Category Archives: Global Mobility
Expat Experience

Why Building Relationships is Harder for You

Turning into a Swiss Person

I sat on a panel, and I just got as far as saying “I think…” when the other panelist gave her opinion on the matter. She probably didn’t notice that I was trying to say something, but for a moment, I was annoyed and thought, “how rude…”. 

Funnily, many years ago in Germany, this would probably have been okay for me. However, I notice now how I have turned into a “Swiss person”. I also tend not to want to work with Germans who have just arrived in Switzerland because I notice in what they do too many of my own mishaps and small failures back when I was a newbie in Switzerland.

Having lived here in Zurich for over ten years now, I prefer to run my life Swiss-style. Despite considering myself open and tolerant, I still mess up intercultural communication. I’m not always understood, and sometimes I’m just wrong. I recently had a long discussion about left and right, and I know I have a weakness there. In the end, I found out that I muddled up left and right (again!).

Sometimes “Global English” also makes it worse: A bunch of non-native speakers trying to communicate in their second language can lead to misunderstandings and unnecessary emotions.

Here are eight reasons that might make it harder for you to build professional relationships right now. And I don’t think that the pandemic is the main reason.

Eight Reasons

  1. You are shy, introverted, or not convinced that you are good enough to deserve success. Many partners suffer from the “impostor syndrome,” a psychological state of mind where people doubt their own accomplishments or consider themselves frauds just about to be exposed, especially if their career-driving partner just got another promotion in another country.
  2. You are embarrassed and ashamed of being “unemployed”. This is especially hard in a society where most of your self-worth is driven by your career and how busy you are.
  3. You come from a home culture where achievement is overly emphasized. In this cultures ascription is considered an unfair privilege while at the same time you are blindsided by the fact that you had an ascribed status in your home turf.  Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner associated the achievement dimension with protestant work ethic and belief. 
  4. You underestimate the cultural and value diversity in Switzerland. Even if Switzerland is the home of Zwingli and Calvin, there are catholic cantons where status, just like in the protestant cantons, is often equated with a family name, wealth, and how many generations you have already been a member of this society. So, there is still a strong ascription component that is not so obvious to outsiders. You don’t recognize that you have been in the out-group until you join the “Circle of Trust.”
  5. You are unaware of how you come across in person and assume that your style and behavior are “normal.” For example, you have not yet learned to read the cultural cues that hint that you might be too pushy or rude. A typical example in Switzerland is that newbies tend to overstretch a time commitment. In a society that runs on the clock and is a role model of the sequential time approach according to E.T. Hall’s time dimensions, not respecting this often creates a lot of stress for the other person.
  6. You are sending messages to mark your status in your home turf, such as the “Dr.” title in Germany. Or hint at your seniority by name-dropping the influential VIPs you used to hang out with. Still, this is either not understood or considered boasting, narcissistic, and merely annoying in Switzerland. (You could even exaggerate your qualifications and background, for all we know!)
  7. You interrupt your counterpart because you feel that they are slow. The Swiss tend to speak slower than many other Europeans, but they don’t like to be interrupted in their thought process as they are used to having a voice and being asked for their opinion on everything.
  8. You come from a high-context culture and you feel like you don’t know how to address a “stranger”  adequately.  You don’t know how to phrase your requests (your “ask”) to them, and they don’t understand you at all.

Relationship Segmentation Can Be a Barrier

Over the years of running my own business and projects, I often noticed that all the tools I tested to maintain a strategic approach to networking failed miserably with the extensive network that I’ve built over my professional life. 

So, I decided to let go of “strategy” and follow my gut and memory. I realized that the best idea is not to worry too much about “contact segmentation.” We Germans love the word “Begriffsabgrenzung”, so we also do this to our social life (“Bekannter, Kollege, Freund, Verwandter, Familie, Partner, Ehepartner…”). It’s a step-by-step approach, showing how much you trust the other person.

The same segmentation exists in Switzerland, but there are “false friends”( e.g., the word “Kollege” means “Work Colleague” in High German and “Friend” in Swiss German). In Switzerland and Germany, the informal ways of addressing a person with “Du” have different meanings.

