If you ever get a chance to work at a global remote agency, give it some serious thought (maybe you’re here because you already have).
There’s so much to consider— your quality of life, income, career trajectory, and what others think of you (it shouldn’t matter, but it does).
Here's a story of two team members: Disnel from Latin America and Kasahun from Ethiopia, who recently chose Axelerant—a global remote company that cares for its people.
Disnel Went To College
Disnel Rodríguez grabbed a coffee mug and looked out the window. The table clock at his desk read 4:15 AM.
He took a long sip of coffee and switched on the single computer in the dormitory, which he shared with ten roommates.
"It was the only time one could access the computer undisturbed to work and learn things," he recalled.
It was 2007, and Disnel was studying at the University of Ciego de Ávila for his master's degree.
"The entire university accessed the Internet with a bandwidth connection speed of 512 KB/s. Let that sink in."
Accessing the Internet was a challenge.
"You had Internet access only in offices and institutions," he said.
In 2018, they could access the Internet on their phones for the first time.
His Love For Technology Made Him Stay There
Disnel had to leave his home early on in life—first for higher education and then for a job.
After getting his master's degree, Disnel was sure he wanted to become a teacher. He took a job as a professor, teaching honors students.
Though facing infrastructural challenges and a lack of Internet access, he formed a team and built a software development center.
At just 27, he had become the center's director, managing people much older than him.
Until He Was Sent On A Government Mission
"I've lived here all my life, except when I had to go on missions," he quipped when I asked if he had ever lived outside of his country.
Seeing how shocked I was by the word "mission," he explained:
"Our government assists other countries by sending doctors, engineers, and professors. These helping projects are called missions."
Disnel's teaching experience had prepared him to go on a mission as a professor.
"I first went to the Republic of Venezuela in 2011," he shared.
In Venezuela, he taught Drupal to office workers. But it was to be a short stint of a month.
And Kasahun Jumped On A Trainee Program To Kickstart His Career
Kasahun Jote graduated with an engineering degree from the Addis Ababa Science and Technology University in Ethiopia.
By the time he graduated, he was sure of one thing—he didn't want to be an engineer.
"I believe I am a people person. I like connecting with people more," said Kasahun.
After college, he joined a trainee program at a firm that helped companies with administration tasks.
"It was a seven-month program. And I wanted to do good on the job," he shared.
And He Was Doing Quite Well
By the time the trainee program ended, Kasahun was on his way to a promotion.
He would get promoted thrice in the following two years at the firm.
His job was mainly limited to recruitment for clients at first.
But it soon spilled onto payroll, internal management, and administration tasks.
"At one point, I was servicing more than ten clients. I guess I was catching up pretty quick," he shared with a laugh.
As Was Disnel, When He Went On His Second Mission
After completing his first assignment in Venezuela, Disnel was sent on another mission.
This time, more than 6000 miles away across the Atlantic Ocean, in the African nation of the Republic of Angola.
"When I departed, it was winter here. But I landed in Angola to discover it was summer over there," Disnel recalled.
He was stationed at a new branch of the Kimpa Vita University in Cuanza Norte province as a professor of informatics and general computing.
With A Fistful of Portuguese In His Kitty
After a few days of acclimatizing to the new environment, Disnel was ready for his mission—to teach students for a better future.
But there was just one problem with the language. His students spoke Portuguese, and Disnel didn't.
"Spanish and Portuguese may sound similar, but they aren't similar, trust me. When I started teaching, I only knew a few Portuguese words," he shared with a reminiscent smile.
Another thing that was new to him was unlimited access to the Internet.
But he was surprised to find how little people had explored its usage.
"They did everything on paper."
It Was Very Exciting—Until It Wasn't
Disnel found himself tasked with setting up a database infrastructure from scratch.
"There was a remarkable scope for growth," he said.
He took on teaching and setting up the database with equal enthusiasm. "It was challenging but rewarding," Disnel shared.
It took him a few years to get everything running—but he pulled it off.
"One day, I realized that I had outgrown the scope of work. The mission was over, and I needed to move on."
And Kasahun Realized It Too
Kasahun grew up 136 miles away from Addis Ababa in a small town called Bekoji.
He had to relocate to the capital to find a job.
"I missed my parents. But I knew I had to move to grow," he shared.
Initially, his hunger for career growth enabled him to overlook certain issues—that became intolerable as time passed.
To begin with, Kasahun shared a studio apartment with an attached bathroom with five people.
"We cooked, cleaned, slept, and did everything else in the same room."
There was no privacy, and the kitchen and bathroom almost always seemed occupied.
"It was manageable at first as I'd spend almost four hours traveling to and from the office— six days a week," he said.
Sundays would float by taking care of household chores.
"It was like living on a treadmill that doesn't stop, ever."
At the month's end, the cost of food, shelter, and transit fares would burn through most of his salary.
It took Kasahun two years to realize that the time and effort he invested in the job wasn't worth it.
Because They Wanted To Grow
After realizing the high toll he was paying to work, Kasahun wanted a change.
"Most days after returning home, I'd feel numb and helpless. I felt stuck," he recalled.
Kasahun needed something to reignite his passion for work and life.
"I wanted to work at a company at the bleeding edge of new technological developments," he said.
He wanted to join an organization that would help him grow—professionally, financially, and as a person.
