in Misc

The Pros & Cons For Taking Your Design Job Abroad

There’s a lot to be said for jobs that allow you to work remotely. Firstly, there’s the ability to freelance without the need an office. Then there’s the fact you can enjoy clients all over the world, meeting with them via Skype and sending and explaining projects simply by sharing your screen.

What that essentially means though is that you can work from anywhere, no more so than with web design jobs. The ability to work while on holiday, at home or simply just away from the office is so simple, with many now taking it up freelance while travelling the globe.

However, there are a number of pitfalls on top of the many pros. We take an in depth look at what’s great, and what’s not so great, about working freelance and travelling the world.

We’re going to start with the cons, as ultimately it’s always best to save the best until last, but they are important to consider.

The first con is incredibly simple. Access. Depending on where you’re visiting internet access can be very different indeed. In places like the USA or UK and Europe you’ll generally find plenty of WiFi spots and very few issues in regards to censorship.

The main issue here will be geoblocking, so for example you may not be able to access BBCiPlayer or US Netflix in specific countries.

Of course, that would be necessary more in downtime than when working, but you can generally use a VPN for US Netflix and the like to get around that. A VPN will also be useful if you’re relying on using hotel WiFi or hotspots in cafes, as in reality you don’t know how secure or censored those networks are. Censorship can be an issue when working abroad. In the likes of the Middle East particularly, lots of sites are censored, so if you’re trying to use an API from social media for example, this can be incredibly limiting. A VPN will get around things like that and allow you to work no matter where you are.

On the other hand, that ability to travel anywhere you like and work can be incredibly rewarding. So often we are held back from traveling by having to hold down a 9-5 job. Working remotely allows you to be where you want and in many cases work the hours you want.

On top of that, it allows you to broaden your skills and the type of sites you work on. One day you could be in China picking up business, a week later you’re doing a small job in Australia.

That diversity will boost your portfolio and ultimately enhance your skill set so when, or if, you do come home and want to settle back into a 9-5 role, you’ve plenty to show for.


Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.