Without intercultural training, a German manager will behave like a bull in a china shop in Switzerland – completely unintentionally. Hence, working with German managers in the “honeymoon phase” is a lot of work for the trainer or coach. I prefer to work with you when you are beyond the honeymoon phase, and you understand that you might not function in Switzerland like you are used to.

A Fluid Approach

My colleagues have become friends over the years, and some of my best friends from my university days or early career are colleagues or clients now. Some of my team members have become family, and some of my family members work in the same field or closely related ones. And some friends will never pay you while others will insist on giving back. The world is colorful, and so are people.

While saying this, I don’t want to imply that you have to like everybody you work with or network with. However, it’s another atmosphere for collaboration and innovation when you can fully trust the other person, and know in your head and heart that this person would never talk badly about you behind your back and would not spill your secrets with your competitors. 

Safe and collaborative environments require “relationship work.” 

Let me know what you are doing today to work on your business relationships.


Offline and Online Presence is the Way Forward

These days, if you’re not on LinkedIn or any equivalent jobs platform, you’re either sitting on a large inheritance or seriously out of touch with the industry. For freelancers in particular and job seekers in general, having a digital presence is now perhaps as essential as being qualified to work, to begin with.

A network of peers and industry members is something that was essential in the offline era, does it not make sense that professional networking would be more important in the digital age? I remember starting online networking in 2004, a move that was particularly helpful for me – as I moved cities and countries, I was able to remain in constant touch with my established network, able to leverage it for various purposes as the need arose. For us nomads a network that travels everywhere with us is priceless.

Looking back at that time and analyzing the power that was afforded to me by my digital professional network, I got to thinking about how this could be used to empower job seekers everywhere. That is how HireMeExpress was set up: allowing professionals to hack the Swiss Job Market with strong business connections, both offline and online.

Pinpoint the platform where you will find Hiring Managers and Clients for your industry

LinkedIn may be the ‘de facto’ professional networking platform for the masses, but certain industries are known to frequent alternative digital platforms. The publishing and writing industry, for instance, can be found on Twitter and Goodreads. Photographers and videographers have made their home on Vimeo, YouTube, and Instagram. The bottom line: Inhabit the right digital spaces so you can make the right connections.

Understand that a digital presence takes longer to pay dividends.

The internet era is the era of scams and fake profiles. It takes longer to build trust with a stranger than it would through only real-world meets. You can speed the process along by building your digital home, ideally a blog or a Youtube channel that acts as a thorough resume for visitors. Once you’ve interacted with someone online, directing them to your blog would allow them to access not only your professional biography but a way to contact you.

Remember to use tools to set up a sign-up form so you can start building your list of followers.

Support and develop the community.

Self-promotion is a big turn-off, you should instead focus on promoting other people’s work. A great way to be a positive influence in your network is to endorse other people’s work (on LinkedIn or otherwise). It is especially helpful for people who are modest or doubt their own achievements (a condition known as “imposter syndrome”). By fostering a communal and supportive network, you can create goodwill among colleagues and with peers in general. It is essential to create the right image online.

Be genuine when you meet people IRL (In Real Life).


 

A general assumption about digital presences is that they are heavily curated, that is, they contain cherry-picked information that may not be representative of the entire picture. By showing that you’re as nice, if not nicer, in real life will be a pleasant and welcome surprise to all who meet you. Be genuine in providing help, be genuine in general and good things will happen to you.

You will eventually generate an income
We developed our #HireMeExpress program so that we can help expats and digital nomads with a minority background in the new country to generate an income.

The HireMeExpress program gives you immediate access to a trusted circle of like-minded professionals. We can help you expand your networks faster! In any group, shared experiences are the key to building relationships and trust, while also providing growth opportunities through feedback from the group and the coach. The group gives you accountability and paces your efforts at the same time. Sometimes, especially when you would like to give up, the group carries you to the next step.

I hope the tips above can help you identify and maximize your digital presence.

