Transcript #152. How to work while traveling: A guide for small business owners, job hunters, and corporate professionals.

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[00:00:00] Renata: Hello everyone. And welcome to The Job Hunting podcast; this is episode 152. If you are new here, welcome. It's wonderful to have you. If you've been listening for a while and following my career and the coaching that I do, you will know that I've just recently returned to Australia from an overseas trip.

[00:00:52] Renata: It was the longest trip I've ever done in my life. I was away for 50 days, and it was really important for me to do that. As you can see, I have an accent, I live in Australia, in Melbourne, but I'm originally from Brazil. I have family in Brazil, and I have family in the US. So that's why it was so important for me after the lockdowns and pandemic to go back and see my family, especially my mom and dad, my sister and my husband's family, and all of our friends. And with that, I had to work and travel at the same time. So I thought it would be great to do this episode for you to talk about how to work and travel at the same time.

[00:01:32] Renata: I have clients that are currently traveling and job hunting. My husband and my son, who traveled with me, were working for their companies and traveling with me. So it's becoming more and more common. And a highlight of people's careers and a privilege, really, to work remotely from wherever you are; technology enables it.

[00:01:54] Renata: And there are a few tricks that I learned along the way. And I'd like to share them with you. When I was preparing for this episode, I quickly Googled to see what was already written there, I often do this, and it gives me some interesting ideas, and I found a brand new article in the Harvard Business Review.

[00:02:14] Renata: It was written recently in August by Pam Kosanke, and the title is "How to Work and Travel at the Same Time". So what I'm going to do is follow Kosanke's headings and kind of give my take on every heading and also link the article below, in case you're interested in reading it. It's a good read. So, as I was saying before, you know, reading this article gave me some ideas of how to frame my strategies that I wanted to share with you.

[00:02:42] Renata: And the first heading in this article is define what you want to get out of your travels. And I think this was the biggest challenge for me as I was planning my trip overseas because I wanted to dedicate time to my family and my friends. I had important business to do in Brazil as well because I hadn't been there for so long, but I had to work. I have clients that are currently job hunting, and it's important for me, as a coach with private clients, to be on standby for them. I want to help them when they need me most. So I really struggle with letting go because I know how important it is when you are at the stage where you have an important interview or you're negotiating salaries to have somebody to brainstorm and bounce back ideas and find the best way to move a selection process and finalize it.

[00:03:31] Renata: So I wanted to do it all, but it's important not to overcommit yourself. If you're going to travel, it's important to focus on why you're traveling and make sure that you find enough time to do all the important things that you need to do overseas, even if it's leisure and relaxation. So defining what you want to get out of your travel before you do this hybrid work and traveling format is really important.

[00:04:00] Renata: The second heading from this article was to create a structure that supports the lifestyle you want. And for those 50 days that I was overseas, this was really important to me. After a few, sort of ideas, I locked in a fortnightly schedule. What that meant was that I was going to be available for my clients fortnightly, but there will be weeks every other week where I would completely shut down and enjoy my family and my time away. And I think that that was really important that, you know, I had that opportunity to really forget about my work and just focus on enjoying my trip and also making it really clear to my clients that, you know, there were weeks where I was very available to them, if they had any issues and they needed me, they would connect with me. 

[00:04:56] Renata: Now, if you're job hunting, you can adapt that strategy for yourself. I think it's important for job hunters and corporate professionals as well to remember the reasons why you're going overseas and to make the most out of that privilege and opportunity.

[00:05:13] Renata: I think I would have found it really hard to be available at all times. I feel like I wouldn't be able to switch off and enjoy my time overseas. So the fortnightly schedule really worked for me. And the way that it worked for me and for, my clients, and for the people that I was visiting was to do with the third heading in this article, which is over-communicate.

[00:05:36] Renata: The article says overcommunicate with your manager and your colleagues. In my case, I over communicated with my clients and family. So before I left, I made sure that my phone had a different voicemail explaining that I wasn't gonna be checking voicemails and people should email me. And I think that that's really important.

