Maybe you are fascinated by the digital nomad lifestyle and wished you could live such a free life, too. But your job isn’t the typical online remote work most nomads do. But don’t give up thinking you don’t have the knowledge or experience for that kind of lifestyle.
You don’t need to be a software engineer, web designer or app developer! There are countless of great location-independent jobs everyone can do. Let’s explore the different options you have:
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Turn Your Office Job Into A Remote Job
Let’s start with the easiest option. If you are a management assistant, accountant, marketing specialist, lawyer or anything similar to that, chances are good that you can do your job remotely.
Check what kind of tasks you have that require you to be physically in the office. Is there any way to digitalize these tasks? Anyway to join meetings via video calls? Can you get access to all necessary systems from anywhere in the world? Speak to your supervisor and explain your situation. Maybe they are willing to keep you on a remote basis rather than having to replace you.
If there is no way to simply switch your exciting office job to a remote one, see if you can find your position somewhere else on a remote basis. Maybe your company can’t offer you location-independent jobs, but others do.
Have a look at my other blog post about how to find digital nomad jobs to learn about the best places to score a new job.
Location-Independent Jobs for Non-Office-Workers
People who work in an office and sit in front of a computer might have a tiny advantage to blue-collar workers. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t do any remote jobs with their skills and experience.
Let’s take a carpenter for example. Of course, this is physical work and you are usually tied to a certain location to be able to get your work done or to deliver it. But think further than that. That carpenter surely has some valuable knowledge he can share with others. Maybe he knows some great tricks on how to keep his tools clean, how to choose the right material or how to do the after-treatment.
The same goes for mechanics, hairdressers, nurses, tailors, plumbers and so on.
But how to make money with that?
People with that kind of job could, for example, start to tutor others online. There are many students who are currently on the job training and need to pass their theoretical tests.
You could take the idea one step further and start a mentoring program, where you guide your students through parts of their training or in their first months on the job.
More than that, you could set up entire online courses, which you can sell. “Finding the best haircuts for different face shapes”, could be something aspiring hairdressers are interested in and would like to take a short or extended online course.
But there are not only students who can profit from your knowledge and skills. If you are very experienced, you could work as a consultant in your field. Maybe the aircon installation in a new building complex is super tricky and causes many problems. You could help them out with your ideas and let them know, how to solve the issues from our experience.
To do all this via emails or phone can, of course, gets a bit complicated. Luckily, we all have smartphones with cameras and can take an actual look at all kind of physical problems.
You might not be able to do physical work online, but don’t underestimate your knowledge and skills!
There is so much you can do with it and help others. You only have to be a bit creative and find a way to turn your skills into a location-independent career.
Location-Independent Jobs Without Many Experiences
If the above-mentioned options don’t work for you or you don’t want to stay in your old career path anymore, the digital nomad lifestyle could be a good starting point for something new. There are plenty of location-independent jobs you can do with no or little experience on a freelance basis.
Maybe you are in the lucky position of being bilingual or you are at least fluent in another language. There are tons of translation jobs out there. Of course, the high-end translation jobs require you to have some experience or to be very familiar with certain terms. But many of them only need you to be fluent in the given languages.
I did many of them at the beginning of my digital nomad career, too. I have translated apps, websites, academic papers, and language courses. Since there was (and still is) so much competition I started with 0,02 USD per word that needed to be translated. I increased that rate over the first few months to 0,07 USD. A professional translator will, of course, charge way more for their services.
There are many blogs and websites which are in need of content writers. Some websites, mainly the ones that work with click-baiting, are not too fussed about the quality of their texts. They focus on quantity. So it doesn’t matter if you don’t have much experience as a writer. If you can write a lot in decent quality, are reliable and fast, you are qualified.
I did that kind of job, too, in the beginning. I wrote about 6-8 short blog posts a day about pretty much anything from alternative medicine to funny cat videos, workout tips, or smartphone hacks. Without any experience, I made about 500 USD a week with that. Not too bad.
Again, if you are skilled and experienced, maybe even know how to write great SEO texts, you can charge a lot more.
Learn how to become a freelance content writer in 6 easy steps.
Proofreading / Editing
If you are great in grammar and maybe skilled in writing styles or in a certain area of expertise, you could do proofreading or editing jobs. Maybe website owners need their texts double checked for spelling mistakes. Or they need to be shortened to fit in a predefined spot. Or they need someone to have a look at the mentioned facts and numbers again to make sure everything is correct. A great job for detail-oriented people.
