The digital revolution has opened the world to efficient and effective remote work, allowing almost anyone with a personal computer and a strong internet connection to build a career working from their home or any other location. Not only are you able to work remotely with the help of the right hardware and software solution, but you’re also able to do it from abroad and generate income by working for international clients and employers.
That said, there is a difference between working remotely on the national scene, and being an international professional working for companies from different time zones, legal environments, and cultural backgrounds. As a remote professional working for international companies, you need to learn to manage your time, work, and other resources wisely in order to build long-term success.
Today, we are going to take a closer look at the challenges of working abroad and what you need to do in order to build a thriving career.
Manage expectations by demanding clarity
As a remote worker with a goal to dazzle international employers and build a thriving career online, you want to meet and exceed the client’s expectations. The problem occurs when companies post templated job postings and vague positions that don’t really provide you with any insight into the company’s processes, your duties, or provide other crucial info. When you come across these job openings, you might be tempted to search for a client elsewhere, but you could be losing out on a good opportunity.
What you need to do is get in touch and ask for clarification from the start. Just because the company isn’t clear about their expectations right away doesn’t mean that you should write them off, but it does mean that you need to clarify everything in your initial emails and meetings. Go through the job posting and make a list of important questions you need answered in order to do your job properly and meet the employer’s expectations.
Take time zone differences into account
Whether you’re working for different clients who are scattered all over the world or if you’re working for a single employer halfway across the globe, you need to be mindful of the time zone difference. Working in different time zones will have a big impact on your work and your collaboration with the client, so it’s important to organize your time for maximum productivity and in order to meet every deadline.
Your employer should not ask you to be online during their work hours if you’re working with deliverables and if their work hours are your sleep hours. However, if you need to be online in order to work in real time with your colleagues who are in a different time zone, then it’s best to look for employers who are closer to your location.
Look for an employer with a clear EoR system
Working for international companies can bring about a myriad of legal and compliance issues tied to the different laws and regulations between your countries, all of which you and your employer need to overcome. This can be difficult if the employer doesn’t have a clear and reliable employer of record payrolling system that ensures legal compliance for international workers as well as proper compensation in your currency for your services.
This is something you can discover during your first few interviews with your potential employer, when you get the chance to pose your own questions and voice potential concerns. A reliable employer will have these processes in place in order to protect their brand on the international market, but also to protect you as their talented international employee.
Get to know the employer and their processes
Getting to know the employer and all the internal processes that matter to your team, yourself, and your work will be crucial in establishing a mutually-beneficial relationship. That said, this can be difficult to achieve for international workers, because companies are still struggling with remote onboarding and communication for new workers in other countries.
It will be up to you to ask the important questions during your first month in a new company, and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask any question that comes to mind. Guesswork will get you nowhere and if you don’t get this kind of clarification early, you might end up taking on more work than was initially agreed upon.
Set clear boundaries from the start
Last but not least, you need to learn how to set boundaries as a remote employee working abroad. Communicating outside your work hours, taking on more work than you agreed to, accepting responsibilities outside your job description, there is no telling what you might have to face when you start working for an international company – and you need to be able to stand up for yourself.
This can be difficult for remote workers because you want to make a good impression and hold on to a good client, but it is necessary for your professional future. If you let every client pile on work and responsibilities on your shoulders, you won’t be able to take on more clients and you’ll be working more for less.
Over to you
Working abroad and remotely is a wonderful way to build a thriving career and even see the world, but you need to know how to manage your assets for success. Use these tips to find the best employers, organize your time, ensure legal compliance, and protect yourself as a global professional.