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How to Get Started as a Digital Nomad

Everyone has the possibility to become a digital nomad. But not everyone has this ability right off the bat. It is not feasible to expect that you can go instantly from your cubicle job to a life of running a location independent business abroad (although it can be exciting to try this out for a short period). In general, you will need to get some things in place first; what that depends on your station in life and career. For instance, when you already have an up and running coaching practice or a web store the jump to become a digital nomad is easier than when you work at the local supermarket. But I am convinced that the lifestyle is possible for everyone who really wants to.

Some things to take into consideration are:

Do not aim too high

Go for a modest lifestyle sustaining income first. This means you can get in the digital nomad mode without too much planning and hassle. It makes sure you make the step without thinking it over too many times which can cause you to chicken out of the idea. When you think about it you do not need that much money on an international level to sustain yourself (i.e. $2000 a month can already be very good income for low-income countries).

When you have a certain skill, leverage it online as the freelancer. In case you do not have a specific skill you can always do online grunt work, as text writing, or being a virtual assistant. Now, that will not be fun but ensures that you get a modest income while you are working on your long term projects. Of course, when you have a good office job, it would be silly to throw it away just like that. Working in a regular job while building your location independent business at the same time can also be a decent avenue. Just make sure you make the move at some point in time though.

The only thing I would really recommend against is that you save a lot of money in order to be a digital nomad. This is fine when you are a tourist, but when you really want the lifestyle it gives the wrong mindset. You living on savings abroad is a “losing money” mindset, which gives you some sort of deadline at which you have to return home. IMO that is not what makes a location independent lifestyle successful. Success is based on a “making money” mindset so you will be able to live abroad indefinitely (in a technical sense).

Do not aim too low

Have a grand long-term goal towards which you are working. Making the first step is very important and you can do it with modest means. But when you only stick to this you will run into yourself and your dreams down the road in a few years’ time. It is better to also have some grand projects going on that can make money in the long run. For instance, you make money as a freelancer, which is great, but it is basically learning on a day by day basis. For a longer term view it makes sense to build some websites which can add value (i.e. a blog) or that you build a framework to employ other freelancers who work for you in some way, so you can grow your business.

This point can be summarized as: start small but think big. From time to time take a step back and think about how you can improve your skills/business/profit in the long run in a smart way – so not only by doing more work. This makes you a digital nomad to stay, and not only one that lives day by day.

Write down the steps towards your goal and quantify them

Note all the things you have to do in order for you to reach your goals. Make these steps small and attainable. Personally, I am a fan of to-do lists. It gives you a straightforward basis on what to work on for the day and as part of your bigger projects and goals.

Completing every step gives you also some sort of fulfillment and will give you the motivation to keep working on your projects. When you have to do a big step at once or have only one goal quantified can look like that the goal is not achievable or too big to tackle. Making the steps small make to your work on it little by little. And then, suddenly you big goal is achieved. That is a very gratifying feeling.

Do the work

Being a digital nomad and living location independent is not same as having a holiday (or at least not all the time). You will have to put in the necessary amount of work to make it happen. And perhaps when you start out you will have to do more work than ever. So it can happen that you find yourself on a beautiful beach or in a scenic mountainous area, just to find yourself working on your laptop on a new project, sweating away.

But when you really want it, it does not really matter. Because you know that what you want, becoming location independent, is worth it.

Have the right mindset

Of course, before all this, you need the correct mindset first. Do you really want it? Everyone has the possibility but that does not mean everyone should, can or wants to do it. You need to have a certain mindset that you want to be free, and not to be bound by normal conventions too much. Do not be swayed by social peer pressure.

And by the way, do not get too hung up on the principle of being a strict “digital nomad” or what it is supposed to be. That is not what it is. It is more about how to get the best out of yourself while using this skill to make money in a location independent way. So, think about your passions and core skills first, then think about how to make money from it online.

How to get Work as a Freelance Translator

Over the last three months, I have joined four outsourcing platforms as a freelancer translator: Fiverr, Odesk, Onehourtranslation, and Elance – all four quite different venues to secure translation jobs. In this post, I want to share some personal experiences and insights with starting freelancers or those of you who are thinking about going this route.

The truth is that everybody is blessed with its own expertise, and more often than not, the person who would be able to get a certain job done might not equipped with the ability to get the job in the first place, and vice versa. A while ago I was ‘hired’ by a client who claimed that he needed professional translators to translate some business texts from English to Chinese. However, shortly thereafter I realized that he wasn’t the business owner nor even a translation agency. He was an individual translator just like me, only that he somehow managed to secure much more jobs than he could handle all on his own, so he re-outsourced his work to other freelance translators and offered them lower pay than what he was offered by his clients. This way he managed to make money without even having to translate by himself anymore.

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When you step into the translators’ community don’t be surprised if in the beginning you find yourself in the bottom of the hierarchy – even if you are very experienced in the offline world. Therefore you should not get frustrated when you application is declined when the elected one has “I live Japan. I have master degree in English.” written on his profile. The very first thing you should set straight before hitting the ‘sign up’ button is to battle against your own uncertainty. Convince yourself that you can do the job and then arm yourself with unbreakable mindset and ultimate patience to defeat the any potential setbacks along the way.

