I dont care if its minimum wage, I just want to do it where I want when I want.
March 27, 2009 6:57 PM   Subscribe

I want to find a type of work that I can do from my laptop while travelling, potentially indefinitely. Ideas for my new occupation?

I realize that there are many jobs that I could technically ask the boss if I can telecommute but I am looking for something that was meant to be done remotely from the outset, and something that was never localized to any one company or geographical location.
I am willing to train for this but not so far as say getting all kinds of certification in different types of programming languages. I could see myself doing a medical transcription certification course for example. Something semi-skilled.
Some random ideas I have are the medical transcription idea above and other data entry monkey work, day trading, and......
There is also remote call center stuff and online tutoring but I think that may be sketchy trying to rely on voice predominantly when I am staying in random hostels.
posted by baking soda to Work & Money (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I'm sure it's available somewhere as an actual "job" but likely not advertised and definitely highly competitive, and even more likely, taken, in this job market.

Your best bet is to start your own business, or consider the ideas in Four Hour Workweek and other similar books for new directions, or ideas to turn a traditional job into something more to your liking.

One of my 3 income streams came about after using the techniques in that book and provides about 30% of my total current income (which is about 50% of my old, 1-job Fulltime income)

Good Luck!
posted by emjay at 7:23 PM on March 27, 2009

I don't have time to go into detail at the moment, but two things I've done to support myself while traveling: blogging, and web design.
posted by nitsuj at 7:25 PM on March 27, 2009

I have a friend who creates vector art to sell on a stock photography website. He's quite a tremendous artist though.
posted by mjcon at 7:59 PM on March 27, 2009

Learn programming in C++, Lotus Notes, VB macros. Then you can freelance and work for yourself.
posted by yclipse at 8:40 PM on March 27, 2009

I don't really know of a way to do this semi-skilled, so that said...

You're aiming in the wrong spot. If you're willing to accept minimum wage you can also accept medium-wage at part time.

Most everything legit that actually pays that you can do anytime, anywhere with a laptop is going to be skilled.

Coding, writing, editing, consulting, tech support, graphics, publishing, audio design, music, motion graphic design, interactive design and a lot more can be done with a laptop and a minimum of portable gear.

The more different things you can do with your laptop the more you can be selective about work, especially if you can combine and integrate them as a services. For example, web development requires everything from writing to coding to graphic design and even sometimes sound or motion graphics.

However, even with advanced or exceptional skills you need to have a client base. This is difficult if not impossible to develop without a physical presence and going to meetings and being locally available. You can look for freelance work at various job boards online but to really build a client base you still need to go out and shake hands.

Once you have a client base, cultivate them to work online. Treat them well. Don't burn them or let them down. Establish work patterns and relationships and eventually your clients won't care where you are as long as you're available through the net and phone.
posted by loquacious at 10:54 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

my husband and i lived in a van on the road for 10 months, and he worked as a programmer (with mobile wireless on his laptop, though also many campgrounds in america have wifi now).

he had been working as a programmer at a company in sydney, he left to go travelling, we were on the road for a while and when our money ran out after a couple of months he contacted them and they offered for him to telecommute. if you can get work programming you can likely telecommute. now we're living in toronto and he still works in sydney.
posted by beccyjoe at 1:26 AM on March 28, 2009

Stock photography
Writing (novels, travel articles)
Copy editing
Tech support
posted by blue_beetle at 10:14 AM on March 28, 2009

People I know who work this way are employed as writers, as moderators of messageboards and as researchers for those text-a-question services that are like the bastard child of Twitter and AskMe.

I'm not sure how you'd do data entry if you're going to be travelling and have ruled out phone work. My experience of work-from-home data entry is that you need a fixed address so your employer can deliver the day's work.
posted by the latin mouse at 2:24 AM on March 29, 2009

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