Most digital nomads are freelancers, self-employed. It is only a few that work remotely for a company on a paycheck. They are the ones that do not have to ‘job-hunt’ And although there are freelancers that can rely on long term projects, they still have to job hunt, to keep their income stream safe and sound.
What is a freelancer?
A freelancer is a person that offers services or products to companies or individuals being paid directly per hour or per project. Sometimes freelancers rent themselves out to intermediaries or agencies that will employ them, but a freelancer will always have the end say, a choice in a job offered or about working conditions and payments.
When working for a boss you do not have that control, you have the suggestion you can participate in the companies future and your own development within the branch but in the end, it is your boss who decided for you.
Freelancers are their own boss.
Being your own boss comes with a long list of responsibilities
You will be your own business manager, bookkeeper, accountant, marketing manager, SEO and maybe even SEA specialist, and you need to find yourself projects on a regular basis to provide you with an income that will cover the costs. And maybe even give you a good pension as well.
Will becoming a freelancer work for you?
Freelancers need a specific skillset. They need to know how to work on a constant quality base all by themselves without a supervisor. But they also need the art of self-empowerment.
You make a damn good freelancer if you:
are a people skilled person – outgoing, friendly, empathy, you’ll benefit from those qualities
have great communication skills (you need to sell something and be convincing in it)
have a good sense of humour – you’ll need it, it makes you a nicer person and you need to handle a lot of rejection
are self-confident – you can do it!
believe in yourself and your service – have a fantastic elevator pitch and sell yourself)
are exceptional in your field – it is a battlefield out there!! There are freelancers that work for pennies and lots of people prefer cheap over quality)
enjoy creativity – you will need that to express yourself, find yourself ways to sell yourself, to expand your services and present them in an attractive way.
like working alone – because that is the case, you will mostly work alone
are a great networker – you need people around you, other freelancers and (former) clients to promote your business and services
are flexible – clients want to adjust, rearrange, reschedule and you need to go with the flow
can handle deadlines – they can be killing!
can live with uncertainty – not finding any projects can be scary
can live on a budget – you need to save up for rainy days, do your own accounting and make sure bills get paid
Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.