Remote Work in Spain, Exclusive Interview with Business Analyst Christine
Remote work is all the rage, and with reason!There’s so much freedom in being able to decide when, where and how best to work. Remote work in Spain is a whole new world! Although not all remote workers are entrepreneurs, many people find remote work attractive for its flexibility adaptability. Christine is a business analyst from Atlanta. Although she moved to Spain as a teacher, she’s now fully remote. Let’s learn more about how she got here!
How long you’ve been here in Spain, where are you from originally, what do you do for work?
I moved to Spain in August 2017 from Atlanta. I’m a business analyst and business development consultant. I also produced a wellness/spirituality/music festival, SeekerFest. However, when I first moved to Spain I put all of my professional ventures on hiatus and spent a year as an auxiliar de conversacion in La Rioja.
What brought you to Spain?
Hmmm, I suppose convenience lol? I’ve been to Spain many times so I felt pretty comfortable with the country and various cultures. I first visited right after I graduated from high school, I then studied abroad in Valencia during University, and in 2014 I walked the Camino de Santiago. I’ve just always known that I wanted to live abroad and for a long time, it didn’t really matter where! I applied for the auxiliar program and was investigating other countries at the same time. It really came down to timing--I was in a position to move and moving to Spain was the most convenient out of all of the options.
What’s your favorite Spanish dish?
Definitely the setas and champiñones pinchos found on Calle Laurel in Logroño! Grilled mushrooms in olive oil and garlic, so simple, but so good!
How did you decide to make your home base Barcelona? What were you looking for in a “new” home city?
Well, my boyfriend was living in Barcelona, so it was an easy decision. I definitely wanted to be in an international city: international airport, an abundance of multinational companies, a distinct culture, a temperate clime (although sometimes Barcelona is a bit too chilly for me because I’m from Atlanta and I used to live in Miami!). I also wanted a much more chill vibe and a slower pace of life. Even though Barcelona is an international city it has a much slower pace than the US.
What’s one book you’ve read in your life that was completely transformative?
The Game of Life by Florence Scovel Shinn. It’s an old-timey “law of attraction” book that has been has been one of my manifesting “guidebooks” for years. I re-read chapters weekly and it always comes through and delivers!
Remote work in Spain. What’s it really like to work remotely while abroad?
What’s the most common misconception about working remotely that people have? And what’s the reality like?
Ha! There are so many misconceptions!! The most common misconception people have is that because I may have a somewhat flexible schedule that I don’t really work! Or that I’m available for anything at any time! Lol NOT TRUE! I’m constantly on google chat responding to colleagues, it's very normal for me to jump on impromptu meetings with colleagues or clients throughout the day. So, yeah I can go to the grocery store or cook or go to the gym throughout the day, but I still need to be responsive throughout working hours. Also, I work EST working hours so my days may end at 11 pm or 12 am CET. So there are pros & cons.
Can you share a bit about the visa you have, the requirements, and what it allows you to do?
I have a tarjeta comunitaria visa. To get a TC (the requirements vary depending on the Comunidad) you need to be Pareja de Hecho (civil union) or Married to a Spaniard or an EU citizen. You have to register that you live together, you need private health insurance, your partner needs to be on a full-time contract or have sufficient funds (the amount varies by Comunidad) proving that they can support you (or you can show that you have sufficient funds to support yourself). The Tarjeta comunitaria gives me residency in Spain vs when I was an auxiliar, I had a Student visa, which is a long-term visa but doesn’t provide residency. TC gives me access to the national health care system and permits me to work in Spain. Also, my visa is for 5 years so I don’t have to deal with the extranjería for a while!! I also can travel within the Schengen zone freely, however, my residency in Spain doesn't transfer to another EU country. If I moved, I would need to apply for residency all over again.
As an entrepreneur, what’s one piece of advice you wish you’d received before starting your own company that you now know?
The biggest issue that all entrepreneurs go through is the isolation of “doing your own thing”. It’s really important to have a community of entrepreneurs or mentors “that get it”. I also strongly advise for all entrepreneurs, but especially WOC entrepreneurs to invest in self-care and mental health wellness. I know that when people are just getting started, they don’t want to spend money on what they deem as a “luxury” or a “nice to have”, but it's super essential. One of the keys to “succeeding” in your businesses is building a business on a solid foundation: financially, and mentally. If you try to adhere to the “hustle”, “grind” or “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” mentality you WILL burn out! I know, because it happened to me. Truly, your health is your wealth! Oddly enough, your business will probably pop-off faster when you’re in a healthy and calm mental and energetic space which a lot of people associate with “growing slow”.
Go slow! You’ll get farther, faster, healthier and happier!
Stay tuned for Part II of this amazing interview with Christine where she takes us through her day, step-by-step! Want to contact her in the meantime? You can reach her on Linkedin!