by Liberty Stembridge, Money Columnist
Published in Money on 18th July, 2018
Perhaps you're already a well-established digital nomad, but you're looking to diversify your income, or maybe you're completely new to the concept of working online and being able to travel. Wherever you are in your digital nomad journey, chances are at some point you'll be looking for more work, or completely different work altogether and it can be scary, because it's not always easy to find.
Working remotely is completely different to working at a regular 9-5 job and therefore the job-searching process is radically different too. That's why we'll be talking you through some of the best sites out there for digital nomads to find work. Whether you're a freelancer, a remote worker looking for a permanent job, or you don't mind and you're just looking for a specific site that caters to you're niche, it's all here.
These boards cater specifically towards those that are looking for permanent work or lengthy contract with a company that will pay you some sort of salary but will let you work remotely either fully or partially. These are a mix of some popular, and less well-known remote job boards, to increase your chances of finding a match.
Flexjobs is a well known remote job site, that screens the jobs it posts so you can apply with peace of mind, knowing you're being offered legitimate remote working jobs that aren't scams. This is a big pull for many remote workers, as scam jobs are on the rise. However, it does come with a cost of $14.95 a month.
We work remotely is another popular job board that boasts itself as the largest remote community on the web, with 150,000+ monthly users. It splits it's jobs in to eight main categories: programming, DevOps & Sysadmin, Business/Exec & Management, Marketing, Customer Support, Other, Design and Copywriting. If you're not in one of those categories, you might be better off with another job board, but chances are that you are, in which case, you should be fine. With the popularity however, does come some struggle applying to jobs, as most job postings get a high amount of applications. Plus, it's free.
Remote.co is one of those job boards that you either love or you hate. They hand-curate the jobs posted, and they do have a lot of jobs on there, but the website can be a bit messy and hard to navigate. They have a lot of jobs in a lot of different categories, so it's worth checking out.
Remotive is a remote job board that not only offers you the ability to search for remote jobs through their websites, but also lets you sign up for a tailored remote working newsletter with tips and access to their remote freelancing community.
Skip the drive is another remote job board much loved by digital nomads. It posts legitimate, scam-free jobs and there is no fee to pay.
Much like remote.co, this job board curates and posts remote jobs in the areas of software development, marketing, design, non-tech and online teaching. They also offer advice on what remote companies to apply to and how to further your career as a digital nomad. They're broad range of categories and variety of jobs makes them ideal for entry-level freelancers and advanced remote workers alike.
These sites cater more towards freelancers - nomads with a skillset that can provide a service and tend to work along "projects" without being hired for long-term, permanent, salaried work. This means that you can be more flexible with your time and never have to ask for time off. These freelance job sites are some of the most popular ones out there, but there are plenty more. You'll likely find a lot of mixed reviews, some people hate them, and some people find they get a lot of work through them and love it, so it's best to try it out and discover for yourself.
Upwork is probably the most well-known site for freelancers. Once you've set up an account and inputted all of your information, a portfolio if necessary and so on, you can start applying for jobs. You control how much you charge your clients, and the upwork site has great software that you can download in order to track time and bill your clients. They also have fee protection and you can get paid hourly or project by project. However, some people dislike the fact that upwork takes 20% of your earnings as part of a "service fee", so that's something to consider. Overall however, upwork can be an excellent way to start, especially for beginners, as they have a huge range of jobs available.
Another very popular freelancing board, some would say almost too popular. It's one of the worlds largest freelancing board and in many ways is quite similar to upwork. With freelancer however, both the freelancer and the employer pays either an hourly or a project fee and the pricing is slightly confusing. Fee's for freelancers are around 10% for fixed price projects and contests, 20% for services and if you're part of the preferred freelancer program there is a greater 15% project fee. In addition to that, freelancers on this site can only submit up to 8 proposals a month before having to upgrade to a paid account and all money that the freelancer earns is paid through Paypal, both of which can be a huge deterrents for a freelancer.
On people per hour, you have the opportunity to not only bid on jobs posted on the site, but also post your own "hourlies" dictating what services you can provide for a certain rate. Generally, the jobs on people per hour. There are a lot of job categories to choose from, however the application process can become quite slow, as the site reviews and approves your application by hand.
