Life as a digital nomad can be very rewarding, but it takes discipline to make it work. If you have the right combination of skills and personal qualities, you might be able to trade the corporate world for a working life at whatever location feels best at the time. Breaking down the term, we get “digital,” meaning a person whose work is done on the internet, and “nomad,” referring to someone who does not have a permanent residence but moves from place to place for new experiences and excitement. In this article, we take a look at digital nomad pros and cons and what qualities you need to possess to be successful at working remotely.
High-Level Social Skills Are Necessary
There are two very important ways in which a digital nomad must have great people skills–as a traveler and as a remote worker. Travelers must depend on solid communications with strangers, whether in asking directions, looking for food or lodging, or just getting some local knowledge. Nomads meet lots of new people continuously, and although not every new acquaintance might be pleasant, more often than not nomads benefit from being open and friendly with the people they meet along their path.
The “digital” side of the nomad’s life requires powerful networking with other people in their industry around the world. Digital nomads form communities and join online and local meetups wherever they are visiting.
Nomads Must be Flexible and Travel Light
World travel requires that you expect the unexpected. Experienced travelers know that their plans can change at any moment, and have contingency plans in mind in the event that they need to move along sooner rather than later. Digital nomads do not travel like ordinary business travelers. They adapt to traveling with only the most important things they need for work and the social events they expect to take part in. Most nomads only bring the things they can easily carry on their travels, and if they buy any large or valuable items they ship them back home or to a friend. The other important part of traveling light is understanding that many new relationships must be temporary. Digital nomads must be suited to balancing their desire to travel with emotional attachments.
Work-Life Balance is the Centerpiece
The major attraction of a digital nomad life is the ability to earn a living no matter where you are while enjoying travel opportunities that traditional workers cannot. The nomad lifestyle requires that you find a healthy balance between working and enjoying being on the road. Digital nomads must be effective self-managers with strong time management skills.
Additionally, a nomadic worker has to accept the reality of the sometimes sporadic nature of remote work and remember to absorb all of the benefits their travels present. Digital nomads who learn to “make hay while the sun shines” usually find that they have plenty of unscripted time to take in the things their current local scene offers.
Getting back to traveling light for a moment, digital nomads typically focus their spending on accommodations, recreation, and good food. Additional income is usually invested in the future, and large-ticket items are not usually compatible with the nomadic lifestyle. The digital nomad is naturally attracted to living on a small budget that still provides safe and enjoyable traveling. Digital nomads are the types of people who are more attracted to adventure than luxury.
Commitment to a 100% Online Professional Life
The digital nomad is always online when working. They are experts in the use of all types of digital communications and maintain consistent contact with the people they work with. No matter what time zone they are in, digital nomads must establish a process of quickly and efficiently responding to messages and staying in touch with business partners.
Digital nomads must be proficient at maintaining the hardware and software they use in order to maintain their online status no matter where they are at any given time. While spontaneity is a central part of enjoying the digital nomad life, careful planning for adequate internet access at all times and places you visit is necessary.
Making a decision whether or not to live a remote work lifestyle should begin by examining digital nomad pros and cons and if you are able to run a successful freelance business in a remote setting.
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