Convenient work hours, an office at home, independence from bosses – freelancing has many advantages. It is no coincidence that more and more people are giving up full-time jobs to freelance abroad. But, do expat freelancers face difficulties working abroad?
The number of independent workers is constantly growing in Europe, America, and Asia: by 2022, half of the workforce may be freelancers. With the advent of the Internet and technology, digital nomads can manage a business from anywhere. But every coin has two sides. There are some difficulties that every freelancer who intends to live and work abroad will face.
Have you heard the term “gig economy“? It is a global trend that is changing traditional ideas about work. Companies are moving away from long-term hiring in favor of freelance contracts and project-specific hiring. Good or bad is a difficult question. One thing is for sure: a person who worked before retirement at one job is running out. And the demand for freelance services is growing.
Therefore, the question is not how risky it is to freelance, but how stable the work on a long-term contract abroad really is. It all depends on the specialty, professional qualities, the ability to work independently, and whether the freelancer will be able to find customers abroad. It so happens that even a first-class specialist does not find his audience because he lives in a small town and offers concrete niche services.
Freelancing and Education
If you want to change something, change it. You have all the tools. Now, to learn something, you only need to have a phone and wi-fi. Start insignificant, learn constantly, and move forward. With these words, many people did not finish their university studies to go around the world.
Realizing that the current education will not give me anything but will only take time and money, many of them decide to replace the university with mini MBA online courses. It is vital to be aware, not lie to yourself and fight your fears in our time.
Many business believe outsourcing is good. But not everyone knows that some countries issue special freelance visas. This is an excellent option for those who want to move for a long time or permanently, but did not know how to do it. It is easy enough to get a freelance visa in Germany.
In general, European countries are interested in an influx of qualified specialists who will earn good money and therefore pay taxes. Therefore, there is nothing complicated in the application procedure.
To obtain a visa, you must prove your professional qualifications, for example, diplomas of education and demand. You will also need a free-form freelance plan. It will help you show the embassy how you plan to make money, find clients, and increase your income after the move.
If you move to a country with a large population that speaks your language, you will be fine without a foreign language. But this will drastically limit your options. Knowledge of English, the universal language of communication in big cities, will significantly help you.
In countries where a massive community of expats from all over the world speaks poorly, the demand for the services of English-speaking freelance specialists is huge. With English / Chinese, you will be able to work for a large audience.
The main concern of freelance expats is maintaining and expanding their client base. You can search for clients online and offline. There are colossal Internet platforms for translators, tutors, designers, where customers from all over the world are looking for freelance performers. But if you are a massage therapist or tax consultant, this is not an option for you.
It will take time, effort, and money to research the local service market and advertise. Even if you are a professional of the highest level with an impeccable reputation, you should not expect that clients will immediately rush to you in a new place. The good news is that you can prepare the ground before you move.
Working Abroad Challenges Expat Freelancers
Research suggests that freelancers are happier than full-time workers. They are more satisfied with life and less prone to stress, depression and burnout. And freelancing abroad will allow you to gain invaluable experience of an independent life and work in a new environment. So don’t let the potential risks and bureaucratic difficulties stop you.