In this episode of the Digital Nomads Jobs Interview Series, I had a chat with Juliana Rabbi, who kindly shares her amazing story with us and how she shifted from a corporate job to building her own business as a Career Coach for Remote Jobs
Juliana Rabbi is originally from Brazil but she wanted to make traveling her lifestyle and decided to pursue her dream to become a digital nomad and explore the world while working online. And so she did, with patience, method, and determination.
She set up a plan and start freelancing while slowly building her business, with the help of a life coach and while dealing with the pros and cons of the digital nomad life.
Read the interview to learn how she pursued a nomadic life and made her dream life become her reality.
Juliana, what is your professional and educational background?
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Human Resources. I worked for 15 years as a recruiter in multinational companies, recruiting candidates from all over the world. My latest job position was Senior Recruiter.
What made you decide to become a digital nomad?
The truth? I wanted to be able to travel more! Traveling during my holidays or long weekends was not enough anymore. I wanted to find a way to incorporate more traveling in my life, so quitting my full-time job in a company, creating my own business, and working from anywhere in the world was the perfect plan for me – not the easiest one, but the one I chose!
How did you transition from a regular office job to remote work?
My transition from an office job to having my own business was long. It took me 2 years, in which I used to combine my full-time job plus two freelance gigs while building up my own business.
Oh, man!, I was working literally 11 h per day, and on weekends even more! I wanted to start making money with the other sources before quitting my job, and so I did. I also hired a coach to help me on the “life transition”, as I like to call it – because it was a career transition, but also a big life change, as I had to re-structure all the aspects of my life to be a digital nomad.
What do you think are the main skills needed in your profession?
There are so many coaches out there, and each of them has a different background and skill set, but in my case, my 15 years experience as a recruiter, my 7 years of experience working remotely and my background in psychology is a great combination for what I do.
Also, I speak 3 languages (Portuguese-native, Spanish, and English fluently). So that also helps me a lot to be able to work with clients from all over the world, and also to connect better with locals and also digital nomads when I travel.
I am not a computer expert, but I am a “computer savvy” person – because when you work alone on your laptop, you need to be able to find solutions for issues that can happen with the laptop or wifi connection on a Wednesday, 15 min before an important Zoom call with a client!.
I use tools like Google Drive to share files with clients and collaborators, Calendly to schedule my calls (one of the best investments I have ever done!) and I also pay the pro version of Zoom (so I can do group calls).
I am always attending online courses related to my area (career coach, remote jobs, coach in general), and I also participate in a group coach (as a coachee) to help me to improve my business.
Can you please explain your daily routine? what are the main tasks in your job?
In general, I help my clients to create a different and more effective approach to job searching, in order to gain better results.
In practice, we have bi-weekly sessions in which we cover their specific issues, limiting believes, application process/follow up/networking for their “dream jobs”, where to find the best offers, who to connect with, and pretty much anything struggle they face during the process.
I need to be very creative to adjust to each person’s needs in order to serve them better, so I always prepare a draft of the session and topics or exercises I want to propose, but I am 100% open to receive and embrace whatever the client brings to the session.
It makes my life more difficult, of course, as I more likely will skip my own script, but as it is a tailored service, and each client has different needs, that’s the best way to do it, in my opinion.
How do you stay focused and motivated while working on your own? how do you organize your day?
As I mentioned before, I use Calendly to share the link with clients and potential clients to schedule calls and sales calls – which means I choose the days and times I will be available for calls.
I am trying my best to schedule calls only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. So I leave Monday and Friday for more administrative work, planning, follow-up with clients between sessions, generate content, and everything else I don’t have time to do when my agenda is full of calls!
I am a morning person, so I wake up every day at 6 am, I do journaling, yoga and meditation, shower, breakfast and I start working around 8:30 – 9 am. I am very productive in the mornings, so I try to do not to schedule calls before 9:30 – 10 am, so I have the best hours of my day to do creative work (or urgent stuff).
I block my agenda for the things I must do, so I know in advance what must be done each day. If I don’t do a task, I move it to the following day – respecting the estimated time to execute it.
