The dream of location-independent work
The media live on selling dreams. For this reason, emigration programs on German television are booming about people who want to start a new life abroad. Appear in the “Zeit” and on Spiegel Online Article about travel bloggers.
And even the more conservative media magazine reported on several pages at the time about the journalist Meike Winnemuth, who had won a considerable sum from Günther Jauch and then spent a year traveling the world.
Freedom with bad pay?
So off to paradise and all the best - how to organize it, we know the latest since "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Timothy Ferriss. Or?
Some time ago, I received the press release from a call center service provider who advertised that you could do the poorly paid job from anywhere in the world with maximum personal freedom - that's exactly the benefit of this form of work.
Disadvantages of location-independent work
I see above all disadvantages: In addition to the puny payment, with which one can live well only in cheap, usually non-European countries, one obstructs itself with this "free" work also all network opportunities and advancement chances. And the annoying call center work is the same even with a beautiful view.
Incidentally, this applies to many forms of location-independent work, which today promise eCommerce platforms such as eBay, Amazon and Co. Above all, such platforms benefit from the platforms, which in some cases have huge margins and whose conditions one must orientate themselves on.
Working in paradise - a reality check
In the Italian Emilia-Romagna I met eg Helga Schenk. Helga, a certified translator, has lived and worked at Rimini for over 20 years. Italy was by no means her dream destination; Love has brought her here, she had yet to learn the language. A big problem for them was to build local networks, because the Italian culture works very differently: "You do not just drink a coffee," she says.
Having managed to establish contacts and find friends, she then has it as a singer in the choir. "Music and sports are areas in which making contacts works completely independently of the social class," explains Helga.
It was also helpful that at first she did not rely solely on freelance work, but was looking for a part-time job - eg as a translator in court, in the hospital or for a facade construction company. "The hard part-time jobs brought me money and good contacts on a regular basis," says Helga, who quickly realized that sending CVs in Italy does not really help. "You get jobs by listening in on your contacts," she says.
Nevertheless, Helga, who comes from Stuttgart, has contact with her Süddeutschen Home never completely lost. She regularly visits friends there and also regularly visits: "When we bought the house, I took care to have room for guests," says the translator, who also appreciates the geographical proximity to Germany. An appointment in the year is definitely booked: the visit of the Frankfurt Book Fair.
The whole world as a market thanks to Internet
The Internet, says Helga, has considerably simplified her work: "In the past we had to send translations by mail or by fax, today everything is faster. I do not have to drive to work. I can apply for jobs around the world, and it's all about what I can do - my quality education is good for me. "
But for this to work, one condition must be fulfilled: "One must remain connected to the world". The internet can only be a support here.
Conclusion: complete freedom remains a dream
I have met many emigrants in the last few years and listened to their stories. My conclusion: Working, where others go on vacation, can work. But it is actually work.
Also, you're never so completely independent, because you need clients, customers or platforms where you sell your work. The total freedom - just open the computer and get started, as some people imagine - remains a dream.
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