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Digital nomads: how to live the freelance dream

The saying goes that life’s a journey, but sometimes that’s hard to believe when you’re staring out the window of a stuffy office block. Year after year can pass without venturing anywhere exciting and if you’re the nomadic type that can definitely take its toll…


The new work/ life balance

The digital revolution has shaken up the world of travel and introduced a new take on work/life balance. We know what you’re thinking – you want the Nomad Life but also want a career.  Well, luckily for you there is an answer. It turns out that if your skills fit the bill, there is a way to do both.

There’s a new breed of traveller in town who really does have the best of both worlds. Digital Nomads manage to travel around constantly whilst working online and making everyone else really jealous. It only takes a stalk of a digital nomad’s insta to realise that these guys have truly nailed it. Posting scenic beach views with the caption ‘today’s office’ might not always make them the most popular amongst their peers. But when you’re half way across the world with sand between your toes whilst you work, would it concern you?

We’ve all seen those stories on facebook; ‘Rosie quit her 9-5 job to become a freelance developer and now runs her own business from the back of a campervan.’ The Nomad Life sounds incredible, but how does that aspiration work in reality? And more importantly, how can you achieve it?

1. You’ve got to have the skills to pay the bills

One thing we’re not advocating here is a glorified gap year. If you want to make travelling with work happen, you’re going to need a sustainable client base or the ability to pick up work easily, and this will only come if you have the right skills.

Certain career paths lend themselves to travelling whilst working. Web developers and digital marketing professionals normally top the charts for the most likely to be able to travel with work due to the amount of remote work available in these roles. Sites such as People Per Hour and Upwork can be great ways to find work whilst away and if you have the right skills to fit the job description you can use this to fund your travels.

There’s evidence to prove that with the right qualifications, the remote work is out there. A recent Stack Overflow survey of coders, found that 11.2% of US respondents said they work remotely full-time.

2. Build a strong client base as a freelancer

Before you go away in search of the digital nomad lifestyle, you need to make sure that your skills are up to scratch and you can find work. If you’ve set yourself up with some amazing qualifications and are ready to go, it’s time to source yourself some clients.

First things first, you need to think about who you are and what you’re offering. Naturally, your skills will be top notch if you’ve enrolled on a course but it’s now time to reach out to prospective clients and pitch. What do you do differently? Why are you special?

Get used to answering these tricky questions and find a way to keep contacting prospects whilst you work. Whether you’re at home setting up for your big trip, or you’re already on the road, if you want to keep the digital nomad dream alive then you need to build and retain a client base.

3. Make sure it’s really for you

Before you take the leap and stage a Bridget Jones style walk out, be sure to ask yourself if the freelance life is really for you. It’s not all sipping margaritas and sending invoices, the work can be gruelling and whilst the flexibility and travel options can be really attractive, it’s not for the faint hearted.

Changing career in any way is a massive risk, but one that can pay off if your lifestyle is positively impacted. Watch these incredible career change Ted Talks to motivate you to move into the career you’ve always dreamed of.

If you want to talk to a learning consultant about the possibilities for remote work in careers such as digital marketing and software development, get in touch today to have a chat.