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How Do I Become a Digital Nomad? (transitioning out of your 9-5)

You are not your job.

I’ll say that again…Your job is not your identity.

When I was 7 I wanted to be a teacher. I know what you’re thinking… clique.

So, I’ve struggled with this concept for quite some time.

I’m sure your parents have lectured you on how you should become a lawyer or a doctor (especially if you’re a millennial like me), and maybe you listened to them.

Let’s say you did, and you worked really hard, landed the position, got a couple promotions… but were you truly fulfilled?

I mean really, life-lovin'-jump-out-of-bed- every morning fulfilled?

You’ll come to realize becoming a digital nomad is an awakening. This transition is not the same for everyone, nor is it meant for everyone.

Chances are if you’re reading this right now, you’re ready for this change. But, before diving headfirst into the deep end, and quitting your job tomorrow let’s explore your previous experience, and use this to guide us forward. I've you've been wondering, "How do I become a digital nomad with no experience?" this guide has the blueprint to kick-start your new life.

Strap yourself in, here we go!

Step 1: Identifying Your Passion & Skills

Digging Deep

The word niche has become quite the buzzword these days. And although, I don't exactly like the word or how much its overused I find it important to bring up in this section.

You are different, and have your very own unique selling point (USP). There is nobody, nor will there ever be nobody else on this planet with your exact experiences, upbringing, and character traits.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Because of this, you occupy a special niche that nobody else does.

Take for example, Horse-lane, a website solely dedicated to horse shaped gift-giving for, you guessed it, horse lovers.

Another example, comes from history (don't boo me yet, I promise this is good stuff).

Remember Charles Darwin?

At a young age, he loved hunting, and collecting beetles, leaves, and other items from nature. His father forcefully pushed him to become a pastor once be became of age. He pursued this at Cambridge University, where on the side he began a course on Botany, and befriended his professor.

Eventually his professor recommended him to sail across the world as an unpaid naturalist on the voyage known as "The Beagle". His mission was to collect specimens from different coastlines around the world so that they can be studied. During the climax of his adventure, in the Galapagos islands, he discovered an array of unique birds.

Okay stay with me now...

The diversity of these birds captivated him because he realized each island had a different set of birds equipped with different beaks each designed for a specific food on their island.

He founded what we know today as the theory of evolution by natural selection.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, because in order to understand where you're going, you need to reflect on what you're passionate about, and what you care about.

You might already have an idea, but if you don't, get out a notebook and answer these questions:

  1. What activities excited you as a child?

  2. What is something that's oddly fascinating to you?

  3. Think back to instances you received positive feedback at work or at home. What was that feedback about?

Take some time here to really dive deep into your memories. If you're coming up short schedule a time to meet with a close friend or family member and simply ask them, what makes me unique? Or, how would you describe me?

I would like to mention here that finding your purpose and becoming a digital nomad as a beginner is not going to happen overnight, just like with Darwin, it takes years to discover this. Be patient with yourself in this process.

Identifying Your Skills

Now, let's take a look at the skills you've acquired at the jobs you've already had. Use these questions to help guide you:

  1. What were your daily tasks at your job?

  2. What obstacles arose that you effortlessly fixed?

  3. What areas within your job did you take special interest in, possibly even exploring further when you got home.

  4. What tasks did you learn that weren't taught but were learned by experience?

To illustrate, I went to college to be a teacher.

College courses however, don't teach you how to handle aggressive parents or high-stress scenarios with students. This was only learned though experience. I now use those skills, to better understand customer relationships within my business and how to balance the stress that comes with being an entrepreneur.

Click below to get more guidance on identifying your skills and to become apart of a digital nomad community.

Okay friend, you now have ideas about what excites you, and certain skills that are unique to you. This is a great start! Before moving onto the next piece of the puzzle, here's what I want you to do.

Close your eyes. Then, say to yourself, "I release any and all pressure to conform to a specific job or career."

Ohhh c'mon say it!

This mental shift is important, because it gives you the peace of mind to know, it's okay to go into the unknown, to discover this new level of yourself, and to ultimately find your purpose.

Now onto the fun part...exploring the new you.

Step 2: Learning and Exploring the New You

In order to find the perfect position for you, think about the type of work you want to do. Here are some options you have:

  1. Full-time remote positions

  2. Part-time remote positions

  3. Freelancer

  4. Entrepreneurship

Being a digital nomad means complete freedom to also pick a combination of these if you so choose. If you're just starting out, it might be best for stability sake to try out working remotely with a full-time position. This way, you have financial stability but you also get to test out to make sure digital nomad life is right for you.

Are you a risk-taker? Have a great business idea? Maybe entrepreneurship is for you.

With all this information in mind, begin your exploration phase. Here you'll spend at least 20 minutes for at least 3 days a week researching different job boards, looking within Facebook groups, and networking on Linkedin to get a better idea of what's out there, and how you can fit into it.

Start to keep record of job positions that are especially interesting to you (whether or not you think you're ready yet) and jot down the skills required to land that job.

Use the worksheet I've provided to keep track of all this work.

Next, commit to learning for a minimum of 15 minutes 4 days a week or 1 hour each week,