Tips for Portable Careers

by Apr 18, 2022

What skills are needed for a portable career?

Portable careers offer huge amounts of freedom, but they do require some innate skills and qualities to help you make the transition easier.


The pressure is starting to mount for people to return to the office. Lines are being drawn in the sand and thinly veiled threats coming from the powers that be around “careerland” and “jobland” are surfacing.

Pitching up to the office and sitting in a sweaty pod for 5 days a week now seems to be synonymous with wanting a committed career. And at the same time, we are hearing about digital nomads and those with portable careers who seem to be able to run their jobs at the touch of an iPhone.

Is it really that easy? Would you want one?

portable careers


What is a portable career?

A portable career is one you can do from any location whether it’s your guest room, an office in your garden, a co-working space or a beach bar in Ibiza. It’s basically anywhere where you have a WiFi connection. The pandemic normalised this career flexibility as organisations and individuals came to understand that you didn’t have to commute two hours a day to get your work done. If anything not having to sit in metro, bus or car actually made us more productive and definitely made us all feel a lot less stressed.

Portable career roles

First of all, you have to be working in an occupation that lends itself to a work from anywhere vibe which generally means knowledge economy roles rather than an operational function.  This can include writing, coaching, marketing, software development, web design and training. although what we are seeing post-pandemic is many organisations have become more used to jobs being carried out remotely.

Portable careers can also cover roles that are more hands-on and less digital which are found everywhere: chef, waitress, barista, hairdresser, fitness instructor, nail technician, masseur and so on where you can simply find another location to carry out your work.

 Skills required for portable careers

Portable careers offer huge amounts of freedom, but they do require some innate skills and qualities to help you make the transition easier.

  • High levels of organisation and adaptability are a bonus. If you get stressed easily and hate uncertainty, this may not be the path for you.
  • You will also need to be pretty self-reliant and be able to dig deep into those inner reserves until you’ve built up a support network in your location of choice.
  • An ability to cultivate relationships quickly and easily in your chosen destination to avoid loneliness and isolation.
  • Being tech-savvy or at least having the ability to establish good contacts in your location to cope with the tech problems that inevitably come up.


Take a look at the 3Plus program: Work/life balance and stress management 

Portable careers

What to look for

  • Good accommodation with strong Wifi. This can be a co-working facility or your living space. Now with the possibility to have a virtual background anywhere is possible.
  • If you go for a co-working space make sure they have quiet booths for calls.
  • Good hardware – laptop, mic, ring light, headphones, etc.
  • Back up – cloud or external disk drive
  • Battery packs.
  • Spare device  – remember you are now your own IT department.


Become a Digital Nomad

Some countries are offering Digital Nomad Visas with each geography having its own conditions and regulations. If you are in a sector which facilitates remote working check out the countries which interest you most. Greece, Spain and Portugal are very popular destinations.

Most countries have strict requirement around the ability of a Digital Nomad to demonstrate they have sufficient financial income to sustain themselves and any family members to avoid becoming an economic burden on the state. Digital Nomads should check the small print especially around minimum earnings for each country. Spain requires €27,792 for example with additional amounts for dependents. Also pay attention to health insurance conditions especially post COVID.

A Digital Nomad visa applicant usually needs:

  • An eligible and valid passport
  • Proof of a steady remote income.

Many countries with Digital Nomad visas may require the payment of an application fee. Also investigate cost of living comparisons. There can be many hidden costs in international moves which vary from one geography to the next. You can do that here.

Here is a list of countries which have Digital Nomad offerings.

Outside the pod!

It may take some out-of-the-box thinking and planning, but there are ways to earn a living that will support you and allow you opportunities to work from another location. Maybe you will also see a bit of the world outside a 4 x 3 meter office pod.


Build your network to create a portable career. Download our LinkedIn Routine eBook and see the difference!

3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Leadership and Competence Building or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

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