While more and more Australians return to working in the office, there are some jobs you can do remotely.
Australia feels like it’s slowly heading back to ‘normal’, which in many ways is brilliant. There’s just one small thing people aren’t so excited about – heading back into the office.
In fact, global freelancing platform Fiverr recently surveyed its users, and 50 per cent of them said they plan to continue traveling and working remotely forever.
On top of that, 75 per cent said the freedom to travel was the best part of their lifestyle. Honestly, not surprising.
Is the dream for real, though? Or is making real money through freelancing fairly unattainable?
According to 26-year-old Sophia Llewellyn, it’s very much a real option. In fact, she started freelancing full-time right out of university, in 2018.
While completing a double degree in journalism and international studies, Llewellyn found herself finishing her degree at the University of Barcelona.
“Essentially, I found myself in Barcelona and in need of a job,” she told news.com.au. “I had signed up to Fiverr two months prior to moving there and my profile [had taken] off. So I committed myself full-time… after three to four months, I was making a living.”
She’s now been working as a freelance writer for the past five years “across a range of fields” for over 300 clients – some of which she picked up from freelancing platforms, others that she found on her own – from more than 27 countries.
While, like most people, it’s the flexibility that really attracts her to remote work, it hasn’t always been easy.
“Working remotely as a writer has allowed me to discover the world,” she said. “[But] rules and restrictions [in] each country is different, and I’ve done my fair share of looking into the specific guidelines.
“Not to mention the time it takes to apply and receive a decision for these applications,” she said. “One of my visas took a year to be approved – so it’s best to be prepared and get in early”.
She also notes that freelancing requires a certain level of financial support to get started, so she acknowledges her privilege.
So would she recommend it to other uni leavers? The answer from Llewellyn is a clear yes.
“Jump right in and see where it takes you. I could never have expected the success both personally and professionally that my freelance career provided me with, and I believe everyone has the power to embrace freelance work if they desire.”
Freelancing graphic designer, writer and animator Luke Giuffrida, 30, agrees. He told news.com.au would “absolutely recommend freelancing and remote work to Gen Z”.
“There are too many young, talented individuals who finish their studies and assume they need to look for jobs with larger companies,” he said.
“If you can bring value to those companies, then you can bring value directly to clients. Not only that, but you can travel the world while doing it.”
Mr Giuffrida has been working remotely for four years, during which time he’s worked in numerous countries around the world, including Spain, Austria, Indonesia, Malta and the Czech Republic.
“I originally studied a Bachelor of Business,” he said. “After starting a career in the music industry, I noticed there were a range of services in demand – like graphic design, writing services and animation.
“I started off selling each of these services for $5 on Fiverr, and I’m now a full-time [freelancer] specializing in logo design and branding.”
He was even able to learn his skills “along the way”, without formal training. He started his pricing low “so I felt comfortable offering my services as an amateur” and discovered where his talents lay.
While he quickly realized that all he needed for his remote work was “a laptop and an internet connection”, he also warned of the red tape that comes with traveling and working.
“It is important to be aware of the different laws in different countries,” he said. “That being said, so many countries are more than happy to take international freelancers and offer some really great perks.”
He’s now earning a full-time living wage from various jobs, though it took him about three years to get there.
The best careers for remote work:
So then, where to start? Not all careers lend themselves to working remotely, but Fiverr’s Small Business Needs Index has identified the four areas that are in most demand, and give you the best chance of making real, liveable money. They are:
- YouTube monetisation: Helping companies in the Google Adsense Network create ads and place ads in the video.
- Google analytics: helping businesses develop and execute digital marketing strategies.
- Shopify SEO services: helping business increase their visibility and subsequently make more sales.
- Web content creation: this one speaks for itself, but it’s basically helping businesses with the written parts of their website.
So I guess that’s your new career path sorted.