How to start working remotely today

January 16th, 2019

Create your very own

When you first begin to think about becoming more location independent regarding your work, it might seem to you like a very complicated and long term decision. You might think something along the lines of "Yeah, it would be cool ... perhaps someday an opportunity will arrive." But you know the best way of getting great opportunities, right? Yes, you have to create them for yourself! And in fact, there probably is a lot you can do to move in this direction starting right now.

Assuming that you already have thought about the benefits of working remotely (LINK) and decided that this kind of lifestyle would be appealing to you, let's discuss a few ways how you could take your first steps towards a more autonomous life. Before you read on, I recommend that you quickly go fetch something to write on (yes, a napkin is perfectly fine) and ideally some kind of pen so you can create something we call your Action-Map.

What's your Situation?

When trying to find a good direction for first steps towards any goal, it is generally very helpful to know where you are coming from. So in our case, we should probably start with analyzing your current working situation. Do you have a job at the moment and if so, are you happy there? Can you imagine shifting to remote work at your current job or would you like to look for a different place?

We will discuss all those options separately in a moment but for now please take your napkin and write on top our first important question: Where am I? Follow that with a quick description of your current working situation and how long you have been in that state. (I.e.employee at a small company for 4 years)
Done that? Awesome! Now try to imagine what this situation will most likely look like five years from now if all works out well but if you don't make any active moves towards that goal of becoming more location independent.

Where will you work in five years? What would be your position? What's the role of your friends and family?
Write all of this down on your napkin on the left side under the first question and title it something like "Where will I most likely be?". But try not to cheat yourself here by only thinking of this potential future under the worst possible conditions. Give it a fair shot!
Once you have finished move over to the right side of the napkin and write "Where do I want to be?".

This time think about your absolute dream scenario for how you would like to work in the future. Where are you location-wise? How do you start your day? What are you working on and how does your working environment look like? Where are your friends and family and when do you see them?

Now you have your action map. It starts at the point where you are right now and it shows two possible destinations: One of those destinations might seem harder to reach whilst the other might only require you to keep going as you are used to. But if you see both potential goals in front of you, you should be able to decide if one of them might be worth the extra effort. If this is the case and the ideal working environment you imagined is not the classical 9 to 5 office then we can now talk about a few ideas on how to get where you want to be.

This is an excerpt from our upcoming “Urban Nomad Fieldguide”. Sign up for our Newsletter below to read the full article inside the free preview chapter.