A lot of people assume you have to be independently wealthy to take a couple of years to travel the country while living out of an RV. Nope. Not the case at all. If you do some serious planning and choose the right kind of work, you don’t have to wait until retirement to scratch landmarks and cities you’ve always wanted to see off your bucket list.
If you’re really serious about becoming a digital nomad, it can be done. There are a bunch of jobs you can do that don’t require you to go into a physical office from 9 to 5. According to statistics, 57 million people (36 percent) in the United States work in the gig economy as freelancers or solopreneurs. Many others work remotely for employers who have figured out that they can cut overhead costs, boost employee morale, and exponentially increase their potential talent pools if they let people work remotely.
However, to succeed, you do need to have the right skills … and usually, the ability to connect to the internet. Here are 10 work skills you can use to achieve location independence and live the lifestyle you’ve been dreaming about:
1. Writing or editing
On the web, all sorts of niche areas exist for writing and editing work. For starters, you can pen articles, blog posts, scripts, press releases, and eBooks. Other options include copywriting, technical writing, sales copywriting, ghostwriting for various needs, SEO writing, or travel writing. The latter would be a particularly good niche, as your RV adventures will provide lots of ideas and real-life experiences you can apply to your writing.
If writing isn’t your thing but you have a good eye for detail, you can also provide proofreading and editing services to companies. As part of the editing process, some companies also look for people to fact-check other people’s writing before they publish it.
2. Resumé writing
This skill is a little different from other types of writing because you’ll need to be up to date on the changing trends, styles, and details associated with modern resumés. You can offer your services either to people who need to improve their existing resumés or those looking to have a resumé built from scratch.
3. Social media marketing
To effectively compete in crowded markets, companies of all sizes have discovered they need to build and maintain a strong social media presence. If you’re social media-savvy, know how to draw positive digital attention, and are skilled at building good relationships online, this could be the perfect gig for you.
4. Digital marketing and SEO
If you’ve got a keen understanding of marketing, this is a field easily approached online in various capacities. Roles in email marketing, SEO optimization, Google Adwords optimization, Facebook ads consulting, and marketing management all can be filled remotely.
As the economy continues to operate on a global basis, many businesses and organizations are in high need of translators. If you’ve got verbal and written fluency in more than one language, you’re in a great position. Set up a professional website for yourself, show some samples, and start networking to get your name out there — it’s like passing out a business card, but virtually.
6. Web development, app development, and programming
If you are proficient in one or more coding languages and/or know the ins and outs of either web or app development (or both!), these are great skills to take with you on the road. It’s a niche that’s always in demand, either freelancing or working for companies. Another related — and potentially lucrative — area to peddle your programming skills is in game development.
“Consultant” is a general term, but if you have any specialized expertise, you can take your skills and use it to guide and teach others, all from the comfort of your RV. Both businesses and consumers often turn to consultants to share their know-how.
In-demand areas of knowledge include accounting, product development, personal finance, career counseling, human resources, home security, home design, green living, nutrition, and organization and efficiency (living in an RV, you’ve got to be good at those last ones!).
Even if you don’t have any of these specific skills, this is a business you can build around specialized knowledge you do possess. Think outside the box to see if there might be something you do routinely that others may not know how to do, but need to.
8. Teaching ESL or tutoring
Do you have strong knowledge in math, English, science, a foreign language, graphic design software, or another specialized area? If so, why not consider turning it into a full- or part-time gig? As distance learning has become an established standard in education today, many successful entrepreneurs find great opportunities to share their knowledge with others online. Using online tools such as Skype, you can even “meet” face-to-face with your students.
9. Virtual assistant work
Traditionally, an office assistant handled all of the support tasks for their bosses by sitting at a desk outside their offices. This is one job that has significantly evolved. If you’re a good multi-tasker and hyper-organized, this could be the perfect remote job for you. Many businesses hire freelancers or full-time employees to fill the role of virtual assistant.
Bookkeeping is one skill that is easy to perform remotely. If you have deep knowledge of spreadsheets and accounting principles, take that skill to the next level and turn it into a business. Many organizations hire bookkeepers to help them pay bills, track budgets, maintain accounts, and perform payroll duties, to name a few tasks.
If these 10 ideas don’t stand out to you, consider other remote job opportunities such as customer service, video editing, graphic design, logo design, video voice-overs, photography, project management, transcription, nutrition consulting, or even relationship counseling. If you sit down and think about the skills you possess, either professionally or through a hobby, you’ll see there are numerous ways you can put yourself to work.
If making a living from the road is one of the fears holding you back from achieving location independence, it doesn’t have to be. Thanks to the power of the internet and mobile technology, it’s easier than ever to establish a full-time career online, either through one role or multiple gigs.