Another one of the location-independent jobs that kicked off my career as a digital nomad was a position as a virtual assistant. I worked for an entrepreneur and helped him with both his business and private life. Typical tasks would be scheduling of appointments, booking of flights, research, controlling, or administrative work.
Some employers want you to be experienced. But often the tasks are not rocket science and can be done by most people. You definitely need skills like being organized, reliable, patient, efficient, being able to work independently and be a problem-solver.
I have seen people, especially in Asian countries, charging as low as 4 USD per hour. I started at 20 USD, but I have also seen assistants who work for 50 USD per hour and are successful with it.
A customer service representative is another great job you can do online while traveling around the world. Many companies need people to reply to customer emails or to communicate in chats. Often you don’t even need to talk with them on the phone. A brilliant basis for location-independent jobs!
While some require you to have experience with certain ticket tools or systems, others want you to have knowledge about their products, e.g. mobile devices. However, they usually have their processes and key customer requests well documented for you to learn. So as long as you are super friendly, willing to learn and have a professional writing style, you can do most of the positions.
Social Media Manager
Don’t get me wrong, there is a reason why professional Social Media Manager are well paid and need much experience and intuition. It’s more than just hitting the like-button every once in a while. But there are many start-ups or blogs which simply need someone to take care of their daily activities and can’t afford a professional strategist in social media.
For example, there are people who specialize in Pinterest. They work full time as Pinterest assistants and create all day long stunning pins, prettify your Pinterest profile and make sure that you get much traffic through this channel.
Others focus on Instagram and make sure your profile gets more and more follower, likes and comments. Yes, there are automated web robots (“bots”) which can do the job quicker and cheaper. But often their usage is against the guideline of the social media platform and they are not flexible/personal enough and thus, not as successful as a real person.
Since hardly any company can get around social media today, there is much potential.
Check out this blog post to find more location-independent jobs you can do at an entry-level.
Make Money With Your Hobbies
The mentioned location-independent careers are still not the right thing for you? Ok, how about this: Try to make money with your hobby, your passion, the one thing you are a secret expert in.
Books / EBooks
Maybe you love cooking or gardening. Write a book/ebook about a niche in that area and try to sell it. That could be a book about how to find the best kitchen appliances, 10-minute gluten-free recipes, 99 tips for beautiful orchids or how to reanimate seemingly dead plants. Be creative!
Since we’re talking about books: Check out this reading list with the most helpful and motivating books for digital nomads and entrepreneurs.
You could also start a blog about the things you are passionate about. Pick a niche you enjoy writing about. Maybe you are into classic cars, birdwatching or tasty wine? Maybe you have a disease and want to show other patients how to live with it? Or you want to adopt a child from South America and document your experiences for others with the same plans? There are so many things to write about.
If you manage to get a lot of people reading your blog, you could consider using affiliate marketing or Google AdWords to monetarize it. But please be warned that it takes a lot of time and effort to be able to make a full income with a blog.
If you are not so much into writing, make videos. Many people prefer watching videos over reading anyway. Again, your possibilities are endless: 10-minute workouts for your lunch break, do-it-yourself ideas for first-time moms, MS Office hacks for dummies.
Whatever you chose, you can either sell the videos or place them, for example, on YouTube and get paid for ads or product placements.
You have always been interested in photography and already have the right equipment? Great! In case you want to travel the world this is a great opportunity to get some amazing shots of landscapes or portraits.
You could take any type of pictures and try to sell them to stock photo websites, such as Shutterstock. You could also try to work for tour companies or hotels and take photos, which they can use for marketing purposes.
Thanks to online shops, dropshipping and such you don’t need to have a physical store anymore if you want to sell products. Whatever product you want to sell, make your supplier send it to your customer directly, so you don’t need to take care of the storage, packing or transportation. Your main job is to sell the goods (along with minor customer service, accounting etc. of course).
Get Training along the Way
These location-independent jobs require little to no experience in the area. If you are still unsure about your skills or knowledge, you can always learn more about it as you go. There are free tutorials about literally anything in this world on the internet. Even Ivy League university Harvard offers many free online courses.
You want to learn how to start a blog, how to create an online course or how to improve your social media skills? Google it! There is heaps of advice available and you can easily learn about it while traveling.
Kick Off Your Location-Independent Career Today!
As you can see, there are plenty of location-independent jobs you can do without being any type of IT expert. People with all kinds of careers and experiences can live a digital nomad lifestyle. You only have to think out of the box, be a bit creative and see how you can turn your old job into a remote one. I hope I could give you some ideas and inspiration to help you find a potential new job opportunity.
If you are looking for jobs that send you traveling, have a look at my other blog posts which shows you ways you can travel and make money at the same time.