Sandhya Ramachandran

Content Developer at QLC | Multipotentialite redefining how we craft our stories & connect in a digital world

Quickfire Round ⚡️

Where is your current homebase ?

Mumbai, India

Where have you travelled/lived after working remotely?

Never been a digital nomad. But I have taken breaks and travelled while working remotely

Highest education qualification ?

Post Graduate in Film & Video Communications from the National Institute of Design

Occupation

Content Developer, QLC.io

What is your family/friends reaction to remote working on a scale of 1-5 (where 1-negative and 5-very positive)

4

How much do you earn per annum?

has been varying over the years since I have been a consultant. LOL!

Years of total experience ?

14 (overall with 6 being full-time working experience)

Years of freelance/remote experience ?

14 (freelance) 3.5 (remote)

When I think about the ability to work freelance/remotely, I feel ____

elated

What was your key motivation for being freelancer/remote work

Flexibility and freedom.


Fireside Chat 🔥

How did you land your first remote/freelance gig ?

I started freelancing in 2004. I was known in the blogging circles in Chennai and got an opportunity to write about the city for a portal called Chennaiist.com. From this stemmed other opportunities and I have been freelancing as a writer for 14 years now.

However, my foray into remote working was purely accidental. I was disillusioned with my work and exhausted with the travel every day to work and back (Mumbaikars usually brave these troubles. It is truly admirable to see their commitment to get to work. Despite having been a resident of the city for five years now, I highly doubt I can ever do this!)
So, I quit my job and began my job search. I got a callback from the (erstwhile) About.com to launch a Bollywood and Indian movie portal for them. Watching films and writing about them for a living sounded like a dream! And that’s how I began my stint as a remote consultant for About.com

Presently, I am working full-time remotely as a content developer for QLC. QLC helps people try new careers anywhere in the world through remote internships with startups. We provide experiences with the latest business and technology trends using live projects supported by online learning, mentorship and co-learning spaces. I am expanding the QLC curriculum for multiple ways of consumption through engaging multimedia stories.

Do you have any rituals or habits which help you to work remotely?

I have recently started to meditate for 5-10 minutes in the morning on waking up.
While I have been writing ‘morning pages’ for about six years (on and off) now, I am trying to bring in more structure and get an hour of writing every day in the morning. Post this, I need a cup of strong South Indian filter coffee that I brew the previous night.

I like to start work by 8:30 am as it gets me a head start and allows me some time in the evening to unwind. I believe in listing down tasks and attacking them one by one. This helps break-up large work into smaller doable chunks. I take a 45 mins lunch break in the afternoon.

I try and wrap work by 7pm or earlier and then curl up with a book.

What advice would you give to someone who is out there looking for a remote job or freelance work?

Firstly, identify what you truly want to do. Get really good at it. The competition is intense and you need to be exceptional to get selected.

Secondly, no matter what your field of expertise is, be good at communication. Remote work involves a lot of communication with a global workforce. Most of this is in the form of asynchronous text messages. It is easy to offend someone online since there is no tone involved in written communication and you may not be around to explain yourself. So, you should compose messages with clarity. You also need to be mindful of different cultures and ensure that you are polite and respectful always.

Thirdly, you need to be really passionate about remote work/freelancing and truly appreciate the flexibility it offers for you to be consistent at work every day. It can get lonely. It can get difficult to get a simple point across to a teammate. But if you value the remote lifestyle, you will be solution-minded and not sweat the small stuff.

What is the biggest benefit of working remotely?

My foray into remote work was accidental. But I naturally adapted to the lifestyle, absolutely thriving in the environment.

I do not believe in divisive man-made boundaries. So, the ability to connect, ideate and create together with people bound by a cause – instead of geography – appealed to me.

I have found that most fully remote companies have good practices in place and have teams that are united by their culture, ideologies and systems. They steer clear from petty politics and work with focus and growth in mind.

For the past 3.5 years, there have been dramatic turns in my life – I got married, moved houses, shifted jobs, etc. But thanks to remote working, I was still able to travel extensively, be regular at the gym, write more, start a side-project and lead a happier life.

Do you see any cons of working remotely and how do you try to overcome it?

It can get a bit lonely. However, more and more remote teams are connecting in real life through team trips and workations to ensure that you feel a part of a community instead of feeling isolated.

If you are a remote freelancer, you need to constantly be on the hunt for the next gig. This could get strenuous. But at the end of the day, the advantages of remote work far outweighs the downside.

What are you doing to ensure more people adopt the remote lifestyle?

A couple of friends and I, having benefited from the location independence movement, began working on Re.Now in November 2017. Our vision was to assist people who were keen to embrace a location independent lifestyle through mentorship.

Today, we have twenty extraordinary mentors who are ready to launch their programs on a variety of topics like non-tech based remote work, how to be a digital nomad, work-life integration, managing finances, how to find brand sponsorship for travels, etc.

We are gearing up for the launch and are excited to help many around the world looking for a way to begin their location independent journey!

Where can people can find you on the internet (if they have more questions)?

Feel free to share your questions on contact <at> sandhyaramachandran.com
For info on Re.Now: team <at> renow.io
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheDreamyDryad
Linked: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ramachandransandhya/

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