Mike Volitich on the Negatives of Digital Nomadism
Digital nomadism is something which has been on the rise ever since the dawn of the internet with men and women from all over the world understanding that they can now travel and work right from their laptops. My buddy Mike Volitich has been a digital nomad for over 5 years now and I recently picked his brain on the negatives of this lifestyle. We all can see the positives which this career choice brings, freedom from the rat race, ability to work from anywhere in the world and more autonomy when it comes to working, but what about the negatives of such a lifestyle?
Sick Days and Vacations
When you work in this way there are no paid vacations and no sick days, in fact if you don’t work you do not get paid, it is that simple. Most people who work for ‘the man’ will have so many days per year which they can take as paid leave, and many can count on a couple of paid sick days per year. Unfortunately in this line of work, illness means that you cannot make money, and nobody will pay you if you don’t put the hours in.
If the lifestyle is not approached in the right way, a digital nomad can become very lonely indeed. I know many people who have shunned the world of office work for example, in order to work right from their laptop and they all say that the one thing that they miss about office life is the gossip and the conversation. If you ask people where they met most of their friends they will tell you that they met them at work, a digital nomad may speak to clients and staff online, but they never get that daily interaction with people that those who work in, let’s say an office, do get to experience.
There is no question that the freedom and flexibility which a career such as this provides is a huge benefit but the early years of such a lifestyle are actually very tough indeed. Whilst we may think that the life of a digital nomad is one of freedom, fun and travel, most of them are hustling hard for many hours per day, despite the glorious destinations which they find themselves in. Mike tells me that he quickly realized that instead of his 9-5 office job, he was working 60 plus hours per week trying to get his online business off the ground, far from being free.
A digital nomad can take time off whenever they like for a dentist or doctors appointment, they can take a vacation without asking, but this doesn’t always line up with what other people are doing. Let’s say your wife has some vacation time and wants to go away, in a normal situation you would ask for the same holiday dates, when you are a digital nomad however, you cannot always count on having a week or two away from work.
A great lifestyle but one which definitely has drawbacks.