Introducing one of our zestiest members in Lisbon – a self-proclaimed Second Home super fan (ask him about the coffee in LA) and all round bright spark: Frederik Gail.
We sat down with Frederik to chat about how he ended up at Second Home and how his company came to be. Read all about his story of how a trip to South Korea (that never actually happened) was the start of his business, Letmework, his best advice for moving abroad and iconic tips on where to get down on the dance floor in Lisbon.
What is your name and how long have you been at Second Home?
My name is Frederik, I’m 25 years old and I’m from Denmark. I’ve been a member of Second Home for 5-6 months or so. I remember getting a tour and putting pen to paper on a deal immediately.
How long have you lived in Lisbon and are you enjoying it?
10 months. Feels like 2 years. I can see myself here forever.
Tell us a little about you business, Letmework.
Letmework at its core is a recruitment agency. We recruit people to the tech and outsourcing industry, wanting better for themselves through a job abroad. Having a genuine belief that change is scary but beneficial, we’re here to handhold people through the hustle and bustle of relocating countries. Our daily job goes beyond just connecting resumes with clients; we’re really getting our feet wet trying to understand people’s feelings and concerns before they bootstrap a new adventure.
Tell us about moving to Thailand and ultimately how you started Letmework?
Basically I was an exchange student in Thailand. I was previously offered to go to South Korea to study, but turned the offer down because my friend who wanted to go with me got cold feet. Instead, I went to Thailand. I was supposed to go back home after 4-5 months, but I winded up sticking around as I saw a potential in working remotely — maybe even helping others pursue the same! My final thesis at my uni was about the digital age and how HR is changing and evolving around being free to move with your laptop. It was a very natural step for me to start helping others to do the same.
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned in starting a business?
A team is crucial if you want to thrive. For 2 years I was scared to give away responsibility, but this time around I’ve hired 2 rockstar recruiters and we are having the time of our lives. I’m learning a lot. I could never picture myself working all alone again. Be humble. Listen and learn. Don’t be scared of spending money if it’s for the vision of your business, even when it seems a bit irrational.
How has Second Home helped your business?
I’ve traveled to LA and London a ton, and the flexibility it gives me to tap into these branches has been such a genuinely cool experience. It makes me feel part of something bigger. I consider my coworkers my teachers. We learn a lot from each other.
What is a brand or business that inspires you and why?
How&How from Second Home in London and Lisbon is inspiring me a ton. It’s a beautiful business inside out and that flows through all the work that they do. I made a few friends there and it’s always a good time.
Ok – now for the fun stuff!
Best place to eat/drink/dance in Lisbon?
You could be doing all 3 at Boa Vista Social Club. The place is tiny and just has a really good feel to it. It’s delicate.
If you want to just eat, I’d head for Bar das Colunas in Marvila. It’s an outstanding Portuguese restaurant in an area I think is one of the most intriguing.
If you want to just drink, I’d head to Toca da Raposa. You feel as if you’re in a cave. It’s wicked.
If you want to just dance, I’d head to Jukebox Bar. Really it’s a bar, but the live music is so good people start to dance.
Advice would you give someone thinking of moving abroad?
Don’t micro-manage it. Plunge right in. It’s always a good time to revamp yourself, so don’t hesitate so much.
If you had to move somewhere new, what would your top 3 options be?
Taipei in Taiwan was actually my other choice if I didn’t want to go with Lisbon, but because I’ve been through daunting paperwork in Thailand already, I thought I’d really look into a European country.
Paris will always have some place in my heart. It was my first solo travel, and having worked as an intern in the fashion industry, I have always been fascinated by the feel of this place.
There’s a city in North Macedonia I visited called Kratovo. It’s a place I could see myself retiring. It’s a tiny village that reminds me a little bit of the city in Denmark I was raised in — there are roughly the same amount of people; 6000 or so. It’s extremely beautiful and it holds my memory of the most beautiful sunset I’ve seen.
A funny anecdote that shows your personality?
I lived in Bangkok and really wanted to learn Thai, so I decided to work as a dishwasher in my noodle street kitchen a few blocks from where I lived. I got free noodles, no payment but learned a tongue-twisting trait.
Favorite meal of all time?
The Danish open sandwich (smørrebrød) is something I’ve been eating my entire childhood. Pair that today with a Scandinavian schnapps and a beer, and I’m all set. It’s something I’m always looking forward to when I go back Copenhagen.
Frederik – thank you for your time and beautiful insight into your business and your love for travel. I know we will be taking you up on these Lisbon and city recommendations!