So…you want to be a digital nomad? There is no time like the present to start taking steps towards achieving your dreams!
If you’re sitting here scratching your head and saying, digital whaaaaat?, a digital nomad is a person who has taken their careers completely online so they can work from anywhere in the world, as long as there is an internet connection.
Ok, so maybe that beautiful beach in the photo above isn’t likely to have an internet connection (in fact, I know it doesn’t, because I took that photo in Australia and it was a pretty remote place that involved a drive down a long dirt road to get to).
Still, if you have an internet connection and the right career, you can travel without having to quit your job. Pretty cool, right?
So who can be a digital nomad?
The short answer is anybody who uses a computer for their work. The long answer is…a little more complicated, but fear not! We’re going to go over options and tips to get you started.
Can your career transfer to online only?
What do you do for a living? If you’re in a career such as web development, graphic design, UI/UX design, and other similar jobs. However, you don’t have to be a tech or creative professional to make it work for you. Are you bilingual? Why not work as a translator? Do you have teacher credentials? There are plenty of online schools who are looking for teachers. There are even jobs for Administrative and Executive Assistants, Data Entry, freelance writing, and web research that you can do online. Another option is running your own business. You can even try things like health and fitness coaching if you’ve got the drive to build a business (as well as a little patience to get the ball rolling).
If you’re already doing a job where your work is primarily done online or on the computer and you’re feeling brave, you can always ask your employer about transferring your job to a remote position. If they are hesitant, you can suggest doing it on a trial basis before making the switch permanently.
If switching your current job to remote isn’t an option, you can look for work on a site such as www.flexjobs.com or www.digitalnomadjobs.com. Alternatively, you can set yourself up as a freelancer on a site such as www.upwork.com. Once you’ve gotten some steady clients, you’ll be ready to quit your day job and hit the road!
What if you’re not in a career that transfers well to working online?
Let’s say you’re a yoga teacher or a mechanic. Obviously you need to physically be in the location where the work is being done so moving it to online isn’t exactly an option. Still, that nomadic lifestyle calls your name….if you have decent internet skills I would say you should work on getting a part time position or freelance position doing something such as internet research, data entry, etc. that can be done online while continuing your work. Once you’re established and your online work is steady, you’ll have a little more flexibility. At this point, look for ways you can find odd jobs in your current field while on the road. If you’re a fitness instructor, dance instructor, personal trainer, yoga instructor, or similar, you might want to look into teaching workshops while on the road. If you have a different sort of job where you work with your hands, look for opportunities to do odd jobs as you travel. Alternatively, you can do volunteer work in exchange for room and board which will help stretch your travel budget. Your skills may be much appreciated! If you’re a mechanic, construction worker, stone mason, carpenter, or similar, look for opportunities around the world where people are looking for help in this area.
If the tech life just isn’t for you, but you still want to live the nomadic lifestyle…
There are still opportunities! Consider getting a TEFL certificate and finding opportunities to teach English abroad. Usually the requirements are that you are a native English speaker, you have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and that you complete the TEFL certificate program. If you’re not a native English speaker or if you don’t have a degree, look for opportunities to teach your own language or to tutor people in your language. The opportunities are out there, you just have to seek them out!
The bottom line
There are ways to make the nomadic lifestyle work for you. It takes a little bit of work, but the rewards are….well, this…
Have you managed to make the switch or are you working on doing that in your own life? I would love to hear your tips and your stories!