Have you been chasing a full-time job for too long and are about to get bored at home? Maybe you need to consider career alternatives such as freelancing. You do not have to start your own business right away. There are payroll providers who organize your work permit, payments, social security, and tax payments. We are welcoming your feedback. We are trying to find legitimate and easy ways to earn money online and through platforms. Please send your feedback to monica@globalpeopletransitions.com or comment below the post.

 

Crowdsourcing

http://www.link.ch/?lang=en

I was invited to work on a project for a large recruiting platform. This was real fun and also the reason why I am exploring the idea further. I learnt a lot, had a great exchange with other participants and did more research into a topic I find interesting. Atmosphere was very professional.

 

https://www.hyve.net/de/

Create and account and start contributing to ideas. First project was to come up with an idea for a special service and rate other ideas. I enjoyed this as I could choose and it related to my business so I even thought I learnt something. Not sure if I will get paid and how.

 

Crowdsourcing Platforms in German / French

https://www.entscheiderclub.ch/ueber-uns

 

Freelancing Platforms

www.guru.com

Created a profile to see how it works. You are proposed projects based on your skills (tag specific skills). It is advisable that you transfer your skills from LinkedIn. Guru sends projects based on your skill set. That’s very convenient. Then you hand in a proposal. Within a few days I got selected for a really cool transcription project based on my German. Next step: Do it.

 

www.jobsinzurich.com/?sector=freelance

JobsinZurich is offering specific freelancing roles through individualized search machines. 

 

www.freelancermap.ch/

Freelancermap was once recommended to me by a programmer at a networking event. He said he got work through this platform regularly. It looks more like a platform for IT Professionals.

 

https://www.mturk.com/mturk/welcome

Heard through the grapevine that mturk is a good platform to work from.

 

https://www.upwork.com/

Heard through the grapevine that upwork is a good platform to work from.

 

www.freelance.com

Heard through the grapevine that freelance is a good platform to work from.

 

www.leapforceathome.com/qrp/public/jobs/list?uref=e7ef95699e54a88c3b2da93a6f4495cb

According to a contact, decent pay and work outside the US.

 

www.appen.com

They offer projects and micro tasks that you can start right away from the comfort of your home.

 

www.gignow.com

Gignow is a talent marketplace that matches contract workers with gigs at iconic organizations around the world. (present in 42 countries and growing, not in Switzerland yet).

 

Technical Services

www.mila.com/explore/

On Mila you can offer technical services in Switzerland. You can also receive fast and competent help with any problems regarding your technical devices.

 

Bookreviews on Goodreads

Write book reviews on https://www.goodreads.com/ and become an authority there. Edit books and texts if you are an English native speaker.

 

Support intercultural trainers as a country resource

This has become a great side income for us. We regularly advise expats moving to Switzerland as “country resources”. You can let me know if you are interested in such a work as well for your home county and I could introduce you to trainer colleagues. Payment for two hours is around 200 USD if you are based in Switzerland.

 

  • Technical Aspects

 

How can you work as a freelancer?

As a “third-country” national or EU/EFTA citizen (without a C-permit) you are not allowed to start a company. As a freelancer you will need your own company (sole proprietorship) to be compliant with social security and tax rules in Switzerland or go through a payrolling company.

 

You can work with one of the employment companies from this website:

https://www.thebusinessharbour.ch/

 

Obviously you need to have a work permit in order to work in Switzerland. The B-permit usually allows you to work. With the L-permit a special request to the authority is required.

 

LinkedIn:

Platforms like LinkedIn become more important than ever nowadays. They enable you to build effective connections and provide a great base for networking all from the comfort of your home. In order to find freelance job opportunities you should polish your LinkedIn profile and make it standout. This involves for example filling your bio with relevant information to capture the recruiters interest or adding a professional headshot. Besides, you want recruiters to be aware of your LinkedIn profile. This is where the “Open to Work” feature comes in quite handy as it signals that you are ready to take on a new job. 

