Digital nomad jobs have been around for over a decade and these lifestyles seem to be working as evidenced by YouTubers sharing their day-to-day adventures in another city, state, or even country.
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Becoming a digital nomad has been a “dream opportunity” for many people wanting to escape the monotony of 9-to-5 jobs.
However, after Covid-19 caused many travel restrictions, I’m sure you’re wondering: Is the digital nomad lifestyle still feasible today? If so, where can one find digital nomad jobs? And most importantly, “how much do digital nomads earn?”
If you’ve been planning to leave the rat race for digital nomad jobs this year, here’s everything you need to know.
Digital Nomad Lifestyle 101
It’s hard to pin down a single definition of what a digital nomad is, but they all meet specific criteria, such as using technology in an internet-enabled location to be able to work remotely for various reasons, locations, and length of time.
If we’re going by this definition, then even those who are working from home can be a digital nomad; whether you travel to the coffee shop downtown or to another state or another country, and whether you stay there for hours, days, weeks, or months at a time, then that’s being a digital nomad as well.
As you’ll see below, digital nomad jobs can vary widely, but an important thing that digital nomad jobs have in common is that they make achieving a proper work-life balance more attainable than conventional office-based jobs allow.
Things You Need for a Digital Nomad Lifestyle
Here are some of the important things you’ll need to have to be able to live the digital nomad lifestyle.
- Essential equipment and software — It’s nearly impossible to find and keep digital nomad jobs if you don’t have the essentials: your own laptop, a portable Wi-Fi device or any other way to get reliable mobile internet, a decent headset and web camera, and communication software to stay connected to your employer, customers, or clients.
- Travel documents — If you’re traveling outside your home country, you always need to have your passport and visa (if your host country requires it) with you, as well as the local address and telephone number of your home country’s embassy. It’s also prudent to have a scanned photo or photocopy of them in a secure location in the cloud in case they get lost or stolen.
- General skills — Aside from your chosen field, you’d need advanced computer skills since you’ll be your own technical support while traveling. You’d also need exceptional communication skills mostly for talking to your employer, employee, or clients.
- Career-specific software — Again, depending on your career, you may have to use specialized software. For instance, if you’re a graphic designer, you likely need to have Photoshop installed on your computer.
- Insurance — Getting paid to travel the world seems like such a glamorous lifestyle until you get sick in a foreign country and end up spending more than you should. Be smart and get health and travel insurance that covers you during your journey.
Other gear that digital nomads have shared that was useful to them include a portable solar charger (especially for those working near the beach), a global SIM card to remain connected with loved ones from home, and an anti-theft bag or backpack to protect your precious equipment from thieves and robbers.
Considerations Before You Live the Digital Nomad Life
Not everyone who sets out to be a digital nomad becomes successful, especially those who leave their home country. Consider the following before you uproot yourself and wander off.
Emergency funds and plans — We never know what might happen while you’re away from home. A family member might get sick, you might get robbed, or, which came true in 2020, you might find yourself stranded in a foreign country while a pandemic rages on.
You’ll want to have a plan and funds to implement that plan. Whether you’ll need to go home quickly or you’ll have to stay in a different place, you have to be ready to do that plan.
Travel fatigue — You might assume that because you love to travel back home, you’ll automatically love traveling in a foreign country as well.
However, travelers who move about constantly are always on high alert and can never pin down a routine, which will eventually take its toll.
You might say that there’s such a thing as too much flexibility.
Also, homesickness, loneliness, and burnout are very real things that many digital nomads have to fight, especially since they affect not only productivity while working but also one’s long-term mental health.
How to Start the Digital Nomad Lifestyle
Generally, there are three ways to go about this:
- Find a remote job — I recommend securing a remote job before you travel. This is ideal since it gives you stability income-wise.
- Find freelancing gigs as you go — Ideal for seasoned freelancers who have the experience and portfolio to land jobs on the fly.
- Build a business — You can turn your nomad lifestyle into a business in itself. For example, sharing your journey on a YouTube channel, becoming an influencer, or using Twitch and Patreon to your advantage. You can also build a business from scratch, such as dropshipping, blogging as an affiliate, and so on.
The best path for you depends on your skills, experience, budget, and how much risk you’re comfortable assuming.
The Best Digital Nomad Jobs
In the past, software developers had the lion’s share of remote work opportunities, but as the list of professions that can be done remotely grows longer, the range of industries becomes larger and pretty much anyone with a laptop and internet connection will be able to find digital nomad jobs.
Here are some of the best ones you can do from anywhere.
1. Virtual assistant
This job is an assistant-type position that performs a wide range of small tasks for an individual or a company.
Examples of tasks you might be asked to do include managing schedules, handling email correspondence, operating an Amazon store, and many more.
Copywriting involves writing content for the purpose of promoting a product, service, or brand.
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It aims to increase brand awareness and persuade audiences to take a particular action, whether it’s to register on a website, subscribe to an email list, or purchase a product.
Your “copy,” as it’s called, will usually be used in digital media such as emails, videos, social media, and websites.
