work on career or life projects in between contracts. During one break I studied Aromatherapy one year full time while living in New Zealand. During another I wrote a book while I traveled around Mexico. 

Ideal for: 20-somethings not yet sure what they want to do with their lives but not yet willing to risk throwing away a corporate career. Just in case.

What you need: Adequate funds for travel and a transition fund to cover you for up to three months while you find another job. Often this can be done via Skype from your exotic location, but don’t count on it.

Pros: This strategy has an in-built ‘back-up’ plan because it builds your experience and CV over several years. {While you work half as much as your friends.}

Cons: After a few cycles you may be perceived as a flight risk to prospective employers.

In the worksheet for each episode I share how to overcome this, so that — with the help of high-calibre recruiters — I was able to find excellent jobs within a few weeks of looking. You can grab a copy of the worksheet in the show notes at stephanieholland.co/59

 

#2: Find a job in a different country.

Pick a country or continent you would love to explore and find a job there. Sometimes a new country offers a completely different lifestyle that fits with your vision. For example, my first country move as a professional adult was to Australia, as soon as I could command a 6-figure salary! I instantly deleted the London Underground and had a beach lifestyle. I had great weather all year round, and felt like I was permanently on holiday. It was life changing.

Ideal for: Anyone who wants a deeper real-life experience of another country or culture but loves the perks & opportunities that come with a secure job. You prefer long-term immersion in one place with opportunities to do mini-trips nearby.

What you need: Strong personal and social networks {ideally LinkedIn}, head hunters or recruiters, a great relationship with your current employer {for transfer}, or a self-starter mentality to really figure out the nuts and bolts of finding an opportunity in another market.

Pros: Minimises career and financial risk completely. It can lead to citizenship or a fast tracked savings plan when you depart. {Claim back any compulsory pension payment because you cannot retire there, and a sizable tax refund.}

Cons:

  • If you love it you may stay there permanently and it will cost your friends and family $$$s to visit you; your best friend’s wedding will cost you an arm and a leg.
  • If your company sponsors your business visa, one wrong move or lost client and you could be back on the plane pronto.

Check out the worksheet for how to manage those cons easily.

#3: Start Freelancing. Locally or remotely.

Register yourself as a sole proprietor and pursue contracts of any length, any time you like. There are a ton of freelancer collectives popping up on the scene. You have The Hoxby Collective that are pioneering the freelance work style revolution. Based in the UK, they are open to freelancers around the world, across all creative industries. And you have platforms like Incluzion popping up, a platform dedicated to diversity where freelancers can sign up for a profile and be hired for their diversity, and they especially focus on women and people of colour. Freelancing has always been a ‘thing’,every company I’ve worked in, in media, has hired freelancers to specific projects, and to cover leave, and it’s growing because of remote opportunities and these platforms I’ve just mentioned, too.

Ideal for: A seasoned pro or a confident 20-something whose work speaks for itself and love short-term project work. Highly social people who can integrate fast in any culture or lone wolves.

What you need: Excellent client testimonials and a gleaming track record.

Pros: Work on a project by project basis which keeps life interesting & builds your experience and portfolio quickly. You can establish a name for yourself and high demand for your services fast. In demand during recession while permanent employees are laid off. Write off your expenses.

Cons:

  • You must be diligent about invoicing & receiving payments.
  • Your salary is gross so you have to factor in the cost of tax.
  • You’re not eligible for company benefits like medical, holiday & sick leave.
  • Demand for your services is performance-based.

But don’t worry, there are solutions to those in the worksheet if you’re interested in making this work style work for you!

#4: Position yourself as a consultant.

Position yourself as a consultant when you’re a bonafide expert in your field. This is a really fun way to take your skills to the next level, and really influence the way a business is run. I found my first consulting role by accident, when a freelance writing story I was writing put me in touch with a raw food empire in Montreal, and she ended up flying me out there as her Executive Director. This was an important step in helping me realise the impact of my corporate skillset on good business, and forever changed the game for me. It also led immediately into my next consulting role, word of mouth at play! — when I helped her ex in-laws launch their creative consulting company.

What you need: Proof of high calibre problem-solving skills and innovative thinking. A great personality!

Ideal for: Those who have achieved guru status in a specific area of expertise and feel confident charging a premium for it. Great for Millennials who master cutting-edge technologies and processes fast.

Pros: Freedom to choose who you work with while charging a premium. You can charge value-based fees for your services because of the high-impact nature of your contracts.

Cons:

  • Forget about working 9–5. You might work long hours to meet tight deadlines.
  • If your area of expertise is highly specialised it might be months between contracts.
  • Holiday, sick leave and benefits not included.
  • Large checks for the tax man every year.

But don’t worry too much about those. Check out the worksheet so you can overcome those easily.

#5: Start your own business.

This is NOT the easiest option as I mentioned in the last episode — been there, done that, and while I continue to explore my ideas, like this podcast, my personal preference is to do remote contracts. But, you can also transform your expertise into digital products & services that people can buy online from anywhere in the world while — the theory goes — you sip margaritas from your hammock. It’s a lot more challenging than online business course creators would have you think, and I personally found this very challenging.

What you need: Entrepreneurial drive and products or services that people want to buy.

Ideal for: Self-starters who love the opportunity & challenge of starting up and being their own CEO. Those who have valuable knowledge or expertise that they can package, or creators & makers who have a product to sell.

Pros: Complete control over your time and business size & direction. Outsource everything outside of your zone of genius. Breathe life into your ideas and have an impact on the world around you. Complete control over work-life balance over the longer term.

Cons:

  • Work-life balance is hard at first; fledgling entrepreneurs work 24–7 which quickly becomes a lifestyle.
  • No control over size or timing of commercial success; threat of failure can be paralysing.
  • Startup cash flow can run out fast.

Check out the worksheet for solutions to these, if you think starting your own business might be something you’d like to think more about.

 

Is the remote work style right for you?

So there you go, 5 MORE freedom work styles to consider ON TOP of working remotely. How about that?!  My preferred option at this point in my life and career is working remotely, either as an employee or independent contractor. I think that with the work life balance you can create, it’s such a great alternative to starting your own business!

So head over to worksheet 7 in the podcast pack where you can review all the solutions to the downsides of each work style that I mentioned . You can grab a copy here

And if you are now 1000% certain you want to find a remote job, this next part of the Season will really excite you.

Over the next few episodes we’re going to start talking about the characteristics remote companies are looking for in candidates, the tech skills you really need, how to spot a scam so you can avoid it, and so much more, so that you can really tackle the remote job search with your eyes wide open.

That’s it from me this week. See you next week on Thriving Empire Live. Until then, keep living and working on your own terms, so you can build your career and the life you really want simultaneously.

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