Meet Sophie, a Senior Development Advertising Supervisor at Buffer and digital nomad. Her story is a riveting mix {of professional} development, distant work challenges, and an infectious zest for all times. Strap in as we journey by means of time zones, and share advertising and marketing insights all from Sophie’s ‘workplace’—the world.

May you introduce your self, share what you do at Buffer, and inform us about your background?

Actually, I’m Sophie Gil, a Senior Development Advertising Supervisor at Buffer, and I have been at Buffer for over three years, beginning in April 2020.

I am primarily based in Sri Lanka, however my roots are in Italy. I spent a major a part of my life, roughly eight years, in the USA, having moved there after I was simply 17.

How did you get began working at Buffer?

My profession at Buffer started as an Viewers Marketer, a job that had various and broad protection. This included managing social media, operating our newsletter, and overseeing paid social campaigns, duties geared toward rising our viewers by means of commonplace development advertising and marketing ways and different methods. My solely position shift up to now has been shifting from Viewers Marketer to Development Advertising Supervisor, and most not too long ago promoted to Senior Development Advertising Supervisor.

I’d been conversant in Buffer for fairly some time on account of my profession in advertising and marketing. I had come throughout their blogs and was well-acquainted with their revolutionary strategy to work. That was all the time a powerful attraction for me.

After I was job searching in early 2020, even earlier than the pandemic, I had already determined to pursue solely distant roles. Buffer was on the high of my record, as I knew they’d a profitable distant work coverage. Upon checking their web site, they’d a few open roles at the moment, and one appeared to align completely with my ability set, which led to my journey right here.

Coming in as an Viewers Marketer along with your broad expertise, you finally shifted to the position of Senior Development Advertising Supervisor. What prompted this transition? Was it a need to construct experience elsewhere, or was it only a higher match?

The transition was largely impressed by two key elements. The primary was the recruitment of a workforce lead, which instantly prompted my transfer. Nonetheless, the first driver was that this position aligned extra intently with what I’ve all the time wished to do.

I take pleasure in working creatively however inside a particular framework. I like the thought of mixing creativity with data-informed decision-making. Whereas there have been similarities between my earlier obligations and my present position, our strategy has now developed right into a extra experimental course of.

This transition to Senior Development Advertising Supervisor was extra about aligning with my profession aspirations and pursuits. I’ve all the time identified that that is the kind of work that I take pleasure in and that makes me thrive. It was the proper mixture of getting the best particular person lead the workforce and my private need to discover and study extra on this space. There’s all the time extra to study and I’ve already discovered a lot since getting into this new position.

That sounds nice. Stepping exterior the scope of Buffer for a second, how has working remotely and having versatile work preparations supported any tasks or actions you pursue exterior of Buffer?

I’ve participated in a couple of tasks to assist bigger tasks that pals have been engaged on. I’ve approached these duties enthusiastically – I would not have gotten concerned if I wasn’t genuinely .

One such mission concerned a pasta restaurant. I contributed to the advertising and marketing efforts, suggested on artistic route, and in addition helped orchestrate photoshoots.

Just lately, I’ve undertaken a a lot larger mission that can possible span a couple of years – I purchased a plot of land with a home in Sri Lanka and plan to rework it right into a boutique resort. I’m within the technique of conceptualizing the model and getting ready for building, scheduled to start in September. I’m seeing this mission as one that can enable me to share my creativity by means of house, thus creating a spot that can promote small, cultural group dwelling. On condition that I have been with out a private house since early 2020, I see this mission as a approach to channel my artistic energies right into a shared house for others to take pleasure in.

I might say that the pliability Buffer affords has allowed me to dedicate time to different passions, which will be fairly time-consuming. Touring is one in all them. I take pleasure in exploring new locations, and although I would not essentially classify it as a mission, it does take up a major quantity of my free time. However that is the place I select to dedicate my time, and I recognize that my work association at Buffer facilitates this.

