My Remote Year: How did I make this unique development program and experience work? How did I convince my employer?

I was absolutely impassioned when I was offered the chance to take part in the Remote Year program. I had applied sure that, with more than 250,000 applicants to sift through every single year, I would be overlooked. It was a truly special experience for me to find out that I had a place – but before I could begin packing I still had one small trial to overcome… my boss.

My career is extremely important to me. I work full time for a large corporation (we have more than 50,000 employees worldwide) and my role is in Global Senior Manager Leadership Development for top executives. With such a demanding position I knew that my bosses co-operation was vital. I spent many, many hours developing the perfect strategy for my pitch. I detailed what was in it for me, what was in it for my company – I talked about globalization and digitalization and how Remote Year could add value to our companies mission – and Remote Year themselves actually helped me write it. I developed the most utterly flawless 13 page business case I have ever written in my life – and I scheduled a meeting.

For me, Remote Year didn’t just offer the chance to travel; for me it was about the betterment of our company. I think that is why the boss agreed in the end. I was on page ten, still carefully detailing how my experience would help us to diversify, how it would bring creativity and innovation through shared inspiration – how I could basically thieve tactics from other businesses for our own ends – when he decided he had heard enough, took the paperwork off me and read it himself. I haven’t been as grateful for a single gruff nod as I was at that moment. I was free to go!

So how did I convince him? I targeted the companies strategy, I read through the mission statement and I specifically focused on the areas that we are continually striving to improve. Remote Year let me travel to twelve international cities, spending every four weeks in a new location – and all because I managed to focus on the company policy and pick out ways in which Remote Year could help us improve it. I pointed out that the future of work depended on us sharing information amongst other, like-minded companies in different parts of the world. By doing so I was able to retrieve a whole host of information that directly benefited the company. I used my business case to point this out as a benefit, and to focus on the good it would do us to have meaningful partnerships with other companies.

Our company statement says that they believe in value through innovation and garnering knowledge through diversity… How do you do that? By submitting to Remote Year! Once I elaborated this point to the company they were as eager as I was to get going, and demanded detailed reports of all I learned while gone!

So, if you have a mind to go travelling and think Remote Year might be right for you; don’t be put off by what your superiors might say. Take the positive aspects of what you are doing and put them into a business case that Remote Year will even help you to write. Once you present your boss with the evidence it will be hard to say no, and you just might be left free to chase the adventure of your dreams!

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