Signing on to travel with a group of strangers (that quickly become friends) and thriving in your remote worker life has its pros and cons, but with people like Leah around, the pros always win.
Leah has been traveling with WiFi on and off for the past year, with her most recent chapter in Jamaica. She quickly became everyone's favorite person with her hilariously large personality placed in such a small body (LOL). As a fellow shorty, Leah and I hit it off and I've enjoyed a few chapters with her myself. As a remote worker, Leah has been location independent for over three years now and has no plan to change that any time soon.
Here's her rundown on living a remote lifestyle that allows her to travel, see awesome stuff and and maintain long lasting relationships:
I recently took on a new role at ICUC Social which is a full service social media agency that helps brands make authentic connections with customers, protect their online reputations, and drive ROI from their social channels. The role came with a fancy new title of "Manager of Strategic Projects." It is an exciting hybrid role where I split my time supporting in a few key areas:
Strategic Project Management - As the name suggests, ICUC helps manage strategic social media marketing projects for clients that are aimed at helping brands excel across social consumer decision journey. I support to make sure any issues and obstacles are mitigated, report progress, plan resources, and ensure deadlines are met- all that good stuff.
DAN New Business and Product Performance and Growth- ICUC is part of a huge global network called DentsuAegis (DAN) and part of my role is to support new business opportunities and pitches within the network. Instead of positioning ourselves as separate agencies, we are working towards a "One Team One Dream" model where we find opportunities to cross-sell with our sister agencies and provide the most value to our clients. I support by making sure the network is up to date with all ICUC's offerings and new services, provide case studies, and presentation support.
Product Innovation - My new role falls under the product innovation team. This is where I get to have an input and support on the creation and implementation of new ICUC services.
Data analysis and Insights- This is probably my favorite part of the new role because I get to work on some really interesting insights projects. For example, a big grocery store in Canada was recently impacted by a price fixing scandal and we were hired to use social listening to get a better understanding of how the scandal shifted consumer opinion about the brand, the types of conversations people were having online, and how the brand can move forward to mitigate loss.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A REMOTE WORKER/HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? //
A little over 3 years now. It was a mix of hard work and to be honest some sort of cosmic alignment that got me into remote work. I was working out of NYC starting first as an intern for a social media agency based out of London. From the intern position I moved into an account management role. I was working out of a coworking space with my former boss who had just got sent over from the UK to head up the market in the U.S. In early 2015 the agency I was working for was acquired by ICUC which to my surprise and excitement was a virtual company- yes, a whole 600 plus people working with no centralized office. I didn't even really know something like this existed or could function but it does; we all live on Google Hangouts.
TOP ESSENTIALS WHILE TRAVELING //
WHY WIFI TRIBE? //
I had been working remotely for almost 2 years while doing some intermittent and solo traveling but felt that I wasn't getting the full remote lifestyle that I wanted. I had heard of Remote Year but to be honest just couldn't afford it and didn't want to commit to a full year. Then I noticed a friend of mine who I met while teaching in Thailand was traveling around with a group of people and always looked like she was having so much fun and that's when I first heard about Wifi Tribe so I decided to apply. I liked that they offered more flexible options and pricing because as it was my first dive into the co-working/co-living world it was good to be able to test the waters for a month. Now I am hooked and continue to choose them because I have their tattoo on my arm ;)
WHAT PUSHED YOU TO FINALLY GO REMOTE? //
As previously noted it was a bit of luck mixed in with my passion for travel. When I graduated from college I knew I wanted to find a way to be successful in my career but not let travel sit on the back burner and that's why I decided to teach English abroad in Thailand. After the year of teaching I realized it wasn't for me but that I wanted to continue this living/working abroad lifestyle but in a field I was more passionate about.
WHAT HAS THE REMOTE WORKER LIFE TAUGHT YOU SO FAR? //
I think WiFiTribe has showed me that this lifestyle is sustainable and their are TONS of people out their with similar goals and mindsets that want to be able to make human connection, travel and have adventures all while maintaining successful careers. It showed me a new way of life that I think more people and companies should adapt to. I'm happy to say that this lifestyle has worked out for me and want to encourage that "luck" isn't a one in a million kinda thing. The same can happen for you as well; I've learned that while traveling and meeting other remote workers that have had their own form of luck to get them to where they are now.
#1 PRODUCTIVITY AID? //
I use MeisterTask to keep my ass on track with projects and manage workflow. My team also uses Asana for task management. I also live inside of Google products- if it's not in my Google Calendar I will forget it.
LAST ADVICE //
I think starting at the foundation is the best- ask yourself what you want to do and be realistic about if it can be done remotely. Do some research before you dive in; there are tons of resources for remote workers available online and so many ways to make money while being location independent whether its full-time freelancing, looking for a virtual company like mine, or starting your own business. Once those elements align it's just the matter of taking the first leap into travel which is obviously made easier and much more fun with Wifi Tribe.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jessica is a freelance copywriter and OG member of WiFi Tribe. Based in Los Angeles, with plans to tackle SE Asia this coming fall, she is the principle blogger for WiFi Tribe, but also writes for a few ecommerce companies and non profit organisations based in the US. Aside from work, Jessica has awesome hair (obvi) and is a future NY Times Bestselling Author... as soon as she finishes writing her first novel (it'll be worth the wait, I promise). You can keep up with her via her Instagram if you want to see some cool pix and funny memes :)