After years of working in a brick-and-mortar office building, you’ve finally had it. Maybe it’s the insane commute that leaves you stuck in traffic every day. Or perhaps you’ve had enough of your gossipy colleagues who are always chit chatting. Or maybe you simply yearn to strap on your backpack and see more of the world while still making a living. No matter the reason, you are ready to quit your 9-to-5 gig and work remotely, using whatever technology you can find to submit your work and stay in touch with clients.
Before giving your boss your two weeks’ notice, make sure you’re prepared for you new life as a digital nomad with these tips.
Unless you have a tidy sum in your savings account or really low living expenses, you should not quit your regular job until you have steady freelance work lined up. Take an honest look at your skill set and consider what you can translate into entrepreneurial work that can be done remotely. Reach out to potential clients and prepare to burn plenty of midnight oil while you juggle at least two jobs. Once you have enough new projects lined up, give your boss your notice.
Prepare for Spotty Internet Coverage
If you are planning on working primarily from a home office, you can probably make do with your existing internet service. However, if you envision staying in touch with clients while backpacking through Malaysia or Australia, plan on having internet and cellphone service issues. Talk with your existing mobile phone provider about data and phone plan options and spring for the best plan that covers international travel without huge added fees. Take the time to research free Wi-Fi hot spots and use them whenever possible. If you are going to be off the grid for a few weeks, change your voicemail to let clients know your return date, and be sure to get all of your deadlines and projects completed well before your departure.
Invest in New Technology
Working remotely requires some “tote-able” technology — even the lightest laptop can be cumbersome to lug around in a backpack for miles at a time. Consider purchasing new and lightweight tech devices that will still allow you to work at your peak performance. For example, the iPad Pro from T-Mobile is easy to carry and exceptionally user friendly. It boasts quick wireless connectivity through Wi-Fi or cellular service so you can share documents and data, and work from your neighborhood Starbucks or a café abroad. To make working from a tablet easier, purchase a keyboard to go with it.
Be True to Your Word
As long as you deliver high-quality work on time, most clients will not care if you work from your home office or from a mountain top in Peru. With that in mind, it’s important to be open and honest with clients about your life as a digital nomad, and even more vital to produce exceptional work on deadline.