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Career Perspective: Digital nomads and affiliate marketing. A conversation with Scarlett Dixon.

Oct 30, 2023 by Michael McNerney

Scarlett Dixon of All Inclusive Marketing shares insight on her globetrotting career.

 

For Scarlett Dixon, the idea of having to go to the office five days a week stresses her out more than not always knowing where she’s going to be staying in a week or two. 

That’s because Dixon can take her office wherever she is. As AIM’s (All Inclusive Marketing) global growth solutions manager, she’s a “digital nomad,” though she wishes there was a better term to describe the flexibility of being able to take her work anywhere with reliable wifi. 

Remote work has enabled AIM to hire the best talent from around the world and has been a core tenet of promoting a healthy work/life balance for its employees. Dixon’s role means she works directly with the CEO and the president of the Vancouver-based company and spends her time talking with braare looking to develop their affiliate programs. Most of those meetings happen over Zoom or Google Meets.

“Because everything is on my laptop, I really have that freedom and flexibility to do this job from wherever,” Dixon said. That allows her to work and fund the kind of life she wants. 

This fall, for example, Dixon left her base in Vancouver to stay with her family in the United Kingdom, where she could help celebrate her grandmother’s 95th birthday in person. 

Last year, she bought a one-way ticket to Mexico for a trip that just kept going – she traveled throughout Mexico before hopping down to Columbia and exploring Panama. And she plans to return to Panama over the next few months before heading to Banff, Canada, to take advantage of the ski season. 

There’s obviously no traditional “around the watercooler” conversations with coworkers as a remote worker, but Dixon said she doesn’t miss that. She says she’s far more productive when she’s able to stick in her earbuds in an Airbnb than when she got sidetracked by 20 minutes of small talk in the office kitchen over a pot of brewing coffee. 

Some people may miss the in-person interactions that come with a traditional office gig, but Dixon said remote work doesn’t mean effective connections aren’t possible. AIM is intentional about hosting company retreats to bring people together in person, which Dixon said helps “enrich the foundation” built through working together over video calls. There are also numerous ways to build culture and foster relationships remotely, Dixon said. It just might require a bit more creativity.

Many of the people Dixon knows in affiliate enjoy the flexibility to be a digital nomad, she said, allowing her to bond with those who understand and share her lifestyle. Plus, the time and energy she saves on not having to commute gives her more hours and social battery to give to the people and things she truly enjoys.

“I’m not isolated,” she said.

Her biggest challenges have more to do with finding reliable wifi than finding social opportunities. Sometimes planning a month-long tip can bring anxiety as Dixon wonders how she may need to adjust if the Airbnb or hotel she picked doesn’t have an optimal working space. 

She recommends staying in a new place for a period of time to help develop a sense of routine and comfortability – for her, that often ranges between five days to a month. Moving every few days means constantly assessing for good wifi, privacy, etc. And that can be draining.

Still, she loves the energy that comes from a change of scenery so she’s not always working at her apartment, at the same desk in the same room.

“For me, it keeps it quite exciting,” she said. “It is a different way of living – I understand that. My mom and my dad can not get their heads around it whatsoever. And it’s not even worth explaining to my grandma.”

Dixon’s advice for those looking for a flexible, remote gig is straightforward: pay attention to the vibe of the interview and the feeling you get when you meet your potential future bosses and coworkers. Interviewing is a two-way street, she said. It’s important that an applicant walks away from an interview feeling a sense of warmth and support – that’s indicative of a healthy work culture.

“That feeling you get is a telltale sign,” she said. 

In Dixon’s view, the digital nomad era is still just beginning. Companies are still deciphering what works and what doesn’t for their employees and their company’s mission, she said. 

“With the next generation coming in, I don’t think [ditigal nomading] has peaked yet,” she said. “I think it’s going to become more popular.”