The number of different ways you can work and earn overseas is expanding rapidly for one reason—the Internet.
Online job opportunities are exploding and with the right know-how, anyone can plug into them and start earning money using the skills they already have.
Unfortunately, many people, especially those of the “Baby Boomer” generation, will let this opportunity slip past them because they don’t understand the subtle but critical difference between their skills and their occupation.
For most of you, your current or most recent career won’t translate directly into an online opportunity. First, you will need to break down your career and life experience into individual skills you have picked up along the way. Then you need to match those skills with the skills that are in demand in online work.
Not all skills are lucrative so this step is critical. In my work over the last five years I have found that most people tend to grossly underestimate their skills. They think too narrowly about their occupation rather than their skills.
So, here are three places to look for hidden skills that you might not have believed (or remembered) you had:
1. Your Career
This one seems obvious but you really have to look at your career in a new way. Dig deep for the skills. You are much more than your occupation.
Start by asking yourself, did you learn how to handle clients or customers? Customer service for smaller companies can now be done from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. Did you master the art of communicating through writing and emails? Writing content for websites continues to prove very lucrative for many. Do you have an eye for detail in the written word? Proofreading is a talent and you just have to spend a few minutes on the web to realize there is a great need for this skill.
2. Your Volunteer Activities
An often-overlooked group of “undiscovered” skills lies in your volunteer work. If you helped a charity or organization like your church, with scouting or with your local Chamber of Commerce, you’ve probably cultivated some skills beyond just those from your career. Event planning, fundraising and cause advocacy are all good skills you can bring online.
3. Your Hobby or Special Interests
I love this one. Are you “intense” about your hobby? What skills might you have there? If you help others through your hobby, help keep your group organized or disseminate information about how to “do” your favorite hobby, you could translate that into creating instructional and educational materials.
So start making your skills list today—and take a little time with this one. You’ll be surprised at how your list will grow over the next week or two.
When you have your list, investigate the online websites that post assignments for those skills. Going to a site like Elance.com or Odek.com you’ll find thousands of work assignments every month, most of which you can do from any place on the planet.
Sites like these are the “earning pool” for your skills and once you’re involved, you will be able to experience the joy of earning from your favorite new location abroad.
Editor’s Note: If you’d like to learn more about ways you can pay for your life or travels overseas, sign up for Fund Your Life Overseas, a free e-letter from International Living. Sign up here and we’ll send you a free report: Fund Your New Life Overseas With These 5 Portable Careers.