digital nomad sitting at the airport

How to Become a Digital Nomad With No Experience

The struggles and hassles of daily commute are increasing each day, and with the confinement and limitation that the traditional office cubicle imposes on the average worker, it is no surprise that more and more employees are interested to learn how to become a digital nomad instead. 

The digital nomad life is genuinely liberating and refreshing, as it allows a level of flexibility that is often not found in a regular office. 

Determine if you are cut out for the digital nomad life

Being a digital nomad is no doubt fun, but it is not the best choice for everyone. Some people thrive more with the security and the stability of a good and trusty day job. That is why it is crucial to see whether or not you meet most of these characteristics:

  • You can live off a backpack for extended periods
  • You don’t have fixed and obligatory attachments to a specific place
  • You can adapt to any culture and any situation
  • You are sociable and friendly
  • You love traveling–on the road, by plane, or by boat
  • You are self-motivated and driven
  • You are always online

If you feel like the list is describing you and your desired lifestyle, learning how to become a digital nomad might be what you need to open the next and the best chapter of your life.

List down the pros and cons of freelancing

You should only undertake this step after you have thoroughly done your research. Below is a sample of pros and cons when it comes to freelancing:

Pros:

  • Less or no time and money spent commuting
  • Unlimited earning potential
  • Freedom to choose projects
  • Flexible hours and location
  • Casual work attire

Cons:

  • Feelings of isolation
  • Unsteady cash flow
  • Multiple clients to please
  • No company benefits
  • Lack of structure and stability

The list of pros and cons can be longer and more varied depending on the specific type of freelance work you are eyeing to bag. Once you feel like you have listed down all that you know, take everything into account and assess whether the pros outweigh the cons.

digital nomad on laptop

Identify useful skills

Okay, so you are interested in learning how to become a digital nomad. But do you have the skills to back up your dream lifestyle? Digital nomads usually have a specific set of skills that perfectly match up to the nomad life. They are as follows:

  • Content writing or blogging
  • Digital or affiliate marketing
  • Creative or graphic design
  • Teaching
  • Online course business
  • Coaching or consulting
  • Vlogging
  • Virtual assistance
  • Computer programming
  • Translating

There may be more skills out there that are useful online. Still, those mentioned above are some of the most common and sought-after skills that will land you a job or a business as a digital nomad. If you have one or more of these skills, it would be useful to hone them and, if possible, take courses that certify. This move can make you a more attractive candidate for employers.

Decide whether to leave your day job for good or not

After you’ve decided that the digital nomad life is for you–you know the pros and cons, and you have a robust set of skills to get you a job–the next big step is deciding whether you should leave your day job or not. For some people, making this decision is as simple as stepping out of a door to get into the next room. For others, it’s a bit more challenging.

It isn’t very easy for someone well-established, adequately paid, and showered with benefits like health care, insurance, and the promise of a retirement package. It is also almost impossible for someone with families that they have to leave behind for extended periods and other physical ties like large properties that require constant presence.

If you are on the fence about quitting, or if you are not qualified to become a digital nomad but still like the idea of remote work and flexibility, you can try out moonlighting. With moonlighting, you get to keep your day job (possibly with decreased working hours at your workplace) and work online too. This option is popular among parents who want to be home more often. It is also popular among people who want to take some of the work on the go and travel more without necessarily losing their regular employment.

Let go of what’s tying you down

An essential step in adopting a nomadic lifestyle is living light. In its most straightforward sense, that means no house and mortgage, no car loans, and no billing statements. It also means having a family that can live the same nomadic lifestyle or no family that you can’t leave behind.

Setting up your prospective nomadic life means you need to get around how things are typically done. An example is having your physical mails forwarded to you somewhere you can receive them. It also means digitizing almost all of your transactions like bills-payment.

digital nomad holding seashell

Find lucrative work or business online

There are several websites you can visit to begin your search for an online pursuit. Here are some of the most popular freelancing and remote-employment sites that post digital-based jobs:

Learn to dress for online work

You might have very minimal to no human interaction at all within any given day at your new job, but that doesn’t mean you can wake up, pull your laptop in bed with you and get to work. Taking a shower before starting your day helps you prepare mentally for the task ahead, as is getting dressed.

You don’t need the sassy corporate attire anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can stick to your pajamas all day. A comfortable fitting cotton shirt and soft leggings or trousers will do just fine. You can set this as your default work attire to have at least a minimal sense of structure in your workday. Also, although you don’t need to put on makeup, try to establish some basic skincare. Hence, you remain fresh and well-maintained despite not having to look corporate.

Learn the discipline of working from home

Aside from the skills you need to land a job, you need additional work and personal development skills to live and sustain a healthy digital nomadic life. For example, you need excellent time-management skills and self-discipline to succeed because, otherwise, you will tend to procrastinate at your job since nobody is there to whip you into action now and then.

Becoming a digital nomad without experience is possible. That is how every digital nomad started. With the right research and the right amount of skill, you can finally combine work with travel and live your dream life wandering the world.

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About The Author

Vanessa R.

Vanessa R.

Vanessa has been a freelance writer for eight years, providing content independently and through various online platforms. Having worn many hats—a former student journalist, a registered nurse, an aspiring mom-blogger, plus six years of pharmaceutical sales experience under her belt, she adopts a broad range of approaches to tackling different subjects in personal and professional development. In her spare time, she enjoys chasing her two rowdy boys around the house.