Thinking About Remote Work Abroad? Start Here.

Recently, France-based expat coach Mundey Young and I talked about my favorite topic: careers. I followed up with additional tips on Facebook Live for those who are thinking of working abroad. During this chat, we spend a fair amount of time discussing remote work. In the post-Covid-19 career space, remote work is a hot topic right now. Given that many in the world had a year to get a taste of what it means to work away from the office, for some, that’s the way they would rather work, period. For expats, especially future ones, this just might open up more professional opportunities than before, as companies seem increasingly receptive to letting employees work outside their office walls.

In case you missed her Facebook Live, Mundey and I spent a few moments covering some important tips. Here are a few of the take-aways you may want to glean from the conversation.

Before you look for remote opportunities… Does your skill set align with remote work?

Practically speaking not all skills align for virtual work. If you are coming from a very hands-on field such as medicine, construction, and so on, you may not be able to do it virtually. If that’s the case, you may have to tap into other skills and abilities you have to convert to virtual employment. In my discussion with Mundey, I mentioned that while doctors do have to come into the office, there is a growing space of telemedicine and telecounseling that allows health professionals to still meet with clients. You may have to be imaginative in how you use your existing skills to transform them in remote work space. Or you might have to make a completely different switch and tap into your little used abilities in a new professional opportunity. 

Identify companies that are hiring remotely.

It’s never been easier to find remote work. I can easily say that prior to 2020, while there were specific job search sites that catered to the remote and work from home crowd, some of the bigger names became better about making it clear. Linkedin clearly has a Remote button. This did not exist before. Google, as I mentioned in the video, allows you to look for jobs directly within its search browser. You don’t have to go to a secondary site such as Indeed to find the opportunity, Google will now list them as part of your search options. 

But there’s a caveat…

While a job may say it’s remote, you have to look carefully to see what exactly that means. In the United States, more jobs are certainly listed as remote, but there are some that are remote to a specific location, meaning it may only be within a specific state, region or part of the country. And remote does not always mean anywhere in the world. This is big. For American companies, anyway, they are subjected to some pretty specific and complex tax and registration regulations both at the federal (read: national) and state level. A company may or may not be able to hire you depending on where you are located, especially for tax purposes. Therefore, you can’t assume that because they have remote opportunities, they can hire you. Make sure you have this conversation early on so there are no surprises if you get the offer. In addition, you need to be upfront if you think you will end up moving from the location you are in to another one, so this doesn’t impact your work or your legal status in a country.

Make sure you do your research.

With every job opportunity, you need to do your absolute due diligence. That means visiting the company’s website to get an understanding of the business and their work, connecting with the recruiter (or employer who posted the opportunity) to find out about the position and inquiring within your network about any feedback they may have about the organization. If the information is hard to find or just doesn’t seem to align, you may want to pass on the opportunity.


To hear the original Living La Belle Vie episode, where we also talk about salary, career changing abroad and more. You can also visit the Facebook Live replay with Mundey Young Coaching here.

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