Fiverr works very differently to other job sites in that there are no jobs for you to directly apply for. Instead you set up your account and create "gigs" which are jobs that you will do for a certain price. You can also offer extras that can be purchased in addition to each gig. So for example, if you were a freelance graphic designer, you could post a gig offering a logo design for $50. A buyer looking for a logo design could then buy your package, you would complete the work for them and then once the job is finished, receive your money. However fiverr does take a 20% fee, which would in this example leave you with $40.
One of the most popular vocations for digital nomads at the moment is writing, it's accessible and you only need a laptop, possibly even just a smartphone to do it. So here are the top job boards for nomadic writers.
Problogger is an excellent site catering towards freelance writers that is consistently updated with jobs both big and small. It has lot's of different categories within the site, which can be useful to weed out the one's you're not so interested in. It's also completely free!
Writejobs posts freelance and contract writing jobs six days a week and is a reliably good source of legitimate writing jobs. It is a popular site though, so you'll have to get in quick when applying in order to stand a shot. Some of the jobs posted on there are free to view, but in order to make full use of the site you will need to pay a small one-off donation.
Contently is well-known as an excellent opportunity for writers. They pay well, and there's plenty of work. Not only that, but the contently team will match you with high-profile brands that will boost your CV. Your portfolio makes a difference though, so make it as impressive as possible.
Another excellent career path for digital nomads, jobs in the design industry are generally fairly plentiful and well paying. Here are three of the best job boards for finding your next design job.
On the 99 designs platform, freelancers can either collaborate directly with clients to work with a brief, or they can enter their designs into competitions that are set around a specific client brief, and if they are chosen, they work with the client and are paid for their project. Admittedly it can be quite disheartening and even off-putting for freelancers to put time and effort into a design piece, only for it to not win and therefore not get any compensation for their time. However, if you are looking for a way to get some practice, get your name out there and build up your portfolio while also potentially earning some money, 99 designs is for you. Working your way up could lead you to becoming a "top-level" designer, which means that potential clients will see your name first, the minute they look for a designer to hire.
Authentic Jobs is a job board that describes itself as the "leading job board for designers, hackers and creative pros". They curate and post a wealth of design and design-related jobs, and there's an easy filter that lets you switch to only receive remote job opportunities. They work with a lot of big names like the NYT and have a huge range of jobs available, so they're definitely worth checking out.
Krop is the dream website for designers, and although not specifically catered towards remote work, it can be found. Essentially, they are a job board that allows you to browse and apply for design jobs, but they also function as a portfolio website. You can create a profile and then build a beautiful custom portfolio to show off your work. This way, employers that you've applied to and who are just looking for designers can quickly and easily find your portfolio and decide whether they want to hire you. No redirecting here.
These job boards are for the programming geeks amongst us. There's a huge market for online freelance work in coding, development, UX and so on, so here are the top three job boards for remote tech jobs.
A niche job board that only posts tech jobs, with an easy interface and plenty of jobs, you won't find it hard to navigate or find work. If you're skilled, Stack Overflow has probably got a job for you. They market themselves as "the worlds largest developer community" and they're not wrong, millions of developers come to stack overflow to find work and a lot of them are successful. Not only that but they also have a "questions board" where you can post any problems you're having and the community will help you out. Pretty handy.
Every job posted on this board are remote, and they're all hand-picked by Jobspresso so you don't have to fear scammers. While they are not specifically a tech-orientated board, it has been noted that there are a lot of jobs available in Development DevOps and UX design, so you're more likely to find work here if you have a tech background. What's particularly great about this job board is that you don't even have to create an account to apply for jobs, so no more junk mail from random job boards, plus it's completely free.
Toptal describes itself as "an exclusive network of the top freelance software developers, designers and finance experts in the world". You apply, and if accepted, you have access to a wealth of toptals clients. They match you with clients, of which they have many, so you're likely to get work through this site. Of course, it's not the most accessible way to look for a job, but if you know your stuff and have good credentials, then you may well make it into the toptal network.
These are only a few of the many, many remote jobs out there on the internet, but they are excellent places to start. However, if you're not having any luck, don't be afraid to widen your net to other sites. You never know what you may find on sites such as Craigslist and Reddit, but isn't that half the fun?