The idea of being a digital nomad can be exciting and daunting in equal measure. The advances in remote working technology mean you have the chance to see more of the world while maintaining employment. Yet, it also means you’re stepping out of your comfort zone and perhaps freelancing in a way that you find less secure than you’re used to.
Yet, taking this chance to adopt a more independent way of life can be enriching in various ways. One of these is the chance to advance your career. While you might think digital nomad employment is less predictable, it can also make you a particularly attractive prospect to businesses.
Let’s dive into a handful of the areas becoming a digital nomad can help you push your career prospects forward.
Increased Networking Opportunities
Being a digital nomad means you’re not tied to a single place. This gives you the freedom to travel almost anywhere in the world while you’re working. The result is you tend to be open to greater networking opportunities that could advance your career than you would if stuck in a single location.
On a more structured level, you can attend more events. Your location isn’t as much of a hurdle to heading out to global conferences. Indeed, you can plan your quarterly travel schedule to some extent around the major industry events you’d like to network at. This could also extend to meeting clients and partners on the road.
You’ll also find being a digital nomad is great for organic networking. Each location you stop in is likely to have its own business culture. Make efforts to reach out to local entrepreneurs from your industry in the area. It’s also worth checking into local co-working spaces that tend to be hotbeds of other digital nomads and burgeoning startups. You never know what valuable connections and opportunities you might find.
Productivity tends to be one of the highest priorities for employers. It helps to inform efficiency and it empowers businesses to be competitive. Being a digital nomad is a route toward demonstrating a higher level of productivity as an employee. The greater level of independence offered to remote workers means they can lean into practices most conducive to their peak functioning. Your experiences as a digital nomad, therefore, can make you a very attractive prospect to businesses.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t necessarily naturally follow that your nomadic lifestyle results in productivity. You still need to establish methods and tools to help you maintain your progress while out on the road. This could include creating a schedule closely tied to your energy and attention levels. It might be using remote project management software to keep your tasks visible and on track wherever you are.
Another aspect that can help you as a digital nomad is separating your working space from your relaxation areas. Whether you’re renting apartments or traveling in a camper, creating a dedicated home office space can help you stay focused and productive. This doesn’t have to be a huge room to be effective. You can create a micro-office with just a small desk and some storage items you can easily pack away at the end of each day. Even adding some decorative accents in a corner of your RV can clearly delineate an area intended solely for productive work. This can get you into the mental space to perform well.
Workers with static skills are not of much use to companies. They may be able to perform set tasks well. But the business landscape is almost constantly changing and both roles and needs are likely to evolve with them, often with very little notice. On the other hand, digital nomads tend to be more agile as they’re used to facing the unexpected and using problem-solving to overcome daily obstacles.
It’s important to recognize that there are various reasons companies consider hiring digital nomads in the current climate. Often, this revolves around elements like reduced overheads and labor costs. This certainly factors into the decision-making of potential employers. But companies are also increasingly recognizing how remote workers offer significant value in terms of soft skills. Key among these is the flexibility earned from experiences on the road.
As such, it’s important to lean into this whenever you’re interviewing for positions or taking meetings with potential clients. Don’t just talk about ways you’ve been flexible at work. Tell them a story about your most difficult challenge as a digital nomad in an area you were unfamiliar with. Describe the agile skill sets you used to overcome these and what you learned that you take forward in your work.
Broader Cultural Experience
One of the main benefits of being a digital nomad is you have the opportunity to explore. This may involve spending long periods of time in different countries. It may be that you have traveled to different areas of your home country and interacted meaningfully with the locals. You’ll find this can advance your career because you’ve gained broader cultural experiences than those who have remained in largely the same state their entire lives.
Why is this important? Well, the digital age has opened more businesses up to the global marketplace. Businesses need professionals — particularly in leadership roles — who have the knowledge that helps the business positively interact with multiple cultures. If you understand the business nuances of certain nationalities and the customs of people of different backgrounds, you can be an invaluable asset.
You should also remember your broader cultural experiences are likely to have expanded your perspective. Your actions are not just informed by a single point of view. Whether in creative roles or project management, this can empower you to be a more innovative contributor.
Being a digital nomad imbues you with skills and experiences that enhance your career prospects. You have greater opportunities to network and gain more diverse cultural perspectives. The necessities of remote working can also ensure you have the productivity and agility many businesses need. While you need to be intentional in your approach, you can find taking to the road an exciting way to move you closer to your career goals.