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Mobile careers are going places

21 May, 2008 00:17  EasyExpat EasyExpat

Today’s increasingly mobile world has resulted in a growing need for mobile careers. People demand more flexibility and want to work at their own time, in their own space - this could be at home or by the beach. People also want to maximize time with family, beat traffic and travel. More and more people find themselves moving across countries and finding temporary homes in different parts of the world. Never before has the world been so small or flat. And never before has there been so much opportunity to pursue a career without having to be present at your office. All this combined with managers looking for high quality final output without concerning themselves with details like where and when the work was done make mobile careers an extremely interesting option for many.

The internet of course has been a key driver for this growth in mobility. It has absolutely revolutionised the way we work, live and play in today’s world. Let’s take a look at some of the key advances that have made mobile careers a reality.

Access to information: No points for guessing this one. Information is king and the internet puts it in the hands of everyone. This has leveled the playing ground immensely. Whether you’re in New York or an island off Thailand, you have access to the same information.

Connectivity: The internet keeps you connected to news, friends, family and job opportunities. Social networks, emails, e-zines and e-newsletters are a quick and cheap way to keep you in the loop.

Free internet call sites: In the past, a big barrier to distance working was the steep costs of telecommunication. This is a problem of the past with cheap or even free internet tools like Skype and VoIP Buster. These programs have made communicating cost-effective, efficient and easy.

Information storing: With the internet, we don’t need to lug huge documents and folders with us anymore. People now can opt to store information on the internet and access it from any computer in the world with access to the internet. 

PDA: With the rising number of PDA’s, people have access to their emails and professional contacts at anytime, anywhere. Why access information from the office when you can do it from wherever you are?

Some drawbacks

It’s not all rosy in the mobile world. There are some drawbacks to think of as well. Key among them is the lack of personal contact. As much as telecommunications and the internet have bridged gaps between the continents, sometimes nothing beats a good, old fashioned face-to-face meeting. This holds especially true in handling difficult situations, complicated negotiations or at the start of a business relationship.

The other drawback of the mobile world is our dependence on technology. If there’s a glitch in the system, lack of access to the server etc, work literally comes to a halt. And lastly, mobile careers do come with a certain degree of isolation. The coffee machine chats are replaced by online chats. This does lower the degree of closeness amongst colleagues.

Careers for the mobile

So if you’re still one of the many who think the advantages outnumber the drawbacks, read on to find out some of the main careers that thrive in this mobile world.

Freelance writing: From copywriting to travel writing, food writing to direct mailers, website writing to marketing materials, guide books to novels, the world of freelance writing has gone mobile. Just click on any freelance writing website (and there are tons of them) and you can see listings of writers from just about every part of the world. This is a job you can do sitting in your favourite chair at home or while you’re in a plane a few thousand feet off the ground. Just pick your favourite subjects, start building a relationship with the relevant editors and type away.

Photography: From your backyard to the world’s wonders, if you’ve got an eye for photography, there’s hardly been a better time than now to horne it. Thanks to the digital world and the number of photo websites, you can post and sell your pictures online without having to set foot in any office.

Design: Designers with a network of contacts can also go mobile in today’s world. Designers can take a proper briefing either via phone or mail and send back digital versions of their design without ever having to be in an office.

Online marketing: If you run a website or an online merchandising site, chances are you can work from anywhere as long as you are connected with your customers and suppliers.

When you come to think of it, just about any job that requires more of mental and thinking skills can be done irrespective of your location. In fact, more and more start-ups are starting to run virtual offices where team members stay connected via PDA’s and work out of their laptops. Meetings and brainstorms can be arranged out of cafés and hotels with wifi connection and there is increasingly very little need for an actual physical office space.

So if you’re thinking of going mobile, the time is now, the place is anywhere.  

Sidd Lobo
Freelance writer based out of Munich



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Freelance Writing [Reply]

Mobile careers are a great thing if you can get them going. The problem is that most of your clients still don't have a mobile mentality. Our freelance writing business is, like you mention, a good candidate for a mobile business, but you have to be creative to make it happen. People out there still want to send you faxes, and overnight packages and so on, so you have to figure a way to handle all of that. But, the rewards are worth it :)

  Brian Nelson     22 May 2008, 12:44