UPDATED: MARCH 2020
I created this guide to help you find jobs for digital nomads and give you some idea about what digital nomads do for a living, where to find remote work and how to prepare for the job search.
If you want to adopt a nomadic lifestyle and work remotely or freelance around the world, this page has a frequently updated list of job boards for digital nomads. You can also use these boards if you want to work from home.
Beyond the list of job boards, I’ve included plenty of information to help you decide if remote job is for you, what to include in your job application and how to prepare for your remote job interview.
What Is Remote Work?
There are plenty of things you can do from anywhere, while travelling the world.
Many computer-based jobs are perfect for digital nomads. There are even some digital nomad jobs you can do from your phone.
Remote work is essentially work you can do from anywhere, using an internet connection.
It may include work from home, from a coworking space in some other country, from a coffee shop or a hotel room, or even from a desert island that has decent wifi…
When you work remotely, you stay in touch with your team and clients by email, chat, video conferences etc.
You can be a part-time or a full-time remote worker. As a digital nomad, you might also be a freelancer working for various clients or a business owner.
In the rest of this guide, I’ll assume you already have some professional skills that are suitable for working online from anywhere.
Some typical examples of the work digital nomads do include:
Graphic designer, digital marketer, freelance writer, video editor, software developer, online teacher, community manager, social media manager, coach and many more.
You can either take the freelance route and work with different clients, or become a full-time or part-time employee of a company that hires remote workers. For more on how to do that, read my guide on how to become a digital nomad.
Is Remote Work Right for You?
If you want to travel or spend more time on people and things that are important to you, you should consider remote work seriously.
Before I go into detail on how to find remote work, take a moment to ask yourself if it’s really what you want.
I personally feel that being able to work from anywhere is a privilege.
There are some great advantages to working remotely:
- Flexibility – Your schedule is more flexible and you have more control of your time (though you still have to be available for online meetings, for example).
- No need to commute – You save hours per week on needless commute to the office and back. This means you can spend more time with family or on your hobbies. You also save money by avoiding the daily commute.
- Better productivity – If you learn to manage your time well, remote work will increase your productivity. No distractions from colleagues and a lot less time wasted on office politics.
- Work from anywhere – You can work from your favourite coffee shop one day and from a quiet room in a library the next. You can change cities or change countries every few weeks or every couple of months, as many digital nomads do.
- Less stress – You save yourself the annoyance of office drama and difficult colleagues.
Those are the pros of remote work. There are also (a few) cons:
- You’ll need to work on your social life, if you’re relying on office mates at the moment. However, there are tons of ways to meet people as a digital nomad or even when you work from home, including Facebook groups, Meetup groups, coworking spaces, etc.
- You’ll need to perfect your time management skills and develop self discipline in order to meet deadlines. When there’s no one watching you may be tempted to work less. However, these are essential skills that you want to develop anyway!
- If you really, really love office politics, drama and BS, then perhaps remote work isn’t for you 😉
If the advantages sound good to you and the disadvantages don’t scare you off, there’s a good chance you’re going to love this lifestyle!
A Word about Stability
Stability is something all digital nomads have to think about at some point. The issue will come up in different ways at different stages of your digital nomad lifestyle. Better consider it right from the start.
Some nomads will decide to go home and get a normal job, once they feel they cannot stand the instability anymore.
Some thrive in uncertainty and find it all so very exciting!
Others (me included) create a mix of stability and flexibility by spending longer periods of time in some countries and shorter in others, and by diversifying our income sources.
If you’re the type of person who needs a lot of stability and you know that you don’t deal well with uncertainty, your best option is to get a full-time remote job with a company that will pay you a salary on a regular basis.
You can then work from home or travel slowly, staying in each country for several months (or however long your visa allows you to stay).
If you don’t mind a bit of uncertainty or even want a more spontaneous or adventurous lifestyle, you can freelance, get a part-time remote job or do contract work. It’s best to have more than one source of income if you choose this route.
