So, you’re an entrepreneur with his or her mindset on living and working in another country. We don’t have to explain to you the myriad benefits associated with life as a digital nomad. In fact, we applaud your decision to live and work overseas. Nonetheless, there are a few things to consider before picking up your laptop and leaving town. Already gone? No worries. Follow these five simple tips and you’re sure to increase your chances of finding work and making friends in your newly adopted country.
1. Reach out to your online circle of friends.
Social media can be a highly effective resource for anyone who wants to join the digital nomad tribe. Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Meetup offer endless opportunities to network with like-minded individuals who live abroad and share your entrepreneurial spirit.
Start by reaching out to your online contacts. Find out who lives and works in your new vicinity and invite them to get together for coffee or lunch. Better yet, ask where to find the best local Internet cafe and arrange to meet there. If they bring a local friend or two, great. Every amiable contact you make offers another brilliant chance to find out about part-time jobs at brick-and-mortar resorts, restaurants, and hotels as well as digital contract work in your chosen field.
2. Participate in support groups that cater to digital nomads.
The Internet is chock full of groups where digital nomads share experiences, advice, and inspiration. Start a free account at Meetup, Facebook, Reddit, and LinkedIn to find dozens of online groups and pages where worldwide remote workers congregate. Start a Meetup event of your own and follow businesses that interest you on Twitter.
Don’t limit yourself to online meetings, however. The sooner you network face to face with experienced locals, the faster you’ll become oriented to living and working in your adopted country. Use Google, Yahoo, or Duck Duck Go to look up your chosen city along with relevant search terms to find clubs, guilds, unions, and real-life social groups.
3. Learn the lingo, language, and customs.
If you are serious about residing and working abroad, move to a country where most people speak your native language. Should you wish to gain employment at a resort or do digital work in another country, communication is key. Make an effort to learn the local language, and never forget that some things that are customary at home may be considered quite unusual in your adopted country.
4. Be open-minded and ready for an opportunity.
If you remain stuck to a fixed agenda, you might miss out on the sort of happenstance that makes living and working abroad such an adventure. Think a hotel filled with American tourists is the best way to find interesting local gigs? Think again. Hostels, coffee houses, sporting events, and shared residences can be great places to find and interact with folks who came for the scenery and stayed for the laptop lifestyle.
5. Consider shared office space.
Every week, another shared workspace opens. Besides being a great way to save money on monthly expenses, shared workspaces also offer a first-class location at which to explore employment in your new city. Co-working facilities typically furnish desks, printers, fast Wi-Fi, coffee, and comfortable space in which to meet with clients. Some even provide pool tables, ping pong tables, and other break-time amusements.
If you’re going to be an offshore entrepreneur, be resourceful and stay creative. Network, network, network. Be friendly and always act professionally. Seek the advice of those who got there before you, follow the tips outlined above, and you’re bound to boost your chances of becoming a super-successful digital nomad in your adopted country.