And You have read and heard so much about the digital nomad lifestyle and you are convinced that this is the right way of living for you, too. The only problem: You have no idea what kind of job you could do. There are surely many opportunities out there, but you are not sure where to start or what could work. Worry no more! I will show you a concept that can help and inspire you to find the perfect remote job.
Different Categories of Digital Nomads
Before we start with how you can find the perfect remote job, let’s have a look at the different ways digital nomads can make a living:
1. Corporate Remote Workers
This type of person has a normal permanent contract with a company. But instead of going to an office every day, they are allowed to work remotely. They can basically travel the world but still have the benefits (and downsides) of being employed.
Freelancers work for (often) several clients, mostly based on projects. They find these clients either on freelance platforms, such as Fiverr or Upwork, or networking or approach them unsolicited. Their income strongly depends on their projects and they usually change clients frequently.
Many digital nomads run their own companies. They are business owners, maybe founded a start-up, or generate income from all sorts of income streams, for example, affiliate marketing. This, of course, takes a lot of work in the beginning, and depending on your success, your income might not always be guaranteed. However, this probably gives you the most independence.
Ok, let’s keep that in mind while we look at a way to find your perfect remote job. We will come back to that later.
Find the Perfect Remote Job
In case you have many ideas in mind about how you could generate your income as a digital nomad but are still unsure what would be the best way, the following concept might help you.
I have found this concept in a Udemy course by Charles Du, a very successful product manager, and fellow expert digital nomad. The idea is called “Expertise Circle Framework” and is inspired by neuroscientist Tina Seelig.
You basically have 3 circles, which contain:
- The skills you are good at.
- The things you are passionate about.
- The work that people would pay you for can be done remotely.
The goal is to find the spot, where these 3 circles overlap. What skill or knowledge can be found in every single one of them?
To give you a better understanding let’s look at the circles with a real-life example: me.
- The first circle for me could include project management and business management, which I have a degree in, and content writing and traveling, which I have been doing for the past 10 years.
- In the second circle, I would write things like photography, healthy lifestyle design, traveling, and writing.
- And the third circle could be jobs in project management, marketing positions, photography, and journalism.
Let’s pick one example: Photography. This is something you can make money with remotely and I love taking photos. But to be honest, I’m not good at it. I don’t have the equipment, nor the experience or knowledge to be a professional photographer. So I wouldn’t be successful with it.
Another example: Project management: Although I have quite a bit of expertise in that area and it’s a great way to make money online, I don’t like it. It’s nothing that I’m passionate about, so in the long run, it wouldn’t make me happy.
The one thing I can find in every circle is content writing. I have experience in writing different types of content, I absolutely love sitting in front of my computer and writing for hours and it’s definitely something that I can do remotely and people pay for it.
And that was indeed my first and most successful digital nomad job. I started writing for a radio station a few years back and later created content for different websites and blogs. I have found my clients mainly in Facebook groups and on freelance platforms.
Want to learn how to become a freelance content writer? Check out the linked post!
Your Turn: Find Your Digital Nomad Job
Ok, enough theory. I want you to grab a piece of paper and a pen and write down your circles. Don’t open a Word document on your computer! And no, it won’t be enough to make the list in your head. Write it down. I’m serious!
Write down as much as you can think of. Every little knowledge and skill you have. What do you have experience in? Every little part-time job or hobby.
Every passion. What makes you put your phone away and not look at it for hours? What could you do all day and night without taking breaks? And what is the thing that fascinates you the most?
Is there any way to make money with these skills and passions online? Would someone pay you to do this kind of work?
Make sure you write as much down as possible. Take your time with this list. Once you are finished, find the spot in the middle where all 3 circles overlap. This could be a great starting point for your digital nomad career and potentially your perfect remote job.
What Are Potential Jobs?
Many people find it rather easy to come up with something that can be found in all 3 circles but struggle to find the right job for it. What exactly can you do with these skills? To give you inspirations, here are some of the most popular remote jobs:
- Web programmer
- Graphic designer
- Virtual Assistance
Even if you can’t see yourself doing these kinds of jobs, you still have so many other options of creating a remote job. It is important, that you think out of the box. Only because you have been a lawyer so far, doesn’t mean that you have to stay one forever if you don’t like your job.
Maybe your hobby is gardening and you’ve been doing it for years now and have much experience with a certain type of plant. You could make money with that by writing an eBook with it, monetizing a blog (that’s more work than it sounds like!), or creating an online course for other gardening enthusiasts.
Be creative! Even the smallest niche can be important enough for someone to pay for it. For example, there are people out there, who earn their entire income as Pinterest managers. They create pretty pins all day, schedule them, create boards, and interact with other users. That’s not a job you learn in university but find it purely by divergent thinking.
Still Can’t Find The Perfect Job?
For the very unlikely case you still can’t find the perfect remote job for you, stay calm! You don’t need to cover all 3 criteria to 100% in the beginning.
If your knowledge or skills are not as perfect as they should be to make money with your desired job, you can still take online courses and learn something new. Harvard University, for instance, offers plenty of free online courses. Practice and improve your skills until you are ready.
Or maybe you are perfectly qualified for a great remote job, but you are not really passionate about it? Well, in some situations it is best to do the job anyway. It might not be your dream digital nomad job and it surely is nothing you want to do forever, but at least it pays the bills in the beginning. You can work on finding a different job parallel to it.
Find The Right Category
Do you remember that we had a look at the different categories of digital nomads in the beginning?
1. Corporate Remote Worker
Now that you know would be the perfect remote job for you, look at the categories again and see where your potential career fits in the best. This is important because you need to know your next steps.
If you see yourself as a corporate remote worker, it might be worth asking your current employer if you can work remotely (depending on your desired job, of course). Or do some networking on LinkedIn. Or approach companies directly and ask for remote positions.
Learn more strategies how to find a job as a corporate remote worker.
In case you want to start out as a freelancer, have a look at freelancer websites. Due to the huge competition, it can be hard to find a job, so check out the linked tips that help you to score a freelancer job. You could also create a small website presenting your skills and pitching potential clients directly.
If you want to start your own business, you are pretty much open to anything. Research for similar entrepreneurs and how they are running their companies. See how they started and what makes them successful today. Don’t copy any ideas, but take others as a role model on how to run your business or how not to start your new career.
Skills, Passion, Money
Yes, it is not easy to find out how you can make a living as a digital nomad. You have to make sure that you aim for income sources, that you are passionate about and that you are skilled in. If they can also easily be monetized as a remote job, you are on the right way.
I hope this concept of how to find the perfect remote job helped you to come up with ideas for your future online job and gave you some inspiration for what to look for.
Fiverr or Upwork are great websites to work as a freelancer. It’s important to learn new and improve your skills.
Very true, Andrew! Fiverr and Upwork both have their disadvantages (like the fees or competition). But on the other hand, they offer a wide range of jobs and could be a good starting point. And learning and improving your skills can never be wrong :)