Side view portrait of Black young couple managing household together and remote work abroad

Thinking About Remote Work Abroad? Start Here.

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Following the pandemic,  remote work only gained popularity. Given that many had a taste of what it meant to work away from the office, it’s unsurprising that some wanted to make it a permanent situation. For expats, especially future ones, remote working can open up professional opportunities.  Some companies, especially internaionally based ones, are receptive to hiring employees who can work outside the confines of their office walls.  According to some reports, the number of Americans hired by international companies increased by 62% last year.  That means, the opportunities are out there. But who do you find them?

Does my 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 or construction,  you may not be able to do work virtually. If that’s the case, you may have to tap into other skills and abilities you have to convert to virtual employment. 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 use your little used abilities in a new professional opportunity. 

Identify the opportunities.

It’s never been easier online to find identify opportunities.  Prior to 2020, while there were few job search sites that catered to the work from home crowd, some of the bigger names became better about making it clear.

Linkedin & Indeed both have a Remote search function.  Google allows you to look for jobs directly within its search browser. You don’t have to go to a secondary site to find the opportunity. You can use Google to identify remote only jobs as part of your search.

That said, if you are willing to pay, you might want to consider using FlexJobs.  The company started with an emphasis on remote & hybrid jobs for professionals who were looking for beyond freelance gigs.  All the jobs are  screened before they are posted to the site to avoid scams. You can also search for international opportunities.

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.

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.  Remote does not always mean anywhere in the world. This is big.

For American companies, paricularly, they are subjected to  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. You also 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.

With an increasing number of companies, especially those with international operations, embracing remote work arrangements, the possibilities for gaining employment from anywhere in the world are expanding rapidly.  However,  identifying these opportunities can be a challenge. If you can leverage resources, networks, and platforms tailored to remote work, you will put yourself in the best position to find the right job for you.

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