Free and Risk-Free Pathways to be a Digital Nomad

January 18, 2018

 

I started my lifestyle being a location independent entrepreneur or so-called “digital nomad” just recently. It’s something that I’ve heard of before but I never imagined I would actually do it. The idea started when I was working at a coworking space in Bali. When I was there, I met with so many digital nomads from all around the world. I made friends with some of them and they’re the ones who actually inspired me to be a digital nomad.

 

I thought to myself, what made me so different than them that I can’t do what they do. So I took initiative and look into the many ways to be a digital nomad. Let me tell you upfront, it’s going to be super hard in the beginning. You’d want to give up and feel crushed seeing rejection emails again and again in your inbox. But don’t give up, because eventually, the tide’s going to turn real soon!

I believe anyone can do it, and they are many professions that can be done remotely. Here are some of the most popular remote-based roles out there:

  • Writer — this includes all sorts of writing positions: content writer, book writer, copywriter, ghostwriter, and scriptwriter to name a few. For a content writer position, you would write blog articles, how-to guides, or web content.

  • Digital marketer — this role usually combines writing and social media marketing, making the person a jack-of-all-trades in marketing. The job scope extends from social media marketing (Facebook, Instagram, Quora, LinkedIn, etc) to community building on various online platforms.

There are so many job opportunities in these two fields, especially in the startup world. Here are some websites where you can find remote-based online jobs:

 

  • Upwork. It’s a freelancing marketplace platform that’s very popular among digital nomads. But I find it very difficult to get projects to start with and the processing fee by the platform is also quite high.

  • Fiverr. The concept is similar like Upwork, but on the cheaper end. You could probably get your first gigs easily here but bear in mind the rate is probably low as it’s mainly designed for people who’re looking for talents and services for cheap.

  • Angel List. This is the world’s largest platform for startups and entrepreneurs. Create an account here and you can apply to so many remote jobs with exciting startups from all over the world.

  • LinkedIn. By now, I hope everyone who’s looking for a job whether it’s remote or in-house, should know about LinkedIn. Basically, it’s like Facebook but for professionals. If you’re serious about getting a good job, this is the ultimate platform to find it. Create an account and start building your profile which is essentially your online resume.

  • Other websites that list digital nomad/remote jobs: Jobspresso, Tyba, Startup Jobs Asia, Dreamjobs, heet.io, Travelme.world, and Jobbatical.

At first, it seems impossible to get remote jobs. But what I find helpful is that you need to have some experience working with startups or have projects done before. A company will more likely to hire you as part of their remote team if you have a proven set of skills in hand.

 

I did internships with a few startups in the past to gain experience and build my network. Some of my remote jobs are resulted because of the past internship experience (my old boss recommend me to his friends when he heard I’m looking for a job, etc).

 

My advice is, start the transition process early. If you’re still in college it’s not a bad idea to find an internship with a good company during your last year of school. If you currently have an on-site remote job, set aside some time after work to work on an internship or project, even if it’s unpaid. This is a long and hard way, but it’s a sure way to increase credibility on your resume and to showcase that you have a drive and passion to make things happen.

Other roles with remote jobs:

  • UX Designer. This job revolves around user experience design and very remote-friendly. For example, you come up with ideas on how to make a certain mobile application to have the best features or easy-to-use navigation. Usually, this role comes with a good range of salary and you can take an online short course (it’s either free or very cheap to get certification) to learn it. Here are some websites where you can learn UX Design for free: Springboard, UXtree.

     

     

  • Filmmaker or Videographer. You make videos, in all shapes or forms. For example, you take up a project for a startup who wants to create an explainer video or a campaign video. You could also film an introductory video for a person who wants to start an online business. There are so many varieties and opportunities in this field. For this role, it’s crucial that you build a convincing portfolio. You can build your portfolio website for free using Strikingly , Wix, or Behance. Start building your online portfolio early and upload all of your past projects so potential clients can see. Here are some of my favorite filmmaker portfolio: this or this.

  • Programmer. If you are up for it, you can be a programmer! It takes about 6 months — 1 year to be good at it, sometimes more. In the beginning, it’s really hard especially if you hate maths or anything that’s technical in nature. But if you’re able to learn it, there are myriads of job opportunities and you can make a really good money being a programmer. This is the no 1 remote job out there. You can learn to programme for free on these sites: Codecademy, freecodecamp.

  • Online Teacher. Last but least, you can teach online. The ones that are in demand out there are English teaching and they usually pay around $10-$20 per hour depending on the companies. Most of your students could be from non-English speaking countries like South Korea or China. Some sites where you can find online teaching jobs: Vip Kid, Dave’s ESL Cafe (mostly on-site teaching jobs, but there are online job postings as well).

It’s never too late to start your digital nomad journey. You can begin by looking for startups or companies that you can intern with. In the meantime, build your online presence through various social media channels. Take free courses online and learn new skills or enhance existing ones. You got nothing to lose because you’ll learn new skills even if you don’t get a remote job in the end. Have faith that all these hard works will be paid off. If you’re persistent and determined, expect to have a complete freedom working remotely from any corners of the world.

This article is written based on my personal experience and there is no guarantee that this could work for everyone. If you have feedback or questions about anything, feel free to contact me. I’d love to help you to be a digital nomad or a globetrotter in general!

 

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