Digital Nomad Career Sustainability and Burnout
Perhaps having the ultimate flexible arrangement, digital nomads work from anywhere in the world and use technology, communication tools, and online resources to complete their tasks. Italy one month, Finland the next, winter in Hawaii . . . possibilities abound.
But can such a set-up continue indefinitely? Here, we take a look at issues that may influence the long-term sustainability and potential career burnout of digital nomads.
While not a homogeneous group, studies do show digital nomads skewing young and male. As people age, various life events often make globetrotting more difficult or less appealing. For instance, you get married, and your spouse doesn’t have the ability or desire to travel. Or, you have a baby, and lugging an infant (and their gear!) from place to place sounds more tiring than intriguing. Perhaps aging parents now need your assistance, your own health problems require attention or limit mobility, or reaching your 40th birthday suddenly spurs an urge to focus funds on retirement plans over travel plans.
Switching from a digital nomad lifestyle to something different doesn’t necessarily have to be a permanent thing, however. Especially with many people nowadays opting to work well beyond conventional retirement age, resuming life as a digital nomad at a later stage–such as when the kids are grown–remains an option.
Desire for Stability
Want a house of your own, a local restaurant where everybody knows your name, a permanent scout troop, or a puppy? Settling in one place allows for these things, and digital nomads often reach a point where they’re willing to change arrangements in order to get them.
Some jobs lend themselves to a nomadic lifestyle better than other occupations. Choosing a new career or switching employers may mean that frequent travel and crafting your own schedule go out the window.
Anyone who has ever moved from one place to another knows how exhausting it can be to pack and unpack, get used to navigating a new environment, and make connections within the community. Moving between countries adds even more potential stressors, such as language barriers, visas, currency exchange, and cultural differences. Digital nomads go through this ordeal on a regular basis. Plus, they also must deal with the logistics necessary for work, such as establishing a solid internet connection, finding suitable spaces for getting tasks done, and dealing with time zone differences.
For those who grow weary of setting up shop again and again, taking a break from being a digital nomad becomes an option. Other solutions include staying in one place for a longer period of time or limiting travel to “easier” destinations, such as English-speaking countries or ones known for possessing modern conveniences.
Finally, while digital nomads take on this unique merger of private and professional with the hope of achieving satisfaction in both spheres, that sometimes doesn’t happen. They find themselves spending so much time working that they fail to truly enjoy the location, or the lure of sightseeing and new experiences proves too powerful to maintain a productive work schedule.
In this situation, digital nomads may opt to change their set-up, such as living in a single location but making a commitment to regular recreational travel. This arrangement can create the structure and discipline necessary for work productivity while still satisfying the urge to visit new places.
Remote Jobs That Work Anywhere
The bottom line is that digital nomads, like all workers, benefit from ongoing reflection. Thinking about what suits you best at a particular point in time allows you to take advantage of the greatest benefit of flex work–choice.
And, it’s great to have options. And when you have a fully remote job, options abound. So, whether you’re looking to become a digital nomad or just want to work where you want (i.e., home), we’ve got you covered
Photo Credit: bigstockphoto.com
By Beth Braccio Hering | February 27, 2020 | Categories: Work Remotely