 

Additionally, in this world of anonymity it is highly important to personalize your job applications to standout from the crowd. Customizing and tailoring your documents individually towards each company increases your chances of landing the job position. And finally, you should work on what LinkedIn stands for: Networking. Try to build your network as this gives you the possibility to expand your search area. It enables you to talk directly to your first-degree connections but you could also ask your connections to introduce you to mutual connections. This is where the power of networking lies. Finally, it is always advantageous to be present to increase visibility. Sharing valuable insights or interacting with your network is a great beginning. Another thing you could do is to join and engage with industry-specific LinkedIn groups. And  in case you feel extra bold: simply reach out to the hiring manager. 

 

Negative experience

There are a lot of scams and less serious offers out there. The main failure is when they promise you fast money or when you have to pay anything upfront. One danger is as well that you fall into the trap of network marketing (MLM). When you have any doubts please feel free to discuss this with me. It’s also strange when companies ask you for a training fee or anything similar to an advance payment. Also, if you have a negative experience please share it. 

 

Challenges when working from anywhere

Working from anywhere can become a bit lonely, crowded or annoying especially if you do not have an office room. One of the ways to deal with this is to go to a shared office space or work at a café (which is fine as long as you do not have confidential phone conversations).

 

I know freelancers and entrepreneurs who prefer to have an office where they have to go to and dress up for. It might sound weird but the idea of working in PJ can become less romantic after several days. Test out what works for you. For me the secret is in variety. Work one day at home, one in an office and make sure you build networks and meet real people in your break times.

 

If you have many projects to juggle, productivity becomes more important. Let me know if you have a challenge around remaining productive.

 

More on this topic:

Here’s an overview of 25 companies with the most work from home jobs in the US.

http://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/25-companies-with-the-most-work-from-home-jobs/

 

Further Resources

http://digitalnomadhelp.com/findaremotejob/

The Digital Nomad Series:

The Digital Nomad Part 1: Why I’m inspired to grow Global People Transitions Organically

The Digital Nomad Part 2: Same Old or New Breed?

The Digital Nomad Part 3: Improve Your Productivity Kanban-Style

The Digital Nomad Part 4: How To Be A Global Digital Coach, Consultant or Trainer

The Digital Nomad Part 5: Which Channels To Use in Order to be a More Effective Global Digital Nomad

 

Freelance Writing and Blogging

Please ask me to send you a handout on this topic.

https://globalpeopletransitions.com/guestblogging/

 

FREELANCING
ZebraSkill https://zebraskill.ch/projects/
Toptal https://www.toptal.com/
Free2Freelance https://www.free2freelance.com/
PeoplePerHour https://www.peopleperhour.com/
Freelancer https://www.freelancer.com/
Freelance www.freelance.com
Upwork https://www.upwork.com/
Fiverr https://www.fiverr.com/
Expertlead https://www.expertlead.com/
Guru www.guru.com
Jobs in Zurich www.jobsinzurich.com/?sector=freelance
Freelancer Map www.freelancermap.ch/
Mturk https://www.mturk.com/mturk/welcome
Appen https://appen.com/
ithire https://ithire.com/freelancers
Truelancer https://www.truelancer.com/
99designs https://99designs.de/
Gigster https://gigster.com/
REMOTE JOBS
Dribble (for Designers) https://dribbble.com/
Behance (for Designers) https://www.behance.net/
DeviantArt (for Designers) https://www.deviantart.com/
FlexJobs Writers Category https://www.flexjobs.com/search?search=writer
Freelance Writing https://www.freelancewriting.com/jobs/
Journalism Jobs https://www.journalismjobs.com/job-listings?JobTypeID=4&jobType=4
ProBlogger https://problogger.com/jobs/
Contena (for Writers) https://www.contena.co/jobs
Scripted https://www.scripted.com/become-a-scripted-writer
INTERIM MANDATES / CONSULTING AGENCIES
RGP – Consulting https://careers.rgp.com/
A connect https://www.a-connect.com/
Toptal https://www.toptal.com/
KMU Verband https://www.kmuverband.ch/interims-management.html
Hunterpersonal https://www.hunterpersonal.ch/interim/
RECRUITING AGENCIES
Adecco https://www.adecco.co.uk/
Hays https://www.hays.com/
Randstad https://www.randstad.com/find-randstad-in-your-country/
Newcruitement (specific for CH) www.newcruitment.ch
Hunterpersonal https://www.hunterpersonal.ch/
Badenoch & Clark https://www.badenochandclark.com/
Experis https://www.experis.ch/
Power to Fly https://powertofly.com/jobs/
Globalization Partners https://www.globalization-partners.com/
Wunder Talent https://wundertalent.co.uk/other-roles/
TEMP JOBS (Zeitarbeit)
Career Jet https://www.careerjet.ch/zeitarbeit-jobs.html
Joker Personal https://www.jokerpersonal.ch/
Randstad https://www.randstad.ch/en/job-seeker/
CareerPlus https://www.careerplus.ch/
Career One Step https://www.careeronestop.org/JobSearch/FindJobs/employment-agencies.aspx

