Breaking Free From Corporate Chains: 6 Tips for Becoming a Digital Nomad

Suppose your 9-to-5 has you daydreaming about taking the next flight to a new and exciting locale where you can satisfy your hunger for adventure. In that case, it’s time to consider becoming a digital nomad. Being a wanderlust-stricken professional, working in a tiny cubicle under harsh fluorescent lighting can send any globetrotter at heart into a spiral.

Ready for a professional change of pace? Leave stuffy office jobs in your rearview mirror by dabbling in the remote work scene.

As a remote worker, you’ll have the opportunity to make money from a portable office you can set up anywhere in the world. Whether you’re itching to be constantly on the move or want to experience what it’s like to live somewhere new every few months, becoming a digital nomad can help make that happen.

However, before you hand in your resignation letter at work, it’s essential to set yourself up for success as a remote worker. Here are six tips for becoming a digital nomad and taking your work on the road with you.

Stock up on the necessary tools

As a digital nomad, your office needs to be portable so you can work from anywhere. You’ll need a few essential tools, the most important of which is a reliable laptop. When choosing a laptop, it’s vital to consider specifications like weight, battery life, and RAM. You also may want to invest in a Wi-Fi solution like a mobile hotspot if you end up in an area without a reliable internet connection.

Once you’ve obtained all of your tech tools, there are a few digital applications that are extremely useful for on-the-go professionals. Finding a VPN solution you like can provide you with some added security, and using cloud-based productivity solutions will help you access your work from any device. If you’re moving around too often to maintain a set physical mailing address, find a digital mailbox provider. With a digital mailbox, you’ll be able to receive, track, and organize your mail wherever you have an internet connection.

Pin down your intentions

When you decide to become a digital nomad, begin by identifying the reasons behind your decision. Are you motivated by the idea of traveling? Do you want to conduct market research on an international scale? Are you pursuing a specific project? Figuring out what your goals are can help you solidify a path to pursue.

This step can also help you decide if a digital nomad lifestyle is right for you. If you thrive off of routine and prefer stability, a digital nomad lifestyle may not suit you. However, if you’re flexible, resourceful, and don’t mind having an ever-changing routine, you may flourish in a nomadic lifestyle.

Identify your marketable skills

You won’t be able to make money as a digital nomad without skills you can sell, as freelancing will likely be your primary source of income. Writing, graphic design, website design, marketing, computer engineering, and photography are all examples of popular freelance skills. If you enjoy teaching, ESL companies like VIPKID can connect you with students who want to learn English. Your path to earning a decent income may vary from other digital nomads, and that’s okay. Find the skills and remote work opportunities that work for you, and you’ll find success.

Build your business

It can take time to build your freelancing business, but once you’ve completed a few jobs, you’ll find it easier to obtain referrals from clients and make more money. Create your own website with examples of your work, and focus on marketing yourself. If you’re proficient in more than one skill, consider how you can bring your skills together and create a more holistic business. For example, if you write copy and also manage social media, consider starting your own marketing business.

Solidify your travel goals

Before you begin buying your plane tickets to your dream exotic destinations, try to establish what your travel plans are, both long-term and short-term. Remember, as a digital nomad, your livelihood relies on a stable internet connection. Heading into the depths of a rainforest or living in a remote, rural area may not be possible if you don’t have a solid Wi-Fi signal. Remember that you’re working while you travel as well. Spending days lounging on the beach won’t make you much money, and it’s vital to be able to support yourself in this new lifestyle.

Prepare for your new life

Before you pick up and leave for a new country, conduct the necessary research to prepare for your life there. Figure out what the visa requirements are for the places you’re visiting. Being in the know about visa requirements can help you determine what kind of accommodations you need, whether you’re renting or staying in hostels and hotels. After you’ve purchased your plane tickets, conduct some preliminary research on the countries you’re visiting to learn more about their customs and traditions.

The bottom line

Transitioning to a nomadic lifestyle will take time and many adjustments along the way. Every day will be a new learning experience and take you to places you’ve never dreamt of. If you’re ready to take a leap of faith and begin taking ownership of your professional life, then becoming a digital nomad could be right for you.

Guest post by Melissa Gonzalez

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