Remote worker, telecommuter, digital nomad—there are a few terms for what is simply the ability to work from anywhere. But what makes a digital nomad special, and why is it a career and lifestyle you should consider?
What is a digital nomad?
Before considering if this lifestyle is for you, let's consider what a digital nomad is. A digital nomad is someone who travels from location to location while still maintaining a connection and working via the digital world through online or remote work. They tend to travel between cities or even countries, settling for a few days or weeks before moving on to the next location.
It sounds ideal, doesn’t it? One week you could be working from a villa in a remote village in Portugal, the next from the balcony of a London apartment, and the week after from a cafe in Paris. It’s an excellent way to see the world while still making an income, and all it requires is a laptop, a wifi connection, and remote connections.
Building up Contacts
First things first, you need to get yourself established in your career. What skills do you have? What career is best suited to you? Maybe you can do some freelancing? Regardless of what it is, you can’t just start and then immediately jet off to the first country you feel like; you need to get settled and stable within that career.
What skills are useful to have as a digital nomad?
When it comes to travelling the world and working online, there are quite a few skills that will be useful to have under your belt. For example:
If you’re self-employed, then marketing and networking: If you’re not working for a company, then a vital skill is being able to market yourself and connect with others online. Moving from place to place all the time means that it’s likely you’re not going to have as many meetings and networking events at which you can attract clients. Setting up social media accounts on which to advertise yourself or signing up for freelancing sites such as Fiverr and Upwork can bring in a steady stream of clients.
Languages: If you’re going to be travelling all over the world, it wouldn’t hurt to brush up on the languages spoken in the countries you plan on visiting. You don’t need to be fluent, but knowing how to say hello and goodbye, please and thank you, ask where the nearest bathroom is, and other basic phrases wouldn’t hurt.
Technology: If you want a position where you can work remotely, you’re going to need to be at least a little bit tech-savvy in order to get by. Knowing how to use your computer and type is all well and good, but knowing your way around some of the programmes on there, such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Cloud, can vastly increase your chances of finding remote jobs. Not only that, but your technology is your lifeline; it’s your main source of income, so you should know how to use it and look after it, and never underestimate the value of good anti-virus software.
If you want to see the world while still working, the digital nomad lifestyle could be for you. It’s one of the many perks of remote work; however, you should make sure to take into consideration how independent the role is. It’s more than just holidays and sightseeing, and it's important that you first ensure you have the right skills and capabilities before you cut all ties with working from home or the office.
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