The Digital Nomad – Part 3 – Improve Your Productivity Kanban-Style

Last week, when you could not fall asleep because you felt overwhelmed by the increasing number of items on your to-do list, you had the brilliant idea to buy post-its and start to plan your next four weeks. Then, you also thought about writing down your 25 priorities. 

You already felt a little relieved and fell asleep. However, the question remains “did you actually do what you planned the day after?”

I bet you didn’t do it even if you thought it was a great idea.

The good news is that what happened to you last week happens to most of us too. The bad news is that when you do this in your personal life, you are more inclined to do the same in your professional life as well. We accept a mediocre solution or we try to put a plaster on a process instead of analyzing the root cause of the issue.

According to Schwarzt et al (2014), the great majority of companies see this phenomenon as a challenge to productivity and overall performance, but struggles to handle it. According to Deloitte, over half of the respondents to her survey  say that “their organizations are not doing a good job helping workers address information overload and today’s demanding work environment.” 57 percent believe their organizations are “weak” when it comes to helping leaders manage difficult schedules and supporting employees manage information flow.

Have we lost all of our ideals of Total Quality Management (This is a management approach to long-term process through customer satisfaction. In a Total Quality Management effort, all members of an organization participates in improving processes, products, services and the culture in which they work)  from the good old nineties? Do you know about Kanban and visualizing process flows?

We need to learn how to become more productive and we need to learn it now. If, like me, you are always eager to receive tips on how to increase productivity, check this podcast out.

Kanban 

Kanban is a lean method which originated in lean manufacturing, which was inspired by the Toyota Production System. It aims at managing work by balancing demands with available capacity, and by improving the handling of system-level bottlenecks. 

In knowledge work and in software development, the aim is to provide a visual process management system which facilitates decision-making about what, when, and how much to produce. 

Among the most important characteristics is that work items are visualized to provide a view of progress and process, from start to finish, usually through a Kanban board. Indeed, in Japanese, kanban means “signboard” or “billboard.”

Kanban Boards 

A colorful, tidy and good-looking kanban board is one of the most effective tools in project management. It can be used to plan and work through any project, both in your personal and professional life. 

Kanban boards visually display a certain process in its various stages using cards to represent work items and columns to represent each phase of the process. Cards are moved from left to right to show progress and to help coordinate teams performing the work. 

Simple boards have vertical columns for the “to-do”, “doing”, and “done” work.  Alternatively, they may be labelled “waiting”, “in progress” and “completed”. Complex Kanban boards can also be divided into horizontal “swim lanes” representing different types of work or different teams performing the work. Additionally, it can subdivide the “in progress” work into multiple columns to visualise the flow of work across a whole value stream map.

Example of a Kanban board:

Seven core practices for Kanban

 

Here I suggest six core practices that will make you optimize the efficiency of the tool and become a master of kanban boards.

