Recent events have led to a shift in our understanding of work, leading to the present rise in remote jobs. Working online from anywhere in the world has become much more accessible, and we’re here for it.
As a digital nomad, having the autonomy to travel wherever is your main criterion when it comes to looking for a job. Not all industries are the same, though – you’re much more likely to land a remote-friendly position in an industry that doesn’t require your physical presence.
If you’re interested in location-independent work, read on to find out more about the best industries to work in if you’re a digital nomad.
What Should Digital Nomads Consider When Job-Hunting?
Let’s break it down in order of priority. You may prioritize differently depending on individual preference and personal circumstances, but this works as a great general guideline for job-hunting criteria.
First consider lifestyle compatibility, which encompasses work-life balance, location independence, and autonomy. Next, look at the role’s flexibility in terms of work hours, work arrangements, and the freedom to choose projects or clients.
You should also check whether the position offers appropriate compensation since that will determine your ability to sustain your preferred lifestyle. In turn, job stability will provide you with security and peace of mind.
By considering these factors on top of more common specifics like job requirements and growth opportunities, you can make an informed decision and find a job that works for you.
Where To Find Remote Work for Digital Nomads
Thanks to the internet, remote work is easier to find now than ever before. As long as you have the qualifications, you’ll successfully find a location-independent job in no time.
Remote positions can be found in these places:
● Company websites
● Employment agencies
● Industry-specific job boards
● Remote-specific job boards
● Professional networking sites like LinkedIn
● Job search platforms like Indeed, Glassdoor, and Monster
You can even join an online or in-person community or reach out to connections within your network for remote work opportunities.
Top Industries for Digital Nomads
Now that we’ve covered the basics of job hunting for digital nomads, let’s take a look at the best remote-friendly industries.
As its name suggests, digital marketing involves connecting organizations to target audiences by using online communication as a medium.
This includes but is not limited to social media, email, text, and web-based advertising – if you’ve seen banner ads on a website or a sponsored Google search result when you’re looking for something, that’s digital marketing right there.
That’s not all, though. Digital marketing doesn’t just involve communication and connection, it also includes analyzing and optimizing said communication to do better.
You’ll find content specialists, brand managers, and social media marketers in this sphere, where these roles serve a general purpose: to promote something in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
While digital marketing jobs can be done both in person and remotely, the core business aspect of brand promotion and customer outreach is done online. With some finessing, entire digital marketing teams can work remotely with little to no reason to spend any time at a physical office.
In certain cases, being in a different time zone or a different location can work to your advantage when you’re looking for a remote digital marketing role. Some companies look for candidates targeting a specific regional market, and your unique perspective as a digital nomad could help you stand out among other applicants.
Digital marketing is also a broad field: we’re generalizing here, but most industries and organizations will eventually need some form of digital marketing to keep up with the competition. This is great because, depending on your personal interest, you can work on promoting anything from food, clothes, cars or Canadian online slots. Whether you work for an advertising agency, as a freelancer, or in-house for a marketing department, you’ll find no lack of vacancies for digital marketers worldwide.
Content is everything, literally so – the wide world of content encompasses your favourite movies, the posts you’re scrolling on Instagram, and even this article you’re reading right now. If you’re a content creator, you’re in luck as this is one of the highest-demand fields out there.
First things first: media content includes things like blog posts, newsletters, posters, videos, podcasts, emails, websites, infographics, and more. In creating media content, you’ll find people who are video editors, graphic designers, writers, and editors, just to name a few.
The great thing about this field is that it’s very accessible – you’re not limited to only one form of media, and many skills acquired here can be transferred between roles, mediums, and organizations. You don’t even have to pick up any formal schooling to do well in content creation as plenty of learning resources are available online, often for free.
Certain content creation roles have to be done in person, such as photography or videography, but even then, you can still live the digital nomad life if your niche is in something like travel. Other content creation roles involve just a device and a steady internet connection, and you’re good to go.
One more thing we like about this industry is its time flexibility. For example, you could work half the year and front load all your content for scheduled posting, or you could work only half the week or half the day depending on your work arrangements. You could also work on seasonal projects where you’re on retainer providing services for a contracted amount of time – the sky’s the limit here.
Software Development and Information Technology
Don’t worry if you don’t have the gift of the gab – technical fields like programming, computer science, software development and information technology are also remote-friendly. In fact, they’re probably the pioneers of large-scale remote work dating back to the ‘80s, as can be seen in this IBM technical whitepaper.
When you’re in a technical industry like IT, you often have skills that can be leveraged for specific work arrangements during job negotiations. If you don’t, online skills development courses are a-plenty, along with other structured learning options like boot camps and university courses.