Then you can decide how long you want to stay in each city or country. For example, you can move every 2 weeks or every 2 months, depending on what you feel like, the people you meet along the way or new opportunities you may come across.
This will give you more flexibility in designing your lifestyle, though sometimes at the cost of some uncertainty as to your future earnings.
Finding a Remote Job
If after reading the above, you’re convinced the digital nomad lifestyle is for you, you need to find a job.
For some, starting a business or freelancing for different clients may be more suitable options, but if you want to be employed by a remote-friendly company, your digital nomad journey starts with a remote job search.
You can sometimes find remote positions on normal job boards, but I think searching those isn’t the best use of your time.
There are quite a few job boards dedicated to remote work that are perfect for digital nomads.
Skip to the list of job boards or read on to learn about the preparation steps you need to take in order to land a remote job:
- What your remote job application should include
- What skills you should be able to demonstrate.
- How to prepare for a remote work interview
- What to say during the interview
What to Include in Your Remote Job Application
There are some things you need to include in your remote work application, beyond the standard details about work experience and education.
Your Tech Skills
If you’re tech-savvy, it will play in your favour when you apply for a remote job.
It’s not just about the tools you know how to use, but also about how quickly you can learn new tools.
In your application you want to mention all the tech tools you know how to use that make remote work easier.
For example, you’ll probably be using tools like Skype, Zoom, Toggl, Trello, Asana, Slack, Google Drive, Dropbox and so on, as well as industry-specific software.
If you’re uncertain about whether some of your tech skills are up to date, watch some recent tutorials on YouTube to catch up.
Demonstrate Your Trustworthiness
Remote work requires a higher level of trust, compared to a standard office job where you boss can watch you all day long.
You want to tailor your CV/resume to show that you can work remotely.
You want to highlight anything that shows you are a self-starter, independent problem solver and generally reliable person even when not supervised.
These are requirements you’ll often find in remote job listings.
If you have worked remotely in the past, use that experience to show how reliable you are.
But what do you do if you’ve never worked remotely?
Use any entrepreneurial experience, side-projects or even hobbies that can indicate autonomy, self-motivation and the ability to achieve results with little supervision.
In some normal jobs, you may have an opportunity to work from home 1-2 days a week.
Try to get your current employer to agree to that and later you’ll be able to use it as a good indication of your employers’ trust.
You want to show you have great communication skills, because remote companies are dependent on good communication.
In the early stages of your application process, you can use your cover letter to demonstrate that.
Your cover letter should be customised to the company and position you apply for.
Pay attention to the details in the job listing and answer all the questions asked without exception, in a clear and concise manner.
Later when your video interview is scheduled, practice your presentation skills and show your interviewer that you’ll be easy to work with.
Time Management Skills and Self Discipline
Many remote job listings will specify that organisational skills are required, and it makes perfect sense.
Your employers need to be able to rely on you, even when they’re not there to watch what you’re doing.
Use any examples from your work experience that show how organised you are and that you are able to meet deadlines.
Even if you’re not the most self disciplined person in the world and your time management isn’t that amazing, you can still develop these skills. They are totally learnable.
I recommend starting out with the book Getting Things Done that will give you a good understanding of one of the best time management systems ever created.
Beyond the book, there are some good online courses you can take to help you practice and gain more confidence in these skills.
- Developing Effective Time Management Habits
- 10x Your Productivity: Time Management, Habits, Focus & More
- Productivity Hacks: Secrets of Successful Time Management
How to Make Your Remote Work Interview a Success
Your remote work interview will most likely be done on a video call (one or more).
Beyond the general advice on how to prepare for a job interview , there are some things you need to pay attention to when you’re interviewed for a remote position:
How to Prepare Before the Interview
1 – Go through your cover letter and any other hiring documents you included in your application.
2 – Research the company and the interviewers and review the job description.
You can easily find the information on Google, Glassdoor, Linkedin, the company’s website, its social media accounts and its newsletter.
I suggest you make notes and mention some of the company’s products or services and some of its achievements at the appropriate moment during the interview.