  1. Visualize the flow of work. You cannot work on a Kanban board, either physical or electronic, if you cannot visualize the process steps needed to deliver your work. Depending on the complexity of your process and your work-mix, your Kanban board can be very simple or very elaborate. Once you visualize your process, then you can visualize the current work that you and your team are doing. 
  2. Use Colors. Use post-its in different colors for different types of projects. Or, if you decide to use this tool for personal life projects, consider using different colors for different kinds of activities (orange for the projects you wish to complete at home, yellow for your children’s requests, and so on).
  3. Limit WIP (Work in Progress). It’s important to reduce WIP to a minimum to encourage yourself and your team to complete work at hand first before taking up new work. Work currently in progress must be completed and marked done. This creates capacity in the system, so that you can focus on new tasks. Limiting WIP helps you finish what they are doing already before taking up new stuff. This practice is also useful because it communicates to the customer and other stakeholders that there is limited capacity to do work, and they need to plan carefully what work they ask you or your team to do.
  4. Manage Flow.. A Kanban system helps you manage flow by highlighting the various phases of the workflow and the status of work in every single phase. Based on how well you defined the workflow and set the limits to WIP, you will observe either a smooth flow of processes or work piling up as a bottleneck forms and starts to hold up capacity. Kanban helps you analyze the system and adjust their work accordingly to improve flow. In this way, you will manage to reduce the time it takes to complete each task. By improving flow, your delivery of work becomes smoother and more predictable, making it easier to communicate to your customer when you will manage to get any work done. You will also automatically increase your reliability to your customers’ eyes.
  5. Make Process Policies Explicit. Visualize explicitly your policies, process rules or guidelines for how you do your work. In this way, you create common ground for all those involved in the process to understand how to work in the system. The various policies can be at the board level or at a “swim lane” level or for each column. Examples of explicit policies are: what defines a task complete, what describes individual “swim lanes” or columns, who pulls when, etc. 
  6. Implement Feedback Loops. This practice is an essential part of any good system. Kanban encourages and helps you implement different types of feedback loops. If you want to deliver the right work in the shortest possible time, it’s crucial to get feedback early, especially if you ended up on the wrong track.
  7. Improve Collaboratively, Evolve Experimentally (using the scientific method). The Kanban Method helps you implement small changes and improve gradually in a way that is sustainable for you and your team. It encourages you to form a hypothesis, test it and make changes according to the results you obtain. In a few words, it aims at tackling issues through a scientific method. As an individual or team who aims at being agile, it’s fundamental that you evaluate your process continuously and improve as much as needed.

Notable tools

This is a list of tools that implement the Kanban method. You can test some of them for free.

  • Asana, with boards.
  • Azure DevOps Server, an integrated ALM-platform for managing work in and across multiple teams.
  • CA Technologies Rally, provides teams with the option of managing pull-based, lean software development projects.
  • Unicom Focal Point, a portfolio management and product management tool.
  • Jira (software), provides kanban boards.
  • Microsoft Planner, a planning application available on the Microsoft Office 365 platform.
  • Pivotal Tracker provides kanban boards.
  • Projektron BCS, project management tool, provides kanban boards for tickets and tasks.
  • Trello, cards-based project management.
  • Tuleap, an agile open source tool for development teams: customize board columns, set WIP (Work In Progress), connect board with Issue Trackers, Git, Documents.
  • Twproject (formerly Teamwork), project and groupware management tool.
  • Wrike, an Agile Collaborative Work Management Platform.

Reflection

Think of three ways a Kanban board could facilitate your own professional and/or private life. When you come up with ideas, try to be very specific. They have to reflect what you do and how you operate on your daily routine. 

If you haven’t tried Trello yet, try navigating it and setting up your own account.

 

Resources

If you want to learn more about Kanban: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanban_(development)

If you want to learn more about Kanban implementations and Kanban boards:

https://www.digite.com/kanban/what-is-kanban/ 

If you want to know why you should use Kanban in marketing https://business901.com/blog1/why-you-should-use-kanban-in-marketing/

If you think your lack of digital competencies is affecting your productivity: https://globalpeopletransitions.com/lack-of-digital-competence-affecting-your-productivity-heres-how-you-escape-that-rut/

If you’re curious to know more about the benefits of handwriting: https://www.fastcompany.com/90389979/5-times-when-using-paper-and-a-pen-is-better-than-using-an-app

References

Piper, J. (2018). Focus in the age of distraction: 35 tips to focus more and work less. Panoma Press, St. Albans.