If I have client calls, I need silence and a professional work environment, so 95% chance that I will work from home. On the days (or part of the days, for example, an afternoon free of calls) I like to go to cafes or to friend’s places to co-work – that helps me to keep motivated and to do creative tasks.
How did you find your gigs before starting your business and how do you find new clients now?
When I was working as a freelance I found gigs through casual connections during meet up and conferences I was attending.
Now that I have my own business I have different ways to find clients:
- active reach on LinkedIn and engage in a meaningful conversation;
- sales posts in my social media channels – asking something like “I am looking for 5 people who want to land a remote job in 90 days”
- but most of the clients find me! They contact me because:
- they watched my videos on my YouTube channel and the content resonate with them,
- they read one of my posts,
- they listened to a show I was interviewed on a podcast/YouTube channel of someone else
- they were referred by others
- they found me searching on LinkedIn/Google/Instagram.
Where have you been traveling as a digital nomad and what is your favorite country?
Yes, I am traveling full-time as a digital nomad since November 2019. Well, because of the pandemic I spent 8 months in Brazil, inside the apartment with my parents (oh man, that was hard!). But yes, besides that, I have been traveling full time since Nov 2019. My favorite continent is Asia – I find it very hard to choose only 1 country! What do I love about Asia? It’s so different from everything I have seen and experienced in Europe and in the Americas: the colors, flavors, smells (not necessarily good smells, haha), the culture, the food, and the lifestyle. It fascinates me how different things are in Asia, and I love it.
How do you balance the traveling and the working duties? doesn’t get stressful? do you stay a long time in one place? or you move often?
It does get stressful sometimes to balance work and other aspects of my life. There is a lot of FOMO (Fear of missing out) involved when I am living in an amazing place and I see photos of my friends on the beach, doing a hike or exploring around, and I am at home doing client calls. When I feel stressed or anxious about it, I try to reflect on what is my priority at that moment: whether it’s exploring the place or paying more attention to my business. If I stay more than 1 month in one place, it’s easier to avoid wasting time with “silly” things that take a lot of time (like finding a supermarket, a laundry place, a cafe with good wifi, etc) so I optimize my time.
I avoid moving places after less than 1 month (and I mean moving cities and also moving apartments). I save time and feel more “at home” when I get to know my neighborhood, I know where to find what I need, but I still can choose to try new areas and explore – while my “basic needs” are covered.
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Did the present pandemic affect your business? How did you face the challenges?
The pandemic caused a massive pivot for my business. Now, looking back, I can already connect the dots and see it – but being “in it”, while it was happening, was very painful. The major changes didn’t come due to the online part of my business, because I was already working 100% online.
Changes were related to deciding to quit working as a freelancer for 2 companies I was collaborating with – because their work volume increased a lot during the pandemic, and between that and my direct clients, I was literally working around 11 hours every single day! (the job I was doing as a freelancer was very similar to the job I was providing to my direct clients: LinkedIn and CV writing, interview prep, career consultation, etc).
So I decided around June 2020 to quit those collaborations (which was a long internal and mental process, but I made it!) and dedicate my time 100% to my own clients. I asked for help from business coaches during the process, and also a career design to help me go over those hard moments.
How much can somebody earn with your profession approximately? Can you give us a range?
Anything between 2k – 10k per month I would say.
And last what advice would you give to those who want to follow your path?
If you know the lifestyle you want to have, go ahead and start creating it.
Respect your own limits and values, and don’t feel forced to do it faster nor in any specific way “just because someone told you to”. It’s very easy to get trapped in the classic “I will quit my job and buy a ticket to Thailand, and once there, I will figure out what I can do with my life”. This was a pre COVID approach, obviously, but you’ve got my point: quit everything you have, without a “plan B” or creating the bases for a new reality.
Preparation was the key to me, to help me to feel confident enough to make the step towards a fully digital nomad life, so I suggest that each person understand and respect their own limits in the process.
About Juliana Rabbi – Career coach for remote jobs
Juliana Rabbi has +15 years of experience working as a Recruiter in multinational companies. She has interviewed thousands of candidates, has been working remotely for +8 years and she enjoys helping people to be happier with their career and lifestyle. Currently, she works as a Career Coach Online and helps professionals to land their dream remote job in 90 days. She also loves dogs and Yoga. And Improvisation theater!