Work anywhere, play here
The location-neutral workforce in Routt County is growing, and more people are able to work and live where they want.
After about eight years traveling and working at home and abroad, Hannah Gary ended up right where she started: Steamboat Springs.
Gary left her hometown of Steamboat Springs to earn a bachelor’s degree in economics and management science from the University of California San Diego, and after graduation, she applied for jobs everywhere.
She ended up teaching English in Chile for a year and then tried to find something in the business world after returning to the states.
After several more moves, she found a position coaching volleyball in northern England and earned her master’s degree in education while there. Then it was back scouring the job market.
“I applied across the country, I applied to different countries,” Gary said.
“It’s like ‘poof!’ It seems like it’s just burning on its way out your inbox,” she said about emailing resumes to far-flung companies.
Gary was working at a daycare in Steamboat, hunting for a job elsewhere that fit her degrees and experience when she heard of a position with LDM Global through word-of-mouth and landed it.
She started in the legal discovery firm’s sales department in March, and now, she’s a project manager immersed in the technical side of parsing large databases of information for clients all around the world. The firm has offices in London, New York and Australia, but Gary’s own globetrotting has brought her back to the Yampa Valley.
It’s a cool opportunity, Gary said, to have a job like hers in Steamboat.
Working on the mountain or in a restaurant is fun, she said, but you get antsy.
With LDM Global, Gary is serving the same clients she would from the New York office while enjoying everything she loves about her hometown.
“It kind of keeps you in that world but allows you to live this lifestyle,” Gary said. “It’s hard to grow up here, I think, and have hiking and biking right out your back door or a 10-minute drive at the very most,” she said about the outdoor opportunities here that other places or cities have trouble matching. “I haven’t really lived in a town similar.
“Being able to live the lifestyle you want helps me stay settled,” Gary said.
“It’s easy to just get run down in a job like this in the big city. You’re in the rat race.”
Having the chance to enjoy the outdoors in Steamboat helps Gary blow off steam.
“It’s like a dream to be able to find something that I feel like I’m using my degree,” Gary said about working for LDM Global in Steamboat.
She loved working on the mountain, but the experience she’s getting now translates more directly to the labor market at large.
“You don’t feel like you’re working in a small town,” Gary said, referring to the interaction she has with those working in large cities. “Your focus and your mindset is huge global city centers.”
She’s handling data that just came in from Belgium and touching base every morning with clients in London, but she also catches some powder turns before heading into the office.
As long as you’re taking care of what you’re doing, Gary said, you have some flexibility to take advantage of the outdoors.
“It’s incredible that we get to live in a community like this,” she said. “We have people here who are incredibly educated working whatever it takes to live here. I love that feeling that I grew up with and being able to come back.
“You go to New York, and you get yelled at,” Gary said about walking the crowded sidewalks of a large city. “Here you get smiled and waved at.”