Since the start of 2020, we've been hearing about these mysterious digital nomads. Wondering what exactly they do and why their job has become such a huge trend. In hindsight, 2020 might have been the best year for the digital nomad. When lockdown hit and most of us had to get used to working remotely, they didn't worry. Digital nomads are masters at working from anywhere in the world. And they've made a success of it. A crucial element to their success? Really good technology. And a strong internet connection. Here's what's new in the world of digital nomads...
Digital nomads and tech - perfect partners
What is a digital nomad?
In official terms, they're known as 'location-independent workers', but that phrase doesn't quite have the same ring to it. Unlike the majority of the employed in South Africa, digital nomads are not desk bound. Some don't even have managers or time sheets. No wonder this has become one of the most sought-after lifestyles. Digital nomads work like freelancers or the self-employed, and have the benefit of being able to travel while they work.
How do they do their jobs?
With a reliable internet connection and top-notch telecommunications technologies. Industries that lend themselves to work as a digital nomad include creative sectors like design, photography and digital marketing. You could also work as a consultant, coder or copywriter. As long as you're happy to conduct work remotely via innovative technology like video calling apps, online software and digital systems, you can work from anywhere. Be it a coffee shop, park bench or island paradise. One essential element? You need to be comfortable working with ever-improving technology, and confident enough to tackle projects solo.
How is the world adapting to this way of working?
As companies all over the world have had to come to terms with employees working remotely, the idea of employing digital nomads has become widely accepted. Add to that the fact that several international borders are still closed - so new employees might not be able to get to you - and the digital nomad option is that much more attractive.
Now, we're hearing about the growing demand for digital nomad visas. As digital nomads start to make up a higher percentage of the world's work force, the need for and availability of remote working visas is increasing. Countries like Estonia, Georgia, Croatia and Barbados are leading the way in providing digital nomad visas and encouraging remote work operations. Plus, they're fascinating places to explore.
ALSO SEE: Life After COVID-19: Where's Tech?
Want to make money as a digital nomad?
If you're thinking about making this your career, but need some guidance on where to start, Entrepreneur.com has come up with a list of 8 possible ways to work as a digital nomad. There are, of course, loads of other options, but these ideas are a start...
1). Publish and eBook
This may seem daunting, but just start somewhere. If there's a nagging story in your mind, write it down. You never know what it could become.
2). Start a blog
Got a talent for writing? Know your way around marketing trends? A blog might be a fun and creative way for you to earn a bit extra.
3). Join the gig economy
If you purely want to keep up with your travel expenses, try doing small odd jobs to make some cash. Things like food delivery, tutor lessons or au pairing.
4). Provide professional services
If you're an expert in your field and provide a specialised service, you should never be out of funds. Accountants, coders, designers, editors, we mean you.
5). Create online courses
If you think you have a skill others could benefit from, try turning that into an income stream. You never know who may be looking for a calligraphy course.
6). Teach English
A very popular option for people travelling to Asian countries like Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea. English experts could do very well with this.
7). Social media marketing
The thing everyone wants to master these days, but it's not as easy as it seems. The demand for great online marketing is only increasing.
8). Virtual teaching or consultancy
Online learning became a huge trend as a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns. If you're a great teacher, you could capitalise on this is a big way.
For more information, check out the Digital Nomads SA website. There, you'll find out about job opportunities, online courses and the secrets to succeeding in this unusual way of life. And if your boss want to know where you are? You've gone fishin'.