Update! Our ultimate travel job guide – Get Paid To Travel: 101 Amazing Travel Jobs – is now live! If full time travel is your ultimate goal but you’re not sure how to make it a reality just yet, don’t leave without reading this first!
Moving from an office job to a digital nomad lifestyle is quite an appealing change that many of us decide to make every now and then.
Back in the days when I was working in my 9-5 cubicle, I was often feeling burdened and rather suffocated.
I didn’t want to go to the office, on the other side of the city, every single day with the same schedule, with the same boss and a limited amount of days off…
I wanted to have the freedom to work from home, or from the beach, or, why not, from my parents’ place.
I wanted to travel.
So I decided I would pursue a digital nomad career without moving from my sofa and started working remotely.
Even being an enormous change, the transition was quite smooth and I soon realised that shifting to a digital nomad career was the best decision I had ever made in my life.
However, there were a few challenges I faced that I wish I had researched more about before…
Here Are The 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Digital Nomad Career
But, like all the beginners, I made some mistakes.
If I had to give some recommendations to the first version of myself as a digital nomad, this is what I would say…
1. Work. Really.
Giving up your office job for a digital nomad career does not mean giving up work at all.
Working from the comfort of your home does not mean you can work 1 hour per day.
Wake up. Make your schedule. Find what works for you and make it a routine…
Do you work better at night? No problem. Do you prefer working intensive shifts every other day than less hours every single day? Go for it. But you still need to get stuff done.
I have found myself and other freelancers moving from 40 hours at the office to a 5 hour schedule at home. Unless you have loads of money this won’t be profitable, especially at the beginning.
So just remember to keep control of how many hours of effective work you made everyday.
2. Settle Your Taxes. Now.
It’s somewhat indisputable that settling our taxes is the most boring matter in the world.
When you work for a company they basically do all the work for you. We can say it’s one of the few advantages they offer.
When you are self-employed with a digital nomad career, instead, you have to settle everything yourself. And everybody knows how boring it can be. So do not procrastinate it.
It is important, and it can cause you a fine or bigger issues if you don’t do it, or if you don’t do it correctly.
Try to do it right before something you really love. It will feel like a reward after!
3. Don’t Spend Too Much
As soon as you quit your job and transition to a digital nomad career you’ll feel like the world is smiling to you.
You are free, you can travel, you can do what you want. But don’t forget you do NOT have an income yet!
When I started myself, I was earning very little money, but I was going to fancy internet cafes because I was so excited about my new life.
After a week, I realised all the money I had earned was gone… Spent on hipster coffees and gourmet meals in co-working spaces.
Basically my work was paying what I needed to work, so it was illogical.
Even if you have some savings, don’t splurge too much, especially at the beginning.
Eat at home. Use your own internet connection. It’s less cool, but it will help you make some money at the beginning and sometimes, to focus more.
4.Check Your Competitors
They might not be your direct competitors, but successful people that made it.
Inspiring bloggers that can help you brainstorm about the direction you’re heading in with your digital nomad career. Check what they do, get ideas.
Doing an online course about content writing is surely useful, but seeing it put in practice is what makes the difference.
I was focusing my energy too much on the theory when I started, and I could not write a word when I was on my personal blog. Only after I checked several examples I could actually get started.
Like pretty much all jobs, practice is the key.
5. Give It Some Time, And Be Ready To Change
Starting your own business isn’t the easiest thing. The amount of new things you have to learn is huge and you don’t have your colleagues to back you up.
You might be finding yourself doing something completely wrong for months. Without noticing.
Don’t get stressed. Test, test, test. Check what is going well and work on it. Remember not to make the same mistakes again. And give it some time.
If you start a blog, you might see that for months you won’t earn a cent. If you are a web marketer, you might see yourself earning 6 usd per hour.
If you keep working, after a while you will gain experience, you will be faster, your income will inevitably increase and you will be 100% satisfied with your choice!
These were the things I wish I knew before I started my digital nomad career. And you? How about your experience? Are you planning to become a digital nomad? What’s running through your mind?