Who Are Digital Nomads?
Digital nomads are remote workers who usually travel to different locations. They often work in coffee shops, co-working spaces, or public libraries, relying on devices with wireless internet capabilities like smart phones and mobile hotspots to do their work wherever they want.
According To Wikipedia
“Digital nomads are a type of people who use telecommunications technologies to earn a living and, more generally, conduct their life in a nomadic manner. Such workers often work remotely from foreign countries, coffee shops, public libraries, co-working spaces, or recreational vehicles. This is often accomplished through the use of devices that have wireless Internet capabilities such as smartphones or mobile hotspots. Successful digital nomads typically have a financial cushion. The digital nomad community has had various events established to host members of it, such as the Nomad Cruise. Digital nomads may vary depending on status; common types of digital nomads include refugees, affluent people, younger people, and entrepreneurs. People who become digital nomads often do so due to positive reasons, such as financial independence and a career that allows for location independence. Negative factors for why people become digital nomads include a reduced amount of full-time employment, political unrest, and a high cost of living in their country of origin.”
Benefits of Being a Digital Nomad:
1. You’ll be more productive.
2. You’ll have more breakthrough ideas.
3. You’ll become more adaptable.
4. You’ll have more time to do the things you love.
5. You’ll make lifelong friendships.
Common Jobs for Digital Nomads
Whether you chose to work for a company or yourself, becoming a digital nomad doesn’t mean pigeonholing yourself in a specific role. Your job just has to be fully digital. Listed below are some common roles that lend themselves well to a fully remote lifestyle:
- Customer Service
- Project Management
- Quality Analyst (QA)
- Recruiting & HR
- Software Development
- Virtual Assistant
Ways To Become A Digital Nomad
1. Get a job that teaches you the skills you need to know
If you’re young and in no real hurry to become a digital nomad immediately, a good way to get started would be to get a job at a company that will teach you the skills to work online. This is a great way of getting paid to learn. If you apply for a job at an Online Marketing agency, for example, you’ll learn many skills that are perfect to become a digital nomad one day.
It’s probably the least exciting way of getting started but it’s the most secure way as well. You might also be able to take on a few freelance clients while you work which will make it easier for you to deal with clients in the future.
2. Become a freelancer in your spare time
If your current experience can’t be used to work online (yet), and you need the money from your existing job, you could start a freelance business in your free time. Remember that you don’t need a lot of money to get started so pick an easy skill from this list to get going ASAP and learn more skills so that you become even better.
3. Get Paid for Online Gigs
All you need to do is type your desired profession and job type into your internet machine’s search bar and BAM – hundreds of search results pop up for you to choose from. This is largely thanks to the websites of gig economy heavyweights like Upwork, Remote.co and Freelancer.com. These websites are places where businesses seeking part-time, ad hoc work post adverts for freelancers to apply. It’s like a Craigslist for work.
4. Study at an Online University
You can get a flavour of the digital nomad lifestyle while studying online. Just sign up with an online university and you could essentially travel the world while learning the skills to work online, and you’ll spend a lot less than you would studying in Paris. It’s a great way to get a degree and keep open the option of starting out in the corporate world one day (or to simply keep your parents sane). So far I’ve only met one Swedish student who’s doing this, but I’m sure there are many students out there who study and travel.
5. Buy an existing Online Business
A super fast, but also risky, way to become a digital nomad is to simply buy an existing Online Business that already generates money or, even better, a passive income. You can buy businesses on sites like Flippa.com. You’re able to see how much money the site already generates and its monetisation strategies. This would generate enough income to get started as a digital nomad.
Buying a business this way can be much easier than building a business from scratch. However, be sure that you get some advice from experienced Online Entrepreneurs before you buy anything to reduce the chance of taking on a business that is doomed to fail.
6. Save money and learn in a digital nomad hub
If where you live is so expensive that most of your salary goes towards maintaining your fixed costs, you might consider reducing them and saving up some money so you can move to a digital nomad hub like Chiang Mai in Thailand where your money goes a lot further. Here it will be a lot easier to learn all the skills that you’re going to need to work online because you’ll be surrounded by other digital nomads. You could even rent out your apartment at home and make some passive income that way.
It’s a fun way to get started and could be very inspiring to be around other digital nomads instead of trying to teach yourself alone at home. On the other hand you might get distracted quickly and the chances that you’ll end up wanting to travel instead of putting in the hours to make it happen are high as well!
7. Start with a job abroad
Another more exciting option is to simply move abroad and find a job that allows you experience working online. A good way to do this is by taking a Working Holiday visa in countries like Canada or Australia for example. Why not get more experience in Online Marketing while working and living in Sydney or Vancouver?
Apart from that there are so many other possibilities to get started working abroad like teaching english, working as a dive instructor, or on cruise ships where you could still improve your skills to become a digital nomad in your free time.
8. Move your business online
Do you already own a brick and mortar business? This shouldn’t keep you from working and travelling. Just think about it. There are so many solutions out there that will help you to monitor your business from anywhere in the world without your physical presence. Webcams, Online Accounting, and of course some staff you trust to manage your daily business while being away. It’s possible!
9. Convince your boss to allow remote work
Do you love your job but spend most of your time on the laptop so your presence in the office is hardly ever required? Who knows, if you have an understanding boss you might be able to convince him or her to give you more freedom and allow you to do most of your work remotely. Don’t tell them that you want to work from abroad at the beginning, instead prove that you can do your job remotely from home before taking the next step. Yes it’s true you might be able to become digital nomad without quitting your job. You don’t know if you don’t ask!
10. Find a remote job online
We all know that today there are a lot of office jobs which could be done from anywhere in the world. It’s great to see that today there are more and more companies allowing their staff to work remotely, just as long as the job gets done.
If it’s impossible to work remotely in your current job you might find a better option online. Check local job portals, or international sites like Odesk.
11. Start your own online business
You might think that the best way of being a digital nomad is to become an entrepreneur, build your own online business, and then maybe create some kind of passive income e-commerce business. While it is true that some of most successful digital nomads I know do this, it’s also the hardest route to take if you are just getting started.
It takes a long time to build up the necessary skills to execute this successfully. I believe it’s better to learn fewer skills well and get more experience before becoming a real entrepreneur.