After Two Years Of Being A Digital Nomad, Here’s How I Find Work
The way that I started, and the way that ya’ll might be able to start, is to go to a freelancing site called Upwork.
Here are their job categories:
- IT & Networking
- Web, Mobile, and Software Development
- Data Science and Analytics
- Engineering & Architecture
- Design & Creative
- Admin Support
- Customer Service
- Sales & Marketing
- Accounting & Marketing
If you want to explore these categories, simply go to Upwork, set up a profile, and start lookingat the job boards.
What You Should Know About Upwork
Good news first. Upwork has a ton of jobs posted every few minutes. In fact, whenever I’m job searching here, I find new jobs posted every 30–60 seconds depending on which category I’m looking at. What does this mean?
You could spend eternity here applying to jobs.
The only problem is you can apply to just 30 jobs per month. They have this special system with units called “connects” that you spend when applying to jobs. Each application costs you two “connects.” Every month they replenish.
So we have a ton of postings, but a limited number of applications…
To tell you honestly this is a good thing. There’s a ton of jobs posted on the site, but the number of bad ones FAR outweigh the good. Finding a good one that pays well is like finding a needle in the haystack, but if you surf the job postings diligently for a few minutes you’ll find them.
To me, Upwork is the best freelancing platform on the internet. It’s safe and secure to get paid, easy to get reviewed (which boosts your credibility), and simple enough to apply to great jobs.
You may have to work your way up and accept lower-paying jobs just to get a few good reviews, however once you have three or four jobs under your belt, you should have no problem landing the big projects.
Upwork’s Payment Structure
My only major quarrel with Upwork is the payment structure. Last year Upwork had a soft announcement regarding their payment terms. For the first $500 earned with one client, Upwork takes out 20%, which kind of sucks. However, for the next $10,000 after that they take out 10%,
and every dollar after $10,000 they take 5%.
The whole thing is a money grab if you ask me, however landing a job here does allow for a mobile lifestyle.
The good news is there are other ways to make money remotely. Here are a few more of them.
I’m all about diversifying your income. If you have money coming from multiple directions, you’re not screwed when one contract falls through.
Where Upwork fails with less-than-stellar job postings, Indeed triumphantly shines through. The jobs on Indeed are legit, and pay pretty damn well. It’s also super easy to apply to stuff.
The method I use with Indeed is to slip “remote” in front of the jobs I want. I currently search for two different keywords, and check them once per day:
- Remote Writer
- Freelance Writer
That’s literally it. There’s at least ten new jobs posted in each of those keyword searches every day, and I think the same can happen to you. If you slip “remote” before the job position you’re searching for, you should find something.
One more thing. Make it easy on yourself and fill out your own resume on Indeed. You can one click apply to certain jobs, and you’ll swiftly thank yourself later.
Teaching English Abroad
If working on your computer isn’t your thing, then maybe you’d enjoy teaching English in other countries! On Teach Away you can find teaching jobs in Asia, South America, and Europe. The only requirements are a Bachelor’s Degree. There’s one job I saw that paid $2,000 per month,
which is more than enough cash to live well in Southeast Asia.
That might be something fun to look into.
Trade Work For A Place To Stay
This doesn’t exactly count as being a “digital nomad,” but you could use Worldpackers to exchange work for a place to live. Most places only require 20–24 hours of work per week, and you mostly get to stay in hostels to meet other interesting world travelers such as yourself!
Hey, if anything, you could check into one of these spots and freelance during your off hours for extra cash. At least you have free housing!
Throwing Spaghetti At The Wall
You thought there was a job throwing spaghetti at the wall? No, this is just me giving you a few other resources to check out for your enjoyment. Among them include:
- Backdoor Jobs — Short-term jobs for those who want to travel, work, learn, help, and discover other awesome places around the world.
- 33 Best Travel Jobs To Make Money Traveling — A fantastic article on Expert Vagabond.
Read this list to get inspired on other ways you could travel and work at the same time.
- Any Work, Anywhere — Yet another job board for temp jobs, check this site out as a last resort.
- Couch Surfing — Stay with people for free! That’s right, it’s exactly what it says it is. However, please check out possible hosts extensively before messaging them.
I hope this gives you all a general idea of how to get from here to there. It’s quite a big leap to take a job teaching English in a faraway place, however I believe it would be super rewarding on so many levels. I hope these resources help you.
Now let’s say you got the job — now what? The truth is the Digital Nomad lifestyle is one to get used to. I’ll be going over a few key things you should know about. Let’s dive in.
This article is from a chapter in my ebook called “You Work Where?” You can download it for free by clicking the image below.