Uprooting yourself from your hometown may be the furthest thing from your mind—yet it may involve a highly convenient or interesting future, and possibly even a lifesaving one. While I don’t claim to be a prognosticator (aside from predicting some remote work trends), I do know that all of us can encounter life circumstances and obligations that extend well beyond our professional roles. The impact these have on our careers can be palpable.
Having a location-independent career means that you have options; you can stay close to those you love, seek out the best healthcare for you, and pursue your personal goals or dreams wherever you’d like.
Here are some scenarios where remote work, and a location-independent future, could broaden your horizons, both figuratively and literally, or accommodate unforeseen needs:
- It’s always been a dream of yours to travel the world, with or without a partner and kids, and you’re not willing to wait for retirement to do it. Now you can take your job on the road (and the boat or plane!) to destinations of your choosing as an expat.
- You’re in a relationship or marriage where you’ll need to move frequently because of a spouse’s job or position in the military. A location-independent role means you’ll be able to continue your career uninterrupted, despite relocation.
- Perhaps you or a loved one will receive a diagnosis that requires specialized treatment from a clinician or facility located in another state or country. With a remote job, you won’t have to worry about losing income when addressing critical health concerns.
- You have a passion related to a specific geography (architecture, art, religion, literature, archaeology, geology—the list is endless!) and could finance the pursuit of your hobby onsite.
- A temporary relocation would enable you to set up a satellite office, develop critical business relationships in an emerging market, or find dependable vendors or partners.
- A family member requires daily assistance or caregiving, and you must move in order to help them at this very important and challenging time in their lives.
- You wish to move to a less expensive (and perhaps more exotic) locale without sacrificing the competitive salary or role you’ve become accustomed to in your original home base.
- You have young children or a new baby, and would very much like to be close to them in their formative years, rather than wasting time on a daily commute.
- You can finally train for that bucket list athletic event during the hours when your energy peaks, rather than waiting until you return from work.
- Learning a language is more easily accomplished when you’re fully immersed in a culture where it is spoken; with a location-independent job, you can practice with locals.
I’m willing to bet that you see yourself in one of the scenarios described above. And you’re not alone: a growing segment of the workforce is getting work done from home, local coworking spaces or coffee houses, or places much farther afield. Remote work holds nearly limitless possibilities for those who desire or require flexibility in their personal lives.
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