Deciding not to go back to work in an office and to become a digital nomad is not an easy decision as one might think. Of course going to work and sitting at your desk in front of your computer every day for at least 9 hours is not ideal either, but if you think about it, it is a very convenient arrangement. You can plan to details your day, your week, your month or even your year. You can tell exactly how much money will be added to your bank account at the end of the month or what will be your work daily tasks. You know when will you go out on your next vacation or with whom you're going to eat your lunch for god knows how long.
For some people, this arrangement can fit perfectly. For others – this arrangement will be very frustrating. It is hard to point the finger at the exact reason why would anyone be so frustrated from such comfort that they decide to leave and head into the unknown future, But I think I can come up with few ideas.
Why leaving your work then?
One possible reason may be that going back to the same place every day and doing the same job can become pretty boring very fast, and being bored will eventually kill your creativity. Another possible reason is that working for someone else makes you think about all the time and energy you spend creating and inventing amazing products that will do wonders for the company you work for but will probably change nothing for you. That is not a very cheerful thought.
For me – the deal breaker was time. So many things I want to do, and so little time for actually doing them. When you work on a 9 to 6 job (let's face it, 9 to 5 are no longer the working hours), it is not only the 9 hours you spend at the office but also the commute time, the time you spend on your living room couch trying to recover from your day at work, the time you spend before going to sleep thinking of what you are going to tell your boss about the task you couldn't complete on time, and to be honest – it is taking up pretty much all of your time.
Don't forget to tie the rope before you jump off the cliff
Leaving your job and start living the independent life that you've always dreamed of is great, but before you do that you must be prepared for this step. Being independent is not as easy as described on all those wonderful digital nomads sites. It is not all about travel and experience the world while occasionally opening your computer to see what's going on in this internet thingy that everyone is so obsessed about. It is about being able to support yourself combining your skills, interests and the wonders of the online world.
It is probably best to do the following before you leave your convenient life behind and become a digital nomad :
Create yourself a solid source of income. Start laying the groundwork before even thinking about quitting your job. If you leave your job without having another source of income, soon enough your money will run out and you will become anxious thinking only about it. Eventually, you will end up getting a new job and find yourself right back where you started. You don't have to start an online empire before you leave your job of course, but a few regular clients for your freelance work will be a good start.
Become best friends with Google. Almost everything you want to do in the online biz – you can learn how to do by using Google's magic. From learning new skills to solve your day-to-day problems, this is your (not so) secret helper. Once you get used to searching every question you have right when it pops into your mind, you will stop being afraid of what you don't know – and that is the key to success on this mission.
Be Social. One of the things you will be missing the most when you are working for yourself are your co-workers. When you are in Tanzania working on your laptop at the hotel – you will not be able to turn around and ask someone for help. Luckily for you, there are infinite groups and forums for almost every task you will ever have to perform. It is best to start signing up to those forums, getting to know the people who spend their time there and maybe contribute some knowledge of your own. Those virtual friends might come in handy when you are all by yourself.
Bye bye comfort zone
One month ago I decided that it was time for me leave my job and become a digital nomad. And so – I did. Ever since then I am constantly out of my comfort zone, and it is scary and exciting at the same time. But if there is one thing I've learned over the past two years, in which I was changing my career from an architect to a user experience designer, is that being out of your comfort zone will eventually become your new comfort zone. Look at me now – writing a post. For my own new blog. In Engish.