Like digital marketing and content creation, some IT roles require your physical presence, especially if you’re working with hardware. Others, however, can be done remotely as long as you have a stable internet connection and a machine that suits your needs.
Many IT positions require full-time work hours or some form of time commitment in general, but if you’re a freelancer or contractor, you can enjoy some extra flexibility with your billable hours and deliverable deadlines.
That’s the point of location-independent work: you’re not chained to a desk for the work week with your boss breathing down your neck, and you can work whenever and wherever you like (within reason) as long as you’re present and engaged when it counts.
Online Business and E-Commerce
Next in line is the world of online business and e-commerce, where goods and services are sold online. This is also a broad field: physical goods can be sold by shipping globally to customers, while digital goods and services can be sold through online marketplaces, platforms, and even word of mouth.
Even if you’re selling physical goods, you might not need to be present in person or to have a physical inventory – drop shippers earn their keep by functioning as a proxy connecting customers to the items they want. Meanwhile, affiliate marketers generate income by earning commissions from referring a product or service to their audience.
Whether you’re a business owner or an employee, this industry is very digital nomad friendly. Depending on your work configuration, you’ll find that you can work remotely in most job roles in this sphere – the only exception we can think of is if you’re in charge of fulfilling orders or manufacturing goods to be sold, in which case you’ll have to be on-site.
Positions you can find in the online business and e-commerce industry include order clerks, pay-per-click (PPC) managers, and virtual assistants just to name a few.
Online Education and E-Learning
If you like having a personal touch in your remote work, you’ll like the online education and e-learning industry. Online education is more involved as students and teachers interact face-to-face during an appointment, while e-learning has teachers conducting classes that students can engage with at their own pace.
You can teach just about anything as long as someone is willing to learn (and pay for it of course). From music to languages, to how to make your own fancy dress party costume, there’s a class and a student for everything.
Some online language education providers are happy to hire remotely – digital nomads living in a similar time zone as their students actually have an edge as this means that they’re available during the same waking hours.
For e-learning, platforms like Coursera, Codecademy, Skillshare, Udemy, and edX have made learning online much more accessible both for students and teachers. You can also host your own courses, guides, e-books, and videos on your own website, Patreon, or Ko-Fi if you have an existing audience.
By the way, you don’t always have to teach in the online education and e-learning industry – remote positions like educational consultants, curriculum coordinators, project managers, and learning designers are also available if interacting directly with students isn’t your cup of tea.
If you’re working with a remote-first or remote-friendly organization, administrative roles may also be location independent.
More Considerations for Digital Nomads
Finding a job in a remote-friendly industry is just the first step for digital nomads. Here are some other things to iron out before you make the big jump:
International Taxation and Legal Implications
If you’re living in a different country from your country of origin, you should be aware of the tax obligations and laws that apply to you in both your home country and the country you reside in.
Some areas to research and comply with include visa requirements, work permits, double taxation treaties, tax laws, and any specific legal considerations that apply to your situation. In case you’re interested in being a digital nomad in Toronto, here is a great guide that can help you sort these things out.
Time Zone Differences
Being a digital nomad, it’s likely you’ll work with clients and colleagues from different time zones – this can make scheduling, coordination, and communication challenging.
Thankfully, there are tools to help with this, such as time zone converters to help you get on the same page. Developing skills like flexibility and effective time management will also help you keep the ball rolling work-wise.
Having a reliable internet connection and work device is integral to remote work: without these, digital nomads will just be nomads.
Wherever you are, you’ll most likely need to have access to high-speed internet to work, unless your line of work doesn’t require that you communicate with colleagues or clients, or you don’t need access to online resources.
Check ahead to make sure you have internet available whether that’s through your accommodation, a co-working space, or mobile internet.
We covered tax obligations and legal requirements earlier, but that’s not all when it comes to cross-border finances.
Digital nomads will need to manage finances in their home country and in their country of residence to prevent cash flow problems – this also includes managing currency exchange rates and international money transfer options on top of basic income and expense management.
Insurance and Healthcare
While you’re travelling and working remotely, you’ll want to make sure that you’re taken care of in an unexpected situation. Consider your insurance coverage and healthcare options in your destination country – some health insurance providers cover international travel, medical emergencies, and access to healthcare services in different countries. Canada’s healthcare is generous, but not entirely free for digital nomads and expats. It may be smart to get something like the PassportCard, an insurance that offers international healthcare coverage.
With robust and remote-friendly industries like digital marketing, content creation, software development and information technology, online business, and e-commerce, as well as online education and e-learning, you won’t find yourself without opportunities on your digital nomad journey.
Spend a little time selecting the right industry for you before you embark and don’t worry about getting it perfect the first time around – there are opportunities everywhere waiting for you to explore. The world is your oyster.