Woomentum Entrepreneur: From Being a Corporate Workaholic to a Free Digital Nomad – Meet Australia’s Hai Nguyen

As a workaholic and young professional, Hai had the gnawing desire to travel the world and live by her own terms, but the fear of losing out on her career and the chance to ascend the corporate ladder paralyzed her from taking the steps she needed to design the life she wanted. 

But everything changed for her when she met someone who helped her see the hipster, carefree, creative side of life. What did it do to her? It changed her forever and inspired her to take on a journey that would make her dreams come true. 

1. Please share your journey as a digital nomad. 

I’m a recruiter by trade with almost 15 years of experience under my belt and I’ve been freelancing and traveling with my work since 2013. 

I used to be a slave to the corporate image and although I loved traveling, I had a real fear of a break in my career if I traveled for too long. Then I met my ex-partner who had a very different view of work and was the opposite of a workaholic like me. He was a creative and had an almost hippy, yet hipster approach to life. He convinced me to save and take an extended break. We took 7 months off to travel around southeast Asia and Japan. During the time, I also got to learn a lot about digital businesses and startups. 

When we came back to Australia, I got a new contract in no time as I changed the way I wanted to work. I realized that a break was valuable and gave me the chance to put my profession into perspective and that getting another job was quite easy. I also caught the travel bug and wanted to find a balance between fulfilling my purpose/goal driven nature and my love for traveling. So I did.

2. What professional activities are you busy with currently? 

At the moment, I lead the operations team for a workforce delivery startup in Perth while also managing a career advisor blog for young people starting out their careers. In January, we’ll be launching one-on-one coaching and resume optimization service as well as a weekly free live chat. There’s also another content rich website underway for those interested in starting a social business (I like to stay outrageously busy).

3. What were some of your initial challenges working remotely?

Initial challenges were getting regular work and I ended up digging into my savings quite a bit. It wasn’t until 2015/2016 that I started to gain proper momentum with remote work. Even after this, the income was still quite inconsistent due to different payment terms and my lazy billing. I then changed my tactics and billed more regularly plus incorporated milestone payments. That helped me stay in control of my earnings and save up too! 

4. Is working remotely as fun as what articles online show us? 

The answer is no. In this day and age, believe it or not, there are places that I go where I’m walking around holding my laptop up like I’m in the lion king to get wifi.

Sitting on the beach working is literally an act of terrorism on your devices. Sand in everything. All the ports. Keyboard. Everything and nothing has even touched the sand. It gets lonely sometimes. It sounds glamorous, but you still work your ass off; it’s that just you’re in a foreign country or at home doing it, talking through ideas with yourself. But I still love it.

5. What is it that you love most about the work you do? 

There are a lot of challenges that come with my work, but I live for these. I love solving problems, searching for people with weird combinations of skills set, giving career advice, training my team, meeting people at tech events. It’s a very satisfying path.
6. What are the achievements you’re proud of? 

I’m proud of all my achievements no matter what size because with each comes a forward movement in my career and I learn something different. But my main achievement is actually shifting my mindset from being office-bound in order to achieve results to anything can be achieved from anywhere with the right tools and tight communication.

7. Any current struggles that you need help with? 

Where do I start? I would love some help with getting traffic to my blog (I know it’s new, but I’d love to get my content out there).

8. A life mantra that you absolutely live by would be? 

Always be genuine and stay curious at all costs.

Hai’s story reflects the struggle of young and middle-aged professionals today. At one point in time, the corporate image was the epitome of success, but today, people realize that there is more to being in an office all day long. Travel, exploration, curiosity, overcoming boundaries, living life with a certain sense of freedom is what most of us crave for today. Hai’s story proves that you can get the life you want if you change your mindset and have the courage to pursue what you love. 

P.S -> Hai is looking for help with her blog traffic and content generation. If you have the expertise, do reach out to her and offer help! 

Now, it’s your turn:

What inspired *you* the most about Hai’s story? Let us know in the comments! 🤗

P.S – We want to get to know you better and the work you are doing — please share your stories below! 💪

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