Digital nomads are a new breed of worker that are changing the structure of modern work---and their own lives. Leveraging technology to create the life you want is growing in popularity and business is beginning to catch on.
Punching the clock, eating a scheduled lunch and taking vacation time offers structure that some desire. For others, their personal, professional, and spiritual goals require a less rigid work week. For chronic nine-to-fivers, taking the leap into remote work can seem daunting and scary.
We’ve answered some common questions about remote work that may make the decision a little easier.
Are my skills transferable to remote work?
Obviously, not all skill sets are transferable to remote work. But if you’ve always been chained to a desk, don’t assume technology hasn’t flipped the script.
Designers, writers, editors, videographers, social media marketers, developers, software engineers are the most common titles you’ll see on remote work boards. However, you may be surprised to see the following remote titles (pulled from an actual job board):
If you want to work remotely but think your skills aren’t transferable, do some digging. You may find a related position that allows you the freedom you want.
Where do I find remote work?
Before we begin, it’s important to understand that some remote workers hold regular hours with a single employer. Others work on a freelance basis in which they diversify their work, employers and hours depending on the projects they are assigned. It’s up to you whether you want to work a typical 40 hour-per-week gig or a freely scheduled, project-based job.
There are endless resources for those searching for a remote gig. Your first remote job may even come from your current employer. More and more companies are turning traditional desk positions into full time remote work or offer a remote option, part-time.
Here are some of the best resources we’ve found for finding your first remote job.
UpWork is great for those who are trying to build a portfolio or dabble in multiple industries to find their calling. If you still have a full-time job, UpWork is an easy transition into the freelancing world. You never know, you may land a client that wants you to work full-time remotely after you’ve done great work for them.
UpWork does take a 20 percent cut when you are starting out, reducing the percentage over time as you build experience. Because it’s the most popular freelance platform it has become filled with employers that don’t want to pay a freelancer what they’re worth and freelancers who will work for anything. It takes a concerted vetting effort to find reputable clients.
Outsourcely is free and stocked with quality companies and clients searching for freelancers, part time and full time employees. With a customized job board based on your skills to a one-click application, Outsourcely makes the job hunting process easy.
An extremely user-friendly and individually curated experience makes Working Nomads the easiest to use on this list. Get daily or weekly job lists delivered to your inbox based on your interests. You’ll never miss a great opportunity when you use Working Nomads.
Should I propose remote work to my employer?
We don’t see why not! Some employers will immediately shut down the idea of remote work simply because it scares them. Approaching the topic with some data and show you’ve done your research. Try phrasing it this way, “Have you ever considered offering a remote work option for those in my position?”
If they still aren’t budging and embracing the world we live in, maybe it’s time you move on.
Won’t I get bored at home?
Do you want the truth? Yes, you will.
Well, it depends on where “home” is. Some digital nomads live in their cars, vans or RVs where adventure is near. Some travel around the world where new people, cultures and (of course) food is always around them. And yes, some remote workers choose to live in their hometown.
For those that work from a home office or a coffee shop, it can get both lonely and boring. Coworking is a proven way to combat both of these feelings and replace them with feelings of importance, freedom and connectedness. Read more of the 7 Benefits of Coworking here on the blog.
How will my life change as a remote worker?
Sweet, sweet freedom. Freedom is what many remote workers will tell you is the best part of their job. Freedom to travel. Freedom to exercise. Freedom to eat. Freedom to be with family. But of course, with great freedom, comes great responsibility. Working remotely still requires planning, self-motivation and stellar communication with your employer.
Your finances may change in a few ways. Being traditionally employed can be expensive; your commute and lunches out with coworkers adds up. You’ll save money on food and gas when you eliminate travel time and gain food prep time.
If your work remotely as a freelancer with W-9s, tax time can become a headache. Hire a professional to help you keep track of what you owe, so you don’t back yourself into a corner. There’s also great software you can use to help manage your freelance business.
Here are a few:
The Bottom Line
Remote work isn’t for everybody, but it can work for most. There are plenty of places to find the perfect position that offers the same salary, status and substance as your office job---without the office. Remote work is great for those that have trouble reconciling their personal goals with their professional ones. Live your dreams of more travel, more time and more freedom with remote work.