Remote work and location vs career
Hi everyone, I’ve been pondering this question lately – location vs career. I’m 24 and have worked for the past 6 years more or less, having chosen internships and positions based on location more so than the role.
I currently live in Barcelona which is a fantastic city, but am not able to find anything in the writing or travel sphere, so I’ve got a sales job to pay the bills. Since it’s always a matter of balance and compromise, I was wondering if anyone has tips on remote and freelance work, which would reconcile the freedom of location with the pursuit of professional progress.
I’m interested to hear your experience/ thoughts on it 🙂
For me i will do just about anything to not be tied down to a place personally. I think any job that you dont hate, and gives you the freedom to travel is an excellent place to start and an upperhand position most would really die for (they, for some reason, dont think they can have it though). Point and case I consider myself a photographer but actually I spend my week here in the U, running a company called The Giving Lens (making much of my job trip planning, accounting, social media, budgets, spreadsheets…..). But, I can do this from anywhere. That lets me do my work (photography) and enjoy living my life working when and how I need and want to. On the flip side, its sometimes more hours in a week than I hope for, there are still crunches for time and deadlines, you have to have the skills to be organized and reliable, and also to network and pursue new opportunities. That is, of course, to consider loosely related jobs to freelancing. If you simply get a great job that is remote, and it lets you pursue your art and passions in the spare hours, while you travel, I mean, thats just fantastic too. Its hardly settling in any capacity, if the balance feels right to you.
I’ve been a freelance food and travel writer and Online marketing manager for many many years and I don’t regret a single second of it because it gives me the flexibility to work from and when I want and, most of all, to work on things I love and develop my projects. I do not promote the “quit your job and travel” philosophy but I strongly think that if you can find a job that allows you to pay the bills, travel when you want and be happy this is just great. To be a freelance you not only have to have passion and a job but also relationships’ skills and interest in working more than what you should sometimes; and, not to be negative, but you also have to find customers or a company interested in working with you and also in paying you fair money otherwise it won’t be worth. That’s said, you should really consider how skilled you are and also how do you see yourself in 5 years because not everyone is meant to be a freelance like not everybody is meant to have a “stable” job; it really something to be considered to better understand your next move.
Interesting insights as I am actually considering, in the course of the next few years, to prep my experience and contacts to eventually shift outside the office job (I’m an Architect and I really like it, but still) and move to a contracted/freelance condition so I can freely travel.
@Veruska I agree, been doing freelance work for about a year and a half or so and like it much better than an office job. One thing with freelance though is that it can really be a famine or feast situation. How do you (or how did you) manage the uncertainty of project volume, Veruska? How long did it take for you to find a flow in this type of work and have enough projects to make sure your basic needs are covered?
I would always recommend building up skills in different aspects of travel media. For the most part it feels like people who only have one specific skill will get left in the dust, unless you’re at the top of your game in that specific skill. Be the multi-instrumentalist that everyone wants in the band! 🙂
@Dayana, I can relate. I have, for the past twelve years, worked as a professional chef. It is a versatile position and it is always in demand. It has allowed me to work and travel in many parts of the UK and Australia, and even my home country, South Africa, and it has paid for travel to several other destinations, too.
However, it is an unforgiving job, stressful, relentless and demanding, with long hours and little sleep. So, end last year I have decided, ‘no more!’ I am not entirely sure what the future holds, but I am hoping it involves lots of travel and lots of writing. I worked long and hard to attain a degree in writing and publishing. It is high time it is put to good use.
@matthys I bet it’s draining! I’ve watched so many food documentaries and being a chef seems like a gruelling task, albeit rewarding. Good thing is that the world has an obsession with food, so you should definitely start some social media account to document your travels and food from all over the world. Besides food writing/ blogging, maybe you can get into video and create small tutorials on simplified foreign recipes people like me, for one, could attempt at home + tell us a little about why this meal matters (e.g. banitsa in Bulgaria, paella in Spain, etc). I would definitely love to follow, get that degree working for ya!