5 Surprisingly Portable Careers

Posted on Aug 21, 2015 | 1 comment

5 Surprisingly Portable Careers

Finding a portable career can be tough, but if you have one, you know what a great benefit it is to keep your job. You don’t have to worry about giving up your career and what you love in favor of moving around the world. These careers exist, but you have to do your research in order to find one that works for you. Let’s set some criteria for what makes a career portable.


First, you’ve got to be able to move it with ease and get it up and going with ease. So, you could have a great gig going in Nigeria but if you move to South Africa and it’s a huge pain to get it going again, then it’s not portable. Second, you don’t have to mail or send stuff. Let’s be honest, sending international mail is expensive and unreliable. Third, you don’t have to reeducate formally in various countries. If the license or degree in your country isn’t recognized in other countries, then it’s out. Architects, medical professionals, lawyers, we’re looking at you. That’s not to say you can’t get a similar job, but a US lawyer is probably not going to practice law in Australia without some additional formal training and licensure process.


Without further ado, here are the top five most portable careers!


1. Consultant/Coach

If you can work over Skype with minimal travel and maintain clients when you move from country to country, you’ll be in a good place. You may work for yourself or a larger company but the flexibility to work out of a home office virtually is HUGE.


2. Teacher

Your brain might have jumped right to a teacher who works at an international school—which is an extremely portable career—but this also includes anyone who gives classes in anything. In the six countries I’ve lived in I’ve seen exercise classes, cooking classes, classes for kids, and a lot of other very creative ideas from teachers, either formally trained or not.


3. Creative professions like writing, editing, photography, and graphic design

Because so much of this work can be done virtually and on your own, creative professions are extremely portable. You can work for a company or freelance. Many expats have also found success monetizing their blogs or writing books or articles.


4. Physical therapy, masseuse, nutritionist, other non-doctor/nurse medical professional

Working as a doctor or nurse in a foreign country is actually a big challenge. However, providing services as a physical therapist, masseuse, or nutritionist working independently and serving clients online or in person is extremely popular and needed. Depending on where you are from, you may find compatriots who are more comfortable working with a physical therapist or nutritionist from their home country instead of one trained in their adopted country.


5. IT support

Increasingly, IT professionals are able to work virtually. This usually comes in the form of working for an IT support company although many expats are also able to make this one work independently.


A side note: It’s worth mentioning that if your company offers you the possibility of teleworking when you move overseas, you should jump on it! Even if it ends up not working out, it’s worth giving it a try. Not finding fulfilling work is one of the top complaints of expat spouses in particular and maintaining your current position can go a long way in your satisfaction with an international life.



Passport Career provides more detailed career information and extensive resources about networking, finding a job, internship, or alternative career opportunities. If your organization, embassy, university/college, library, or other institution would like access to our country portfolios (15,000+ pages of expert content for 80+ countries and 250+ cities) to share with your students, employees, spouses/partners, and others managing a national or international career transition, please contact us (or send email to: info@passportcareer.com) regarding a free, live, online demo and details on how to obtain a license to access Passport Career.


Anna Sparks, Expert Global Career Consultant

One Comment

  1. Informative article, just what I wanted to find.

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