The internet is an amazing technology that has changed our lives to the point where our life today barely resembles life 20 years ago. This means that our concept of work has changed forever and has also given rise to the term “digital nomad”, which is a person that can work from more or less anywhere and have no permanent home. One can simply work anywhere and travel anywhere. This is an attractive lifestyle, especially given the conventional wisdom is to stay at home, buy a house, keep trying to get a better job and have a family. Here are some tips for starting out as a digital nomad.
A good setup
The first and most important thing, behind a few plastic folders to organise yourself, is a good work setup. For example, one thing that any digital nomad is a computer (a laptop of course), somewhere to sit and a good internet connection. One of the elements of this is choosing the right location as a base (you could be completely nomadic too!), but of course this is flexible. Typical spots for digital nomads are places like Bangkok in Thailand, Budapest in Hungary, Sofia in Bulgaria or Berlin in Germany. These are of course much cheaper by comparison to other large cities and it makes it easier to have a better experience in terms of networking, clients and expatriate atmosphere. There is also a booming startup scene in these places, which could be a perfect place to find some work.
Find a profession
This is perhaps the hardest part of becoming. I would highly recommend having a few streams of income and some savings to start off with. This is a good backup to have and means that you aren’t totally stressed out if things aren’t going to plan. I think it is good to have a plan about how you are going to approach this and you will really need to look at the skills that you already have. Then you need to look at what you can translate these into, for example if you like writing you could try your hand at copywriting or if you can code, it is amazing skill to have as a digital nomad.
Learn new skills
One of the things that I love about having more free time as a digital nomad, is actually having time to pursue and develop skills that you always wanted to develop. One thing that you could do is get into something like graphic or web design. This also gives you some other strings in your bow to develop other income streams and is a great way to vary what you do on a day-to-day basis. There are so many resources out there to help you learn new things and these skills that you want to learn do not necessarily have to be career related.
I find that these are great places for you to meet like minded people that are sharing a similar lifestyle to yours and there are continuously more and more popping up around the globe. One of the biggest advantages of these is that they are intended for flexible people (like you) to work there, so they are very welcoming of newcomers, even if you only want to spend one day there. These are a great source of coffee, networking and stable wireless connections. These are another great place to find some work, all you need to do is ask the person next to you!
Get a good working schedule
One of the challenges of working remotely is that you are most likely not in the timezone of your clients and this presents a bit of a challenge for deadlines and communication, where there can be a bit of a lag between these. Being flexible with your time is one of the benefits of being a digital nomad and presents a good opportunity to be able to work whenever you want, but to some degree, this should also mean finding a good work schedule that suits you and your clients.
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