The covid-19 pandemic has shown that, thanks to technology, most work can be done both in the office and in another location. All one needs is a laptop, a mobile device and an internet connection.
Some people have been taking advantage of technology for years and instead of working in the office, they work, well, anywhere in the world. These are usually entrepreneurs who have their own company or freelancers who work for different employers as needed. They are popularly referred to as “digital nomads” because they are not tied to one place or country for their work, but can work from anywhere. It is therefore not surprising that many choose to relocate their “office” to an exotic country or a more comfortable environment, rather than a big city.
While the idea of working in an exotic location may seem very tempting, it also comes with some unique challenges.
Digital nomads do not actually have fixed working hours. They work according to the needs of the project or job they are working on. For some, that means sitting in front of a computer for 12 hours while the world goes by. That takes a lot of focus and determination.
What all digital nomads point out is that the key to successfully work this way is organization – from organizing the workday, to organizing contacts, jobs and even equipment (if needed for the job). But it’s also about flexibility, risk-taking and getting to grips with new situations. Because even if this way of working works perfectly at first glance, it’s not immune to problems. Like power outages, internet, equipment theft or simply idle time between jobs.
Digital nomads often use various co-working spaces where they can find not only the necessary infrastructure, but also a society where they can share ideas and experiences and maybe even find work on the side. But if there are no such spaces, cafes, libraries and even a free public wifi network in a city square also perform well. The main thing is to get the work done on time and in the way that the employer, whoever they are, requires.
Those who choose to become digital nomads and adopt such a lifestyle, even though they may work more, are happier with their lives. At least, that is what they claim.
How to become a digital nomad
Digital nomads are meant to do their work digitally. Considering the fact that we live in a digital age where we are all (somewhat) dependent on smartphones and the internet, there are many such jobs.
There really are many opportunities, this is just a part of the ideas, but what is very important, regardless of the type of job, is that as a digital nomad you are working on your personal brand or business brand by producing quality content. If you are not in a fixed place people can forget about you if you are not on social media. Also there is a lot more competition because location restrictions mean nothing anymore.
Be excellent at what you do, prepare well, listen to the market and customers, and constantly educate yourself. With all of this, you cannot miss the result.
CONTENT CREATOR AND SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
A very dynamic profession that allows complete freedom. You have to have an affinity for social networks, be creative and analytical, but the demand for this type of job is very high. You can create content in photo or video form, but also in text form, which is very important for good positioning in search engines.
Recently at an event, a friend jokingly said to me that everyone wants to be a consultant today. There are different types of consulting you can do, and it all depends on how professional you are in a field and what experience you have. For example, I deal specifically with digital communications, branding and digital business.
This type of selling adds value to a product that you do not make or stock yourself. Let’s say you sell simple canvas bags for which you have developed a design and brand. You handle all the communication and related services, but when someone comes to your website and orders a product, that same order goes directly to a factory that may be located in another country. The factory sends your branded bag to the customer and the customer pays you and the other part goes to the factory. You do not have a problem with inventory or a big investment, but you need to make sure the manufacturer is up to date so there are no customer complaints.
PROJECT MANAGER AND PLANNER
I believe that a project-based approach to work is the future. To be a project manager you do not have to be in a physical location with a team. Most teams, regardless of being in the same offices, communicate online. Communicating with project management tools is very important for this profession. The planner of various activities, also does most things completely independent of the location itself until the grand finale.
Designers were among the first to begin working in this way. Take an interior designer, for example – the client sends you photos of the space and plans, you design everything and send them visuals and plans. You organize the purchase of everything online and coordinate the contractors who are on site. It’s not bad to see the location itself, but you can do the rest of the work from anywhere. The same goes for a graphic designer or an industrial designer.
Education, if you are professional enough in a field, you can do it online through the Udemy platform, Courser or through your own website that has an e-learning module. You record your course and sell it with good communication with the participants, interactive exercises and accompanying services. If you want, you can also have a premium version of live training.
A virtual assistant is a real person who does some of the work for a client. It can be administration, answering emails, managing accounts or improving the business through accompanying activities. It is important to have excellent organization and knowledge of the client and their business.
Fitness is a growing industry on all channels, including online. You do not have to be at the gym to coach someone. You can create video content and sell it online with the ability to engage live and track your client’s progress. With so many people on the go today, a motivated personal trainer can be a real hit anytime.
In addition to working out, it’s good to have a good nutritionist. Creating diet plans, helping clients reach their goals and get healthier is completely doable online.
Do you think travel agents are a thing of the past? Maybe in an old form. I personally know a great story from this area that allows a freelance travel agent to be completely location independent while enjoying something many people strive for – travel. Be ready for demanding clients and completely customize their experience and service to them.
Of course, if you already have the privilege of digital nomad-ism – use it, enjoy it. Do not bury yourself at home with work and move around even less than you used to in the office, which people are perfectly capable of doing.
Pros and cons for being a digital nomad
While the digital nomad life sounds pretty fun and relaxed the biggest problem might be finding new clients. When it comes to customers, there are certainly a lot of questions in the air. For example: Is it better to work with domestic or foreign clients, should the collaborations be long term or short term, do the clients come to us or do we have to find them ourselves?
Where you find customers depends on what kind of customers you are looking for and what you offer. It is always better to build your own channels and sell through them than through different platforms that control the entire environment you operate in, although you need to be present there.
One of the most important things for any digital nomad is the issue of internet connectivity
If you are tied to your hometown, becoming a digital nomad may not be for you. You will probably have to leave your family for a long time if you want to choose a digital lifestyle. I see digital nomad-ism as a pact. You trade your freedom for your possessions and some of your relationships. The choice is in your hands. Now, to make the right choice, we need to present the benefits of this lifestyle. Let’s look at 5 reasons to become a digital nomad.
Data from the 2019 State of Independence in America study shows that 83 percent of full-time self-employed workers report working remotely at least some of the time, and 37 percent work remotely full-time. (mbopartners.com)
The most obvious thing, of course, is that you can work wherever you want. That can be at home in your hometown or on the beach on a remote island. You can also work in a hotel, it’s up to you. Digital nomads usually choose their new job based on what they want. If they are mountaineers, they will choose to work in Peru, India or Hawaii.
We all know that time is our most valuable resource. More valuable than money and we only have a limited amount of this resource during our lifetime. Well, I have good news for you: becoming a digital nomad means owning that resource. The five-day-a-week work week is over! You are free to manage your time however you like. Maybe instead of starting out working 7 days a week, you only work mornings. Or you do the exact opposite: you teach online English courses 3 days a week to earn enough money, and travel the rest of the week.
Also very important – you are your own boss!
With 34% of remote workers working 4-5 days a week away from the office, the digital nomad lifestyle could be an exciting option if you have been bitten by the travel bug and want to break free from the shackles of the 9-5 life.