Tips for Seeing the World While Building a Career

July 7, 2016

10:00 pm

If you work remotely while traveling, you’ll have an opportunity to really see the world and earn money while doing so.

Unlike people who have to sell it all before going away for a year or more, you can simply work, travel to all corners of the world and also live in countries where the expense of living isn’t as high. A number of high-profile people in the IM industry and others have done so. Here are some tips on how to work remotely.

Bring a Notebook and Pen

It’s inevitable to stumble upon a time when connecting to the WiFi isn’t possible, forgetting the converter for your charger, or going to a location in which it just doesn’t feel safe to bring out your expensive computer. Fortunately, the solution is simple: pack a Moleskin in your bag and be sure that a pen is constantly hooked over its cover. This way, you can guarantee that there’s always a place to write your ideas down, and you’ll thank yourself for bringing the plain old pen and paper when a golden idea strikes at the most random of times.

Determine When and How You Work Most Efficiently

This might sound like a given, but settling into a routine that brings out the best out of your time and energy can prove to be helpful when you’re working remotely. For instance, I find that I am at my most productive when I divide my work time into short two hour bursts followed by a 30-minute break in between.

I also know that I perform more efficient work remotely when all extraneous windows are closed – meaning no Facebook or other social media running – and listen to music with my headphones. A stream of music playing while I work brings out the best in me. This is also saves time from changing songs or hitting the shuffle button repeatedly. It’s surprising to learn how many minutes or even hours you waste searching for tunes on YouTube, browsing different channels on Spotify, looking for new releases and replying to Facebook chats.

Come Up with a Productivity Playlist

If you know that you can work better with music, then create a playlist before ticking off that first task in your to-do list.

Remember that your WiFi might not enable you to stream music videos on YouTube or songs on Spotify, which means you have to suffer from certain restrictions if you don’t have a premium account. When the WiFi connection is fast enough, I like using 8Tracks as it comes with a lot of premade playlists which are specifically created to help people get through their workday.

Buy a Pair of Quality Headphones

Just trust me: You’re going to need them more often than you think. Although the Apple earbuds and other generic options on the market are more convenient to pack, they’re lacking when it comes to noise-blocking capabilities.

Even after turning the volume to the maximum level, I’ve found that my Apple earbuds fail at blocking out background noise, particularly when the ambient noise is loud such as in a busy street or the sounds of motorbikes rushing by. When it comes to noise-cancelling headphones, Bose is the first brand that comes to mind. However, there are plenty of other in-ear earbuds that come with noise-isolating technology let me work remotely at a fraction of the price of higher-end brands.

Purchase International Outlet Adapters Before Leaving

You always have the option of picking one up at the airport, but if you want to spend considerably less money, then you should buy from online marketplaces such as Amazon. If you have Mac products, then the Apple World Traveler Kit should definitely be in your to-buy list. For just $40, the kit comes with plugs for United Kingdom, North America, Europe, Australia, Korea, Japan, China and Hong Kong. And since you just have to switch out the plug on your iPhone charger or Mac laptop instead of attaching it to a converter, you can rest assured that you have a more secure power source. The risk of damaging your treasured device drops measurably lower.

Set Up an Effective Communication System

If you need to work remotely with other people or arrange interviews during your trip, then be sure to spend ample time setting up an effective messaging system before you leave. Additionally, a cheap cell phone is well worth it too when teamed with a international call service. There are a number of great options out there both on and offline — these include:

Prepare in Advance for Video Interviews or Meetings

The last thing you want is to scramble at the last minute if you need to Skype with your boss or appear at a video interview for that new position you’re applying for. For instance, wearing a nice top for the interview is an excellent idea to look professional. Also, be sure to research how to ace a video interview. You can’t escape the need to look good, even when you choose to work remotely.

Be Flexible and Upfront

When communicating with professionals from another country, keep in mind that you must be flexible enough to deal with different time zones. But at the same time, being upfront is a must. If you know that it would be difficult to connect to the Internet at a specific time or a certain location, or if you have to be in transit for several days, then let other people know well in advance.

Be Thoughtful of Time Differences

It might be easy to lose track of time zones and cause you to call your boss or potential employer during the wee hours of the morning. Most smartphones enable you to set up a different clock for another time zone. You can also download an app that helps you keep track.

If you’re staying in a location with a huge time difference from that of your workmates, don’t forget to consider the difference in dates as well. For instance, during my stay in Bali, I would wake up early on Saturday to complete an extensive to-do list because in the States it was Friday afternoon, which means my co-workers and boss were wrapping things up to finish the work week. Mondays also proved to be a great time to get started early because it was still only Sunday back in the States. After getting a feel for the time difference, you should be able to come up with an effective strategy that allows you to get the most out of your precious time.

These tips should help you avoid many of the pitfalls that are attributed to those who work remotely while travelling and seeing the world — we hope you take some on board.

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As someone with a love of rugby, marketing, social media, craft beer brewer and music - I'm delighted to contribute to Follow me @brightoncormac or check out one of our great infographics