5 dream jobs for digital nomads: freedom or precarious employment?


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Traveling and discovering the world while earning money is a dream for many. The reality is often different. What do you need to consider for it to work?

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Freedom and independence as a digital nomad?

Role models such as Tim Ferris, online entrepreneur and author of the bestseller "The 4-Hour Week: More Time, More Money, More Life" have shown it. Work independently and freely wherever you are or want to be. No wonder that more and more people want to fulfill this dream of earning money regardless of location. they call themselves digital nomads and are creative on the go, usually online with their laptop.

Digitalization has revolutionized the world of work. The trend is increasingly towards increasing the quality of life through home office, location independence and online work. What was once a dream is already a reality thanks to the possibilities that the Internet offers.

Freelancer or own company?

Many digital nomads work as freelancers or employees, because creative people in particular appreciate the freedom to work at their own pace and not to be under supervision. Ultimately, the less imaginative the pressure that integration into an open-plan office often brings, the greater the imagination. The promise is to skype while working with friends and then do the work when leisure is at its greatest or the sparking idea is at hand.

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But instead of being employed or freelance, many also start their own business. The idea of ​​independence and freedom has already developed in such a way that your own company functions as automatically as possible, so that the profits are as large as possible and the workload is as low as possible. To some, this notion may sound like utopia. For many, however, it is a dream that they have already realized and now they inspire others to do the same.

5 searched dream jobs for digital nomads

But which professions offer the opportunity to work digitally and while traveling? The job search engine Indeed has evaluated their numbers and Trend jobs of the future listed - based on the most common job offers. Many of them are also suitable for digital nomads.

1. Software developers and programmers

The number of positions for IoT developers in Germany has increased rapidly in recent years. Programmers and developers usually work on projects that don't require them to be in an office. As an employee with 100% home office, you can pack your laptop and go traveling. Many also choose to work as freelancers for different clients. Skype and e-mail are available for meetings and consultations, making it easy to bridge continents and time zones.

2. Data analysts

The demand for candidates with data science skills will grow to the same extent as the big data capacities of companies. Anyone who combines technical and scientific expertise with the ability to find important information and stories in a flood of information is in demand.

3. Teacher and online tutor

Working as a freelance teacher or online tutor offers a simple introduction to life as a digital nomad. You do not necessarily have to prove that you have completed a teaching degree as long as you absolutely master your subject. For example, anyone who teaches a language should have a good command of that language as a mother tongue or a foreign language. Even those who only speak their mother tongue can work at language schools on the way or give tutoring over the Internet. It is becoming increasingly popular to develop your own onlineCourses with videos and sell them on the Internet.

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4. Gig worker

Creative freedom and location independence can be combined well for so-called gig workers. The labor market is becoming increasingly fragmented. Many job seekers for whom this model as a digital nomad fulfills the best requirements are enthusiastic - worldwide interest in jobs in the gig economy has increased. Candidates no longer apply for a full job, but also individual “gigs”. Example graphic designer or media designer: You work on individual projects or websites while on the go, but are otherwise not involved in the processes of a company.

5. Marketing and design

The job profiles have changed at the latest with the invention of the Internet and social media. Meanwhile bloggers, youtubers and influencers are the dream jobs of the young generation par excellence. Bloggers write about the topics they love and earn money through affiliate marketing and advertisements on their website. Some are also sponsored and paid for by companies for mentioning in their blog articles. Youtubers publish videos in which they report on a subject area in which they are familiar. As soon as they reach a large audience, commercials are added to their videos. This is how they make money. They are also often sponsored by companies.

Influence are often bloggers and youtubers. Influencers include everyone who is very active on social media and has a large number of followers on whom they have an influence (Influence = Influence). If you only have your talent for writing, you can write for Article, Advertising texts and websites work. Orders are received by customers or agencies by email, the texts are then translated and the results are delivered by email.

The dark side of the supposed dream jobs

But the supposed dream jobs also have their downsides. These consist, on the one hand, of precarious employment and, on the other hand, of a lack of social security. The press often speaks of the modern precariat, of that increasing group of small self-employed people who have to live with little income and insecure livelihoods.

Because what is often kept secret is that there are far from enough freelance jobs for everyone and therefore many flimsy online shops live: They sell used items on eBay or Amazon, for example, or gamble with their meager earnings by clicking on opaque pages such as Play or play NetBet Casino - and often lose the hard-earned money again.

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Pitfalls in tax and social security law

But these sources of income pose a lot of problems: If freelancers sell used equipment such as laptops or cars on Ebay, which you had claimed for tax purposes when buying them, the freelancers become commercial sellers. But freelancers who trade privately on eBay also run the risk of losing their freelance status. Possible consequences: In future, you will also have to pay trade tax for your (previously) freelance income above an exemption limit.

Artist social insurance is also difficult. Many freelancers are insured very cheaply here, but have not taken into account that you can stay abroad for a maximum of 2 years as part of a KSK insurance. And since companies have had more control over whether they are subject to social security contributions, anger is great in many companies. After all, those who order a website or distribute PR orders are already subject to the KSK. Around 250.000 companies are even subject to contributions without even knowing it.

Compulsory insurance for freelancers

Finally, the Social Security Code VI prescribes a compulsory pension insurance for all self-employed teachers and carers who do not employ employees who are subject to compulsory insurance and who generate an annual profit from this activity (also as a part-time job!) That goes beyond the limit. Teaching that is subject to compulsory insurance applies to all types of imparting knowledge, skills and abilities - from tutoring to classes at schools and universities, courses at adult education centers and physical education to computer training in companies, manager training and trade union seminars. According to judgments by the Federal Social Court, aerobic trainers and child minders also fall under this obligation.

Either the actual operating expenses can be deducted from the corresponding income or - if it is a part-time lesson at a public or non-profit institution, e.g. a community college - the so-called trainer allowance. You only have to be insured if the remaining profit is correspondingly high. After all, those who are compulsorily insured in the statutory pension insurance are entitled to a Riester pension. Corresponding regulations can only escape those who completely deregister in Germany.

Involuntarily self-employed

Another, not uncommon problem is dependence on the self-employed on just one client. Often these people are also involuntarily self-employed, because jobs are also often cut and the employees are outsourced, a practice that was recently approved by the Federal Labor Court. In my opinion, there is not much to complain about. Of course, appropriate laws would make sense here, but companies find other ways to save labor costs. The real scandal for me is that the involuntary self-employed people often behave in exactly the same way from now on.

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Instead of suffering unhappily from the situation and not having a permanent position, you should make the best of the situation. Because consequently, the involuntary self-employed person would now have to strive for new orders, win customers - and would soon no longer be dependent on his former client.

Become a specialist, determine prices

If he also concentrates on a certain market segment and creates such a market niche, he can possibly become a sought-after specialist and will then have a say in the prices. This offers the greatest possible security, especially for digital nomads who work on the go.

Whoever falls behind in this case is the client: he has to pay more and soon realize that he has shot himself in the knee with his outsourcing method, because the balance of power has changed. However, as long as the precariat becomes so dependent on its former bosses, they will continue to practice outsourcing. So it remains to be hoped that more people will take the step to freedom and independence.


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