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About Me

About Me

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Hi, I’m Elaina and I want to help you live life on your terms, find a career you love, and travel as often as you want. 

 

I’ve lived, worked, and traveled to more than 60 countries, including some pretty off-the-beaten path destinations like Mongolia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Paraguay. I’ve also lived out of a suitcase as a full-time nomad for the past 4.5 years, ever since leaving my management consulting gig in New York back in 2013 when I landed an international role at a media company that sent me all over the world to work. You can read my full story here

 

What makes my story unique is that I’ve traveled AND built a professional career, working for companies like IBM and Uber over the years. I’ve also spent long stretches of time freelancing and traveling adventurously through South America, Asia, and Africa. I’m currently freelance writing, coaching professionals through career transitions, and working on a few small business ideas while splitting my time between Berlin, the US, and India. 

 

I write about self-development, digital nomadism, charting unconventional life paths, finding REAL jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living more purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for creating a life you love. I’m not a full-time digital nomad and I’m not a full-time corporate professional: I’ve done things a bit differently and I think it’s feasible for more people to live “off the beaten path” this way. I hope my blog lets you see that it’s both possible and practical.  

 

I started this blog because 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 to set up a 1:1 session with me: elaina@lifebefore30.com.

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Don’t Get Depressed, Get Motivated: It’s Our Responsibility to Want More

Posted on February 17th, 2013

forbes

 

Photo credit: Forbes

 

To the despairing “Fed-Up Employee” who anonymously penned this woeful Forbes piece, I feel your pain. Your heartache and distress is palpable. You echo the voices of tens of thousands of ambitious, unapologetically idealistic recent graduates entering the job market who are all about to pull their hair out over the meaningless, thankless nature of a lot of our work.

 

But you know what the trick is here? To acknowledge these thoughts and feelings, embrace them as valid and important to you, and then turn them into purpose-driven action as quickly as possible.

 

As Pamela Slim says, “hating your job intensely is not a business plan” (although I think that’s all a part of the process, so do take this time to voice your frustration and rally alongside others who feel similarly). However, I find I became much happier once I started working on solid plans to take control of my career and lifestyle.

 

Here are some of my ideas for you (and the thousands of other 20-somethings in your shoes):

 

1. Ask yourself: ”What would I rather be doing?” Visualize it down to the day-to-day detail, figure out who is doing the closest thing possible to that, and reach out to 10 of them. Try to pick 5 people who are your age and 5 others with 10+ years of experience in that field. Use LinkedIn, get contact information off their website, or find them on Twitter. Introduce yourself, your skills, your genuine interest in their work, and then …ask how you can help them. Offer to take work of their plate or do an extra project for them. Seriously. No one else is sending those kinds of emails. If they say no to extra help, then politely ask for a 20-minute informational interview about their career path and current work. Estimated success rate at making a new contact: 30-40% (which is why I say aim for reaching out to 10 contacts).

 

2. Have an exit strategy, and give your dreams a deadline. Basically, don’t be afraid to quit and move ON! Of course, I recommend having the next step lined up, but don’t feel suppressed by employment statistics and the MYTH that you should be happy just because you’re “lucky enough” to have a job. You know why you got a job and ~15% of 20-somethings didn’t? Because you are motivated, smart, driven, logical, and talented. Not lucky. If you got one job, you will get another. Those statistics downright scare people out of taking educated, well-calculated risks that can get them moving in the direction of progress, growth, and excitement in their jobs and in their lives. So aggressively job hunt, use headhunters, cold-call HR where you really want to work, go to networking events in your industry, read my tips on maintaining a savvy LinkedIn profile, and leverage the employed position you are in know to move into the next one that better fits you. The best time to look for a job is when you already have one, so define your exit strategy and work towards it every day.

 

3. Leverage your youth and relative inexperience instead of letting it intimidate you. Just read this article by Nina Berkhardt. I’m a huge fan of her ability to turn being young into an asset. Because she’s willing to be ballsy, “get real,” and tell these big CEOs what they need to be hearing, she’s driving her own path to success and not compromising what makes her…her.