You are fairly the traveler. I perceive you have managed to prepare your days and weeks round your journeys. May you share extra about your expertise as a digital nomad?

After I was job searching, one in all my high priorities was discovering a job that allowed me to keep up a balanced life-style, with journey being a significant factor. Touring has all the time been a ardour of mine, and I discover it onerous to think about {that a} job may prohibit that zeal. It’s unusual to me that some individuals can solely afford to take two weeks off per yr for a visit. So, I used to be actively looking for a job that will enable me to journey and work concurrently.

Since beginning at Buffer, I’ve traveled to 13 international locations. I started in Italy and stayed there for a couple of months. In September 2020, I first visited Portugal and fell in love with the place. Initially planning to remain for one month, I ended up staying from September until December. From there, I spent about eight months touring by means of Central America whereas working full-time.

Often, I take break day, particularly after I’m heading to a spot the place the web may not be dependable. If I am actually keen to go to such a location, I resolve to take a while off. After my Central America stint, I returned to Europe for a bit, touring between Portugal, Spain, France, and Greece, then spent one other three months in Colombia, Puerto Rico and revisited Mexico for a pal’s wedding ceremony.

I’ve now began my journey all through Asia. I’ve been in Sri Lanka for the previous 4 months and plan to depart on the finish of June for India, adopted instantly after by Nepal.

Given your distinctive schedule and work model, how do you construction your work week?

Presently, I am working within the India Customary Time zone, and I work Mondays to Thursdays. Typically, I adhere to common work hours. I wish to get up round 7:00 AM and begin my work day round 8:30 or 9:00 AM. I work till 7:00 PM on the newest, however it really relies on the day. Nonetheless, since my workday is forward of most of my teammates, I wish to work till in a while Mondays in order that I can overlap with the weekly Development Advertising assembly and be accessible if anybody wants me.

For example, I like browsing, which is closely influenced by the climate and tides. If situations are good for browsing early within the morning, I would head out and return by 10:00 AM. In such circumstances, I modify my work hours accordingly, maybe working later into the night or beginning earlier to make up for the time.

I undoubtedly profit from the pliability, particularly when my actions are weather-dependent. The character of browsing is such that it’s a must to seize the chance when situations are proper, otherwise you would possibly miss out. Typically, although, I choose to get up a bit earlier and end my workday earlier as effectively.

How does being a part of the Development Advertising workforce influence your day-to-day? Are there any particular issues or concessions it’s a must to make? For example, I do know that our buyer advocates should be on-line throughout very particular hours and have sure issues in the event that they wish to take break day. What’s it like in your facet of the Advertising workforce?

As a part of the Development Advertising workforce, one main consideration is that the complete workforce works American hours, anyplace between the Japanese and Pacific time zones. On Mondays, particularly, I’ve conferences with my supervisor and the complete workforce. These conferences often fall round 8 to 9 PM my time, when my US-based teammates are additionally on-line.

All through the week, I remember that sooner communication with my workforce is feasible throughout my evenings. In distinction, my mornings are quieter, as my colleagues are largely offline at the moment. This sample is very true after I’m in Europe and Asia, the place I spend most of my time. Consequently, my mornings listed here are extra centered on solitary work, whereas my evenings are sometimes full of conferences.

Except for time zone issues, I am conscious that if I ship a message or paperwork within the morning, I’ll possible not obtain a response till after dinnertime.

One other key side of our workforce’s operation is that we work in cycles. We set mission objectives primarily based on two-week cycles. We break down tasks into smaller duties, every becoming into a particular cycle. On the finish of every cycle, we evaluation our previous progress and plan for the following cycle. This technique is restricted to us and can be widespread throughout the Engineering, Product, and Design (EPD) groups.

How totally different is it for you, working in cycles in comparison with your earlier workflow?

