“To travel is to take a journey into yourself.” - Danny Kaye, a Digital Nomad...
The evolution of the digital world has smashed down barriers when it comes to the world of work.
No longer do we need to sit chained to one set place of work. No, in the modern world, we can produce, create, connect and collaborate anywhere in the world - well, as long as there's a WiFi connection.
In short, we are living in the age of the digital nomad - and it's a wonderful thing.
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What's a digital nomad then?
Basically, digital nomads are professionals that free from the constrictions of geographical location - and they operate in all industries from the creative to analytical to the logistical.
Digital nomads use WiFi, smartphones, voice over IP, and cloud-based apps to do their job remotely wherever they decide to lay their hat. Whats more, digital nomads sometimes use coworking spaces, cafes and house sitting arrangments, as well as shared offices in big cities around the world to make their money.
Remote working said to have a positive impact on the environment - it also reduces stress and helps to boost morale. In fact, a recent study shows that 82% of telecommuters reported lower stress levels.
Sound good, doesn't it? If you’re reading this and dreaming about becoming a globe-trotting digital nomad, here are few tips to help you on your way...
Select your niche or industry
One of the first steps you need to become a real digital nomad is deciding what your niche is, or the industry in which you want to work. If you would like to take your current career on the road, as it were, good for you - you're already halfway towards digital freedom.
If you're hungry for something new, making a definitive decision will help you form the foundations of your remote working journey.
Pull up a pew, look at which industries best suit your skills and expertise - then decide which skills you already have and which ones you'll need to gain.
If you want to become a freelance content writer, for instance, you might need to sharpen up your copywriting and analytical skills, or if you want to design cool graphics and you're an amazing illustrator, you'll probably need to learn how to translate your creative talents to a digital medium or two.
Gain the knowledge you need to be a digital nomad
When it comes to digital, in particular, knowledge and certification are key.
Those who have earned professional credentials or certifications receive starting salaries or day rates of up to 10% above the market average. That's a fact.
Not only will taking renowned digital courses and achieving professional certifications in your chosen industry help you earn more, but it will also give you the skills and confidence you require to take that giant leap towards enjoying the existence of a digital nomad.
Look at the skills you need, find out the entry requirements of the role you’re looking to pursue, sign up for the right courses, shout about them on social channels like LinkedIn and you’ll be one step closer to nomadic success of the digital persuasion.
Find the best tools for the job
When it comes to being a successful digital nomad, networking and self-sufficiency are so important.
For personal organisation and connectivity, apps like Evernote, Skype and Google Calendars will give you the power to set your schedule, reach out to clients and meet deadlines.
For output and creativity, Google Drive is awesome as it allows you to create a bunch of documents before sharing them with others no matter where they are on the globe, in an instant. It's also collaborative so you can make comments, improvements and edits to the document in real-time if you wish.
For content management and team collaboration, platforms like Trello prove effective as you can track the progress of your work and communicate freely through visual threads.
Last but not least, if you need a hand managing your accounts, there are plenty of financial tools out there designed for those with little or no accountancy skills.
Do your research, choose your digital tools, take the time to learn how to use them and before you know it, you’ll be a mean, lean digitally nomadic machine.
Promote yourself and get experienced
Before you strut off into the sunset, laptop in hand, you'll need to pick up a contract or client and promote yourself, as well as your expertise.
To start with, you'll need to get your promotional affairs sorted out…
- Purchase a domain name for your website and use a user-friendly CMS like WordPress to build a functional website.
- Create your social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram are essential.
- Collate all of your digital assets including branding imagery, jpegs, videos and any other digital content you consider valuable.
- Publish or place your assets across your website, professional profiles and social media channels.
- Sign up to all good industry job networking sites in your industry.
- Frequently check out job boards (there are lots out there and you can find them with Mr Google!) and pitch for jobs using your website, portfolio and social media channels - basically anything that can boost your credibility.
Once you’ve built a solid online presence and gained a little professional experience, plus a few clients, you’ll be ready to embark on an exciting and unforgettable journey as a top class digital nomad.
Becoming a digital nomad is no easy thing, but if you follow our advice, utilise the digital tools around you, persevere, stay passionate and keep on learning, the rewards will be endless. Good luck guys.