Are you ready to start your career as a digital nomad? Biting the bullet can be daunting, but once you make the decision to become fully location independent, there is a friendly international community ready to welcome you.
These are some becoming a digital nomad faqs found in online forums that newbie digital nomads ask when starting out.
Where Do You Find Remote Work?
You can read the article about best websites to find remote work for a full explanation.
In a nutshell, avoid low-paying websites like Freelancer, Fiverr or Peopleperhour, and look for opportunities on reputable sites like RemoteOK.io or Indeed. Competing on price on low-paying websites will not allow you to make a living as a digital nomad.
Don’t underestimate the power of networking: when possible, attend as many business events in your area as possible. Build a strong portfolio of projects first and then you’ll be better equipped to bid for further work once you become location-independent.
What Type of Remote Job Should I Do?
Many people planning to become digital nomads don’t know where to start. A typical comment in forums is “Any set up advice welcome” but it is very generic. If you are approaching a forum asking for help, try and be as specific as possible.
It is useful to do a skills assessment first: work out what you are proficient at and, ideally, what you enjoy doing.
You may end up having a portfolio career, doing different types of projects for a variety of clients, or maybe run a small business while also doing some other type of work.
To find out what kind of remote work you would like to do in the future, you need to decide whether you would prefer to continue doing the same type of job you are currently doing or change career completely. The easiest way to transition to becoming a digital nomad that can be implemented in a relatively short time is to ask your current employer if there are any opportunities to work in other offices outside your country of residence.
If you want to change your lifestyle including the type of work you will be doing, you will need to gain extra qualifications and experience. This is a longer-term solution and you will need to make a gradual transition that may take years.
It is useful to know in advance what types of remote jobs are more in demand from employers. For a full breakdown, read the article on best jobs for digital nomads.
Bear in mind that the professions that attract the highest rates for remote work tend to be:
- Web designer
- Graphic designer
- Web developer
- App developer
Of course, there are also some non-technical roles that pay well. For example, bid writers are in demand, but this type of projects require specialisation.
What Qualifications Do You Need?
This question tends to pop up very often in forums. Of course, the qualifications required depend on the type of job you are planning to do.
The most efficient way to gain the right qualifications is on-the-job training and taking advantage of any learning and development opportunities in your current job.
Online courses are a good option if you are considering a change in career or simply need to update your skills. For example, to learn web development, sites like Treehouse and Codeacademy are often mentioned as good resources.
What Countries Are Best for Digital Nomads?
The destination you choose may or may not have a good infrastructure. Online communities are a good port of call to ask for up to date information on wifi speeds.
It is worth checking with more experienced digital nomads in forums which countries are most suitable for the lifestyle you plan to have. Factors like infrastructure and cost of living take precedence when working on client assignments. South East Asia locations such as Bali and Chiang Mai attract many digital nomads because the cost of living is low and there is good connectivity.
For Europe, you can look at sites like Coworkies (see article), which also features a jobs section.
Online communities for digital nomads are friendly and helpful.
There are many forums to choose from; here are some suggestions.
Like with any community, make sure you don’t post promotional messages but ask questions and connect with fellow digital nomads to build your network.