Career

My RE-Definition of the Most Hated Word for Job Seekers: Networking
My RE-Definition of the Most Hated Word for Job Seekers: Networking
Published On: May 24, 2016
One of the most overused -- and least understood -- words in the professional development space starts with N: networking.   If I use it in my articles or when working with clients, everybody’s like, “Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m supposed to go to events and pass out my business cards and send follow-up emails and suck up to people since it’s all about who you know...”   And I want to say, “Nooooo! Stop right there! We are using the same word but meaning different things!”   Networking is a horrendous word. It conceptualizes people as objects and characterizes the relationship as entirely fake and transactional.   I know thousands of people from every continent and every industry -- and I’ve NEVER Continue Reading
When You
When You’re Different: How to Stop Comparing and Find Courage to Live Off the Beaten Path
Published On: May 15, 2016
Last week I took four flights for two days straight to get from the capital of Nepal to my hometown of Buffalo, New York. I packed up the backpack I’d been living out of for 8 months and plopped back down into the middle of America and the middle of something that looks like most people’s day-to-day reality.   I'm watching my dad go to work at 6am like he’s done for the past 40-something years, while my mom wakes up at 5am to make his coffee and pack his lunch, like she’s done for the past 30-something years. I'm talking to friends who work in offices by day and come home to boyfriends, dogs, and sometimes kids by night. I went to Continue Reading
Life

How to Nurture Your Own Talent and Not Be Intimidated by Other People
How to Nurture Your Own Talent and Not Be Intimidated by Other People’s Gifts
Published On: June 24, 2016
“That is the best salsa dancer in Salvador,” my Aussie friend said, pointing across the room.   “Him?” I replied, looking incredulously at the scrawniest, most awkward-looking Brazilian man I had ever seen, sporting big hipster glasses and a sloppy afro. There was no way that guy could be a dancer.   As if aiming to prove my inner dialogue wrong, the smoky upstairs of a gritty, crowded club in central Salvador cleared and the unlikeliest specimen of a salsa dancer took center stage.   And he was mesmerizing.   He literally lit up the room, not one eyeball daring to stray from his performance, not one mouth lacking a giddy smile, not one set of hips not shaking from Continue Reading
7 Words to Transform Your Life
7 Words to Transform Your Life
Published On: June 20, 2016
Every month I work with dozens of young people from around the globe who have no idea what they’re doing with their lives (truth be told, most of us have no idea what we’re doing, yet we’re still here, doing it anyway), and I spend half an hour once a week telling them everything I know.    I find a lot of common threads in these conversations and want to share my top takeaways with the hope they may help more people than those who choose to step into my virtual office.   Here they are, just 7 key words, and I hope they stick to you and start transforming your life, too.    1. Wants.   Most of my dear Continue Reading
Travel

What It’s Really Like to Be a World-Traveling Digital Nomad
What It’s Really Like to Be a World-Traveling Digital Nomad
Published On: June 21, 2016
  In India, the standard line of questioning goes:   “Madam, which country?”  “How old are you?”  “Only one?” “Why aren't you married?”    After a congressional inquisition into my marital status, the questions shift to my job. What does Madam do?    Now imagine trying to explain what a digital nomad is to a village of curious south Indians.    “Well, I travel around the world and write a blog and help people find their own path to personal and professional fulfillment” doesn’t usually go over without a lot of squinting and muttering at me in Tamil, so I try, “I’m a...writer?” with only slightly less confused frowning.    These men and women work day and night so their Continue Reading
8 Ways to Stop Being “So American” When You Travel Abroad
8 Ways to Stop Being “So American” When You Travel Abroad
Published On: June 14, 2016
The first time I went to Europe I was visiting a friend who had been studying in the Czech Republic for six months, and I’ll never forget our epic reunion in a local cafe. In all my excitement, I grabbed her in a huge hug and squealed loudly in delight.    My lovely friend, by then acquainted with a more international standard of behavior, pulled me into our booth and whispered with a smile, “I’m so happy to see you! Remember, we’re in Europe now. Let’s keep our voices down so we don’t disturb the people around us.”    I’m still grateful for that comment and the dozens of other pointers I’ve picked up over the past decade and fifty Continue Reading
Health

3 Steps to Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness
3 Steps to Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness
Published On: June 22, 2016
Only recently did I realize I’m exhibiting signs of borderline insanity.   I’m facing a very fulfilling present moment, a career and life situation that has miraculously worked itself out to support my ideal lifestyle. I’m traveling the world, doing work I love, maintaining my friendships over the distance, and becoming closer with my family. I’m actually happy.    Or rather, I could be happy if I allowed myself to be.   I’m not completely happy because I’m constantly worrying about being this happy in the future. I’m thinking along the lines of, “Oh man, I’ve kind of got it made right now. I should enjoy this, but I’m also terrified that it’s all going to fall apart and I Continue Reading
On Pursuing Happiness: What to Do When What You Want is Always Out of Reach
On Pursuing Happiness: What to Do When What You Want is Always Out of Reach
Published On: June 9, 2016
Human beings are born in “seeking mode.” Our deep and constant drive to search (for what, we don't seem to know) is one of the defining characteristics of our existence. No matter what we do, what we have, or where we go, we want to do something else, have something else, and go somewhere else.     We're like the cat who meows no matter what side of the door he's on.    Indian thinker Osho calls this the “black hole,” a persistent gap in human consciousness that renders everything we want meaningless the minute we have it, and perpetuates the restless, fervent search.   No person is exempt from this pursuit. The rich, poor, young, old, educated, uneducated, religious, Continue Reading

About Me

About Me

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Hi, I’m Elaina and these are my thoughts on the most important decade of our lives.

 

Originally from New York State, I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in International Studies and Mandarin in 2011. I worked for a Fortune 500 company as a management consultant in NYC until April 2013, when I quit in pursuit of growth and adventure. I took a job in international business development and moved to a new country every 3 months for two years. During that time I lived and worked in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Turkey, Mongolia, Paraguay, South Africa, Qatar, Oman, and Guyana.

 

Now I’m traveling indefinitely since September 2015, paying my way as a digital nomad: writing, career coaching, travel planning, and blogging. I write about self-development, charting unconventional life paths, finding REAL jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living more purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world.

 

Most importantly, I want to help YOU find an exciting career, travel the world, break the norms, and develop yourself both personally and professionally. Read on or get in touch: elaina@lifebefore30.com (I answer every email)!

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Current Location: Berlin, Germany

 

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Previous Location: India

 

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Three years ago, I changed my whole life in 30 days. I scored the job of my dreams, quit my job in New York, sold everything I owned, moved to West Africa, and never looked back. Read about it here.

 

Now I use Office Hours to help my clients do the same.

 

Do you want to travel but are scared to quit your job?

Do you want to find a job overseas but don't know where to start?

Do you wake up in the morning dreading what's ahead?

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