This is a living resource that will be updated on the regular, so check back frequently!
What’s a digital nomad? Someone who works freely or remotely online, anywhere in the world. What are digital nomad jobs? The gigs we get to keep our careers going, through contract work or even the occasional full-time position.
Telecommuting, remote work and digital nomad jobs are all ways to make a living, living anywhere. Many people are drawn to this lifestyle because of so many positive reasons. There are stats to back it up too. More than 80 percent of people remote working say they have less stress, while another 65% feel more productive and happier working from ‘home’. Remote positions are on the rise, with one out of five companies now hiring people for some remote work.
While I can give you a list of all the places to register a profile online, find jobs and hound potential employers, none of this will matter if you aren’t completely ready. I don’t mean ready for the switch into living as a nomad, rather having your CV/resume perfect (try Canva for CV templates), social media hubs scrubbed and portfolio/website launched.
So let’s figure out what you need to do first to prep for digital nomad jobs, and then I’ll show you where to find them at the end!
Discern Expertise for Digital Nomad Jobs
I fall into this trap sometimes, as I want to do it all! Maybe you have a mass communications background and want to do some writing. Maybe your own blog has taught you a bunch about marketing or social media. Or, maybe you have some more technical skills like web design or app development. Choose your top three skills that could be profitable and roll with it. Other opportunities might naturally find space as you go along, but stay focused on a few at first.
Before All Else – Craft your Online Presence
If I can find your college beer bong photos easily or know what crazy stuff you were up to in the 70s, that’s not a good thing. Make sure you look fairly polished and put together on ALL channels. Personal ones like Facebook and Twitter are a good start. Then, have a solid pro presence too. LinkedIn profiles are great for networking, and Instagram can show off your creativity if you’re in a writing or design field. PS – make your Skype, E-mail and other usernames clean too! I wish my silly Skype name was something classier every time a client asks to meet via video.
Social Profiles for Exposure
- Instagram – creative site
- LinkedIn – career site
- Google+ – especially if you’re publishing content
Profiles for Portfolios
- Wix Photo Site – simple website, great for visuals and photography
- WP Engine – when you want to host and manage your own customized portfolio or site. Here’s 20% off if you want to try your own hosted website through WP Engine
Reach Out to Any Connections You Already Have
You’ve had professors, co-workers and that friend of your mom’s that knows everyone. Why not reach out? Hustle! Have a personalized e-mail ready stating your intentions to do some remote work, and attach your resume/CV. Ask politely if they would keep you in mind themselves or if anyone they know needs help in your expert field. If anyone responds saying they will, follow-up in a couple of months to gently remind them or if you have any significant updates to your own portfolio/certifications.
Then Get on Networking Lists
Get on EVERY list. I want you to have a couple of dozen e-mails of potential opportunities coming to your inbox every damn day.
Look for things like:
- Professional organizations in your field online and in person (I belong to the PTBA)
- Local groups in your permanent or temporary location (I am a member of the Boston Women Communicators)
- Alumni networks (high school, university, sorority, etc.)
- Facebook Groups (there’s a million for digital nomad job posts, like here and here. I personally belong to American Expats in London on Facebook where I can post job hunt requests too. Think outside the box!)
Have An Accountability Buddy
One thing I learned starting out on my own is that very quickly, I called all the shots. If I want to sleep in until noon or get up with the sunrise, it’s up to me. This helps some people thrive, but for me, it can put me in an unproductive rut real fast. Recently a great friend of mine has started to pursue nomadic/remote work too, and we’re taking on a few clients together. We now have weekly facetime meetings to check in, see how we’re doing with our goals and make sure stuff is getting done. If you need a bigger boost you can consider a coach, but try first a friend online or in-person who you can turn to for help or a push in the right direction.
Hone In Your Cold Pitch
People poo-poo the cold pitch a lot, but I’m all for it! Do you know your worth and know your skills? Do you have a company in mind you’d like to work for that you know hires contractors or remote workers? Then send them an e-mail! Introduce yourself, ask questions or just go in for the kill and shoot over that CV/resume. The worst people can say is no, the best is a foot in the door. Create your own opportunities. And, consider some email tracking software to see who’s checking you out and opening your inquiries. I like Hubspot, it’s free.
