While the world is still in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s already evident that COVID-19 has changed the global landscape forever. But, don’t worry: it’s not all bad. In fact, the situation has produced an opportunity for people to decide what they want their “new normal” to look like, including pursuing a life of freedom and travel as a digital nomad.
From their skill sets to their mindsets, many digital nomads were uniquely prepared to deal with the pandemic and its economic fallout in ways their 9-to-5 counterparts were not. Similarly, digital nomads are in a good position to thrive in a post-pandemic world, which seems to finally be coming around to the benefits of location independence as well as implementing the necessary infrastructure to work from anywhere.
If you’re hoping to live and work as a digital nomad in the post-pandemic world, then these tips, strategies, and resources will empower you to make that dream a reality. There are far more jobs out there for people who want to see the world than just careers in the travel and tourism industry.
Already, it seems the post-pandemic world will be primed for those seeking location independence. Start preparing today so you can hit the ground running as a digital nomad once it’s safe to travel again.
Make a Plan to Diversify Your Income
The first step to realizing the digital nomad lifestyle for yourself is nailing down your skill set. Notice that didn’t read “decide what job you’re going to have.” While there are certainly digital nomads that work remotely as full-time employees for a company (and opportunities for full-time remote work are predicted to increase in the post-pandemic world), many current digital nomads are self-employed or freelancers.
Whether a digital nomad is running their own business or freelancing for another, most are quick to tout the importance of diversified income sources. Creating digital products, blogging, teaching English, affiliate marketing, and consulting are just a few of the ways digital nomads earn a living. Popular freelancing skills include copywriting, graphic design, video editing, web development, and software engineering. Specifically, according to job search trends, software engineer and other jobs in the tech-sector even offer the top salaries.
Digital nomads that are self-employed and freelancers alike know it’s essential to have a variety of income streams so that in the event one runs dry, you aren’t completely out of luck. It’s this eclectic approach that allows them to safeguard against times of economic uncertainty. Unlike traditional employees, digital nomads don’t have company benefits or, even, public services to fall back on.
Familiarize Yourself With Remote Work Tools
While the rest of the world had to take a crash course in remote working, digital nomads have been doing it for years. In many cases, digital nomads never meet clients or collaborators face to face. Yet, they are still able to successfully conduct business due to their fluency in remote work tools.
In the post-pandemic world, experts across industries predict that more companies will explore the possibility of having a remote workforce, on top of other incoming future business trends. To put yourself in a good position for these types of opportunities, you should be able to demonstrate literacy in using remote work tools like Slack, Zoom, Skype, AdobeConnect, and Asana. These online meeting tools let colleagues share screens, manage tasks, take notes, and collaborate as large groups.
Along the same lines, you should be able to show that you don’t need to physically be in an office in order to be productive. If you’re going to flourish as a digital nomad, then you must hone your self-discipline. Can you get the job done without a boss standing over your shoulder?
Get Your Mindset Right
Self-discipline is vital to thriving as a digital nomad, but it’s not the only mindset component you need to spend time cultivating. It’s never too early to start thinking about how you’re going to maintain your mental health while working remotely. Sound mental health is paramount for making the digital nomad lifestyle sustainable.
Some of the top strategies for maintaining mental health while working remotely include creating a routine, keeping regular hours, and taking breaks. In addition to an increased risk of mental health issues, people who work remotely such as digital nomads face challenges such as time theft, distraction, and social isolation.
Due to the nature of their online work, many digital nomads have solitary work lives. Unlike many traditional employees, they didn’t feel the pain of being isolated from colleagues when the pandemic hit. While they may not have felt lonely in that moment, it’s a familiar feeling for many digital nomads working from home bases in foreign countries.
In preparation for life as a digital nomad, you should get used to the idea of finding connection online. Without a traditional workplace or the friends you’ve known your entire life just a 10-minute Uber ride away, you will need to work harder to meet people.
For many digital nomads, that means finding groups online through platforms like Facebook and Meetup. Even if you never meet in person, online friendships can still be rewarding. Regularly connecting via messenger apps and video calls with family and friends back home is a great way to stay in touch. Plus, you can share the pleasure of your travels with your loved ones.
As with having a plan for loneliness and practicing self-discipline, a critical part of the digital nomad mindset is accepting that change is the only constant. During the pandemic, you likely experienced at least moments of uncertainty. If the not-knowing didn’t completely overwhelm you and you told yourself you’d make the best of whatever came your way, then you are a good candidate for life as a digital nomad in the post-pandemic world.