10 JOBS THAT PAY YOU TO TRAVEL THE WORLD!
How to Work Around the World
Many individuals and small business owners have achieved great success, wealth and a work life balance by working around the world. In this article the term “working around the world” means the ability to stay in one location while conducting business in other countries throughout the day. If you have a desire to expand your client base and/or work certain hours a day, this article will give you tips on how to make the most out of working around the world.
Working From a Single Location
Use different time zones to your advantage.Time zones can be your biggest ally for success when working around the world. No longer do you need to be bound to the typical 9 AM to 5 PM work day within your time zone. You can work and complete a project for someone before they even start their day or hold multiple meetings throughout the day and still have time to complete your other daily tasks.
- Try to choose your desired working times whether they are traditional or not and allow the time zones to define how you will complete these tasks. You can also use drastic time differences to have a good work and home life balance, or schedule even more clients throughout the day.
- For example, if you are based in California on United States Pacific Standard Time (PST), but your client is in London, you have an eight hour time difference that you can use to your advantage.
Be careful to avoid mistakes when working across different time zones.When working in different time zones it is important to remember the following:
- Remember which time zone the country is in. It can get very confusing because you naturally think in your time zone. When you work in multiple countries and time zones, it can get very confusing as to how many hours off they are from you. Being wrong by just one hour can cause inconveniences. A good trick here is to jot down the time difference on a sheet of paper for each client and have it handy.
- Take into account daylight savings time. Some time zones do not have daylight savings time, further confusing time differences. In order to keep things straight, you can either research this over the internet or simply ask your client.
- Define the time zone when setting meetings and deadlines. It is best to set meeting in the other party’s time zone. For instance, you are on United States Eastern Standard Time (EST) and your client is on US PST. You can specify the meeting for 9 AM PST in an email and then set your calendar to 12 PM EST.
Take advantage of today’s technology.There are so many options available for individuals to hold meetings and share information with others while set in different locations. When working with others around the world, it is best to take advantage of these technologies as opposed to frequent travels and/or phone calls, emails and snail mail. Examples of great technologies available are:
- Screen sharing software. Trainings and other meetings can be done most efficiently through screen sharing since everyone logged onto the software can be granted access to view a common screen.
- Video conferencing. Video conferencing is the next best thing to holding a face-to-face meeting and can increase efficiencies when working in multiple locations.
- Cloud based drives. Documents can be stored in a location where multiple people in multiple areas can access and edit the information. Cloud based drives are also the easiest way to store complex documents or to avoid frequent edits and confusion when being passed around through email.
Be aware of possible language differences.Different countries spell words differently, such as “organized” in the US and “organised” in Canada. There are also different meanings to common words such as “the first floor” means ground level in the US but the first floor above ground level in the UK. It is important to recognize these differences before any mistakes are made.
- Researching the differences between the country you are from and the country you are working with is best to do before getting to work.
Realize that there may be cultural differences.Cultures vary throughout the world both outside and inside of business operations. Therefore it is important to recognize that different cultures handle business relationships and meetings differently. Before working with another culture, it is important to research and understand these cultural differences in order to minimize mistakes, frustration and potentially offending to the other party.
For example, you are a US native working with someone in Germany.You tend to get frustrated when your contact takes a bit longer than your liking to come to a decision. Without understanding the culture, you may think this person just takes too long to make up their mind.
- However after understanding the German business culture a little more, you may realize that Germans do not like to rush into any business decision and expect to gain as much information as possible beforehand.
Note any special holidays for each country.Different countries celebrate different holidays and therefore may be out of the office on days when you are not. You can use this to your advantage by either taking some time off in your day or scheduling other clients from different areas to fill in the gap and possibly make more money or get ahead on some projects.
- Consequently if you are typically off for a holiday that some of your clients do not celebrate, it is important to notify them so they are not expecting you to be available on that day.
Travelling For Work
Travel to other locations when necessary.Even after using technology and keeping frequent contact, it is sometimes needed to physically visit your clients or partners. Traveling to their location will not only aid in completing certain work tasks but will also allow for working relationships to grow stronger. A stronger working relationship can not only be beneficial in working together to complete current projects but can also be beneficial for an ongoing relationship with possible mutual benefits in the future.
Research each culture further to understand their customs and culture.As mentioned previously, it is important to research different cultures before conducting business in other parts of the world. When researching differences between your culture and your business contacts it is important to recognize any differences in the following:
- Gift Giving: Some cultures accept gifts as a good gesture, while others see it as a bribe.
- Handshakes: Learn if it is appropriate to shake hands, whether there is an issue with opposite sex handshakes, who initiates the handshake, the length and the level of firmness.
- Bowing: As opposed to handshakes, some cultures prefer to bow.
- Kissing: In addition to shaking hands, some cultures kiss on the cheek.
- Communication style: This includes preferences for both verbal and nonverbal communication.
- Eye contact: Some cultures prefer eye contact while others find it intimidating.
- Pre business practices: Some cultures will get right to businesses while others will make small talk first. #*Decision making: Some cultures like to take more time than others to make a decision and rarely will change their minds once a decision is made.
- Contracts: Many cultures prefer a formal business contract, but others find a handshake and one’s word good enough.
Make the effort to experience different cultures in order to understand your contacts.When visiting your business contacts around the world you should try to gain an understanding of where they come from and why they do the things they do. Understanding one’s background and culture makes working with a person much easier because you can anticipate and appreciate how one will react in a certain situation.
- For example, if you are an American and are asked to travel to China where your business contact is located, you may wonder why you must travel all that way. Based on your research you know the Chinese value relationships but cannot understand why frequent conversations are not good enough.
- Once you arrive and experience the Chinese business culture, you will gain a greater understanding of the importance of relationship building and why it is an integral prerequisite for your contact to do business with you.
Take back lessons learned and apply them to future business relationships.Every time you are exposed to a different culture, you gain valuable knowledge and experience that can help you work with additional clients or business partners in that area. Having this experience will allow you to market yourself as an experienced professional who has successfully worked around the world.
- Always be polite and respectful of other cultures, even if you find some practices odd.
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