In 2016, Disnel returned to his country and found himself at square one.
He taught students in three different nations. But now, he was ready to learn. Pursue growth.
"I think that was the first time I thought about my career," shared Disnel.
He returned to his hometown and started working as a programmer at a software development company.
That year, Disnel got married and had his first child. With the money he saved in Angola, he bought a house near where he grew up.
What he earned was adequate to sustain him, but not for starting a family.
"There were so many changes that I felt like I was just starting out," he said.
And That's When They Came Across Axelerant
Kasahun found Axelerant on LinkedIn.
"I searched with the keywords remote and Ethiopia, and LinkedIn generated a few results. I applied to all of them," he said.
Kasahun realized that Axelerant was a global company with team members scattered worldwide.
"I remember being blown away with Axelerant's benefits page. It proved how deeply the organization cared for its people."
Disnel soon realized that he had to look for other options. Of course, the pay was an issue.
But so was the high volume of work and the severe lack of support.
"The people working before me had left the place in a mess," he remembered.
Although officially a programmer, he had to manage almost everything else, too.
"I acted as the system administrator. We didn't even have servers to manage the whole network for two years," he said.
But Disnel's interest in Drupal kept him on his toes about the latest Drupal developments.
"One day, I took the first step to pursue my dream—and started looking for remote Drupal jobs," he shared.
It didn't take him long to find Axelerant.
And Applied Without A Second Thought
For Kasahun, applying at Axelerant was a no-brainer.
"Daily four-hour transit through heavy traffic? Poof, gone—a thing of the past!" shared Kasahun cheerily.
But for Disnel, it was a tough and exciting prospect. He found himself in an amusing situation.
On the one hand, he wanted his dream of switching to Drupal to come true. On the other, he had never spoken a word in English before—a common language we follow for inclusivity.
"I wanted to work somewhere where I could use my English, which was purely theoretical up till that point," shared Disnel, unable to hold back his laughter.
He applied for the job nonetheless. "Frankly, I wasn't expecting a response," he said.
But Disnel did get a response—as we reply to everyone who applies with us.
The interview was set for 7:00 AM.
He walked to the nearest Wi-Fi park, where people could access Wi-Fi at cheaper rates.
"Internet access is expensive, and I wasn't sure how much data the meeting would consume," shared Disnel.
He reached the park at 6 AM, not wanting to be late.
Only one thought buzzed in his mind for the next 60 minutes: "Am I ready to do this?"
Because They Wanted Career Growth
Disnel and Kasahun had specific reasons in common as to why they joined Axelerant.
The foremost common factor was career growth.
"I truly care about my career," shared Kasahun. For him, a global company meant more exposure.
Although he had recruitment experience, his previous job role scattered his attention in several areas.
"I wanted to specialize in a particular field, and Axelerant provided me with that opportunity," he said.
Disnel realized Axelerant was serious about his talent in Drupal in the second round of the interview.
"I was amazed to find Hussain Abbas, Axelerant's Director of PHP & Drupal Services, taking my technical interview," he recalled.
It was the last barrier to fulfilling his dream of becoming a Drupal engineer, and he cracked it wide open.
Financial Growth and Stability
"The pay in Addis Ababa is lesser than international standards," Kasahun shared.
After joining Axelerant, he got an apartment of his own. "It was such a relief! I started cooking and doing all sorts of stuff," he shared.
It was also the first time he picked up a book since leaving home without getting disturbed.
"Now, I send some of my income back to my parents. It's a great feeling," he shared.
With Axelerant's home office setup allowance, Kasahun also built an office in his new apartment.
"I'm at a secure place now. I can finally focus on my career without worrying too much about how to make ends meet," said Kasahun.
Disnel, too, has set up a home office. When I asked him about his financial condition after joining us, he replied:
"I remember this story by heart—how thrilled I was after joining Axelerant. My life changed for the better."
Recently, he fathered a second child. "I'm at a great spot right now after the initial hiccups," he said.
A Thriving, People-Centric Culture
"My team is very friendly. I never feel like an outsider," shared Kasahun.
At Axelerant, people speak over 30 languages from five continents. It is essential to have a common language for inclusivity: English.
"I try to speak Hindi, and they try my language, Amharic. I get to learn a lot from people from other countries."
And Live A Life That They Can Be Proud Of
We believe in empowering people to become the best version of themselves.
Most of our benefits are testaments to the fact, like:
- BYOD (Bring your own device)
- Wellness allowance
- Childcare allowance
- Kindness leave
- Caregiver leave
Disnel got himself a bicycle that he and his family uses to keep themselves fit. "Now I can get rid of all those extra pounds that I gained during the pandemic," he shared, laughing.
Kasahun can now visit friends and family whenever he wants.
"I spent some time with my parents after a long time. It felt like I was on vacation, but I worked every day."
He plans to take management classes and get a new degree using the continuing education allowance.
Disnel supports his partner with taking care of their daughter. He is now working flexible hours to be there for his family.
He wants to continue learning new technologies.
"At Axelerant, people understand the importance of work and that there's more to life than work," he said.
About the Author
Rohit Ganguly, Content Marketer
Rohit is a content marketer first and a YouTuber second. He loves to interact with animals, feed them, clean his apartment, and spend time with friends and family. Curious by nature, he also enjoys literature, movies, meditation, and calligraphy.