[00:05:57] Renata: Email is always my preferred modus operandi. I want my clients to email me, and they can WhatsApp and send me messages, of course, if there is an emergency. But in terms of how I keep records for my clients and how I file things away, email is the best way for me. It's just more, you know, the way that I operate people have different ways of operating for me email is king. 

[00:06:23] Renata: So I didn't want to rely on voicemail, and I didn't wanna rely on my phone much because there were times when I didn't have much of a reception. And that was something important for me to do. 

[00:06:37] Renata: The other thing that I did and I updated along the way was my vacation message on my email account. So my vacation message was updated regularly. Letting people know that that week I wasn't available, but I was going to be available the week after. So asking people for patients and that I would get back to them, and if it was an emergency, they could always send me a message. So my private clients have my phone number, and they could message me if they really, really needed to speak with me, but very few of them did.

[00:07:09] Renata: And I think that overcommunication with the clients, letting them know exactly when I was available and when I wasn't, I think was important. Everybody understood and was so friendly and collaborative and just easy to work with. Like I had really no issues whatsoever, which is great. I kept thinking about how grateful I am to have the clients that I have.

[00:07:30] Renata: I'm even a bit emotional, to be honest, because you know, when you're locking into the discovery calls for people to, you know, discuss coaching with a coach like me, most coaches have that system. It's not just about me trying to get new clients. It's me thinking, am I going to gel well with this person, and are we going to make a good partnership? And I'm very lucky to be in a position where now I can make those decisions and only sign up clients that I want to sign up. And gosh, I'm so lucky, my clients are all fantastic, and I love them, and you know, really want to support them. And they really supported me at this time when I really needed to go overseas and check on my family and see my friends. And it all worked really well. And I think that overcommunication was really important for all of us. In fact, explaining to my family and my friends that I wasn't just there to, you know, have a good time. I had to work at times was really important too.

[00:08:27] Renata: And for me, it's really interesting because my mom doesn't stop working when I visit her. She's a piano teacher. She has piano students, and they come in and out of the house. The house is always, you know, very musical and it's really lovely. And sometimes it was a bit of a challenge when the piano was really loud, and I was having a session in my office in my room, but I think everybody understood, and it was all fine.

[00:08:54] Renata: So it's lovely that I have a working mother like that and that we kind of coordinated our schedule. So, we would wake up really early. They always wake up early anyway. My mom and dad, we would have breakfast, and then at 7:00 AM, I had my first client on the weeks that I was working, and I maybe would have a second client, if not, you know, we would go for a walk.

[00:09:18] Renata: My mom and I would do exercise twice a week with her personal trainer, and, you know, like we were very structured. Then we would have lunch and then at 2:00 PM, I started working again, you know, because I have clients all over the world. So 2:00 PM is a great time, for example, for my European clients.

[00:09:35] Renata: And then I would go sometimes up to 10:00 PM at night because that would suit my Australian clients. So that worked well for me, and I think that can easily be adapted to job seekers to corporate professionals. And again, explaining it to clients, to recruiters, or to colleagues when you're available when you're not available. Having easy-to-understand vacation messages on your email or voicemail is all very important. 

[00:10:06] Renata: The other heading was about holding yourself accountable for meeting expectations. And for me, like I made several notes under this heading because I think that's such an important heading. First of all, I think it's important to pack really well when you're traveling while working or working while traveling.

[00:10:26] Renata: And what I did was okay. How can I meet my expectation and my client's expectations while I'm away and do the best possible job that I can? And that, for me, means technology. I need to have a second monitor. I do not understand people that work with just a laptop. I need a second monitor. So I invested in a very slim monitor, and that was the best investment that I have made. My husband was, you know, criticizing me and thinking, oh, you know, you're overreacting, you don't need it. But in the end, he had to agree; it was a great investment. It's very thin. I don't even know the brand, but I will find links to some of those. I think they're fairly new thin monitors that you can purchase, and they fit in my laptop sleeve. So I could carry both my laptop and this thin monitor together. And one laptop sleeve super easily. I also took my camera. I love my laptop, but it has a horrible camera. It's an HP, it has a wonderful sound system. It's banging olive suddenly, and it's an HP spectra. It's not that old, but the camera is really pixelated in poor quality. And I find that most laptops have that. I know this because I have so many clients, and most of them use laptop cameras. And I took my Logitech with me. I just couldn't cope whenever I'm buying another laptop; it's something that I would try to do, try to get a laptop that has a good camera. 

