Coronavirus changed many things for many people, and the way that we work was perhaps the most impacted.
And the digital nomad, an employment trend that had previously been slightly scornfully reserved for a type of gig economy worker, became a legitimate alternative to the traditional 9-5.
While the term has been in use since 1997, and refers to those who get to have the experience of travel while still earning a living, usually through freelance means, their numbers are rising––and rising.
A report from MBO Partners found that in 2021, there were approximately 35 million digital nomads globally. In the UK, the solo self-employed workforce contributes an estimated £278bn a year to the economy.
While Estonia, for example, has had an E-Residency visa as far back as 2014, the pandemic saw a host of European and international countries launch specific digital nomad visas.
In most cases, these differ from traditional visas in a couple of key ways: they tend to allow you to live in the territory for a set period, and still work for your home-country employer or your own company registered abroad.
During 2020 and 2021 in particular, remote working was the norm––as long as the job got done, workers and employers alike reasoned, what difference did it make where the work happened?
Companies such as Airbnb have brought in work from anywhere policies, which are extremely attractive to workers who want the security of their tenure along with the chance to experience a new culture for a few months.
And now, we’ve got another nomad on our hands. The salary nomad is a new breed of worker who routinely switches jobs in order to make more money.
The figures back up the job hopping approach. Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows workers who change jobs within a year of starting a new job have consistently higher hourly wage growth over those who stay.
There are many reasons why you might look for a new job: you’re stagnating in your current role, or you haven’t had a raise for years, and are being paid below market rate. But for many UK workers, the cost of living crisis is what is spurring salary nomads to aim higher.
Thanks to inflation, this year job switchers should be looking for a salary increase of at least 7% to keep up. But if you are taking on a job with more responsibilities or seniority, you should aim for a 10% increase.
Traditional wisdom says that you should stay in a job for a number of years in order for it to not reflect badly on you. But according to the jobs site Indeed, two years is acceptable. This gives you enough time to learn new skills and build qualifications, as well as indicating to future employers that you value your career progression.
While becoming a salary nomad can be an effective way to boost your earning potential over a short period of time, being purely focused on the money aspect isn’t the whole picture. It’s also really important to assess a company’s culture, its learning and development programmes and whether you’ll be doing work that matters to you, before you sign on the dotted line.
This is increasingly important for younger workers. For Generation Z, born between 1997 and 2012, this cohort currently makes up 30% of the world’s population and is expected to account for 27% of the workforce by 2025.
This is a generation that wants to be paid, for sure––but it also wants to do work that is socially responsible for an equitable employer. Microsoft’s Work Trend Index Annual Report found that 51% of Gen Z employees are more likely to prioritise health and well-being over work. Positive culture, mental health and well-being benefits and a sense of purpose are other top priorities.
Regardless of your reason for wanting to switch jobs, there are plenty of opportunities to explore on the City AM Job Board, all of which offer you the chance to negotiate upwards.
In London, Zilch, the buy now, pay later company, is looking for people across UX Researcher and Data Analyst jobs. A huge range of benefits is on offer including hybrid working, income protection, and a generous pension scheme.
Spendesk is hiring for a number of roles, including a Platform Engineer and an Engineering Manager – Banking. Additional monetary benefits here include a fully-covered Oyster card, a £45 monthly wellness allowance, and a pension scheme.