Wouldn’t it be awesome to quit your nine-to-five office job and go explore the world? Living an independent lifestyle that allows you to work remotely and make money while traveling? What you are looking for is the Digital Nomad Lifestyle.
They call us Generation Y, the generation who created the digital nomad lifestyle. We are said to be young and ambitious, but with no clear path in life. Apparently we are unable to commit to long-term jobs, relationships and other tying agreements. Some businesses might find us difficult to work with, because we seek a creative, flexible work environment. We want a job that fulfills us and we want to travel, generating a consistent income is secondary.
Born within the last two decades of the 20th Century, we grew up with rapidly developing technology, open borders and the urge to travel and see the world. In consequence, to work remotely and live a digital nomad lifestyle has become the non-plus-ultra when it comes to dream jobs these days.
This article is dedicated to all of you want who feel like hearing the words ‘routine’ and ‘contract’ could cause claustrophobic symptoms or allergic reactions. It goes to everyone who agrees that being stuck in a nine-to-five office job sounds like the worst nightmare of their shiny day dreams.
Contrary to all the skepticism you might be experiencing from family, friends or the internet, I would like to encourage you to follow your dreams and live the digital nomad lifestyle. Here is why:
Sleep and get up when you want.
This one is obvious. Not having to get up in the morning to be at work at a certain time means you can mute your alarm endlessly. The average office worker has to drag himself away from this comfortable cozy piece of soft fabric and make his way to the uncomfortable office chair to which he will be tied to for the rest of the day. But YOU could decide to stay in bed for a tiny bit longer. Does that alone not sound tempting enough?
Which leads me to my second point. Not only can you work when you want, you can also work where you want. Out of bed, lying on the ground of your apartment, in the grass of the nearby park. You could be typing away in a cute little street café sipping on your café latte or chai tea.
Being passionate travellers ourselves, to enjoy the freedom of leaving your home country to go out exploring is a huge, huge bonus. Being a Digital Nomad, all the equipment you will need for your work is a laptop and a stable internet connection.
Set your own deadlines.
I lied when I said you could work whenever you want. Naturally, work needs to be done or else it does not make money. If you decide to stay in bed all morning because you were out the night before, you might have to sit on your laptop a little longer the following evening.
The good news is that it really doesn’t matter how many mornings you have slept in. Nobody care if you were dressed in tracksuit pants and with messy hair while working on a project. What counts are results.
Choose your partners.
When joining a company, you are usually confronted with already established work ethics. You can’t choose your future team members – they choose you. You might get lucky and start working in with great people, but there is a chance that this is not the case. Your future team might consist of a bunch of douchebags.
You have little or no influence on who your boss decides to hire. No matter if your colleague’s intense perfume or ridiculously loud laughter bothers you, you’ll have to deal with it. And I am only picking a harmless example.
Should you decide to start working as a freelancing digital nomad, you are equally dependent on your partners. The right social networking and cooperation within the industry can decide over your success or failure. Nevertheless, being your own boss, you have the freedom to avoid working with people who pull you down.
“If you are not networking, you are not working.” -Dennis Waitley
Of course, every job requires unpleasant tasks and especially freelancing digital nomads usually deal with a lot of them. Accounting, organizing, pitching clients… This was not what you signed up for when you decided to become a digital nomad!?
Let’s make this clear. Working as a freelancing photographer does not mean that you will only travel the world. Nor will you snap away on a few landscapes and life as if there was no tomorrow. It also doesn’t mean that your good eye and technical skills for getting the right shot will always be enough to convince clients. Certainly not.
The good news is that even the most unpleasant tasks bring YOUR business forward, not to someone else’s. Doing your own accounting and writing proposals to your own future clients pays out. In the end, you are creating a product or service that you believe in 100%. If that’s not enough motivation, you should probably go back to your office job.
This last point is my personal favorite and might also be the reason why not everyone is made for being a digital nomad. Freelancing creates freedom for creativity, flexible work hours and environments, even lets you choose your own business partners.
If the previous points have convinced you of all the advantages this lifestyle offers, you might ask yourself what the other side of the coin is. The answer is simple: Responsibility and Insecurity. Sure, you might be less likely to get fired by yourself, but you will have to make a lot of important decisions and take full responsibility for the outcomes and potential consequences.
A, you might never have a solid pension. B, taking responsibility will help you gain confidence in your own abilities, but when you fail, you fail. Easier said than done, but the only solution for this problem is to get over it and try again. Or go back to your office job.
Become part of a community.
There is one last thing I would like to add. Choosing the digital nomad life does not mean you alone against the rest of the world. You will be surprised how many people out there share your dreams and feel your struggles.
How do I find those people? Social Media. Because we are all equally addicted to the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, this is where you find us. Just search hashtags like #digitalnomad or join a Facebook group for community support. We’re all in this together!
On a Final Note
On a final note: A normal office job is NOT less valuable than a freelancing position. I have the greatest respect for everyone who can do it and is happy about it. And I am thankful for those who do, because some jobs simply do require daily office-presence. Who would fill them if we were all digital nomads?
I hope you liked this post and that I was able to reach out to those who feel like they are stuck in the wrong working environment. Of course, I would be happy to answer on comments, criticism or questions! What is your opinion on the Digital Nomad Lifesytle?