How to Travel While Working Full Time
If you want to have a better life of travel, our tip for you is to turn your full-time salary employee position into a freelance or consulting gig. I know it’s shocking that there are other ways to travel and work without just being an Instagram influencer. Becoming a freelancer in a field you are familiar with is a great and relatively easy way to work full-time while traveling.
The best way to explain how to turn your day to day job into a freelance is to describe the way turned my career into one more unconventional. I was working at a job that is rarely a position that can be done remotely. People who already have jobs that involve a lot of computer work have a leg up because the internet is available just about everywhere. Unfortunately for me, I was working in human resources… a job that involves quite a bit of face to face contact.
Leaving the Office Behind
I started at my office job working a typical 9-hour workday complete with plenty of water cooler chatting with coworkers. That wasn’t doing it for me, so I switched over to become a remote employee for a different company. I was working for a company doing HR software training. I was doing this while we were saving up to go on our first trip while we were living in Chicago. This looked like an attractive job for me at the time because while we were looking at all of the countries we were going to, I knew I would be able to easily find internet access and continue to work and earn an income while we were traveling.
Not Everything Goes as Planned
Unfortunately, the company that I was working for didn’t like the idea of me working internationally even though I was a remote position. So that job was over and we spent the next 10 months traveling. Neither of us was working, but we had been planning and saving for four years to be able to make this trip so we were prepared. After 10 months, we ran out of money traveling and returned to the States.
We needed to make money, but neither of us was interested in returning to a desk job. Tim took up some plumbing jobs and I reached back out into the business world.
Finding a Client
The first thing I did when stepping back into work was to find a client that was willing to pay me for my services. There are plenty of resources online about how to become a #GirlBoss and becoming an entrepreneur. Not to mention so many inspirational entrepreneurial podcasts to help you get started. While these resources can get you excited about your new business, when it comes down to it, there is no business without a client.
How to Find a Client
Networking can be incredible. Today there are so many ways to network even without having ever have met these people in person. LinkedIn is an incredible resource for networking and getting your name out there. Luckily, I had an extensive work history and quite a few contacts to reach out to. This doesn’t mean that it was easy, though. I had to do some things that were out of my comfort zone to get to where I needed to be. I had to reach out to past customers and use some sales techniques to find a need that needed to be filled.
Find Who is Searching for You
Once I found an employer, I then worked with that employer to create a work environment and title that worked for both my niche and my lifestyle. This ended up being consultative or freelance work. Basically, someone was looking for someone to get work done and I was looking for someone to pay me.
Easier Than You Think
Now this all may sound sort of cumbersome especially the aspect of becoming an independent contractor, but truth be told, any corporate job out there will be happy to hire an independent contractor. As long as you can take care of yourself, your insurance, and your finances, many companies will be more than thrilled to hire you as a contractor rather than a regular employee. It puts more risk on you than on them as the employer which is favorable in their eyes.
Contractor is Better
The opportunity as a contractor or consultant is the ability to make more money. Coming into a company as a contractor, the employer won’t be having to deal with settling for your benefits which means you probably can ask for a higher salary. The employer is much more worried about the product you are putting out than the raise in salary you are asking for.
This, of course, is all contingent upon your contract. What we suggest as a business model is that you don’t want to end up trading time for money. A popular way to promote this is by being project-based. There is a project that needs to be done, a beginning and an end, and metrics that needed to be covered in between. I went into my clients and said, “You don’t care how much time I put into this project, you just need it to get done.” I didn’t want to spend the time tracking my hours and I knew I would get paid way more for the value of the project completed rather than the time it took.
If your employer is more worried about the time you put into something or the hours you work rather than the quality of the work being done, it may be time to evaluate your client.
How Much We Talkin’?
The way I constructed my wages as a contractor is by something called a weekly retainer. This is an overview stating that you will get paid for the time that you make yourself available as well as a statement overview of all the things that you have agreed to be done. We would have weekly meetings as well as several phone calls to check to be sure the work was being completed. If all the scope of work was covered correctly then I would send an invoice to the client who then compensated me for the work I did.
There would be a basic weekly baseline of work that needed to be covered and the compensation would follow suit. If I happened to have completed more work or extra projects were given to me, I would add it to the invoice and be paid accordingly.
This way, I was making the same amount of money whether I worked 5 hours or 45 hours a week all depending on the amount and quality of work I completed.
The Digital Nomad Lifestyle (you’re a freelancer)
Not only can you be making more, but more than likely you’ll be working less. You’ll no longer have a commute and you also no longer have to sit through company meetings and other aspects of an office environment. Because you’re focusing your time directly on the project at hand rather than various office tasks, you’ll spend less time working which means more time traveling or working on entrepreneurial projects.
There are perks!
In an office setting, your boss may come in and ask for you to complete additional tasks with no compensation. As a contractor, you are now being paid for these extra tasks because it is an additional project not because it is taking up your time.
With contracting you have more time, more flexibility, and in many cases, more money!
Become a Digital Nomad
This is a travel blog so of course, we cater it to those looking to add more travel into their lifestyle. This topic isn’t solely for travel purposes, though! Maybe you’re looking to spend more time with your family or just simply spend less time at the office and more time doing what you want and love. Working as an independent contractor or freelancer will give you the time to do just that.
Live the Way You Want to Live
The hardest thing is finding your new client. If you want a change in your lifestyle badly enough, you have to use that as your motivator. It only takes one client to make this change! Oddly enough. The best place to look for this client is at your current employer. Changing from an employee with benefits to a remote contractor saves the employer quite a bit of money.
Switching to being an independent contractor allowed us to be location independent and made all the difference in the world. We were able to fund a complete trip and gave us the extra time to build our Amazon business. It was the right choice for us and allowed us the freedom we needed to live the life we wanted!
What changes are you going to make to live out your dream?