3 – Prevent potential technology-related issues: Make sure the camera, your headphones, your microphone and your video chat software all work. Also, close other windows on your screen or fewer distractions and faster wifi.
4 – Prepare your space, so it looks professional, clean, free of clutter or personal items
5 – Make sure there’s no background noise. Close windows, silence your phone, turn the TV off, ask your partner to take the dog out for a walk and if you have kids, make sure they don’t interrupt your interview.
6 – Dress up and look presentable and professional. Even if you’re doing the interview from home, get dressed as if you were going to a normal interview in an office.
When you do your research about the company, you might be able to understand what dress code the company culture requires. It could be formal or smart casual, but in any case, dress appropriately.
7 – Rehearse answers to common questions before the interview. Record yourself answering questions like “Tell me about yourself” and “Why do you think you are suitable for this job?”
To help predict what questions you may be asked, have a look at this resource that gathers 150 questions for remote team interviews. While it’s meant for developers, many of the questions can apply to other roles.
Then wait a couple of hours and watch the recording to get a fresh perspective on how you present yourself. Polish what needs to be polished and try again.
You can also rehearse with a friend or family member. There’s no need to memorise a text, because you need to appear natural and sincere.
Just practice the way you communicate the most important messages you want to convey. This will help you feel more at ease during the interview.
8 – Prepare Your Own Questions. You’ll get a chance to ask questions during the interview, so you want to come prepared.
Some examples of relevant questions are:
- What are the day to day responsibilities in this role?
- How challenging is the job? (Ask it in a way that shows you want it to be challenging)
- How would you describe the company culture?
- How do team members usually communicate? (This may differ from one remote company to another)
- What are your expectations from me in the first couple of weeks on the job?
Ideas for questions will come up when you do your research about the company, the industry, the position and your interviewer. Make a list of all the questions you have and then pick the best ones to ask.
Genuine curiosity will be appreciated and help show your personality.
What to Say During the Interview
You want the interviewer to feel that you are trustworthy, so answer questions honestly and don’t try to make a fake impression.
Talk about your personality, not just about your work experience or education. You need the right personality to be a good fit for a remote job.
Speak about your work ethic and how you are perfectly capable of working independently:
- Will you meet deadlines and deliver results even when you work without supervision?
- If there’s a problem and due to time zone differences no other team member is available to help you, how will you cope?
- Can you actually work without constant feedback?
- Can you work effectively without face to face interaction?
Show that you will be accountable for your work and will take responsibility.
Demonstrate your communication skills during the interview. Show that you’re a good listener, by paying attention to all the details when your interviewer speaks. Show you can communicate clearly by answering to the point and being genuine.
Storytelling is better than dry facts: Give specific examples of things you accomplished; Describe processes you went through and how you managed to solve certain problems that arose.
Make sure your interviewer understands that you’ve made a clear decision to work remotely, and that you’re not just “trying it out”.
Use the above list of pros and cons to make sure you’re convinced that this is what you want, and let that come across during the interview. Show your enthusiasm about the job and your eagerness to start working. Employers want to see that you’re driven and that you are approaching the new job with passion and excitement.
Job Board List: Where to Find Remote Work
These job boards list remote jobs offers from companies that are currently hiring remote workers.
Pay attention to the time zone requirement for each position.
EqualOpportunity.Work Remote Jobs
Freelance Jobs for Digital Nomads
Go travel and work from anywhere as a freelancer! It’s a wonderful lifestyle that gives you a lot of freedom.
Before you book your ticket, make sure you have enough clients that are reliable and pay on time.
Here’s where you can find clients as a freelancer:
Finding Remote Work: FAQ
A job you can do from anywhere, using technology to communicate with your team or clients.
Designer, content creator, digital marketer, software developer, community manager, project manager.
The ideal remote worker can work with little supervision, is tech savvy, has great communication skills and excellent time management skills.
There are many job boards that specialise in remote work, such as Workew, Remote.co and Pangian. For a full list click here.
Research the company, dress up and declutter your space, rehearse answers to common questions and be prepared to show you can work without day to day monitoring and produce results.