Keep Track of Good Clients and Work It
This year I plan to go four years back and contact ALL my old clients. Say hello, let them know what I’ve been up to and ask if they need any help, or know someone who does. I don’t often follow-up with old jobs once they are done and I think it hurts my retention and referral rate. Keep track via a spreadsheet who you’re talking to and keep saying hi every six months for more leads.
Top Digital Nomad Job Hubs
Here’s a comprehensive list of opportunities for remote work for digital nomads. Depending on your field, you’ll want to register for many, especially starting out. Keep track of the ones you need to login to see listings via a spreadsheet. Everything listed below I have personally found work on as a digital nomad job hunter.
LinkedIn – Search jobs like a normal one and check off ‘remote’ positions.
Adzuna: Takes job listings from severe sites and puts them together, like Booking but for jobs. Some are remote, some aren’t, so look carefully.
Flexjobs – You need a membership, but use ‘FWJPROMO’ for 30% off.
The Dots – A bit more polished for graphic design jobs and more.
Working Nomads – Design, UX and creative jobs.
Idealist – Specifically for non-profit jobs. Search the keyword ‘remote’ and leave the location everywhere. There are a few good ones.
Upwork – Not my favorite. I used to work for Elance until they were acquired by Upwork. Most jobs are for little pay and the site takes a MASSIVE percentage from freelancers. But worth having a look once in a while.
Hire our Vets – If a veteran of the US military, get in touch with these guys. They might have leads for remote work.
WebSummit – A great conference I attended in Lisbon, Portugal this year. It’s often in a different place every year. Lots of companies, startups, and opportunities in the digital world. Look into your local conferences in tech, travel, and startups, big and small!
Contently – Make a free portfolio, add your links to work and clients may choose to hire you through the site.
Copypress – Can be steady work, but the payout system is very, very slow. Can take up to three months to be paid.
Transperfect – Translation and copywriting jobs.
SkimLinks – If you have your own site, this is a great place to start. It automatically changes your links to affiliate ones on your site when you embed a code once. They have lots of big merchants on their list – like Expedia, Urban Outfitters, and iTunes, just to name a few.
ShareaSale – If you have your own websites or want to build your own blogs, but want more control (or higher commissions) off your partners, this is a good option. This hub has thousands of companies to choose from so you can be honest and only pick the ones you wish to work with.
Clever – Some fun social and blog opportunities with well-known brands.
Upthink Newsletter – monthly opportunities for sponsorship
Fleamail – Must register your blog on Trips100 or HIBS100 and have an affiliation with the UK
Social Bluebook – Find out your ‘worth’ via blog and social to set prices for collabs. Some companies may contact you with opportunities.
Influenster – I haven’t received a paid gig yet, but I do get products for review on the regular.
For Travel Industry People
Travel Massive – a hub of local professionals and events in the travel industry
TravMedia – for writers and journalists looking for story gigs
WITS, TBEX and Traverse Events – all travel blogging/writing conferences worldwide for networking and speaking
Skillshare – post your teaching classes and receive high-yield royalties. My class is a couple of years old and I still get a few bucks a month payout.
Get two free months as a student on Skillshare: to check it out HERE
WeWork and co-working spaces – consider investing in a hotdesk or office at a co-working space. Lots of other startups will be there. I gained several leads and clients from fellow ‘co-workers’ this way while at WeWork in Boston and London.
General Assembly – In-person opportunity to teach courses or one-off classes and get paid.
Digital Nomad Forum – Have not personally used this one, but looks promising.
VIPKID – Many people swear by this. Teach remotely, get paid. There might be certain requirements, I haven’t tried yet.
Patreon – a place to support creatives with small monthly or one-off payments. I support a few musicians and writers this way. They can work from anywhere and product content at their own pace.
Simply Google search “Virtual assistant jobs” – this is a great place to start, especially if you know your way around e-mail, social media and can write a bit. Instead of searching for a personal assistant or executive assistant, VA infers you want to do the job remotely.
Digital Nomad Jobs for All
No matter when and why you’re looking for digital nomad jobs, know it will take some hard work and some time. It’s not easy. Some people might catch a lucky break, but for most, it’s a long-con game. Work opportunities will often ebb and flow. But it is possible and it’s becoming more commonplace every year. Keep at it, keep learning, BE PROFESSIONAL, and put yourself out there.
Have you ever done any work strictly online? Where do you find good digital nomad jobs? Would you leave the 9-to-5?