Are you thinking about whether being a digital nomad is something for you? Or that a steady job in corporate life is more you thing? I have to say – I cannot remember the last time I regretted my decision to quit my job and become an entrepreneur and digital nomad. Still, my life as an IT consultant with a large international firm also had its advantages. There are 5 things I miss as a digital nomad sometimes 🙂
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Working with young, smart, driven and ambitious people brings out the best in me. In my corporate job, I was surrounded by these people all the time. It was super motivating and we could learn so much from each other. Everyone was always ready to help someone else out or to have a beer after work if it was a long day. Even though my colleagues would often distract me hundreds of times a day, they in no way compare with the distractions I deal with while travelling and working online 😉
So yeah, I really liked my colleagues! As a digital nomad, it’s a bit harder to surround yourself with the right people. Many of the people I now see as colleagues I don’t see every day. Mostly, I communicate with them online. This sometimes creates a feeling of isolation. As soon as I notice that feeling, I make sure to go out and find people that inspire me. Also, it’s super important that you have people with whom you can share success, but also disappointment. I find these people on networking events, relevant Facebook groups like Female Digital Nomads or Ambitieuze Meisjes in the Netherlands, seminars or for example in co-working spaces. Some of these people even became my mentors!
In a large corporate firm, there is usually someone who has already done what you are trying to do. Therefore, if you don’t know how to do something, you reach out to a manager, an SME (subject matter expert) or someone else in the firm via the intranet. There is always someone with more experience than you, which creates a great learning curve.
Next to that, most firms couple you with a career counsellor or coach to find your way within the company. A person you can talk to if you’re not feeling well, if you want to do something different or for example if you want to move positions within a company.
Mentoring is really one of the things I miss as a digital nomad sometimes. Mentoring is so important – not only content wise, but mainly mindset and motivation wise! It took me about 1,5 year, but I have now found some amazing mentors who help me keep focused and can help me answer any questions I may have.
Most corporate firms offer fixed training budgets or specific trainings to be followed. Within your training budget you can choose what kind of training you want to do, where (bonus points if it brings you travel!) and when. Many people get certificates for things as PRINCE 2 or AGILE and this is a great basis for future jobs. As you grow in your career, sales and leadership training becomes available and can be of great value.
It’s hard to beat a good classroom training and the learning curve of on the job training, but there is a plentitude of free and paid online courses around these days. Universities like Stanford and Harvard offer a part of their curriculum online. Also websites like Udemy and Coursera offer courses on about any topic you can find, and also Google offers many amazing courses.
As a digital nomad I sometimes find it hard what kind of training to choose. The real good training programs usually require some investments. I invested in myself by picking a digital marketing programme that really helped me set up an online business that is largely automated.
4. Free travel
Although business travel can get old, the trips where you get to stay over the weekend are great! I spent 4 weeks in India for work at some point and I travelled to many places while I was there. Although you usually work more when you are abroad then when you are at the home office (due to time differences), still I always found some time to travel! Because your hotel and main plane ticket were covered, these were great cheap trips! Next to this, business travel was a great way to accumulate frequent flyer point! Now, 2 years after quitting my job, I still have some points left.
Obviously as a Digital Nomad you pay for your own travels 🙂 However, if you do it smart, you can set up an automated business that runs while you are travelling (or when you’re sleeping). Auto-responders, recurring payments, a sales force, it’s all possible. Next to that, when you generate a large enough following you may be invited on press trips or be eligible for free stays in hotels.
5. Company Benefits
A car, a phone, a laptop, free dinners, free transport, goodies, frequent flyer miles and hotel reward programs – name it and you can get it these days! Companies lure in new people with their benefits and people gladly make use of it 🙂 I have to say, when I made the switch to becoming a digital nomad, my costs for these things increased drastically.
When your laptop breaks down and you need a new one, you really need the cash for it. Same for phone contracts – especially when you exceed your monthly limit! When I had a very busy project, I had team dinners almost every week and it was really cool to visit new restaurants this way.
Of course these benefits are no reason to stay in your 9-5 corporate job, but they surely made life easier at some points 🙂
Digital Nomad or Corporate Life?
Are you interested in living life like a Digital nomad? Or about learning more about digital marketing or looking for a coach? Let me know and I can help you get started! 🙂 Or, download my e-book about taking the first steps towards becoming a digital nomad here.