Welcome to the latest edition of How She Does It, where I interview my real life friends who work remotely. Each female has a different story of how she got her job, how she lives her remote lifestyle, and what advice she wants to give other girls. For How She Does It #11, I interviewed the sassy career coach and LinkedIn master, Sami Gardner.
Wanna learn more about working online? Check out this “Behind the Laptop Guide“
Sami and I met in Playa Del Carmen recently and realized we have so much in common! We both love to laugh at strange things, have the gift of gab, and ultimately teach very similar approaches to our clients who want to land their dream careers. I have learned so much from this lady in just one month of being around her. Let’s see what you can learn from her today!
Sami Gardner, 29
Job/Role(s), Company(s): Senior Career Specialist
Current Location: Tuscan, Ariozona after 5 months in Latin America
How do you financially support your digital nomad lifestyle?
I have a freelance, long-term contract with an online tech boot camp based in Berlin, Germany. I am a Senior Career Specialist so I coach students through career change in the day to day while also tackling bigger projects, like writing career development curriculum. I also run my own business where I mentor job seekers, side hustlers, and even entrepreneurs on designing a career and business on their own terms.
Let’s dive into how you got your job with Career Foundry. Was this something you applied for?
I was personally referred to the role by their admissions representative. I had met the woman like 3 years ago in a Zumba class, of all places, and we had remained in contact after she left to become a digital nomad. She encouraged me to apply and like 2-3 months later, I was on the team and invited to the annual retreat in Germany. I have been working there for the last 2 years now.
What were you doing before you got your current job and started your business?
I was an employment specialist at the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation embedded in a few grants to help clients find work. Of course, since it was a nonprofit, I really did whatever needed to be done from HIV testing, sex ed talks, monitoring a teen LGBT center, in addition to weekly workshops at a few different community centers. I had been working as a career specialist at a tech college before that. And my education background is in library science with 5 years of experience in the stacks.
How is your life different now?
First and foremost, my Instagram is way more interesting now. #nofilter
Night and day is the difference. I was a burnt out nonprofit employee in Tucson, Arizona before I got serious about going remote. Now, a year into being a digital nomad, I have traveled to 8 different countries, 4 continents, and feel jazzed about this adventure that I am making out of my life and career.
How do you balance your two positions?
I slow down my travel when I know that a big project is coming up. When I first went nomad, I raced around from Brazil up to Germany to Portugal to Morocco and places in between. That made balance pretty tough. But then again, I work for a startup and I run my own startup so I am always calibrating what balance is because the work online business changes too much.
I also hire out the nitty gritty routine stuff in my business to assistants now.
What is something that helps you live this lifestyle that you cannot live without? (Can be software, a person, a cat, a book you read, mindset, a course you took, etc.)
My family is super supportive of this wacky nomad business so I am very blessed. My parents already told me that if I go bust on the road that I can have my old room back. I have the last of my apartment stuff in a spare closet at their house. One of my sister’s is storing my car. So they really help me have this wandering lifestyle and still feel like I have a home base.
Where do you find the motivation to keep working when times get tough? There’s no office to show up to. How do you keep yourself accountable?
I wasn’t super fiscally responsible with my launch into being a digital nomad. I have student loans, I was still in negotiations with the startup to increase my contract, and still refining my message and offers of my own business. So, early on, the motivation was not going bust abroad and having to dip into my flight home money.
However, that isn’t always enough. I am a big fan of masterminds so I get a lot of accountability, networking, and productivity from that.
I also have co-created my startup position so I try to initiate interesting projects and challenges for myself so I am excited to work on it.
What is ONE piece of advice you would have given yourself before taking on a remote job and a business?
As a career specialist, what is one piece of advice you can give our audience about finding a career path (business, freelancing, or remote job) that is TRULY fulfilling?
Allow yourself to grow. Your career destiny will evolve as you do. It’s okay to pivot, adapt, moonlight, or develop a new passion so listen to your gut. Sometimes a fulfilling career path can surprise us.
What exciting things do you have coming up for the rest of May 2018?
I am producing episodes for the new season of my podcast- The Career Kickstart Show! I am going to be knee deep in recording, editing, and promoting before the first 5 episodes of the new season drops onto iTunes on June 15th.
Season two is launching with a bang with Miss Remote Like Me herself, Taylor Lane as the first episode. You can get a sneak peek at the episode on my Sami Gardner Facebook page.
Thanks for tuning into another How She Does It! If you want to go remote today head on over to our memberships and learn more! We help with different levels of Career Coaching, Resumes and Job Searching.
If you want to be featured on our blog, be sure to reach out to email@example.com with your Career and Digital Nomad lifestyle!