After nearly two years of pandemic fatigue it’s normal for young people to shy away from the idea of traditional desk jobs and 9-5 lifestyles.
However, most people assume that if you’re in the tech or digital world, you’re required to be at a desk or in a cubicle. Digital nomads are changing this trend.
What is a Digital Nomad
When I was in university, I studied anywhere I found wifi. That meant I sat in cafes until closing, hit the library between classes, sat outside on my campus lawn, worked from my bed, and had late night study sessions in my dorm hallway with other stressed students.
Digital nomads are the more adult, more put together version of college students looking for a place to study. They are remote workers who adapt to their surroundings and travel to different locations during the work week. Digital nomads work in coffee shops, public libraries, co-working offices, and anywhere else that’s conducive.
Common Jobs for Digital Nomads
Since the pandemic, remote work has become all the rage. Of course, some jobs are much easier to do from home than others. Generally, digital nomad job categories fall into four sectors–writing, creatives, business, and languages. Within each category there are numerous career paths.
If you’re passionate about writing, you know inspiration is everything. Sitting behind a desk may hinder your creative process. To avoid monotony and get the juices flowing, many writers work as digital nomads.
This can include occupations like:
- Copy or content writer
However, freelance writing can be a competitive and grueling field to blindly jump into. It may help to work for someone else first. Create a portfolio, establish a personal website with sample pieces, and get some advice and recommendations before diving in.
If you’re nervous about jumping in alone, oftentimes, you can work as a digital nomad, while still adhering to a publishing schedule and completing tasks assigned by an employer. Talk to your employer about remote or hybrid writing work.
Like writers, creatives need diverse experiences. Getting out, moving around, and making creative connections can only improve the quality of your work.
Creative job fields include:
- Graphic design
- Social media marketer
Jobs in this field are relatively new and unexplored, so chances are, it will take some time to get where you’re hoping to be. Don’t be afraid to pursue creative projects, while working a mainstream job. It’s important to build your reputation and accept some failures, while working your way up. All artists struggle at some point in their career, so don’t be discouraged, just be realistic with your goals and work hard!
If you’re business-minded you’re likely always looking to make connections. A digital nomad lifestyle is often a great fit for hyper-ambitious individuals who spend a large chunk of their day working–because you can do it from anywhere!
Common business-centered jobs for digital nomads include:
- Recruiter / Headhunter
- Digital Marketing Manager
- SEO Expert
- Web Developer or Programmer
Another commonly acquired job for business-mined digital nomads is a virtual assistant. Many people enjoy the flexibility of assisting one or many companies and individuals by organizing their day to day online. Working as a virtual assistant is a great way to network and it can present lots of opportunities for career growth. This field can also allow you to hone your skills as an intrapreneur–an employee who is tasked to develop or complete innovative ideas within a company or project. Intrapreneurs can bring their vision to life, while banking on the security and resources of an established firm or company.
If this category surprised you, you’re not alone. Surprisingly, there are numerous nomadic employment opportunities available to those with a passion for learning and teaching languages.
- Remote or travelling English as a second language (ESL) teacher
- Impact Design Specialist
Having employment as a translator or ESL teacher may also mean travelling and temporarily living in other countries. Knowing a foreign language isn’t enough to be able to adequately translate. So make sure to get certified and have some work experience under your belt before migrating and looking for work. The American Translators Association offers certification in 29 different languages, so make sure to do some research and look into the right certification to include on your resume.
How to become an established digital nomad
If you’re currently working for an established company, speak with your superiors about moving to a remote or hybrid workstyle. If that’s not possible, there’s no shame in honing your own skills before venturing out on your own.
Getting to a place where you can work anytime and anywhere will take a lot of hard work and rejection. So don’t be discouraged if the nomad working life is initially harder than you expected.
Why work as a digital nomad?
Apart from the flexible working hours, digital nomads acquire so much life experience in their day to day working environment.
In this occupation, individuals are adaptable and disciplined, working in different surroundings, at any hours of the day. Sometimes it can be difficult to motivate oneself to work without supervision, but digital nomads set goals for themselves, and learn to hold themselves accountable.
If you’re looking for an occupation with challenges, adventure, and freedom, consider joining the world of digital nomads!