Remote work is decentralizing power: Daniel Dawson

Remote Work Stories
10 November, 2021
Daniel Dawson

Hi, Can you please introduce yourself?

Hi there! I'm Daniel Dawson and I'm a remote marketing professional currently based in North Carolina who loves slow travel, location-independent work and warm weather. I've been working remotely as a full-time worker in B2B (business-to-business) SaaS (software-as-a-service) marketing for over the last 5 years. I absolutely love it! I'm a slow traveler which means that I like to spend at least 2 weeks at a new destination and stay up to 6 months or longer in the same spot. Getting to know a culture, community and new place deeply is what gives me the deepest satisfaction when traveling.

What’s your profession, what do you do?

I work full-time as the Field Marketing Manager for North America in a tech startup. We are a cloud-based phone system and help teams and companies work efficiently from anywhere. That means no wires and desk phones! My day to day is a lot of marketing campaign planning, live and virtual events, partnering with our digital marketing, product marketing and content marketing teams, as well as email marketing and working with our North American sales team.

What company do you work for? Are you a freelancer or Digital Nomad?

I work for a company called Aircall. I am a full-time remote worker and work on on Eastern Daylight Time wherever I am in the world.

How did you start with a remote work journey?

It all started when I first learned about the concept of remote work, sometime shortly upon graduating college. I always wanted to travel around the world and experience new places and cultures, but as someone who was always very ambitious and career-driven, I didn't want to sacrifice my career. Remote work seemed like the perfect fit. My first real job after college I developed a really good working relationship with my boss. We had high standards of work, but also a lot of trust. This eventually led to me being able to negotiate my first remote-working agreement with him, and I never looked back.

CHECKOUT REMOTE JOBS: Sales and Marketing Remote Jobs

What do you think are the main benefits of working remotely?

Location-independent work. I think in this day and age, so many jobs can be done from anywhere. Great work can be independent of major cities or tech hubs. Remote work is decentralizing power and providing more accessibility to people who wouldn't normally be afforded career opportunities because they cannot or do not want to move or live in a major city. I advocate for remote work to empower the individual and allow that person to design his, her or their lifestyle however it suits them best. Your job is a tool to afford you that lifestyle, it isn't your entire life existence.

Daniel Travel Photo

Do you think there are disadvantages or that you’re missing something by working remotely?

Not for me. I have worked from offices before and I can sincerely say office culture is not for me. Getting together face-to-face with coworkers occasionally, or even frequently, is not office culture. Office culture is revolving 90% of your job and existence around a physical place. It's claiming that real collaboration and productivity can only happen in an office. I don't agree with this and I therefore don't think I'm missing out on anything. Working remotely does come with its own challenges, as does anything, but I don't think that's missing out on anything.

Daniel Travel Photo

From what cities or countries have you worked since you have become remote? What are your favourite countries or cities to work from?

I've worked all around the US as my permanent residence is currently there, and I also travel for work.

Some of my favorite US cities are:

  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • Wilmington, NC (home base!)

Some international destinations I've lived in and worked from are the following:

  • Montreal, QC
  • Mexico City, MX
  • Guadalajara, MX
  • Puerto Vallarta, MX (so far my longest stay)
  • Leon, MX
  • Puebla, MX
  • Lisbon, PT
  • Porto, PT
  • Salamanca, ES

Coming up I'll be working from Paris (actually in my company's headquarters) and then off to the Canary Islands, Spain for a couple of weeks. You can see I like to spend a lot of time in the same places or countries :)

Daniel Travel Photo

From what type of places do you prefer to work? Home, co-working spaces, coffee shops, or others?

I typically like to stay in my Airbnb to work. I find an Airbnb that has reliable internet and it's just the most convenient and comfortable for me. I don't want to spend time "commuting" and I I like to stay in my pajamas! If I do want to switch it up, I keep it simple and go to a place where I know there will be reliable internet, as I take a lot of video conference calls. If available, Starbucks is wonderful. It's cheap, internet is always reliable and no one will bother you. Cafe el Pendulo is great for Mexico City working.

Daniel Travel Photo

What places would you like to travel to while working remotely?

I still have yet to make it down to South America. I am fluent in Spanish yet ironically haven't been to any country in South America. I'd love to see Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Brazil (to pick up some Portuguese) and more!

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them? Share your remote productivity, communication, management, etc. tips based on your experience!

My biggest challenge at first was definitely managing my own self confidence. I remember I was so nervous to work remotely and take my first 2 week trip to Montreal. I actually drove there at the time, so I wasn't even really that far away. I was afraid I was going to mess up, that my boss wasn't going to trust me and that I would lose my remote working privileges. I overcame this my learning that my productivity didn't have to greatly increase just because I was remote. I had to have reality checks with myself that I am doing just enough work as if I were in the office and that I am only feeling this way because I'm new to it, not because my boss doesn't trust me or that I'm doing a bad job. I think the other challenge I've had and still have from time to time is learning to truly relax and disconnect from work. I am fortunate enough to be able to write emails or Slack messages for work from my phone if I step away from my laptop, but sometimes that makes it too easy to read and reply to emails when no one else is working. Disconnecting, enjoying the local atmosphere, making friends and finding other things to do help keep the urge to work at bay.

Daniel Travel Photo

What tools do you use to improve productivity and manage work efficiently?

Honestly I'm a big note taker, so a physical notepad and the Notes app on my Macbook. I also make sure to create meetings and reminders for things on my Gmail calendar. That's it! No fancy project management or scheduling tools here. An old-fashioned to-do list works wonders for organizing and prioritizing your tasks from your mind to a piece of paper.

How do you manage your business and taxes as a remote working professional?

I pay a tax professional to do my taxes, but I keep a permanent residence in the US. My taxes are not very complicated right now.

What advice would you give to people looking to work remotely?

Talk to me! Talk to all sorts of people you know who work remotely and learn how they did it. Most of the time it's your own insecurities or fears that are holding you back. It is very possible for almost any type of person and in an increasing amount of professions to find remote work. All it takes is usually some reframing and confidence-boosting.

Daniel Travel Photo

Do you work on any side projects?

I have some ideas I'm working on :) I try to keep myself active in the remote worker community. I would love to write an ebook guide for remote workers one day.

Daniel's LinkedIn Profile:

Keywords: remote work story, remote work success stories, live remotely, tips working remotely, work from home tips, working from home tips for success, wfh tips, work from home productivity tips.

View all remote work stories
Get exclusive remote work stories and fresh remote jobs, weekly 👇
Onkar By: Onkar