How to become a digital nomad. Benefits, career paths, and websites for finding remote work.
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After the year we’ve had, it’s no surprise if you have a hankering to travel the world. Many employers switched to remote work to meet the need for social distancing. However, coffee shops and co-working spaces had limited or no capacity, and nonessential travel was discouraged. If you’re tired of logging in from a home office, it’s time to consider becoming a digital nomad.
Being a digital nomad is about more than just remote work. A nomad is someone who travels from place to place. While working remotely is implied, the nomad life means ditching work from home for something a little more “location independent”.
Vaccine rollouts and loosened restrictions means more flights are added to booking sites every day. When it’s safe, you should be on some of them. The same technology that made remote work a reality for millions of people in 2020 also makes a digitally nomadic career possible. Let’s explore why people are making the leap, and how you can do it, too.
Digital nomads are already working remotely from coffee shops, co-working spaces, RVs, and even foreign countries. As long as you’re productive and able to jump into virtual meetings, it hardly matters where you’re working from.
The nomadic workstyle isn’t free of complications, of course. When considering the pros and cons of being a digital nomad, it’s important to be realistic. For example, keeping an apartment or home paid for while traveling the world can be costly. And if travel plans go awry, it’s likely to impact your ability to get work done.
However, careful planning (and back-up planning) makes it possible to strike out into the world with confidence. When done right, you can enjoy benefits such as:
Becoming a digital nomad requires a number of considerations. Some big decisions, such as whether to keep your current home or fully move into a suitcase or RV, have major financial implications. Below is some advice we offer to those thinking about becoming digital nomads.
Thanks to rapid digital transformation over the last year, more careers than ever before lend themselves to remote work. This means there are many more opportunities for digital nomads. According to remote work site Flexjobs, the top companies hiring for work-from-anywhere jobs are in industries like:
In addition to Flexjobs, you can find jobs for digital nomads on sites like JustRemote, We Work Remotely, and Remote.co. You can also search LinkedIn and more popular job boards like Indeed and Monster for remote jobs by designating remote work as part of your search terms. These sites are more likely to post traditional employment opportunities rather than contract work.
If you’re a developer or designer, Gun.io lists both freelance and salary remote jobs on their site. If you’re a freelancer, Upwork and Fiverr are popular job boards for finding contract work. Of course, you can also consider opening your own business if you haven’t already.
For self-disciplined planners with a little money in the bank, transitioning into the digital nomad workstyle could be the ideal way to shake off a year of feeling stuck in place. With a little research and preparation, a location independent lifestyle is certainly within reach. Consider the pros and cons of truly remote work, and if the benefits sound worth the effort, give it a try!
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