Update: I moved to Austin and I meet Austin clients face-to-face for career coaching, but this article focuses on the part of my business where I provide coaching services to clients who don’t live in Austin.
Since I began providing career coaching via Skype/Facetime, telephone, and email, I am an evangelist for the benefits of a location independent business. Many people do not consider the ability to be location independent when they are making choices about how to earn a living, so here is a list of some reasons you may want to choose a career path that can be done anywhere you want to be:
1. No Commute. In many cities, commutes to employment centers take 2-3 hours per day. Think about all the things you could accomplish instead of spending all that time sitting in a car, bus, or train.
2. Flexible Schedule. When you work anywhere with flexibility, you can schedule around parenting obligations, social commitments, exercise, volunteer work, and hobbies. You can have a life.
3. Casual Dress. When you utilize technology such as web conferencing, no one has to know that you are wearing a dress shirt and yoga/pajama pants. As long as you can put yourself together sufficiently to look professional on camera, it can remain your secret that you are working after a hot yoga class and you haven’t showered yet.
4. Time With Extended Family or Friends. When you work from anywhere, vacation doesn’t have to be the only time you see family and friends who live in other cities. You can mix work and play and you can more easily be available for family or friends who need your help during times of medical or other crises.
5. Recession Proofing. Not all areas of the country are hit equally hard when the economy slows down. By having the ability to work with clients in multiple geographic areas, you don’t have to put all your economic eggs in one geographic basket. It makes you less financially vulnerable when you can easily shift your focus to areas of the country that are doing well.
6. World Travel. You don’t have to limit your location to the United States. As long as the technology is available to do so, you can just as easily work from anywhere in the world.
7. Easier Dual-Career Decision-Making. One of the most difficult things about being a corporate or military spouse is that every time you start to gain traction in your career, it is time to move again. Location independence is perfect for people in these situations. If you can work from anywhere, relocations don’t have to disrupt your flow of income.
8. Entrepreneurship or Telecommuting. It is a myth that everyone with a location independent job is self-employed. While it is true that many are business owners or freelancers, there are also plenty of people who have a location independent salaried job. SmartPlanet.com says that as of 2011, 40% of IBM employees telecommute, saving IBM $2.9B in reduced office space needs.
Are you intrigued? Here are some of my favorite resources about how to build a location independent life:
Do you have a terrific location independent career? Please tell me about it below.