Imagine having no boss and no place of work, but receiving a full-time income. Picture yourself setting your own hours, answering to nobody other than your customers, and being able to work how and when you wanted, from wherever you wanted.
Now stop imagining it, and start doing something about turning it into a reality. What sounds like a dream already exists as a way of life for a lot of people. They’re called digital nomads, and they’re traveling the world earning money through their laptops while you’re reading this article.
The question of who or what a digital nomad is can be answered easily. It’s anyone who makes their living through the world of e-commerce and isn’t tied to either a home or an office. They spend a few months here and a few months there, taking on cheap rented accommodation for a while as they sample other countries and cultures.
While most digital nomads are young, an increasing number of office workers are leaving their old lives behind and embracing the lifestyle that being a digital nomad offers to them. The world is their workplace, and they enjoy the view while they’re there.
While all of this might sound idealistic (and perhaps even a little romanticized), becoming a digital nomad is easily achievable for most people if they don’t have responsibilities to see to at home, and they want to break with the conventions of normal working life.
Several different professions and jobs might enable you to become a digital nomad, but here are five that we’ve selected that anyone with a good command of the English language and access to an internet connection should be able to break into.
Gig Economy Surfer
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘the gig economy’ before; it’s bandied around a lot by the mainstream media. It’s not just one job, but a combination of several, and people who survive in it tend to split their services across several different websites and roles.
Through a website like Fiverr, you could offer your services as a bog writer or content creator. Join up with Deliveroo and start delivering food on bikes. Consider driving for Uber.
Someone whose money comes from the gig economy might perform several small tasks a day, but in the process come away with an amount that exceeds the daily salary of the average person because of the value and diversification of those roles.
Being born as an English speaker is a privilege that most people don’t exploit to its full potential. The language and communication skills that come to you naturally are highly desired in countries where they don’t.
If you’re traveling across or around African or Asian nations where English isn’t the first language, you shouldn’t find it difficult to find work as an English teacher by contacting local schools. In many cases, prior teaching knowledge isn’t required.
You’ll be provided with support and a framework syllabus; all your new employer really wants from you is your comprehension of the English language, and your ability to explain word meanings and sentence structures to other people.
Typically, the classes you teach will be populated by students who can already speak basic English. Your job is to improve their standard.
Allow us to be clear on what we mean here; we’re not suggesting putting your money on the line for an uncertain return and hoping for the best. That would be atrocious advice. A new casino is fun, but nobody plays online slots as a profession.
The odds offered by online slots games, and the unpredictable way in which wins arrive, make them unsuitable as an option for supporting yourself. Not all gambling games are as unpredictable as online slots, though.
If you could teach yourself poker, your success would come as a result of skill far more often than it would as a result of luck. There are plenty of YouTube videos that teach you how to become a good poker player, and the skills you can gain from those videos should allow you to beat most of the people you come up against while playing poker online.
Remember that you don’t have to become the best poker player in the world – you only need to become better than the average person.
Customer Service Worker
In the modern world, customers expect to be able to receive support from the companies that they buy products and services from around the clock. In practice, that isn’t always possible.
Offices have opening and closing hours, and staff can’t work every hour or every day. That’s why many companies are now outsourcing customer service roles for ‘out of hours’ support to third party freelancers – which is perfect work for a digital nomad on the other side of the world.
You could take telephone calls from customers on your mobile phone, or provide live chat support to customers through a website.
You’ll be provided training before you start dealing with live customers, and generally speaking if you encounter a problem that’s too difficult for you to resolve you can relay it on to someone directly employed by the company to deal with the following morning.
SEO Content Developer
We’ve all seen the acronym ‘SEO’ before, and most of us know that it stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization,’ but how many of us know what it means in real terms? You could find out by paying for a surprisingly cheap training course through Google or another company, and then you’d have a certificate to demonstrate that you can provide SEO services to businesses or individuals.
All SEO really involves is adjusting the text content and meta content of websites to correspond to Google’s search algorithms, and therefore place better in search results.
Once you’ve gained the required knowledge, you should be able to ensure that a butcher based in Anderlecht in Belgium turns up on the first page of Google’s search results if a customer uses the terms ‘Anderlecht Belgium’ by adjusting their web page and marketing content for them.
Search result placement can make huge differences to the financial prospects of a company, and so businesses pay big money to individuals who can positively affect their ranking.
If you’re not happy with your job, your home life, or the city you live in, there’s no reason to put up with it. It’s 2020, and you can work from wherever you please in almost any role you want. Digital nomads are real, and there’s no reason why you can’t join their number if the lifestyle excites you. Start looking into the possibility, and when you’ve done that, start planning for a better, happier life.
You may be interested in: “What is the gig economy?”