Sitting in the all-team meeting today, I felt a rush of joy and gratitude. It’s more of a daily experience now than an isolated event that I get to feel like this ‘at work’.
To be able to work with people across the globe (and across cultures) on something I’m deeply passionate about, having the freedom and empowerment that remote, anywhere work brings, in a connected, nurturing culture that is aligned with my values. What a dream!
It sure looked like a distant, over-the-top dream at the start of my journey.
Back in April 2017 I was heading off on my greatest adventure to that point. I was leaving my 6-year job in the corporate world working as a PR, leaving my home country, family and friends to move all the way to Mauritius, to explore and expand my horizon. I’m from Romania, so you can imagine that was quite a leap – I was going into full unknown.
I had some idea of what I wanted to do ‘for work’, but nothing I could bet on, just a couple of things I wanted to try. I thought I could either try and get a job there or I can try finding something remote, as I knew there were some opportunities to work this way, even if far fewer than we have today.
That thought seemed even more far-fetched than landing a communications role in Mauritius. Remote work wasn’t big at that time. It wasn’t a common scenario and I had never known someone who worked remotely (I remember people’s puzzled reactions when I shared my plans). But I thought to myself – if the opportunity is out there, why not at least try and reach it?
After a couple of unsuccessful attempts to land a ‘local’ job and getting a feel of the opportunities around, I decided to completely steer towards remote and figure out how I can best approach it.
I did my research and started ‘hunting’ for remote opportunities, trying different avenues and angles to find them, and applying to what was more or less in my area of ‘comfort alignment’ – roles where I would still use my best skills, in some capacity, and feel comfortable with the environment.
In the meantime, I ended up moving back to Europe, this time in Greece. I was hooked on finding a remote job, so I took looking for something locally completely off the table ( although my ‘piggybank’ was falling severely short).
I kept at scanning for roles and applying for more than 6 months. Doing customized cover letters for all the roles I was applying for, trying my best, with no luck. Had a couple of interviews, but nothing clicked.
Needless to say I had lost some of my confidence. Both in myself and my skills, and in the process and the possibility of this actually coming true.
Then, it happened. I got my first remote role, at a really cool company. One of my applications landed, and it landed just right! I had flexibility, I was growing, I was feeling aligned with the culture. It was the best place I could be at that time.
After that, things continued to fall into place. I later migrated to a second remote company – our sister company Grow My Team – where I felt the alignment even deeper, and first started to feel a sense of purpose and direction (actually promoting remote work and culture through my work!).
I’m now at my third remote role (under the same CEO, but that’s a cool story for another time), and I’ve never felt more expansive and aligned. I’ve since moved back to Romania and get to share my life between my local, family and friends community and my global community.
I get to experience the richness that comes from diversity without having to necessarily live in a distant place. I’m still very passionate about traveling and exploring (I actually really love working and traveling at the same time), but I get to also experience the same connectedness and expansion every day in my work.
I have team mates (and friends) around the world and I get to co-create with them this brand and platform to give more people the opportunity to work and feel this way. I feel closer to the world and more connected. What a blessing.
I guess what I’m saying is vision is always worth chasing. It takes a bit of courage and it takes a bit of grit sometimes to go after what you truly want and need. But one step leads to the next and if you stay true to your vision and put in the work, you get there, even beyond what you’ve imagined.
Article by Brand and Marketing Manager Theodora Gatin