Working Remotely: Month One Perspective — with James Burke
Remote Year will be releasing a series of perspectives from a different Remote on month 1, month 6 and month 12 showcasing the evolution of their time on Remote Year. First up, James Burke currently traveling with Remote Year — Meraki.
One word to describe how you are feeling right now?
What’s that one thing you miss?
Wawa (a northeast USA staple, if you don’t know it, you’re missing out).
What are you looking forward to?
Getting to know my fellow remotes and forming lifelong friendships. Seeing some amazing sights, expanding my cultural awareness, and learning new languages.
What’s one thing you are nervous about?
Working off-hours locally in order to align with the east coast time zone.
What’s one thing you would say to someone thinking about joining remote year?
Make sure you’re okay with the idea of going outside your comfort zone. When things get stressful and weird, you have to be able to push through. They’ll be days when you wake up and are exhausted from this amazing experience, but you need to be able to pump yourself up and seize the day — regardless of what it throws in front of you. Remote Year is a blast, but it’s not always easy.
What is some advice you would give someone currently on Remote Year?
Don’t let the overwhelming-ness of everything around you detract from your long term goals, both professionally and personally. It’s easy to get FOMO (Fear of missing out), but it’s important to focus, and sometimes work or health needs to come first.
Do you have any tips on managing a remote role?
Don’t be afraid to be candid with your peers and supervisors about your professional needs while abroad. They’ve already signed off on the program, they won’t mind giving you the tools you need to be successful. Working remotely can be tricky, but it shouldn’t impair you professionally.
How have the people you met on remote year impacted your life both personally and professionally?
I have no doubt that the people I’m traveling with in my program are going to be lifelong friends and colleagues. Everyone has such a diverse and interesting background, but we all share the same passion for life and adventure. Even after we’re done with Remote Year, we’ll travel together, live together, and work together. This is more than just a year-long commitment.
If you could go back and do one thing differently what would it be?
I would have paid more attention to the clothing I packed. My boots quickly fell apart due to excessive use and it would have been easier to leave them behind. In a nutshell, I should have packed less.
Anything else you would like to say about your Remote Year experience?
I can honestly say that I’m happier than I’ve even been. Traveling with my fellow remotes is such an exhilarating and exciting adventure, I’m very thankful to be a Meraki, and I’ve loved every moment so far.