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A Day in the Life of a US Expat Making the Most of Living in Spain – Meet Rosalyn from ShieldGEO

The Shield team is made up of people across various life stages, who have multiple interests, hobbies and commitments and of course, different tendencies and personalities. The team is also distributed across many different countries, cultures and time zones.

This also means our team all have different work styles, hours of productivity and preferences for how they structure their day.

We value each of their unique contributions to Shield and, in fact, think our differences make us better. We want to provide flexibility to encapsulate the different ways our team may wish to structure their days. This may look like starting earlier or later, having a significant break in the middle of the day or fitting in other commitments during traditional work hours, making up the time later.

Every month we profile one of the ShieldGEO team to showcase the many ways they utilise this flexible working approach. This month we’re profiling Rosalyn, one of our Account Managers.

Meet Rosalyn

Rosalyn joined our team in May 2019 as an associate in the Global Mobility team. She worked alongside our Account Manager, Kelly, until August when she transitioned into an Account Manager role herself.

Now, Rosalyn has her own associate who she’s been training and working with since December.

Her parents visiting her in Spain

Rosalyn is someone who likes to remain active. When we spoke for this article, she was on her way to a rock climbing course because she is determined to face her fear of heights.

“I know I’m going to be like why didn’t I do this before?” she says, having had a similar experience with sky diving.

I didn’t actually intend to go skydiving I was there with a friend, and I watched hundreds of people skydive for like 5 days straight,” she says.

Then I was like, ‘ok all of these people landed perfectly fine.’ So, I went and asked if they had any spots left for the day and they said they had one. So I did it.”

This same desire to experience life head-on is what motivated her to search out a remote position.

I like to work,” she says. “It’s not that I wanted a remote job to like slack off and not do anything. I wanted to work, I just wanted to be able to have the flexibility to travel and live my life [at the same time].”

She was already working in global mobility for a company based in Dallas, in the US. While she enjoyed the work a lot, she craved a more flexible lifestyle.

“I wanted to stay doing the same thing, but I wanted to do it remotely.”

As she’s originally from Malta, Rosalyn feels very at home in Europe, so she took the opportunity while being remote to move to Europe shortly after coming on board with Shield.  

“Obviously what we do is international employment, so when Tim gave me the job offer I was like can I please move to Europe because it’s like my home.”

But instead of moving home to Malta, Rosalyn moved to Barcelona – somewhere she had only been once before.

Rosalyn’s sisters visiting her in Barcelona

“I didn’t know a single human,” she says. “[But] I’d been here before and I liked it then so [I thought why not].”

In Barcelona, Rosalyn has found a lifestyle that works for her. She’s joined a coworking space where she has met inspiring people, can be as active as she likes, and, crucially, can maintain a fulfilling career.

“I’m enjoying Barcelona so much. It’s amazing and there’s so much to do,” she says.

“I don’t like to be bored I don’t like to just sit – I always have to be doing something so every day I try to do a sport do an activity or go out with friends.”

She’s joined a hiking group with friends from her cowork and often takes weekend trips to the mountains to ski or visit nearby countries.

“Everything is just so close.”

The experience is in stark contrast to her first two months with Shield before she made the move.

Rosalyn at her co-working space
with Martha, a Global Mobility Associate

“It was quite miserable,” Rosalyn says. “I actually lived really far from everything, so I didn’t leave my house at all. Even to get to the coffee shop would take 20-30 minutes driving, so that was completely different.”

Living in a larger, more vibrant city has changed everything for Rosalyn.

“Even if I was working at home in Barcelona, I still have that access to things going on. I could go to a café or something, and it totally changes things.”

And, while Rosalyn now feels she could work from home and be happy, she much prefers working from a coworking space.

“I’m surrounded by people at the hot desk area who have their own companies, and they are just constantly motivating — it just makes you get things done.”

But it’s not just the motivation, though that is undoubtedly helpful. Rosalyn feels like she can be productive from home too – it’s that it makes work more fun.

“It’s not the same as working in an office,” she says. “It’s not a corporate culture, this is way more relaxed. I know I come to work, and I sit next to my friends.”

A Day in the Life of Rosalyn

7:15 I get up and make a water with apple cider vinegar to wake me up, and I get a 10 minute meditation session in.
7:45 I walk to my cowork space, stopping at the fruit market to grab fresh fruit for breakfast. I make a stop at my favorite coffee shop a few times a week to get a cappuccino.
8:00 Log on and check through Slack first, then look at any skype messages I missed while I was off.
8:15 I go through my email and place everything in a category so I know how to tackle my day.
10:00 I usually stop and make a coffee/tea at this point.  A lot of people start coming into the cowork at this time so I have a chat or two with a few friends.
12:00 We have a meditation class at the cowork I like to attend once a week, otherwise I’ll go outside and take a walk or run some errands.
12:30 I might go out and grab lunch with some friends or eat my lunch and chat at the cowork office.
1:00 Log back into work, the US team starts logging in around early afternoon so skype usually starts buzzing.
4:00 Video chat meeting with my associate Kenia, she’s in a different time zone so we have a daily catch up once she’s on to see what needs to be actioned that day.
4:30 Clean up my inbox for the next days work, chat with my associate while she’s online to answer any questions
5:00  I leave the cowork and walk home, stopping at the store to grab some things for dinner – I love to cook and always grab fresh ingredients on my way home.
7:00 I go to a workout class, depending on my energy level I’ll go do TRX, Cycling, Rock Climbing or Yoga/Pilates if I just need something more relaxing and then I come home and cook dinner and relax with some Netflix.
9:00 Meet friends out for drinks and a tapa or two

Tips for staying connected while working remotely

While Rosalyn has chosen to work at a coworking space, surrounded by people, she still knows the importance of staying connected to her working team.

Rosalyn out for a drink in Barcelona

“I interact with my team so much, and I’ve met four people from the company already so I feel really close with a lot of the people which is really fun,” she says.

It’s important to Rosalyn to take a proactive approach.

“I try to at least connect with each person once a week to make sure everything is going good and be supportive. Because you know it’s not just me, everyone’s working remote, and if no one’s reaching out to each other, then it could get lonely.”

The best way to keep in touch with a distributed team? Group chats.

“The amount of skype groups that I have!” Rosalyn says.

“When you think of a remote company a lot of people are like, ‘oh you don’t really know them,’ but I really do! They’re really close to me.”

– Bree Caggiati, March 2020

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