“I am half-way to becoming a location independent worker. I currently live in Berlin because it is practically a toolbox for innovation and social entrepreneurship”, says Jorin Eichorn. Jorin is a budding social entrepreneur from Germany and co-organizer of the event Economadia, an upcoming conference to connect digital nomads with the ideas and principles of ecovillages. There are many young people like Jorin who are increasingly opting for a nomadic lifestyle while they make a living online. Ever wondered how one becomes location independent? Here’s a guide on getting started.
Who’s a digital nomad or location independent worker?
A digital nomad or location independent worker relies mainly on the Internet for his or her work and usually takes up short-term freelance assignments, which can be done from anywhere. Such people often move from place to place. They may have a base in their home country and go to other countries for a couple of months every year.
What do I need to get started?
Anyone who knows how to use computers and has a set of digital skills can try this out. Here’s what you need to do:
- Identify what you want to be. Do a free-writing exercise about your passion. Check out Iversity’s Discover Yourself: Build a Career and Make an Impact!
- Select and develop skills. Skills can be basic like data entry, admin assistance, and transcription services. In-demand skills include digital marketing, graphic design, coding and copywriting to name a few. You can learn these skills by joining an online course (free or paid) on online learning platforms like Coursera, edX, Iversity and Udemy.
- Once you have the skills, you need practical experience. Start taking up small jobs in your local neighborhood or via your existing network (even family and friends).
- You can even build your personal brand. Create a blog or website advertising your services. WordPress is the easiest option.
- Get testimonials and use your own picture to give you credibility.
- Set up a bank account and PayPal account to receive payments from clients.
- Register your services on websites, which offer work to freelancers like Fiverr, Freelancer, Upwork, Elance and Guru.
- Congrats if you landed your first job! There are many ways to organize and manage remote work – master the Google drive and try out Trello if you like working with boards, lists, and cards format.
- Meet your deadlines and ensure you get paid.
- Manage your time, health and sanity while you do this!
How do I know if this is the best path for me?
If you are someone who wants freedom, flexibility and would like to travel, this lifestyle might be suited for you. Although it is not a 9 to 5 job, it can be pretty intensive with tighter deadlines. One needs to have the ability to deal with pressure.
What are the benefits?
- You can travel the world and work from where you like.
- Developing and improving digital skills.
- The variety of work and exposure to new cultures keeps you inspired.
- Keeping up with the demands of the job market because the future of work is online.
- Living minimally with basic belongings.
And what are the challenges?
- Following a disciplined routine and being productive.
- The areas you might go to can be tourist destinations with higher prices.
- Regular and hi-speed Internet connectivity may not be available.
- Sustaining healthy relationships with family, friends, and community.
- Not knowing the local language and limited interaction with locals.
If a career like this excites you, now is the time to start. Remember, start small but start something!
Contributed by Vandana K