[00:12:04] Renata: I have found that Mac laptops have great cameras, but I'm not a Mac person, even though I'm an iPhone person. I don't think I'll ever have a Mac. So, you know, if you have any tips for me on great laptops with great cameras. Please let me know, because I am planning on traveling more.

[00:12:21] Renata: I have, like I said, family overseas, and my son has just moved to the UK. So I think I'll have to get used to either overpacking my tech stuff or getting better laptop in the future. I also made myself accountable and met my expectations needed to understand the technology that I was going to have available to me.

[00:12:41] Renata: I was going to Brazil. I was a little bit worried about my wifi and internet access with my mom and dad. My dad very kindly updated the internet at his house when I was there, and that was useful for me. I also made sure that all my clients knew that they could contact me on WhatsApp.

[00:13:01] Renata: WhatsApp is fantastic because it allows you to contact people via wifi without the need for the phone if you don't have international roaming. I also checked international roaming, and I paid a fortune for it, but it's the cost of going overseas. Right. So I think it's $10 a day with Telstra, which is my Australian phone service. And, yeah, that was expensive, but it's just what I have to do. Right. If you have any, if you're in Australia, you're listening to this, and you have a better solution for international travelers, then let me know. But that's what I paid $10 a day for 50 days. Yeah, 500 Australian dollars. That was a lot of money, and I wish it were different, but it couldn't be done in any other way, as far as I could tell.

[00:13:53] Renata: I also managed my expectations of what I was going to get done. You know, when I was planning this trip, I had all these plans of maybe spending a lot of time doing some thinking and planning for my business. And then, as I got closer and closer to the time of traveling, I realized that that was not going to be feasible, that I wouldn't be able to do it because I wanted to spend quality time with my family.

[00:14:21] Renata: So I gave up on those plans, and I focused on only servicing my clients. Well, how can that be, translated to job seekers, like, think about how you're going to structure your schedule while you're overseas. So don't commit yourself and maybe focus on one or two projects that you can do well overseas.

[00:14:40] Renata: So, for example, if you're a client of mine, then you would be focusing on, alright, let me just go through the job hunting made simple roadmap, make sure that I listen to every masterclass that I look at every homework and check all the resources and that is your target. Or if you're further out and more in the tactical stage of your job search, okay, let me just. Every other week I will apply for two to four jobs. Right? And then you find the time for that. And then the thing is, once you start applying, you start getting feedback, so you need to be ready to get those calls from recruiters. And, you know, having a good email vacation message and a good voicemail on your phone will establish some expectations there. You were meeting those expectations. I have had clients who left their holiday homes and had to fly back to their home countries for interviews. I have clients currently job hunting overseas while visiting family, and they know that they may have to go back to the country where they live to have some networking meetings.

[00:15:50] Renata: So you need to make yourself accountable for those things and budget for them. And make sure that you understand what it entails to job hunt while traveling or work while traveling. And plan your diary really well. You know, I'm pedantic about my diary. You know, my free resource is a diary.

[00:16:13] Renata: Isn't it. So if you've downloaded the optimized job search schedule, you know what I mean? And if you haven't, I'll have a link to it below, but I diarized the days and the times that I knew I would be available for my clients. I have clients all over the world. You have no idea how complicated that was for me because, being in Australia, I'm already used to the times, and they can go to Calendly. I use Calendly now. I, unfortunately, gave up on Harmonizely. So if you've been following me for a while and you know how much I loved Harmonizely, but now I'm with Calendly set, just as good, really good, very powerful app for appointments and people like me who have clients, you know, really need apps like that.

[00:16:57] Renata: But once I was in Brazil, I had to manually make many of the appointments because it was really all over the place. And yeah, so it kind of changed me a bit my routine. So I planned my entire diary and allocated time for my clients for the 50 days that I was overseas. 

[00:17:16] Renata: And, you know, what, I prioritized travel over work. You see, I was traveling, so I kind of had to remind myself whenever I was in doubt, what to do, that the travel and spending time with family and doing that special thing with my friends was more important. As I said, I have wonderful clients who just have to understand that I wouldn't be available at all times and have backup plans.