Up next is to make yourself available online for potential clients. For examples, I will use Odesk and Fiverr to show you a few tips about how to make a decent profile, how to apply for jobs, and how to get the job done ahead of the deadline without making yourself stressed and crazy.

How to make a decent profile?

Also known as: how to make a glamorous and attractive profile without having to lie? My fundamental philosophy is to be my better-true-self whenever it’s possible. When filling in the blanks upon registration, use a good natural picture of yourself (the one that can present your confidence and good attitude, preferably but not necessarily, frontal picture with a big smile and composed posture). When writing an overview about yourself, make a logical outline first. I would recommend you to first give your clients a brief idea of your competence, in my case, language skills. Then highlight your language skills by explaining how you got to possess these language skills.

For example, as a Japanese native speaker, you are able to speak English at a native level because you have attended an international school where the language for teaching was English, or you have studied abroad, or you are none of these but passed the TOEFL test with flying colors. Do whatever necessary to enhance your profile. Set up your rate based on your evaluation of yourself or you can do a check up on your competitor’s rates and then find your most competitive position. Fill up the portfolio and pass the tests as well as possible. Those tests are actually much easier than you might think. However, you can only take them once. Don’t be lazy. Laziness won’t get you anywhere when you choose to be a freelancer because you don’t have a fixed boss to get steady assignments from every day when you set foot in the office. Take as much time as you need to create an original and sincere and convincible profile. Get rid of the grammar mistakes and typos. If you really find it difficult for you to present yourself in words, as an alternative, you can also hire a professional ghost writer online to write it based on the information you provided.

Now that you are registered, the next step is to wait for orders or actively apply for jobs (recommended when you start out).

How to apply for jobs?

1) Be alert

As a rookie, you are most likely to be ignored by professional clients and targeted by scammers. To diminish the risk of being taken advantage of, remember to always check for references. For example, on Odesk, take a few seconds before applying to check the client’s previous feedbacks. When it’s a fixed price job, the payment is merely depending on your client’s integrity. On Fiverr, remember to not do the job until the client places an official order and activates the order. There are a lot of rules on both of the two websites. Again, don’t be lazy and at least skim through the policies and rules beforehand to avoid unnecessary pitfalls.

2) Start with small jobs

Although your profile is important, your ratings are even more important. There is a wide variety of clients out there. Most of them value ratings and experiences very much but there’s still some of them who are willing to give a chance to a newbie. On Odesk, new contractors usually have very limited applications to use every week. In the beginning, in order to make the best of your limited chances, you might want to focus on small jobs, for they are easier to get and the quick turnaround enables you to get more ratings quickly and to build up your connections. Eventually, you will get the attention of bigger clients.

3) Submit an application that can help you grab the client’s heart

In case you find it too time-consuming to write a cover letter every time you apply, you can make a standard template. However, this might save you time but won’t get you any further unless you season it according to the job posting to adjust to the client’s specific taste. Besides displaying how skillful you are for the job requirements, you might want to show the client your seriousness and enthusiasm by asking questions about the job posting. Last but not least, do a review before submitting. It’s ok if your wording is mediocre but make sure your texts flow naturally without any grammar mistakes and typos.

4) When is the best time to submit an application? The earlier, the better.

The early bird gets the worm. As a beginner with no substantial credit yet to back you up, you can compensate by NOT BEING LAZY. Get up 1 hour earlier or stay up 30 mins later depending on the time zones for you, your competitors and the clients. First come, first serve. Also, time is money, for both the client and yourself.

Finally, two days later, maybe two weeks later, someone hired you! Then comes up the next question:

How to overpower the deadline rather than being enslaved by the deadline?

In the earlier stage of my not-so-long freelance career, I messed up my daily activities by devoting all my priorities on my contracts and orders. All that to impress the client and also to get the jobs finished so that I can proceed to my next job. I was so stressed that I began to doubt my choice of becoming a freelancer. It turned out that being hasty was not the same as being fast. The client won’t be satisfied unless your work is impeccable. Don’t expect you can get away with the little defects resulting from your hastiness. In the end, it takes you much more time to revise your work again and again, than have it done rather slowly and carefully. Although not too slow, because most clients still will give good ratings if you do good follow-ups but late delivery is inexcusable. Some clients even can use it as a potent reason to not pay you at all.

I was advised by a successful freelancer that I should learn to focus my attention. When there’s a lot on your plate and your time is limited, the only thing you can do is to increase your productivity by putting all your attention on your current task. Put things in order according to their flexibility and importance. Devote your most energetic hours to conquer the most difficult tasks. When it’s time to have a romantic dinner with your loved one, then forget all about the contracts. You know what matters the most.

I believe the one shared goal for those who choose to become freelancers is to enjoy the freedom. It takes strong mindset, positive attitude and enormous devotion and more to get closer and closer to this goal. The beginning is always the hardest, but it’s not impossible. Many people have made it. Why shouldn’t you?