That is fascinating to mirror upon. Earlier than adopting the cycle-based system, we primarily centered on main quarterly tasks. If there was any group, it was on a quarterly foundation, setting aims or Key Efficiency Indicators (KPIs) for the upcoming quarter. We outlined vital tasks to ship, and after that, we might work in direction of finishing these throughout the given quarter.

Nonetheless, I have to say, I tremendously choose working in cycles over quarters. Quarters can typically really feel overly in depth, particularly if you’re tackling giant tasks and have to ship inside that timeframe. Prior to now, I might know that there was a specific mission I needed to full by a sure date, however working backward from that deadline wasn’t all the time easy until I structured it myself.

Working in cycles with the complete workforce is more practical and gratifying. At first of every cycle, we establish the duties wanted to progress towards the tip mission. This strategy necessitates a bit extra planning, however it’s extremely helpful in sustaining focus and productiveness. So, sure, I’ve discovered working in cycles to be a substantial enchancment.

If you first started working at Buffer, was there something that caught you off guard?

Properly, an surprising side for me was undoubtedly the four-day workweek, though we didn’t begin it till a couple of months after I joined. So when Buffer introduced it as a pilot, I used to be intrigued but additionally a bit skeptical. With all of the work I had, I questioned how I used to be supposed to suit every thing into simply 4 days? However as I tailored to this schedule and optimized my workflow, it made a major constructive influence.

The four-day workweek has really enhanced each my private life and work effectivity. Folks exterior Buffer are sometimes greatly surprised and fairly impressed once they hear about it. So, that definitely was a shock that was extremely helpful.

One other factor was the extent of documentation and studying concerned. It was like, “Wow, there’s so much to learn and replace!” Adapting to that was initially a bit difficult. Even now, typically, it appears like there’s an excessive amount of to digest. I consider there could possibly be some enchancment in distilling the knowledge, maybe extracting key insights from in depth paperwork right into a handful of important bullet factors. We’ve a wealth of data, which is nice, however there’s a lot that discovering particular gadgets can typically be overwhelming. That was undoubtedly a singular expertise in comparison with my earlier roles.

Do you think about your self professionally profitable or on the trail towards such success?

I see many alternatives for development in my position. I definitely do not feel like I’ve hit any partitions; there’s nonetheless a lot for me to study and develop. Despite the fact that I am at a extra senior degree now, I am conscious I can go farther; I am not at a C-suite degree or a director, as an illustration. On condition that I’ve solely been working full-time for about 4 or 5 years, I consider there’s a lot extra for me to study and develop into.

Buffer offers a conducive atmosphere for such development as a result of our hiring strategy is not extreme, guaranteeing there aren’t too many layers above me. I am additionally studying a fantastic deal day-after-day, and being distant hasn’t hindered this course of in any respect.

If I examine my expertise at Buffer with my earlier job at a quickly rising start-up, which ultimately shut down, I’ve noticed vital variations. At first-up, I used to be extra careworn and hesitant to ask for assist, as everybody was scrambling to attain their particular person duties. At Buffer, nevertheless, we strongly promote development and mutual assist.

Talking particularly about my workforce, I genuinely really feel supported by them. A profound sense of success in my life stems from the pliability Buffer offers, backed by a powerful bond of belief between the corporate and its workers. I deeply care about Buffer and my work, which could make my expertise distinctive.

Along with my work, I additionally worth my life exterior of labor. Buffer’s flexibility permits me to dwell the life I’ve all the time dreamed of, albeit it could sound cliché. I bear in mind my time working in San Francisco, commuting over an hour every approach to the workplace, and coping with hefty rents. Now, I can work from my very own house, save time, and focus higher. Financially, I am not burdened by San Francisco rents and may make investments that cash in touring, studying new languages, and extra. I discover it fairly cool to stability all these enriching experiences whereas nonetheless being a part of an organization and persevering with to study.


Thanks for studying! Should you loved this, try the opposite Buffer Diaries interviews that includes Bufferoos.


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