Digital nomads are often referred to as people who earn income remotely and mostly online, rather than from a permanent physical office. Today, digital nomads can be found in many industries such as writing, IT, media, tutoring, medical service, blogging, consulting and more. For expatriates living and traveling abroad, the flexibility and freedom of a digital nomad is the ultimate global lifestyle. In this article, we will discuss why expats are becoming digital nomads along with the careers that are ideal for this exciting lifestyle.
Why So Many People Are Eager to Become Digital Nomads – A Freelance Career in a Globalized Economy
One of the main advantages of the digital nomad lifestyle is the freedom to travel and live in new places without restrictions. This is especially attractive to expatriates who are already living overseas. Expatriates working as a digital nomad can earn money as they travel and may be open to more career opportunities. For expat spouses living abroad with their employed expat partners, a digital nomad career is often a perfect solution for not having permission to work in the new destination country.
Another reason why people become digital nomads would be differences in currency values and cost of living. For example, if you are earning US dollars and living in Thailand, you will benefit from the currency conversion as $1 USD equals to $34 Thai Baht. Therefore, your income could lead you to a better quality of life and let you have more time for leisure. As would be expected, the cost of living in many developed and third world countries can be at a fraction of the costs of living in North America or Europe.
Digital Nomad Career Options for Expats
We have compiled a list of you will need to acquire the right skills & contacts. Please check the list of skills & careers that are ideally suited for expatriates living abroad:
- Computer-Based Expats: As online businesses are growing much faster than traditional retail stores, eCommerce website platforms are in great need. Learning computer skills doesn’t mean you have to become a programmer. If you start to learn the basics of web page design, you will be able to develop a website for clients in a few weeks. You don’t need to know how to code, and there are many website templates available. Lastly, you will need a laptop with fast internet access.
- Travel Writer: To write well about travel requires passion and local friends. Travel writing does not just include destination tour guides or hotel recommendations; it is all about the stories and experiences during your stay. Many travel writers start their writing on a blog site. From there, some of them get offers of book publishing and may even be offered free travel. It is recommended to use social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to connect with your potential readers and editors.
- Writing – copy-writing: To become an online freelance copywriter requires proven similar work that you’ve done before. Additionally, you must be able to identify your ideal clientele that may be scattered around the globe. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a much sought-after skill, so there is an excellent demand for online content copywriters, such as website copy-writing, SEO copy-writing, and other forms of social media writing. Make sure to find out what type of copywriter you want to be and understand the role you are applying for, then pitch yourself to an ideal client.
- Consultants: If you are knowledgeable and experienced on a particular subject, then to become an online freelance consultant would be a good choice for digital expats. Popular industries and sectors of online consultants including education, music, marketing, accountancy, security, engineering, human resources, science and finance. In some sectors, a consultant may be required to develop a customized report and presentation online. To become an external online consultant, you may need to acquire the specific certifications and qualifications and choose your target market wisely.
- Social Media Expert: Nowadays, almost every company realizes that they need social media specialists for content marketing and multimedia management. If you know social media channels and campaigns, such as Facebook campaigns, email marketing, and social advertising, you may be able to get a job as a freelancer while living overseas. Many clients won’t mind that you are a digital nomad.
- Translator: If you speak at least two languages including your native language, a career in online translator might just for you. There are many kinds of translation works such as novel translation, movie translation, legal documents translation and conference/specialized material translation. One of the first steps to become an online translator is to get accreditation or certification. If you have a specialty in fields like electronic engineering, computer science, or biology, then you may even have the advantage of translating technical documents.
- Web Site Development: SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) specialist careers are ideally suited to digital nomad experiences – it is often viewed as a great self-employed business to run from almost anywhere. In addition to web and computer knowledge, you will also need analytical skills to deliver the results.
- Graphic Design: Using a wide range of media and software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. to design visual layouts and corporate magazines can make you a digital nomad and work anywhere you want, especially you have proven graphic designing experience. It’s a job that can easily be completed anywhere in the world with good internet access.
- Online Teaching: As the English teaching market is growing, it is a great way to travel and become an expat English teacher. Compared to traditional in-classroom teaching, online teaching has many advantages such as flexible and efficient. Online teaching allows you to teach from anywhere. Learning English is very popular in Asia. If you are a native English speaker, the possibilities are endless.
Don’t forget International Health Insurance if you are a digital nomad
For digital nomads living abroad, it is important to note that you will be responsible for obtaining your own international health insurance plans as you won’t be supported by an employer and the country you live in may have little or no medical coverage or even adequate healthcare facilities. Domestic plans may not even cover you or will only cover you in that one country, which is not ideal if you wish to travel or obtain health coverage abroad. You will probably lose your current health plan coverage if you live abroad or it may not cover overseas travel. If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you want to discuss your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the quote form. Also, don’t forget to obtain individual life and disability coverage as well if you are a digital nomad.