Unsure of a grammar rule? Now you can grammar,  spell, check for plagiarism and any text or document online.

“Convince the Prospective Employer that you are the Best Person for the Job!” Part 2

The answer to that is KNOWLEDGE!

“The Most Qualified is not Always the One that Gets Hired”

Did you know that almost two-thirds of the time, the best-qualified candidate does not get the job offer? And the person hired often meets fewer than 50% of the job qualifications!

It is not the most qualified candidate who is hired – it is the one who is

Best Prepared.

Once you have the knowledge you can UNDERSTAND.

And when you UNDERSTAND something, you can HANDLE IT!

You take CONTROL!

That applies after you get the job as well. Most problems are usually a lack of understanding; not knowing what to do and how to do it or when to do it.

After the months of researching and too many dollars spent (Oh, well!!) I came across an all-inclusive plan that was so good I was forced to cancel my idea to write a book on job interviews.

Can You Imagine a one stop source that offers…

Well the most important thing you need to know is that it is all about you and it is all in your head. Be prepared, do not think that improvisation will show the best of you, be yourself and believe that you can do it.

The bottom line…

I have done all the research for you. I have saved you the time and trouble. You don’t need to search or spend hours going through the different programs available. It is done! With this information you will have an unfair advantage over your competitors. That is what you want isn’t it?

I hope you liked this post and I wish you good luck with your job search. I believe in you and now it is your turn to believe in yourself!

“Convince the Prospective Employer that you are the Best Person for the Job!”

These situations can drive you nuts, depress you and make you think you will never get past the nightmare of interviews and waiting to hear the phone ring. It is a nerve-wracking process, but does it have to be?

The job interview questions and answers sometimes make you feel like a police interrogation is taking place and you know you haven’t done anything wrong, but it makes you feel like maybe you did.

The job interview questions & answers are throwing you for a loop.

You are going over your whole life every time a question is asked.

You start to wonder about the clothes you’re wearing; are they what this interviewer likes or do they disapprove?

Did I smile or frown?

Is my hair Okay?

Did I answer quickly enough?

Did I give enough information or too much?

There is a way out of the never ending loop of anxiety and unknowing!

Simple strategies to help you nail that next job interview!

Hi, my name is Cecil Ming. I have been a counselor for over 30 years. I want to tell you a story about how I found the most comprehensive information for job seeking success.

A few months ago I started researching the subject of job interviews and the questions and answers that would be of use. In my 30 years of counseling, I had run across many clients that were tearing their hair out over the job search process. Being in the business of helping, I wanted to see what was available on the subject and possibly write a book. In doing the research I found plenty of information, but not a complete picture. I searched over 50 sites that offered information on job interview questions & answers, some of which was free info while others only presented a sales page.

I searched further and actually started buying the available products. Wow, that can get expensive! However, it is part of a thorough research project, and I wanted to know what was in these different programs.

Finding the answers is important to me. In my 30 years of counseling, I have found that the anxiety and angst that people went through while looking for work actually kept them from doing their best while applying for a job. It affected every part of their life. Many had their relationships suffer because of the stress of going through the job search, then the interview and all the unknowns involved. I could help them to handle it temporarily, but what was it that would handle it so that they never needed to come back to me to handle it again?

 

Covering Letter For Job Application

The task of writing a cover letter can become very daunting. There are so many important features to remember and there are pressures to make sure you give the right impression of yourself; but, if you focus on the individual components of the letter, it can be done easily and efficiently. Writing a cover letter is a very important and crucial step in forming a resume and submitting a job application and very often the first written impression any potential employer will have of you. It is very important to make sure that you write a proper cover letter because that is usually the one thing that determines whether a company will contact you for an interview or just set your resume aside.

The following is an example of a cover letter for a job application.

Sample Covering Letter for Job Application

January 16, 2012

Jennifer M. Skylar

114 Morris Blvd.

Wheeling, WV 43659

Dear Ms. Kristi Branch:

Please consider me an applicant for the high school art teacher that your school system has available. I learned of the position from a current substitute teacher, Jeremy Folli. For the past 4 years I have been an art teacher at Beallsville High School in Beallsville, Ohio. After moving to northern West Virginia, I am once again eager for an opportunity to broaden my opportunities as a teacher.

  • As a teacher at Beallsville High, built a structured, enjoyable classroom environment that utilized the state requirements as a framework in assisting each student in finding their fullest potential and expressing their individual characteristics and emotions through different forms of art.
  • Excellent ability to manage a classroom and meet the rigorous requirements and demanding schedule that comes with being a teacher.
  • Strong ability to formulate the curriculum in a way that meets the needs of all the levels of the students that are in the same classroom yet encourages individuality and self expression.

A major strength that I would bring to the Wheeling School System is my many years of successful experience as an art teacher. I feel that with my strong communication and organizational skills, ability to encourage and promote self expression and art appreciation in students, and the dedication I have toward my students and teaching, I would be of great benefit to both your school and your student body.

I look forward to hearing from you in the near future and would welcome the opportunity to have an interview with you and your staff. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer M. Skylar

Certified Art Teacher

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