Schwartz J. et al. (2018, Aug. 4), ‘The overwhelmed employee: Simplify the work environment.’ Deloitte University Press. https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/focus/human-capital-trends/2014/hc-trends-2014-overwhelmed-employee.html#:~:text=The%20overwhelmed%20employee%20Simplify%20the%20work%20environment&text=Too%20much%20access%20to%20information,us%20into%20%E2%80%9Coverwhelmed%E2%80%9D%20employees.&text=Sixty%2Dfive%20percent%20of%20executives,ready%E2%80%9D%20to%20deal%20with%20it

Productivity Makeover with Graham Allcott (Podcast): https://www.sundaebean.com/2019/12/02/152-productivity-makeoverwith-graham-allcott/

If you’re curious to know more about the benefits of handwriting: https://www.fastcompany.com/90389979/5-times-when-using-paper-and-a-pen-is-better-than-using-an-app

References

Piper, J. (2018). Focus in the age of distraction: 35 tips to focus more and work less. Panoma Press, St. Albans.

Schwartz J. et al. (2018, Aug. 4), ‘The overwhelmed employee: Simplify the work environment.’ Deloitte University Press. 

Virtual Lounge

Which Channels To Use in Order to be a More Effective

As the world changes and goes through the transition it is important to move with it on every level, as each passing moment brings new and improved methods/practices to sustain oneself. Similarly, becoming a Global Digital Nomad requires a person to be more social, adaptive, and flexible to accommodate the learning curve. Traveling to work in various and sometimes remote locations may make you a Digital Nomad, but how to make a successful career out of it is another story. Much like any other field, it requires prior knowledge to understand the core meaning of being a digital expert. So stick around as we delve into the digital world and the key platforms you’ll want to establish yourself on, all while working as a nomad!

YouTube

Top of the digital food chain when it comes to video-based content, a vital form of media in the modern world. Although reading content and gaining knowledge from articles and such is a key component, video content adds a whole new flair to the debate. It is easier to demonstrate a topic as a coach and it is much easier to understand with the help of visual aids on the user’s end. As we’re inclined to gain knowledge in the most efficient way possible, YouTube offers a host of content creators and trainers ready to break down topics for your understanding.

YouTube receives millions of views on a daily basis and gaining small traction with your content eventually leads to a mass following. The platform allows for the users to interact with the content by Liking, Commenting, Sharing, and even disliking (Something which other platforms lack). YouTube allows monetization for channels when they reach a certain subscriber count and watch-time, making it a perfect source of passive income.

Dishing out the right content for your audience may seem daunting, especially from a business standpoint. But it is important to understand the audience is built and studied, therefore presenting the key components of Digital Marketing will always attract the people willing to gain knowledge and enhance their skill set. Style of content is completely up to you and how you wish to present yourself, people may come for the learning aspect but may stay because of your training style.

If nothing else, watching a few videos on how to establish a new channel from YouTube itself may just do the trick! That’s the versatility it offers, we are all familiar with using Google to search our queries away yet YouTube tutorials allow for a more practical learning experience.

MailChimp 

Definitely a mode of media and content sharing that flows under the radar, but it is still so important that it makes the top of this list. Email communication remains one of the most direct ways for companies, brands, and professionals to communicate with their customers. There are no social platform restrictions (such as the word count on Twitter, the necessity of visuals on Instagram, and so on), so you can really experiment with your branding and hone it exactly to what works for you as a professional, or for the clients that you are representing.

Whether you’re running a retail brand or providing training or coaching services, having a planned newsletter not only gives your audience regular updates and reminders but also adds a layer of professionalism to your operations. Haphazard, untimely communication can sour the audience to your communications very quickly.

Newsletters involve sending members or subscribers news updates regarding the brand, events, and giveaways. They’re versatile and can be used to share a variety of different materials, for example, sending a link to new content on your website or an update to your services.

Newsletters in theory may seem daunting and a tedious process, however with the use of online tools such as MailChimp, it is actually a breeze! MailChimp is an automation platform as well as an email marketing service. Exactly the tool you should have under your belt! Using the platform is fairly simple as well, you can assign email recipients into groups and categories if you wish to supply niche content separately. 

