I was tempted to skip this work year review but I saw that I had managed to post 3 blogs in 2017. Not bad, I thought considering that I cannot recall when I last landed on this blog dashboard! The reason I wanted to skip it was because I already wrote my travel and spiritual year-end review in November at the Jain New Year, and not because there is not much to write (when does that ever happen!)

This year has been quite a roller-coaster ride!

Remote Working!

After quitting my role at SwitchMe in late 2016, I traveled for 3 months – Australia, Taiwan and South India. After that, I returned to Mumbai and wrote my year-end review for 2016 where I mentioned I was planning to look for some hands-on projects focussed on revenue generation. Well, I stayed for a while in Mumbai, worked on a few projects and then realized that Mumbai is not for me. I cannot take the pace, chaos, noise, utter lack of basic human infrastructure like a footpath…. guess 3 months on the road especially in the countryside of developed countries had its impact on my idea of life quality. So, I quit the few projects I had found in Mumbai and packed up. I would manage through completely remote projects.

I had become good at pitching ideas to companies at DigiWhirl – so I wasn’t worried about getting a couple of projects for myself.

In a globally distributed team : Working remotely from Shimla

Working remote in Shimla. Good bit of traveling this year: Read my review of my travels!

The Role

The only thing I was concerned about with remote projects was the kind of work I would get. I wasn’t too excited about doing small side projects for brands while the in-house resources did all the chunky and interesting work. But I was clear that I didn’t want to stay in Mumbai (or any metro for that matter), so I figured I will manage something. And at the end of day, I prefer a very minimalistic life and that doesn’t cost much. 🙂

As it happened, within a few weeks I got a call from Kenhub and my application for their Marketing role went through. And the best part was that since Kenhub is a full globally distributed team with no actual office, I don’t have to do some small side role. I can be a full-fledged Marketing Lead in their team while working remote! Yay!

So overall work life has shaped up well in last year for sure.

Globally Distributed Team

Earlier, I have had some limited experience with international work at DigiWhirl. But this is the first time I am interacting so closely with an entirely international (mostly European) team. It has been really exciting (at least until I get used to it 😉 ). There is the aspect of Cultural Differences which is a very real situation to tackle. Then there is the matter of managing through the Time Zones. There are technical aspects to look at like Salary Variations / Employee Benefits Expectations within such a team. And then, of course, there are challenges owing to the fact that the work is totally remote.

In a globally distributed team @ Kenhub

Met the Kenhub team at the meeting in Lisbon 🙂

Just a few days back I remembered that in 2016 I had done the Coursera course on inter-cultural communications and conflict resolution. It turned out to be such an apt course to do. 🙂

SEO Skills

In terms of the actual work, the focus here is on SEO amongst other things.

At DigiWhirl I had worked with a few SEO agencies. All of them closed a few years back owing to some strict Google updates. And so I was under the impression that now there isn’t much SEO stuff to do for websites. But I realize that I was quite wrong. Maybe, there isn’t much that outside agencies can do… but internally there is a whole load of stuff. And thankfully in the short 2 years that I have been focussing on SEO (for SwitchMe and now Kenhub) – I have had some of the best people consulting with us and so I have not only been able to learn the key points needed for SEO success but I have also implemented them with the team and see the results (with some success). 🙂

As usual for this blog, I feel stingy with words and don’t have much more to write. I can only say that this has been a very solid experience in terms of many different facets of learning – inter-cultural understanding, global markets, marketing strategy and actual work experience, insights into running a globally distributed team and so on.

Hopefully, I will do a few insightful blogs of my learnings here but don’t count on it. Read it when you see it. 😀

I will now end this blog with some very wise advise I got from Ranaji – a pioneer in a small Himalayan town,

Develop different channels of Income

In case one channel of work goes dry or something, then the other channels keep us going. I think it is a very good idea, but currently, I haven’t managed any such “other” channel. I think a bit of paid travel writing should happen – IF I can give it some time.

And I just realised while writing this blog post (see, this is why I write 😉 ) – “teaching” is my other channel. I have taken a social media module of 7 lectures for XIC Journalism students for last 2 years. This year’s lectures are lined up too. Plus, I have some teaching experience from very early on in my life. In 2007 I spent a few months as the Chemistry teacher for the middle school at Isha Home School in Coimbatore. I was much younger then but I guess if I ever need to, I can develop this line of work.

Life and Work

Hope you are thinking deeper about your life aspirations and aligning your work with it. Live modestly and within your means. And as Ranaji says, develop different channels of income. One can be the main one, like your full-time job. But keep at least a few sidelines developed enough to make just a bit of money without compromising on the full-time job. In case there is a recession or some other situation which affects your main line of work then you will have other lines that are already partially developed and bringing in some money. Leaving you in a much better situation.

This will keep you relaxed and the future prospects will look decent at all times.