Eagle typically recruits independent contractors who work on technology projects at a client site, or at least in the same city as their home. Occasionally IT professionals will take a gig in another city and do some travel, and while this trend has picked up in the current economy, it’s still less frequent for us. As such, most of the posts in the Talent Development Centre are directed to IT contractors who work in their hometown.
There is another side of contracting and freelancing that we don’t touch on much, but may pique the interest of technology professionals, depending on where they are in life. We brag about the freedoms that come with working for yourself, including the ability to take time off and travel, but what about the ability to travel while working? This is a common practice and, if you’ve been meaning to see the world, may be something for you to try for a year or two. Before quitting your job or deciding not to renew your current contract, consider some of these tips for working while travelling the world:
- Have a plan! This is common sense, but please do not pick up and leave with no plan. Know where you’re going to start, and more importantly, have a client or two lined up at your first stop.
- Know your worth. Understand how much you can charge in the city you’re working. Remember, markets are different so what you make in one place may not equate.
- Have an office. Doing contract work on a sidewalk or a coffee shop is going to get old. Do some research to share an office or workspace while you’re stationed in a city.
- You may not always want cash. Prepare to barter. Perhaps you can work for a place to stay, a workspace, or even food.
- Stay disciplined. Exploring new places and meeting new people makes it easy to get distracted from your work. Remember that your clients are the reason you’re affording to travel, so you must keep them satisfied and serve them first.
- Organization is key. With such little consistency in your life, you need some form of organization and routine if you want to ensure you’ll get things done.
- Pack light. Not just clothes, but you can’t be a technology diva either. It’s difficult to lug around a desktop computer and even some laptops may be excessive. Also keep in mind that everything you pack can be lost. Consider cloud storage and renting equipment with your office space.
- Research the legal side. How long are you allowed to stay in a specific country? What are the accounting implications of working abroad? Discuss your plans with an immigration lawyer and have a thorough understanding of what you can and can’t do in every location you visit.
- Find the right project and location is irrelevant. It goes without saying, but technology contractors especially rarely need to be in the same office as their client. If you plan right, you may be able to work on a single project from multiple cities.
- Don’t forget to take in the experience. We’re stressing the importance of working hard and serving your clients, but you’re also experiencing something few people will ever do. Remember to take a few days and enjoy savour the experience in every place you visit.
Countless people dream of travelling the world in their lifetime and never do it. If you share that dream, possess the skills, and are in a position in life to do it, then get out there and enjoy the experience. Before you do though, know exactly what you’re getting yourself into and how you’ll deal with all of the challenges. Have fun!