Often the biggest roadblock for those considering a digital nomad lifestyle is how to fund it. Fortunately, one of the best parts of the lifestyle is that your bills are often dramatically reduced, so you actually need much less income in order to make it work.
That being said, in most cases, you’ll still need to pay for transportation, lodging, food, and activities. So, finding a well-paid job that allows you to work fewer hours and/or work from anywhere as well as earn enough money to support your desired lifestyle is essential.
Naturally, finding almost any type of job requires that you start with a polished resume or portfolio that showcases your skills and experience. You can save time and make it look professional by starting with using a resume template. It easily allows you to pick your preferred template, edit your resume, create multiple versions for different industries, and quickly change the color scheme and layout.
Once you’ve got your resume refreshed, it’s time to start actually looking for jobs. Here’s where to begin:
Take a Remote Full-Time Job
Despite the many negatives of the pandemic, one positive outcome is that remote work is much more widespread and accepted now, which can help pave the way for a smoother transition from traditional 9-5 work to a digital nomad lifestyle. For example, if you already have a job that you love and your employer doesn’t mind you working remotely, you can simply ask if they mind whether you travel. You might end up working some strange hours with time differences, but in many cases, work can be completed at any time of day so long as deadlines are met.
If your job isn’t conducive for travel or remote work but you enjoy the financial stability of holding a full-time job, you can always search for full-time remote positions that would better suit the digital nomad lifestyle. You can easily search for remote jobs on traditional job search platforms such as Indeed, LinkedIn, and so forth.
Working full-time may cut into your adventure time a bit, but it’s completely feasible so long as you secure a place to stay that has a workspace and an adequate wifi connection.
Search for Freelance or Contract Work
If you like the remote work idea but don’t want to commit to a full 40 hours per week, consider freelancing or taking short-term and/or part-time contract work. Especially if you have a skill set that lends itself to remote online work, you can earn substantial hourly rates freelancing. The flexible schedule makes it easier to travel more frequently, take time off when you need it, and scale your workload up or down at will.
There are so many different types of freelance work available that it would be impossible to even begin naming them all here. However, some industries lend themselves more easily to travel than others. For example, recording voiceovers often requires quite a bit of gear that isn’t necessarily packable. Writing, on the other hand, only requires a laptop.
Some of the most popular freelance jobs for digital nomads include graphic design, video editing, writing and editing, being a virtual assistant, customer support, social media management, and transcription.
Freelancer sites like Fiverr or Upwork are great places to look for this type of work, or you can simply search ‘contract work’ on Google as well.
It can take some time to build up your freelance practice, especially if you do not have a lot of experience, a substantial portfolio, or glowing reviews from previous clients/employers. However, you can start freelancing as a side hustle as you prepare to dive into the digital nomad life in order to build up your business ahead of time. Do careful research to avoid the common pitfalls!
Work Seasonal Jobs
Although many seasonal jobs don’t strictly meet the ‘digital’ requirement of digital nomadism, they can be a great way to supplement other income and get you out from behind the computer now and again. And, sometimes there are seasonal remote/online jobs available, such as when retailers beef up their customer service teams around holidays by hiring seasonal workers or around tax time when virtual accountants are in high demand.
However, many of the most popular seasonal jobs for digital nomads include the sugar beet harvest (and, less commonly, other harvests), campground hosting, seasonal warehouse work (Amazon will often supply you with a campsite while you work for them), and winter mountain resort work (ski lift operator, ski instructor, etc.).
You can also look for seasonal jobs at national parks, summer-specific jobs like lifeguarding (lifeguards are in very high demand at the moment), guiding for outdoor adventures, and so forth.
CoolWorks is a good place to look for ‘outdoorsy’ seasonal work, or you can use a traditional job search website and specify that you want a seasonal job for more corporate-type positions.
Many digital nomads enjoy working hard for a few months out of the year to replenish their travel fund, then working remotely on a very part-time basis or not at all for the rest of the year while they go on adventures. If you don’t like the idea of having to balance work and travel at the same time, this can be a great solution.
Think Outside the Box
Finally, you can opt to create your own job, whether it’s digital or not. For example, if you want to work remotely and have an entrepreneurial spirit, you could become an online coach, start a blog, monetize a YouTube channel, sell digital downloads, and so forth. This type of work will of course require some heavy lifting at the outset, but being your own boss certainly has its perks.
Alternatively, you can start a mobile ‘sticks and bricks’ type business, such as selling handicrafts or homemade goods. Or, if you are a musician, you can teach virtual lessons, pick up gigs as you travel, or even make a hefty sum busking on the street.
The bottom line is, there is a well-paying gig for almost every digital nomad out there, no matter how, when, and where you prefer to work. The sky’s the limit!