As any expat knows, finding work abroad is tough. As any serial expat knows, it is near impossible. I’ve switched country ten times and with each move I’ve had to start the job hunt all over again. If you’re looking for a job, but can’t commit to the nine to five, the office or the country, here are some work from home ideas.
- Blogging. Not all blogs are created equally. Some bloggers are a hobbyists others are in to make money from the outset. Yes, it’s possible to monetize your blog, but it takes time, dedication and some savvy SEO. Blogging does not always reap huge financial rewards, but it’s a great way to keep your CV ticking over if you’re on a short career break. For those with time to spare, and preferably some digital know how under their belt, blogging is a dream job. For more about blogging, see my guides.
- Translation. If you’re an English speaking native, then you’re already blessed with a great skill. But not all English speakers make great linguists. If you’re gifted with words, then consider professional translation. It’s worth checking with your local university, on expat Facebook forums and translation firms for projects. Translation work can be intense and rather lonely, but you can generally work from home according to your own time schedule.
- Teaching English. The Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) qualification is the golden seal of approval for English tuition abroad. It’s also worth checking with your local British Council for courses and private tutor jobs. In terms of work from home jobs, this is one of the easiest to get into if you’re a native speaker. For private tuition it’s essential to set parameters such as meeting in a safe public space and maintaining a strict cancellation policy.
- Writing. Depending on the publication, you don’t need to be a Pulitzer worthy journalist to make a living from writing. If you have specialist knowledge in a particular field and can present your ideas to others, you stand just as much of a chance. This weekly newsletter compiled by Sian Meades-Williams is a great resource for freelance writing projects. Most of the editors are UK based, but accept freelancers from around the world. Meanwhile Pitchwiz connects editors with journalists. The Freelancer by Contently is another great site listing advice and writing gigs too. Finally, The London Freelance Guide offers a guide to how much you can expect to charge by hour, word and article.
- ‘Normal’ work. Some companies are more flexible than others and many even encourage work from home. Here are some companies that reportedly offer great work from home opportunities (depending on the department): Amazon, Appen, American Express, Philips, Motorola, United Health, Thomson Reuters.
- Child sleep consultant. The Gentle Sleep Coach programme is the world’s best (or so former sleep deprived mums tell me!) A friend set up her own successful business after completing the training and works by liaising with parents on the phone, via Whatsapp as well as face to face. If you’re a sleep deprived parent, how about killing two birds with one stone?
- Personal consultancy. If you’re looking for a career switch and are prepared to dedicate some time to retraining, there are some great personal consultancy jobs out there. Lifestyle coach, fitness trainer, nutritionist, career coach… find your niche. Some courses are better than others, so reach out to people in your niche via LinkedIn and online to find a reputable programme. Check with alumni where they are now in their professional lives to see if the course is really as good as it says it is. Even then, don’t expect clients to run to you. This profession requires an awful lot of networking.
- Online volunteering. If you don’t need to earn an income in your host country (or are restricted by visa regulations), why not consider volunteer work from home? Many charities desperately need help with copywriting, translation, data entry and other administrative tasks. The UN has a dedicated online volunteer portal. Of course you can also work hands on for charities too.
- Direct sales. There are some horror stories about people getting tricked into wasting their life savings on pyramid schemes. Herbalife gives me the shivers. Nevertheless, I have friends who have worked with Neals Yard Organics and Stella & Dot in the UK to great success. They haven’t made a million, but have supplemented their household income with a few parties on the side and have had a great time doing it.
For any work from home where you’re interacting with the general public, stay safe! Meet in a public space. Also, have a strict cancelation policy, request a deposit payment in advance or just don’t depend on a fixed income. If you’re freelancing expect to spend a lot of your time networking and chasing late payments.
Emma Cossey writes a great blog about working from home and freelancing. It includes everything from sorting invoices to staying motivated. Do check it out.
UK parenting site Mumsnet has a whole section devoted to jobs, and includes a dedicated posting of working from home jobs.
Are you a freelancer? Do you work from home? If you have any advice or questions, leave a comment below.