How to Get Started as a Digital Nomad While Traveling More

You want to continue traveling while having a job. Or you just returned home and you think that going back to a 9-5 job after a many months spent traveling around the world, is just impossible. You are not the only one. This is a perfect reaction of yourself after a long time on the road. I tried to do it myself twice and I failed twice. But that’s ok. I admit it: I failed to get back to a 9-5 twice. And I started working remotely. And I failed again. And that’s perfectly fine. Is part of your re-adaptation and rediscovery. I never reproach myself these failures. Actually, I never seen them as failures, but rather as – that’s not for me, I have to find a source of income which suits my goals, my professional expertise and who I am as a person.

I failed to work remotely ones, and for me the digital nomad concept was a no way to go. I needed more discipline. I completely shut down that possibility.
And one day, out of nothing, I found myself called digital nomad by my digital nomad flat mate.

I got to be a digital nomad by chance, and since my story and guidance got some friends successful in the nomadic world, I said is time to share the secrets:

  1. Explore the freelancing platforms
    A freelancing plaform I recommend is upwork.com. I have friends who work with 99designs.com or fiverr.com. You may try more of them and see which one suits you.
    Dig very deep inside the platforms to see everything they have – what kind of jobs they offer, and decide what would it be suitable for you.
  2. Update your CV including your travel experience
    Fill in the gap from your last job with an outstanding experience. Most probably the companies looking to hire digital nomads will understand and appreciate that because they may travel as well.
  3. Create your profile
    When you create your profile put everything you know to do, links to your previous work, portfolio, anything which may help you. And all the time focus on the types of jobs you decided you are good at.
  4. Personalise your cover letter
    Start with your working experience, sell your professional skills without modesty, but also tell to the future employer why are you looking for a freelancing job and where are you.
    I use to write in my cover letter the following: “I just finished a +7 months trip in Latin America, and since I felt in love with Peru, I decided to return and spend some more time here while I work in what I am good at – Project Management.”
    I remember the answers I was receiving: “Congratulations! I did the same when I was young – I moved to Thailand for 2 months and I ended up staying a year. Was the best year of my life!
  5. Search for the jobs
    Look for the digital nomad jobs which suit your career preparation, schedule and salary expectations. Don’t sell yourself for too less, or for a job you are over-skilled. This kills the market in general and without noticing you are diminishing your freelancing success.
  6. Be patient, but persevering and committed
    Searching for a digital nomad job, especially when you don’t have references on the freelancing platform may take a while. Give yourself 1-2 months, but be persevering in your search.

Some questions I’m usually asked:

  • I don’t have experience/references as a digital nomad, will I get a job? References and freelancing experience help a lot, but not all the employers demand it.
  • What will it be a good rate? First of all, check the market – check the profiles of those whith a similar experience as yours to see how much is their rate, then, if you want to do this on long term these are the basic 3 rules assuming you have a good professional record:
    • you have to can afford a good life where you are: good accommodation, food, going out, some cloths, electronics, etc
    • you have to can afford going home or changing locations any time you want, but reasonable: flying monthly from Chile to Sweden and then back to Brasil and then Australia may be ambitious to start with).
    • you have to afford health assurance and retirement plan or long term savings without any problem

Some personal recommendations:

  • Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket – get more than one contract/client at a time. This will avoid you from getting bored, being broke some times and give you extra money during busy times. You may have a good and stable long term contract and other one time projects
  • Being a freelancing may mean working from bed, but also till very late at night, deliver on time and being committed to high qualitative work and professionalism.
  • You can find freelancing jobs not only via online freelancing platforms, but also outside them. Be open and look for opportunities.

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