Viktorija is a digital nomad in Athens full of dreams and energy. Nowadays, the Project Manager duties at Social Hackers Academy keeps her focus on running quite a few interesting projects in this demanding NGO social entrepreneurship role. She travels around the world and she is determined to be the change she wants to see in the world.
What’s your favorite social media network, and why?
My favourite social media network I could say is Facebook. It has many flaws, now with LinkedIn and Instagram out there, that substitute a lot of its functions.
Nevertheless, it wins for it‘s complexity, both business and personal usability. It still remains the main business advertising venue and stands as a great communication tool with friends and family, especially for someone who travels a lot or lives abroad, like me.
How many hours per day do you use social media?
Personal use average is 2h. Professional also around 2h. That mainly includes communication with friends and family mentioned above, managing social media accounts of organisation I work in and professional research. During the weekends I try to take time off social media and only use it for communication when necessary.
What is your job? What do you do for a living?
I’ve had various work experiences with the most recent be a business development specialist in one international tech company. Currently, I am doing a voluntary service in a non-profit tech start-up in Athens, Social Hackers Academy. I am a multitasker with the main focus on managing coding school’s social media, marketing projects, events and educational partnerships.
What do you find appealing in social media?
Real time access to market, possibility to communicate remotely, ability speak directly to the audience and share the information to masses (quite) freely. Traditional media, as much as I love, unfortunately, lacks of such criteria which has become pretty critical for modern society and business.
Name one thing that you dislike in social media.
Its working against “quality vs. quantity” mindset. A lot of click bait, empty articles, false, sourceless or low quality information, but a lot of content in general, so much that it becomes a painful struggle to find what’s needed, quality and trustworthy.
How has social media influenced the way you do business?
It brought up a need to stay super dynamic and up to date to most recent trends and news. It challenges the competition and creativity skills because potential audience has immediate access to local and international alternatives to the service or product you work with.
Is there something that you would like to learn more about social media or digital marketing?
I would like to practise and learn more about the creation of unique brand voice and social media content. I would also like to learn more about how to have your followers engaged and take action (usually the reach is way higher than interactions).
Which people you believe are the most influential in social media?
Mostly those who are authority or role models for many. It could be business, ideology or other activities that people can relate to, either because of their experience or aspirations.
When was the last time you learned something new through the use of social media?
I guess I do learn something new quite often, especially now when my position include high interaction with social media platforms. I learn often about events’ communication because I use social media to find events for my personal and business interests.
What do you do during your free time? What makes you forget to check your mobile?
Good company makes me forget to check my phone. Before it was books and writing that could get me out of reach even for the whole that, but lately it became more difficult to concentrate on these activities for a more than 2-3 hours. I believe it has also to do with social media affecting our concentration and calmness.
Can you name 3 books that you absolutely adore?
As a graduate from publishing studies, the favourite books question has never been my friend. I believe it depends on a period of one’s life and should be changing with time (if you do it right). But I will put a mix of first 3 coming to my mind and reflect why.
- “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett; it has been one of those milestones of my university years, which made me review my approach to literature in general, my preferences and feel closer to my study subject and global classics of literature. Thanks to our fairy like literature teacher!
- “The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared” by Jonas Jonasson; Quite randomly this book got into my hands, first took it as one of light leisure time pop reads, but ended with some philosophical adventure story that wouldn’t let me go!
- “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari; Something I am ready at the moment, quite famous, quite viral. Usually, I intentionally, due to a little scepticism, pick up trends intentionally either before or after they pass. Same happened here, but I honestly enjoy and recommend!
- 4th to not play by the rules: most of Charles Bukowski novels and poetry books.
What advice would you give to yourself when you were 16 years old?
Don’t wait for “better times”, be brave, don’t hesitate to ask and act. And break with that guy at least a year or two sooner.
What is your favorite quote?
“If you have a brain, you are a start-up.”
So, what’s your life story in a summary?
Born in a nationally mixed bilingual family, raised with a curious mind and over-achiever’s mentality, grew into someone with the lack of belonging and willing to discover all new mixed with a post-communist fear of instability and insecurity.
Moved across a few countries trying to evolve professionally and personally. Now opening a whole new chapter of my life, growing the confidence, gaining new experiences and looking for a new destination.
One Bonus Question: It’s my turn to get into your shoes. Ask me anything you want.
Viktorija asked: How do you recharge energies and where do you find the motivation during those tough tiring times when overstimulated with workload or projects aren’t going well?
Areti: Thank you for this interesting question! For the first time the Bonus Question made me smile. It is true that questions reveal the true colors of character and the composition of a personality. The things we notice form our questions. And our questions tell who we really are.
Digital Nomads in Real Life
An opinion by Areti Vassou:
Digital Nomads are people who use telecommunications and digital technologies to earn a living and, more generally, conduct their lives in a nomadic manner.
The last 5 years, more and more people are working remotely than ever before. Also we see many individuals move around the world in order to work in companies for short period of time.
With help from technology, such as project management projects have became a new trend of professional careers. The need for experts in specific digital fields it keeps growing every year. In other words we have officially entered the era of digital nomads.
Digital Nomad Life
There are many benefits when working as a digital nomad. Firstly you have the ability to travel more often and stay longer in far away places. That gives you the opportunity to meet new cultures and bond with people with completely different background.
Digital nomad working life although it can be challenging it is also liberating. They are free to choose how and when they work. There is no actual “show your face” office time. They choose their working hours. This allows them to channel their work through their adventures and experiences. And that builds a sense of freedom.
To be honest it sounds like a dream job. But is it really? As everything in life, there are two sides of the coin. Being a digital nomad is a wonderful experience under certain circumstances.
If you are a parent then this kind of lifestyle could make your family & kids miserable. Kids need their nest and their daily routine. It’s selfish to drag your kids all over the world and change residence two or three times a year. Even if you don’t have kids, it’s sure that you are missing important family events.
If you are into a serious relationship, travelling all year long could be the reason to create negative vibes with your better half… after all be in love requires to be present.
Freedom in working hours means that the telephone can ring at 02:00 am for a meeting. Free and available 24/7 means just that. You may spend countless hours to meet a deadline while you on the road looking for a strong internet connection.
Digital nomads have to face the struggle of not knowing if they will find a new contract for the next months. They live under the uncertainty and can not plan ahead. If they want to plan for buying a house, they will face hard obstacles on the way. Starting with their main home address or their last occupation.
Life has its ups and downs. When you on the road and a health issue appears, a digital nomad may have serious difficulties in finding proper healthcare support. Not to mention that health insurance is not always included in contracts. Also, sometimes becomes hard to keep the cash flow coming, because it is not always easy to maintain a continuous flow of work.