The first thing that most people struggle with when they're considering becoming a digital nomad is deciding where to start because there are so many choices to make and skills to develop to succeed as a digital professional. We know sometimes it's hard to know which is the right path to take, and that is one of the biggest struggles most of us face when making decisions about our professional path but at last, it comes down to deciding to take a big step in the direction of your goals and the lifestyle you desire.
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One of the best places to start when you want to become a digital nomad is to understand what you are passionate about, what motivates you to become a digital professional, and whether this lifestyle truly works for you. To succeed as a digital nomad you need to experience high levels of interest, passion, and compromise for your work. Also, you need to consider if you have the adventurous spirit that will enjoy moving from one location to another frequently and the autonomy to work remotely. The best way to know if this lifestyle is for you is by doing introspection and deeply understanding if you feel comfortable with the ups and downs of being a digital nomad, researching for testimonies, and understanding how your life might change. You need to consider the three types of freedom a digital nomad can benefit from: time, location, and finances.
Lastly, remember: that taking enough time to make the right decision will eventually minimize the risk of getting on the wrong path.
What exactly is a digital nomad?
Digital nomads are self-employed persons or employees that work remotely and decide to travel from one location to another while working. In addition, a digital nomad is a person who has good income streams in the gig economy, one of the most common features among all digital professionals is that they end up working from abroad for quite a long term. They don’t stay in a single place and they move from one place to another, depending on the gig and the locations they decide to enjoy.
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The level of income can vary from person to person, so the main objective of becoming a digital nomad is to have the freedom to manage your time and the privilege to work from different parts of the world. In short, a digital nomad can be a person who is working from a coffee shop, from home, or from a coworking space. Some digital nomads even travel around countries while some just travel across different states within the same territory. Regarding their accommodations, some stay in guesthouses, hotels, camps, or even in a sailboat, for those adventurous. Websites like Airbnb and Jovago provide prompt and convenient options that these digital nomads also usually benefit from.
Pros and cons of working from abroad
Working from abroad as a digital nomad can have mixed consequences, advantages and disadvantages depending on the needs and appreciation of each professional. Living and working from abroad can have an impact not only on your personal life but also on your professional career too. Being a digital nomad has pros and cons that need to be analyzed deeply before making a decision.
- The benefits
There are endless benefits of working from abroad, as a digital nomad you get the freedom to enjoy many new cultures, places, and landscapes. Secondly, you can explore multiple living options, from cheap guesthouses to the most expensive hotels, the alternatives are plenty and you will be able to decide which one fits you the most. Also, by moving abroad you can get to know different cultures and meet people around the world, which will mean that you will increase your contact network. At last, by becoming a digital nomad you will be able to open your mind, understand different cultures, and develop a multicultural and adaptable mindset.
Working abroad will widen your mind, make you more conscious of the different realities that exist in the world, it will raise your sense of well-being, and believe it or not, improve your creativity and ability to innovate.
By self-regulating your working schedule you can get to know some of the most amazing places in the world, enjoy them, and have a better work-life balance.
- The downsides
Working as a digital nomad who has the freedom to work from anywhere is a dream for many of us, but every decision has some downsides. Living a nomadic lifestyle demands that the person is continuously on the move, which can be exhausting, and since there is a constant change of location, it can create some instability or the feeling of a lack of routine.
Also, digital nomads must battle loneliness, and sometimes it can be hard to establish and keep relationships, regardless of their nature: personal or professional. While working abroad, you will live far away from your family and friends.
The constant movement can affect your productivity and involvement in your work, also it can take a toll on the growth of your business and your capacity to network with potential allies and customers.
Another significant manner you need to evaluate is the tax regulation you will be subject to and whether it is in your best interest.
Succeed as a digital nomad by developing these skills
Some people might think that if they know how to type and work on their pc, it could be sufficient to get them started on a remote job from anywhere, and they might be wrong.
Working remotely implies much more than working on your computer, it demands you to develop personal skills that allow you to manage yourself and your work better. Fortunately, today we have access to plenty of digital tools that will improve your work performance and help you ease your path as a digital nomad: time management apps, online networking groups, productivity apps, project management software, and talent marketplaces to find projects, among other tools.
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Life as a digital nomad might be challenging, but for sure, it might be a great source of fulfillment and well-being. If you´re working as an independent advisor or fractional executive, join our community!