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Guest post written by Lance Cody-Valdez of Free Lance Now.
Among many other things, the pandemic has changed the way many of us work. More accurately, it’s changed where we work. Telecommuting has become the norm for millions all over the world; some have been eager to get back to the office, while others are hoping to make remote work a long-term solution.
Working from home yields numerous benefits, including convenience, flexibility, and freedom. But did you know that you can take it a step further and become a digital nomad? If you have a passion for traveling and experiencing other cultures, and you don’t have any major commitments keeping you from leaving, then working as a digital nomad could be the perfect pathway to a fulfilling, adventurous lifestyle.
Here are eight ways that you can begin a successful digital nomad journey today!
1. Become a Freelancer
If you currently have a job that you love, you could ask your employer about telecommuting options. Most companies are much more accommodating to employees who want to work out of the office than they were even two years ago.
But that’s not your only option. In fact, most digital nomads work as freelancers in one capacity or another. Typically, being a freelancer means that you provide a service as an independent contractor within your industry or niche of expertise. While you’ll be responsible for developing a brand for yourself and building your client base, becoming a freelancer could provide you the ultimate freedom for traveling and creating your own schedule.
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2. Look Into Your Options
One of the best things about freelancing is that there is such a wide variety of services you can provide. Whether your specialty is centered around creativity, science, technology, or administration, you can build a thriving, long-lasting career as a freelancer. Here are just a few remote work ideas that can fit perfectly into your digital nomad lifestyle:
- Web design
- Web development
- IT services
- Social media management
- Data entry
- Virtual assistance
3. Test Out Remote Work
Whether you’re hoping to telecommute for your current employer or start a freelance career, you may want to test the waters before diving in headfirst. Rather than moving to a different country first thing, take a month or two to work remotely in your hometown. Find coffee shops, cafés, and other places in your city. If you realize that you find it hard to stay motivated and productive, or you simply don’t like it, then being home will make it a lot easier to go back to what you were doing before.
4. Leave Town
If working remotely in your home city for a couple of months is successful, then it’s time to step out of your comfort zone. Choose a city that you’ve always wanted to visit, whether it’s the same place that you want to move to or only in the city over. The important thing is that you experience what it’s like to live and work in a short-term rental, coworking space, cafe, and other establishments outside of your home city.
5. Find a Routine
One of the most critical steps to take when becoming a digital nomad is figuring out a routine that works for you. When you work with other people in person, the structure helps you to stay motivated and productive. You don’t get that structure from remote work, so you have to create your own. It requires exceptional self-discipline to be a successful digital nomad, especially in the early stages.
The key is to find a daily work sequence that optimizes your productivity and to develop great work habits. Once your schedule and habits are well-established, you won’t have to rely solely on your self-discipline; it will simply be what you do!
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6. Research Visas
Many countries now offer visas that were specifically created for digital nomads. And with the economies of so many nations being negatively impacted by the pandemic, more and more opportunities are arising for those who wish to work abroad independently. Do your homework to figure out if any countries you’re interested in coming to provide special visas for your situation.
7. Get a Good Phone and Plan
As a digital nomad, having a phone kind of comes with the title. If you’re going to be running apps and holding video calls with clients, you want to make sure your current phone can handle the workload. If not, you can find many high-quality smartphones without having to spend a fortune on the latest models. You can pick up some accessories as well, such as a cover to protect your device and a popsocket for effortless gripping.
These days, you can keep your current phone number and convert it to receive VOIP calls and SMS messages. Google Voice is one of the leading platforms for this purpose. But if you’re willing to pay a fee, then you might consider a premium service that allows you unlimited calls.
8. Go Carless
Lastly, think about transportation when you’re posting up in any given location. In many countries, driving is impractical, inconvenient, and expensive. When you’re looking for places to post up, try to book accommodations that are surrounded by the essential establishments you will need for work and pleasure so that you can walk or ride a bike wherever you need to go.
If you want to experience other parts of the world while building and maintaining a solid career, then becoming a digital nomad might be the ultimate path for you. Just take some time feeling out the lifestyle, and make sure you know what you’re getting into before you quit your job and sell all of your belongings. Once you’ve determined it’s the right move for you, then give it everything you have and enjoy the ride!