Finding Remote Work and Living Abroad

 Man made lake. Penol, Colombia

Man made lake. Penol, Colombia

People are always asking about how to find remote work and what does it take to live abroad? There are tons of online resources which I’ll list in the blog post.

Why work remote?

  • Location independence

  • Set your own hours

  • Work from where works best for you

    • Home

    • Coffee Shop

    • Co-working space

  • The ability to be more flexible with salary

  • Easier to travel

  • Work without distraction

If you want to be successful working remotely, you have to have discipline. If you have successfully run your own business, you know what I’m talking about. This is why working remote is not a good fit for some folks, they get distracted or just don’t have the intrinsic motivation to push themselves.

You’ll need a good internet connection, which limits where in the world you can live. You need to know what hours you can work. If you are living in Mexico, having a remote job in China may mean getting up at 4 am. You’ll need to be a great communicator, written and verbally. And of course, you have to have to be competent with technology.

Where to look for remote work?

Your favorite online jobs platform has them, LinkedIn, ect. But this is the best source I know of for where to look for online work. It’s a google doc, maintained by its users. In addition, look for Facebook groups in Digital Nomad Hubs, like Medellin and Chiang Mai or your desired destination.

Your reasons for wanted remote work might be different than mine. I almost always choose to live someplace with a low cost of living. Doing so gives me more freedom to take a wider variety of jobs and I have a long history of going from low man on the totem pole to being the guy running things. But that is not my only criteria. A new home has to have good internet, at least 10 meg, have a great quality of life, friendly people and preferably near the beach. I’m living 200 meters from the Pacific Ocean in Puerto Vallarta, MX this year. The six month before I got here I was in Medellin, CO.

If you are a native English speaker, with a 2 or 4 year degree the easiest and best paying job to get started is teaching English to Chinese kids online. It pays around $20 an hour and would be a great way to move to Asia. Countries like Vietnam and Cambodia have very liberal visa policies, good quality of life and a very low cost of living. The other option is to go to Korea or China and get a fulltime job teaching English. These two countries pay about the best and have the best benefits. I did this in Thailand and it was a great experience. But I’d not recommend teaching in Thailand, their education system is horrible. If you want a job like this you’ll need to be a native English speaker, a 4-year degree and a TEFL certificate.

Money

I don’t have any debts and I pay the full balance on my credit cards every month. If you are going to move overseas, in most cases you’ll want to have some savings to fall back on. For me that’s about $15,000. I use Mint to manage my finances because then I know exactly where I am at any given time. Depending on your job situation, you won’t need that much money. For instance, some schools in Asia will send you a plane ticket and give you one to get home and in the countries I mentioned, if you live frugally, you can save $1000 a month. But If you plan to move somewhere and then look for work or you’re just starting out with teaching English online, you’re going to want some saving to fall back on.

What I do is figure out what my savings goals are, my monthly living expenses and use that has lowest salary I can take. I can’t take a job if it doesn’t may the minimum.

Sure, most Americans seem to live paycheck to paycheck. But that could be a disaster oversees. When I was teaching in Bangkok, nearly all the guys I worked with where living paycheck to paycheck. What happens if they get fired? If you lose your job in Thailand, you lose your Visa and you have about 10 days to leave the country. Not good.