Not so sure about which digital nomad career path to take at the moment? Fret not because you’re in good company. So many remote workers and traveling freelancers started in the same spot as where you are right now – unsure, and maybe with a touch of anxiety. You may have a significant history of being employed and working in an office, but literally getting out of your comfort zone will take some courage and thorough soul-searching.
A former mentor suggested that I do this before I can take the plunge into freelance (or a remote career) waters. I’m here to help you in turn. I was pretty much in the same boat when I found myself dissatisfied with my then-work environment and career arc. I realized I was a digital nomad wannabe who wanted to work without borders and bosses breathing down my neck. But before I can even pack my bags and tell loved ones of my decision, I had to assess where I was in my career – and if said career was viable for me to even embark on a remote freelance journey.
Thankfully, my work proved to be one of the most common digital nomad jobs today. That’s an essential first step – knowing if what you specialize in will help sustain your travels while keeping you financially stable at the same time. So go ahead and see if your current career allows you the option of moving around a lot while maintaining clients. The five jobs listed below can hopefully serve as a guide to you.
The first person I approached and asked about how to be a digital nomad was an SEO specialist who used to work in the office with me. He resigned six months before our company downsized, but the rest of the staff would hear from him once in a while from some exotic locale. When I was feeling especially down about work, I asked to talk to him about his digital nomad experience, and he gave me several useful tips on how to go about it.
Apparently, those with some knowledge of online marketing are often the first ones to embark on a remote career path. There are so many online platforms to use for affiliate marketing that all you will need is a laptop, a good and steady Internet connection, and a knack for generating traffic. But the good news, as he told me, was that SEO could be learned as a digital marketing method by practically anyone. So if SEO work is something that interests you, today’s a good time as any to start learning!
Graphic designer and photographer
A lot of my friends who work remotely are graphic artists/designers or photographers. Nowadays, this kind of work no longer needs a big set-up to execute the type of art and design needs for clients. Some of the preferred tools of a digital nomad designer nowadays include professional tablets, laptops, digital cameras, and digital stylus pens. Since practically every website needs a graphic designer or a photographer for original images, the demand for this particular remote job is high. All one needs is a flat surface anywhere in the world, coupled with artistic/creative skills and a keen eye for detail.
Bloggers and influencers have earned the reputation of “making or breaking” establishments such as restaurants, hotels, beach destinations, and events; as well as products and services. Small wonder they make up a significant percentage of those who choose to work remotely or travel a lot for their career.
The essential tool for this job is a laptop, accompanied perhaps with a trusty camera (even a smartphone one will do), a menu of social media platforms, and a knowledge of how to monetize their blogs and accounts. The best way to do affiliate blogging would be to take on a niche that is close to your heart, or you are passionate about. That way, you will be able to review and create content on products, services, and establishments that cater to your particular niche – then influence your readers about them in turn.
Once you become really good at what you do (complete with certification and other proofs of expertise), you can do consultancy work or be a coach. Professional coaches and consultants are in-demand these days in practically any location on the map. This is why businesses and corporations often invest in workshops and talks with consultants. It’s nothing for them to spend on the airfare, lodging, and the talent fee of a career coach to hear about the wisdom borne from years of experience and carefully-honed expertise.
And here’s me! I never thought I would be leaving my little desk with the expanse of beige wall in front of it to be able to travel and write at the same time. But the moment I made up my mind, it felt genuinely liberating. And so off I went, out of the office and into the world, with my passport, laptop, and army of Internet gadgets.
Creating content or copy has never been in more demand globally, allowing writers to travel overseas and observe operations or witness events before documenting them in verse. It’s a skill open to anyone well-versed in a language (or several), and with enough command of it to persuade readers into patronizing a product, service, or an idea. While a lot of people think that being a good writer means starting early, I discovered that this is not necessarily true. Having proper grammar, spelling, and the ability to construct coherent sentences are basic musts. However, the copywriting part of it (as well as all the marketing strategies that go with creating content) can also be learned.
What is a digital nomad but someone who has found a way to travel while pursuing their passion (and creating an income from it? This holds for the five most common digital nomad careers I described above, as well as popular ones like app and software development, sales and marketing, language and other academic tutors, and more. So if you find yourself with a skill that is viable for the life of a digital nomad, I say, why not go for it?