A Digital Nomad, In Sales?!

You may already know that the entire Parse.ly product team works remotely. What you might not know is that some of our business team has joined the remote-working ranks.

Last September, I sat my manager down with some important news — no I was not quitting my post as a business development representative on Parse.ly’s sales team. Rather, I’d been accepted into a program called Remote Year, a fellow startup that brings 75 digital nomads together to live in a different city every month for a year.

I hoped that he — and Parse.ly — would support me in this endeavor. His immediate reaction was incredibly positive, as was everyone else’s throughout the company. I was, and am, lucky. Other “Remotes” have had to take pay cuts or find new jobs, and few have had the unwavering support that I have.

Now I’m in the very beginning of month three of Remote Year. Months one and two were spent in Córdoba and Buenos Aires, and I had the opportunity to work from co-working spaces in each city that were inhabited by other tech startups such as GiFly Bikes and Bluesmart Bags. Remote Year provides our accommodations, office space, and transportation to and from planned locations.

Lindsay on Remote Year in Bolivia
Lindsay on Remote Year in Bolivia

The Reality of Working Abroad

The biggest mental adjustment for people back home is understanding that I’ve chosen travel as a lifestyle. This isn’t a trip, and I’m not on a permanent vacation; I’m living and working in these different cities. Each morning I wake up, get ready for the day, and walk to work — exactly like I did in New York City. I’ve actually been working more hours these past two months than when I did while in New York because the slight time change helps me get an earlier start to my day.

For my job, the tools I need to be successful are my laptop and a solid wifi connection. Calls to prospects are made through my computer. When I’m not emailing and following up, I’m searching for new leads and potential publishing partners for Parse.ly. And when I’m not working I’m exploring the city, finding good restaurants, seeing the sites, and hanging out with my 75 new best friends.

Who’s With Me?

To get a better idea of the kind of people who have undertaken this adventure with me, see the graphic below. Yes, there are a decent number of jobs with marketable freelance skills, but there are also a decent portion of jobs that are more traditionally confined to a cubicle as well.

remote year fields of work

Parse.ly is incredibly supportive of working from home. In fact, when I was in our New York office, which we call the “Internet Cafe,” I worked from home once or twice a week because I learned I was more productive without the distractions of the office. Parse.ly “gets” that you don’t have to be IN the office to make solid and important contributions to the company, and for that I am eternally grateful.

I’ve always wanted to live and work abroad and now I get to do it while keeping a job I like and working for a company I love. Here’s what Parse.ly Co-founder and CEO Sachin Kamdar had to say about Parse.ly’s distributed team:

“In the beginning, [Andrew Montalenti and I] founded Parse.ly as a means to re-envision what the modern workplace would look like. We wanted a company that would respect a work life balance, that would create meaningful work for each team member, and ultimately, allow productivity to flourish through the individual.

“As a former teacher, we used to stress the fact that each student approaches learning in a unique way. We need to foster and support the way that each student learns. Work is no different. We know the environment and approach that sets us up best for a productive work day. Accordingly, we try to encourage each employee to utilize the methods that they know uniquely works for them.

“Working from home is one way that we’re able to accomplish this goal. We support our team in how they can use this aspect of work to create the right environment for themselves and their lifestyle. It’s brought about a sense of trust and respect for each person’s approach to work, and allows each individual to let work fit the mold of their life and not vice-versa.”

Feel free to follow my adventure here!