‘There’s no way the leaders in my company will go for it. They’re very conservative.’
‘No one at my company has ever done anything like this before.’
‘They won’t want to set a precedent for other employees.’
You may even be relentlessly Google searching new remote jobs, because you’re certain there’s no way they will let you go.
We’re not asking you yet if your boss will let you take your job on the road. First, you need to think about if you technically have a job that could be performed solely from your computer or phone. What percent of time do you currently spend on the computer? Is it upward of 80%? Can the meetings you currently have in person be cut down or can you do them over video chat? If you spend time on a landline, could that be transitioned to VOIP on your computer or your cell phone using local data? If not, are there other roles at your company or a version of your role that you could transition to?
Most Remotes (the participants on a Remote Year program) didn’t work remotely 100% of the time before they joined a program. Many transition to new roles or just shift some things around in their current one. You’re not alone, and the first thing we’ll do is outline a strategy for how to take your role around the world and stay with your company.
There are usually quite a few layers you’ll need to work through before you ‘officially’ receive permission from your employer. The first is your manager. But, you’ll likely also need to get approval from your manager’s manager, HR, mobility and sometimes, even your CEO.
This can be daunting, but we’ve helped Pomotes, people just like you, have these conversations hundreds of times. We’ve seen success with many situations from small start-ups to Fortune 500s. We even have some formal employer partners that we now work with.
And, even if your boss doesn’t end up giving you permission to do Remote Year, you’ve taken a risk. On a personal level, you stepped outside your comfort zone and entered your growth zone. On a professional level, companies tend to like that and more often than not, we see people who have used our process receive a promotion, a raise, or both. It happens all the time.
This is where our expertise comes in. We don’t recommend showing up to your next meeting with your manager and asking if you can pick up and travel the world. Work and travel programs are still relatively unorthodox and most people will be the first to pilot something like this at their company. Our remotes are true pioneers in many cases - paving the way for other employees at their company to eventually participate as well. Our Consultants are trained in helping Pomotes through this process and they’ll help you the whole way.
Once we decide we’re a mutual fit for each other and you’ve decided to move forward and ask your employer for permission, you’ll begin what we call our Employer Approval Process. First, we’ll run through who all the important decision-makers are at your company. Then, we’ll take some time to strategize around how to best present your ask to the company. Traditionally, we see the most success when employees put together an actual business case. Don’t worry if you’ve never done that before - most people haven’t. Our consultants will guide you every step of the way: you’ll work with them to use proven templates to design your own case, set up time with them to practice your ask, and lean on them for moral support when you need to find the courage to keep going.
If you’re thinking about leaving your company anyways to do a work and travel program (or even something else), you have nothing to lose. If your employer says yes, you get to travel the world and keep working! If your employer says no, you’ll find something else. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.
We like to say that ‘No’ is just a request for more information. Many times, managers feel as though they don’t have everything they need to feel confident in presenting to their managers. Keep an open mind and don’t be deterred. ‘No’ can also mean ‘not right now’, and that’s okay too. Remember, you’re presenting an idea that could allow you to travel the world and keep working for your company. It’s okay for them to have questions and concerns.
Even though they were initially against it, Gerardo Guijarro’s employers ended up granting him permission to work remotely, and join Remote Year. To keep him at their office in Chicago, they even offered him a promotion, which he declined. This article outlines the three tactics that Gerardo used to convince his employer, which led to him joining Remote Year.