An easy, step by step guide to becoming a digital nomad

I don’t want to convince you that becoming a digital nomad is a good thing. I want to give you a short step-by-step guide, so you finally stop dreaming, and start acting. If you are interested in my personal story, and how it all started, here it is. I hope you find it inspiring.

1. Brush up your skills

Not every profession or skill set is suitable for remote working. If you are a sommelier, you are probably out of luck. If you are an accountant or an HR professional, your chances are pretty slim (although I’ve seen examples for both). Remote working, on the other hand, works especially well for all things tech: developers of any kind, QA engineers, technical writers, UX wizards, support staff, et cetera. It’s also great for creative individuals, designers and marketing people (like me).

The good news is as an intelligent person you can learn some of these individually. I’ve, indeed, seen accountants learning Ruby on Rails or political science majors learning UX and wireframing — and working remotely using their new skills. It’s 2015. It not just that you should embrace lifelong learning; in a world where job security is weaker than ever you absolutely have to invest time and money, not to fall behind.

Find a coding bootcamp next to you, or enrol into a General Assembly course. These won’t make you the best developer on the planet, but they will give you enough to start your journey.

If bootcamps are outside of your budget (they are expensive, indeed), you still have plenty of options. My personal favourite is Udemy, where you can learn hundreds of skills at a very friendly price. If I could code a fairly decent iOS app after taking a course or two for around $50 total, you can do it too.

 My view in Bangkok

My view in Bangkok

2. Get some street cred

Remember, your goal is not to get a job at PWC or Ernst & Young. You want a remote position, and 95 percent of them are advertised by startups. Formal education won’t matter much to them, but street cred can take you far.

Clean up your Twitter presence as a minimum. And start writing a blog. I know it sounds hopelessly 2007, but when it comes to being chosen as the one candidate out of hundreds of applicants these are the small efforts that show passion for your work.

If writing is not your cup of tea, consider curating content. Simply putting together a Last Week in Python Development blog post every week will make you stand out from the crowd. If you are a designer, make sure your Behance site looks as badass as possible — but this probably goes without saying.

If you are more of an exhibitionist (and you have more time on your hands) try creating videos. You have no idea how many beginners in iPhone development do a Google search for “how to hide the keyboard”. Yes, there are hundreds of videos explaining it, but it doesn’t matter. It’s not your end goal. Your YouTube channel of ten short Swift development tutorials is nothing more than a vehicle to earn you a nice remote job.

Read points 3-6 on my Medium »