3. Online tutor or online English teacher
You’ll need to find someplace quiet to teach anything online, and that can be a struggle.
But if you manage to find one, this type of teaching job allows you plenty of flexibility with a decent take-home pay.
Companies don’t normally require online tutors and online English teachers to have teaching certificates, but they’re definitely an advantage.
Having plenty of teaching experience is more valuable, especially if you’re going to be accepting non-English speakers or children as clients.
Are you fluent in one or more other language aside from English?
If so, you might find being an online translator to be fun and interesting.
5. Software and app developer
As I’ve mentioned, there is no shortage of opportunities out there for programmers, so if this is you, jump right in!
6. Graphic designer
Graphic designers have plenty of options as well.
They could find a company and work as a graphic designer remotely, or join the gig economy and pick andchoose graphic design projects that they’re interested in doing.
7. Digital marketer
Whether you have a marketing background or not, if you are knowledgeable about promoting, marketing and managing campaigns for a company to drive more sales, then you’ll have a lucrative career as a digital marketer.
Are you an expert at anything? Hunting? Travel? Electronics? Carpentry? Personal finance? SEO? Psychology? Love life?
You can offer your consultancy services from anywhere in the world by applying to online consultancy companies or building your own consultancy business online.
If you have stellar listening skills, excellent spelling and grammar skills, and a typing speed of greater than 60 wpm, transcription may be a good fit for you.
10. Video Editor
From YouTube to Twitch to TikTok, online video content is booming. With the increase in content comes an increase in demand for video editors to make the video content as entertaining and engaging as possible.
This may require you to buy more equipment than the usual digital nomad, but if you find steady work through a company or build a solid client base while working on a freelance basis, this can be a lucrative career for you that you can do anywhere.
11. Freelance Writer
If you love writing but not selling, copywriting isn’t the only writing career you can pursue. There are many other freelance writing opportunities available for anyone who wants them.
Non-stop written content creation means that producers of this content need people to check this content for spelling and grammar errors, syntax, and continuity.
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As an online proofreader, you might be asked to check various types of content, from blog posts to ebooks, and sometimes even homework.
Where to Find Digital Nomad Jobs
Now that you know what kind of jobs are in-demand and can be completed no matter what part of the world you are in, where do you start looking for these digital nomad jobs?
General Job Boards
General job boards have been around for years and have proven to be a good source of remote jobs if you know where to look in these sites.
- FlexJobs: We highly recommend starting your search here. This job database accepts listings for remote/flexible jobs, and they vet all the companies who are submitting listings to their company. Use the search filters to get results that would fit your skillset and circumstances.
- LinkedIn: This platform was built specifically to network and look for employment. It also serves as an awesome résumé for clients and potential employers to check out.
- Upwork: You need to create and send your pitch to companies and hope they notice it and hire you.
- Fiverr: One of the most popular gig sites around, Fiverr lets you have control over the services you want to offer.
- Freelancer.com: An oldie but goodie, this remains a favorite of freelancers who are looking for legit job opportunities.
Digital Nomad Job Boards
These job boards are specifically focused on remote opportunities. Some of them even have resources and tips within the website to help digital nomads land their dream jobs and work while traveling.
- We Work Remotely: With over 3 million visitors every month, this is one of the most popular job boards for both employers and applicants.
- Virtual Vocations: If you want to be a digital nomad within the country, this is your best bet. They comb through thousands of websites and social media to find all the best jobs.
- Remote OK: They claim to be the most popular remote jobs board in the world, trusted by leading remote companies and millions of remote workers. The opportunities here are largely tech jobs, though.
- Power to Fly: Not only do they make remote jobs available to digital nomads but they also aim for more diversity, equity, and inclusion in virtual workspaces.
- Jobspresso: They pride themselves on thoroughly researching potential employers and posting only high-quality job leads.
- Working Nomads: As their name implies, their job board specifically targets digital nomads.
Digital Nomad Jobs In A Post-Covid World
One of the biggest changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic was that workers who held “traditional” office jobs have been forced to either adapt their jobs into flexible setups or quit and find digital nomad jobs because of lockdowns.
The good news is that the demand for remote workers has increased substantially as well.
However, if you’re a digital nomad who literally travels to different cities or countries while working, then travel restrictions may cramp your style.
There’s also the changing attitude of people toward travel in general. The trend seems to be leaning toward visiting fewer locations but staying longer, plus favoring locations that are closer to family or at least closer to healthcare facilities.
No matter how or when the COVID-19 pandemic finally ends (or when humans adapt to live with it, much like we live with the flu), remote work is here to stay, and digital nomad jobs will become more of the norm than a mere trend.
After all, once workers experience not having to be tied down to a location, schedule, or even a single employer, going back to the traditional setup will seem less appealing.
Final Thoughts on Digital Nomad Jobs
Becoming a digital nomad can be a truly life-changing experience, and I hope this article helped you see the possibilities and opportunities.
With this list of digital nomad jobs and where to look for them, taking that first step is easier now than ever before.
Already working remotely? Which one of these digital nomad jobs are you considering? Share it with us in the comments!