The daydream is a familiar one; you’re sitting on a white sand beach by the crystal-clear ocean, a soft tropical breeze blowing as you sip your third piña colada and finish up the day’s work (which only consumed a few hours) just in time for the dazzling sunset.
Unfortunately, then you always wake up, shackled to your desk inside a corporate cubicle, your boss droning on about how you forgot to put a cover sheet on your TPS report, so he needs you to come in to work on Saturday. And someone stole your red stapler. Again.
Sure, living in Costa Rica (or anywhere that’s warm, fun, and has nice beaches!) is a wonderful daydream, but without a practical plan to make income, it remains just that.
But here’s the good news for all you 9-to-5’ers out there: the dream is possible. You CAN travel or live anywhere in the world and take your job with you, still making money in the U.S. (or your home country) virtually.
I’m not going to blow sunshine at you at tell you that it’s easy, as it may take a lot of research, planning, and hard work. But it IS possible to live your life by a beach, or on top of a mountain, in a foreign country and still make a living. They even have a name for these new virtual workers – Digital Nomads.
Advances in technology and the prevalence of freelance job portals online like Fiverr.com, Freelancer.com, and Upwork.com have made working virtually easier than ever. In fact, people have been doing it for years, and a U.S. Census report shows that the number of people who work virtually or from home has soared by 41% in the past decade.
The prevalence of virtual and online work has also set us free (geographically speaking) to live abroad or travel like never before, with an estimated 6 million U.S. citizens live overseas. I’m seeing more and travelers and expats working virtually from their laptops, making just enough money to keep their dream alive (especially in some countries where living expenses may be much lower), while others bring in $10,000 or even $20,000 or more every month working virtually.
So, whether you are a stay-at-home mom looking for side work, a college student who wants to backpack around Europe and still make some money, or a 9-5 burnout who gives it all up and lives abroad to be a beach bum (like me), the dream is alive and well.
Here are just 10 of the 50 virtual or online jobs you can do from the beach (in Costa Rica or anywhere you choose!):
Writing content for media, websites, customer outreach or marketing content, or just about any business blog. Additionally, you can write your own books, special reports, or guides and sell them virtually.
3. Virtual call center/Customer service representative
As long as you have a phone and a headset (or a computer) you can take calls anywhere in the world. In fact, the Business Process Outsourcing industry (call centers) is one of the fastest growing jobs in places like the Philippines.
Virtual medical care is a rapidly growing field.
14. Chat support
More and more companies are moving away from phone support once they see the convenience and economical savings of offering live chat support for customers, which you can do from anywhere!
18. Medical billing
One of the work-from-home stalwarts, you can organize medical billing records for doctor’s offices.
21. Virtual assistant
A lot of busy business people don’t want to hire a full-time assistant in-house, so they outsource daily tasks to a virtual assistant.
24. Affiliate marketing
You can promote other peoples’ goods or services on your website or blog, and when users click on your links and purchase something, you get a commission. In fact, affiliate marketing gurus like Tim Schmidt of Affiliate U and Ice Cold Marketing not only make some serious coin but are nice enough to share their systems and teach others how to do it. You can find out more here.
33. Facebook and Instagram ads manager
The hottest thing in online and social media marketing right now is the use of paid ads and booted content to promote your brand or business. To do it right, there is an expertise involved, so companies will hire someone to manage tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in paid ads.
37. Language teacher
Believe it or not, knowing English well is a commodity, and these days you can teach English via your laptop anywhere in the world (see profile at the end of this article).
49. Athletic trainer
Thanks to Skype, Facetime, and video conferencing, personal training has gone online, giving any trainer access to clients all over the world at any time, location independent. Likewise, the cost of personal training has become far more affordable thanks to this innovation.
Please note that these are just a sample of the jobs you can do virtually (I even know of a mortgage broker who works remotely with the help of a great team back home!) so by no means is this list exhaustive.
Likewise, there are plenty of jobs you can pick up IN Costa Rica that are popular with foreigners, and many multi-national companies (like resorts!) located in the land of pura vida that are ready to hire.
You’ll find actual real listings of these companies, more information on jobs you can do virtually, a special interview I did with the VP of Upwork when writing this guide, tips on work visas and other hacks, and much more here.
-The Official Expat,
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