Thanks to the latest applications available for creating and sending newsletters, you can even analyze insight into how your email marketing is performing. This insight provides a clear understanding of what type of content is clicked more often – including the frequency of clicks and views emails are yielding. 

Zoom

A relative unknown before 2020, Zoom blew up beyond their wildest imaginations at the start of the pandemic and resulting global quarantines last year. Zoom is a video conferencing software available on almost all major operating systems and capable of handling 100 users on one video call or even 1000 with the paid add-on. The benefits are plenty with the software and the user count is still growing as it is a free and simple to use service compared to the competitors who often had restrictions and limits – people being stuck inside their houses and working and socializing digitally through Zoom helped!

It’s not hyperbole to say that Zoom has in great part changed how we work remotely, with teaching, workshops, and training moving almost entirely to that platform. While large corporations and universities paid for the premium features to host large classrooms, Zoom’s free features are enough for you to establish video conferencing, meet clients online, or even conduct your services through the platform.

Zoom integrates smoothly with online calendars such as Google Calendar which is a great reminder of meetings and makes collaboration easy with the team. Please note that Zoom is my personal favorite but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have more options. If it doesn’t suit you, you can try Google Meet which is a tad bit less complicated than Zoom. Just remember to not pay hefty amounts on any video call subscription before checking a trial version first, especially when we’ve such amazing free options available.

Clubhouse 

Remote Working requires you to stay connected to the world and your social network, yet maintaining the connectivity can be a hassle more times than not. Clubhouse is a new platform on the conferencing and connectivity scene but its simplicity is what makes it stand out! With the emphasis put on having quality options rather than quantity, the audio-based platform provides blazing speeds compared to the market! By keeping their focus on audio-based communication, the value of words outweigh the visuals.

Clubhouse provides a platform to manage work without being bombarded with a host of customization and saturated features that go unnoticed. It’s a complete tool, packed with the essentials so a solid one-stop shop with great performance. It’s still in beta- version and invite-based only so I would suggest you get in now before they start charging for membership.

Clubhouse provides you access to team and classic company management, the integrated API option allows for a seamless connection when needed. The company iterates on its blazing-fast performance, which is a result of removing the bulky options and optimizing the necessities. The audio calling and conferencing takes place without lag which is a common theme with most platforms, and acts as the perfect tool for not only business discussion but workshops as well as creative sessions!

Users are able to join into the main workshop and later subside into smaller group conversations or teams to work seamlessly. You’re able to visit the participants’ profiles and learn more about them, which makes the smaller group division even more practical, this exclusive feeling is similar to that of a real Clubhouse which acts as the main appeal!

The platform is built with traveling and ease of access in mind with its easy-to-use features and fast loading speeds even on the go! Creating, joining, and hosting sessions are a few easy clicks away, and Clubhouse offers a secure server with only invited members given access to the audio chat! A key addition to any Nomad’s arsenal. You can join a room based on your interests and simply listen to amazing conversations happening around the globe. If you ever decide to talk on a topic of expertise (or anything random), make sure that you get co-hosts on board so that you don’t have to carry the entire session alone. Remember it’s a conversation-based tool so try to build an audience by providing meaningful audio content in the panel discussion sort of format. If any audience member wants to join, they get an option to raise their hand and you can let them in for questions or exercises.

As a Digital Nomad adapting to new platforms and their changes is key to staying relevant, so implementing these techniques with a combination of tactical strategies and straight-up hard work might just land you on that beach in the Bahamas – once the COVID-19 pandemic is finally contained.

Nabeha
Social Media Guru Nabeha Larif

About the Author

Nabeha Latif is a Digital Media Consultant since the last eight years all while being a prominent influencer! Her vast experience in the digital hemisphere has cemented her as the go to Digital Guru. A major in Digital Marketing, She pushed herself onto the scene with a host of varying micro and macro projects, she is also actively involved in providing business development services related with marketing. A few key names which have grown onto new heights with Nabeha’s expertise include the likes of UNICEF Pakistan, Cesvi, Ali baba Inc, Nescafe Basement, NBC, EuroVillage. 

Nabeha has worked with Global People Transitions and Angie Weinberger from the early days and is an estimated member of our team.