How to Find Work as a Digital Nomad5 min read
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As remote work opportunities expand, online job boards and resources have popped up to help nomads and aspiring remote workers find fulfilling short- and long-term gigs to sustain them while they’re living and working abroad.
This article is designed to give you a quick rundown of resources and best practices that you can begin using right now to secure work opportunities as you plan for your nomadic life.
Relevant job boards for finding remote work
We Work Remotely offers a searchable database of remote positions across more than eight categories, from marketing to dev-ops and everything in between.
Jobspresso lists remote positions across a range of categories and offers the option of creating a profile and posting your resume for employers to see.
Remote.co lists remote positions across 10+ categories. The job board is user-friendly and their blog offers tips and best practices for remote work.
Working Nomads lists remote positions under 15 categories, including Legal and Finance. Set up a profile to keep tabs on bookmarked jobs, but beware that sometimes the listings can be out of date.
Remotely Awesome Jobs offers a list of remote opportunities tailored for technical and programming professionals. An additional resource curated for this crowd is Authentic Jobs.
Outsourcely is the LinkedIn of the remote job market. The platform will ask you to set up a profile and have at least one of your past job positions verified in order to be able to start applying for positions on their site. Here, you can chat with employers, see how many others have applied for the position, and participate in a referral bonus program.
Dribbble is a site that allows UX/UI designers to share their work and see what others are working on. Dribbble’s job board is great as it allows you to easily search by Remote roles only. Behance is another designer resource with a robust jobs board.
AngelList is a job board specific to startups, many of which are hiring for contract and/or “Remote OK” professionals. To begin, set up a profile that includes your employment background. Once you’ve done that, you can apply to jobs with a single click and message employers. Filter by “Remote OK” in the job search to limit your outreach to only those companies open to partnering with nomads like yourself.
The Muse offers a job platform with opportunities filtered by position, job level and company size. As an added benefit, The Muse offers top notch information including career coaching/advice and company profiles.
Glassdoor allows you to search jobs through a keyword search, as well as setting up a profile with your resume. To start, they will ask you to submit one review of a company you have worked at or with, and this can be anonymous.
Indeed is a job aggregator that allows you to search jobs by keyword and location. Since most jobs here are full-time and on-site, you will need to use keywords like “remote,” “freelance” or “contract” to identify the right opportunities.
LinkedIn is an obvious place to search, and makes it very easy to apply for opportunities. Similar to Indeed, since this network is more targeted to traditional opportunities, you’ll need to use keywords in your search to find remote-friendly opportunities.
“If you’re on Slack already (which is increasingly common), consider joining communities there to stay connected with the broader nomad community. NomadList’s Slack Channel, for example, brings together 7,000+ nomads from around the world. You can join at www.join.nomadlist.com.”
Sofia Miller, Independent Designer, Porto, Portugal
General best practices for the remote job search
Here are some words to the wise as you job hunt as a nomad:
- Be sure to keep your profiles complete and up-to-date. This is especially important when it comes to applying to opportunities via established networks like LinkedIn, AngelList and Indeed.
- Maintain a spreadsheet of ideal companies or opportunities you come across in your search. Mark the status of your application, so you don’t have to rely on your memory when it comes time to follow-up.
- Do your homework! Without the ability to visit an office or meet the team in person, use resources like Glassdoor and The Muse to get a sense of salary expectations (helpful for calculating your rate), cultural watch-outs and other red flags.
- If you can, apply via the network or job board, but also use LinkedIn to identify the hiring manager and reach out directly. Tools like Email Checker allow you to verify someone’s email address without ever hitting send.
- Although you might be traveling in a faraway land, take proactive steps to remain “on the radar” in key markets. This might be as simple as participating in a Twitter chat or Slack channel, contributing thought leadership via LinkedIn Pulse or Medium, offering to participate in a webinar, or connecting with recruiters who pair opportunities in your industry. Make an effort to keep your personal brand relevant and fresh in the markets that will hire you.
- Most remote workers can benefit from setting up a simple online portfolio that quickly establishes their skills, previous work/ partners and contact information. Tools like Squarespace make this relatively easy, but if you want to go even more minimalistic, check out about.me, which reduces the friction of buying and maintaining a formal domain.
All of this information is just the start in beginning your search for remote work. Once you’ve found the best places to surface opportunities within your industry, schedule a block of time each month (or perhaps once every two weeks) to browse job boards and contact employers. If you’re mostly working on projects, scanning and applying for roles will likely become a core part of your new business strategy and a requirement for keeping your pipeline growing as a remote worker.