[00:17:44] Renata: So there were times when clients really needed me, and thankfully I have a whole bunch of resources that are prerecorded for them. So if I couldn't be with them because I was, you know, traveling with friends, for example, I would say, look, I cannot have a session with you right now. I'm currently away. I don't have the privacy or the tech that I need to have a session. However, you can go to my pre-recorded material, and you will find what you need in this masterclass and this sort of platform. So I would let them know what they could access that would help them with what they needed.

[00:18:18] Renata: And I think having those backup plans is important if you're traveling and working. Having somebody maybe that could support you, do the work with your colleagues while you are away. Act on your behalf while you are away. That's already important for job seekers. Of course, that's not achievable. It has to be you. So, you know, knowing when you can and when you're not available is really important. 

[00:18:46] Renata: And then finally travel with people who understand remote work, right? And, you know, educating my family and my friends, letting them know that there were days or weeks during the time I was away that I was actually there, but I couldn't see them. I think was important. And, most people really did understand that. Super well. My parents were fantastic, and I guess, you know, it's what I need to do now. You see, I work for myself, and I have clients that rely on me to get jobs. So, of course, I need to be available when they need me.

[00:19:20] Renata: And, you know, if you are not available, don't force it. Do you know? There was a period of my trip when I was in Miami visiting family. And the house was just too busy. There were too many people, and I was having a great time in Miami. The heat was suffocating. So I really couldn't find the energy or the time or the environment to meet my client's expectations.

[00:19:46] Renata: So I didn't, I didn't force it. I didn't even try. I explained to them that during that time, when I was in Miami, I wouldn't be available. And you know, at the beginning of my trip, I had a TBC to be confirmed as with some of some bookings. And then, as it got closer to the time I was gonna fly to Miami, I realized I wasn't going to be able to see clients. So I canceled those appointments, explain the situation they understood. They've been fantastic. And you know, got here in Melbourne and quickly got over my jet lag, and I've been, having five sessions a day to meet those expectations of the people that I wasn't able to work with during that sort of block out time in my trip during the Miami time.

[00:20:33] Renata: So, you know, I guess this is a bit about me and maybe, something that can help you think about how you will visit your family overseas or finally go away and have that long trip. Some people are doing a sabbatical. Some people are working remotely. Some people are just, you know, thinking about taking work with them when they go to a location that they've been dying to visit. It's been too long since some of us have traveled for me, it's been four years, and I was such a jet setter before because of work and because of having family overseas, you know, I was like, George Clooney in that movie where he travels all the time, and he has that perfectly packed bag.

[00:21:17] Renata: Gosh, it was hard for me to pack my bag. I just over packed. And you know, I had lost a lot of the muscles to get through very long trips. Like the one I have to do between Australia and Brazil, it takes me a day door to door. So 24 hours to get there, and I fly economy these days. So, it's pretty hard.

[00:21:39] Renata: But look, I hope this helps you. I hope that you start working and traveling. I think this is a benefit of the pandemic because it has freed us up and allowed us flexibility. Employers are more and more accepting of workers' need for flexibility for time away and making the most of it. And if you're a job seeker and you're job hunting, you don't have to be stuck at home job hunting. Most interviews are phone screens at the beginning or just zoom interviews. Even if you're interviewing for your job in your town. I have a client, I just spoke to her, and the job is here in Melbourne. Everybody's in Melbourne, and still, the interview is via Zoom or something else similar to zoom. So, make the most out of it.

[00:22:30] Renata: And you can job search while enjoying sunny weather somewhere or wherever you want. Okay, I will see you next week with another new episode. If you want to learn more about my services, please go to my website. It's RanataBernarde.com. That's renatabernarde.com, and if you're already subscribed to my newsletter and know about my services, but you want to have like a sneak peek or be a fly on the wall and what I do day to day, follow me on Instagram.

[00:23:04] Renata: You will find the Instagram link on my website as well. And I'll add it to the show notes for this episode. So you can go to my stories and, you know, next time I travel, you can travel with me. Bye for now.

 

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