 

4. Start seeing your current job as your DAY JOB, so you can better utilize nights and weekends. If you aren’t feeling fulfilled in your current 9-5, brainstorm ideas for how you can take actionable steps to making what you love part of your income-generation during your free time. This is often called a “side hustle,” and, when it’s built with a solid foundation, can actually scale into a full-time career. Trying read my Ultimate Resource Guide to Building a Freedom Business for inspiration. Tell yourself: ”Paper-pusher by day, passionate career ninja by night.”

 

5. Focus on sucking that day-job dry for your own benefit. Save as much money as humanly possible from your stable salary, take all of your vacation days and enjoy them, volunteer for side projects to gain more skills (ex. I volunteered in my company’s marketing and communications departments since day one, so now I have ~2 years consulting AND marketing/communications experience), participate in optional training, ask to shadow people you admire at the company, grab drinks with (the cool) coworkers, and generally make the absolute best of it – or else you’ll go insane.

 

Most importantly, I don’t think any of us should beat ourselves up for wanting something more out of our jobs and our lives. That’s called progress. We don’t have to struggle and sacrifice in the same ways that our parents and grandparents have, often by repressing dreams for the sake of money. We can do both; we just have to try.

 

And yes, not everyone on Earth has the ability to choose how they want to make a living and be blessed with the ability, endowed through economic prosperity, education, and exposure to opportunity, to follow their passion.

 

But that’s precisely why finding ourselves in this situation is even more important and powerful. We’ve all heard the phrase, “to whom much is given, much is expected.” We have been blessed with so much that it is our responsibility to demand more of ourselves and our bosses and our workplaces and our economy. Because we CAN, we HAVE to. The only way we can make our world better and gift more people with the ability to follow their dreams is by doing so ourselves.

 

If Michelangelo gave up because he had to focus more on a stable income and felt guilty for spending time on frivolous things like art, the world would have been denied something magnificent. The countless inspiration that has been endowed upon humanity because of his work – and that of other dreamers, artists, entrepreneurs, scientists, and other movers-and-shakers – is infinite.

 

They didn’t suppress their craft or feel guilty about getting paid for doing something they loved to do, and each of us has to do the same.

 

 

Did you find this article helpful? Please leave your ideas in the comments section below and share on Facebook and Twitter!

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About Me

About Me

IMG_5937

Hi, I’m Elaina and I want to help you live life on your terms, find a career you love, and travel as often as you want. 

 

I’ve lived, worked, and traveled to more than 60 countries, including some pretty off-the-beaten path destinations like Mongolia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Paraguay. I’ve also lived out of a suitcase as a full-time nomad for the past 4.5 years, ever since leaving my management consulting gig in New York back in 2013 when I landed an international role at a media company that sent me all over the world to work. You can read my full story here

 

What makes my story unique is that I’ve traveled AND built a professional career, working for companies like IBM and Uber over the years. I’ve also spent long stretches of time freelancing and traveling adventurously through South America, Asia, and Africa. I’m currently freelance writing, coaching professionals through career transitions, and working on a few small business ideas while splitting my time between Berlin, the US, and India. 

 

I write about self-development, digital nomadism, charting unconventional life paths, finding REAL jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living more purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for creating a life you love. I’m not a full-time digital nomad and I’m not a full-time corporate professional: I’ve done things a bit differently and I think it’s feasible for more people to live “off the beaten path” this way. I hope my blog lets you see that it’s both possible and practical.  

 

I started this blog because 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 to set up a 1:1 session with me: elaina@lifebefore30.com.

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Previously in: Berlin

 

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Five 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.

 

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Currently in: Malawi

 

 

Previously in: Berlin

 

img_6015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Hot

Recent Posts

Coaching

Coaching

Step into my office!

 

Five 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?

Read more

Like Me on Facebook

Like Me On Facebook

Follow me on twitter

Follow me on twitter

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Elaina on Instagram