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Remote Career Development: George Amodio Of Doing Good Works On How To Advance and Enhance Your Career When You Are Working Remotely

An Interview With David Liu

My advice is to have good dialogue with your team and be motivated to explore new opportunities for growth — if you can do this it shouldn’t matter if you’re in the physical workspace or not.

Career development is the ongoing process of choosing, improving, developing, and advancing your career. This involves learning, making decisions, collaboration with others and knowing yourself well enough to be able to continually assess your strengths and weaknesses. This can be challenging enough when you work in an office, but what if you work remotely? How does remote work affect your career development? How do you nurture and advance your career when you are working from home and away from other colleagues? How can you help your employees do this? To address these questions, we started an interview series called “How To Advance and Enhance Your Career When You Are Working Remotely”. As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing George Amodio.

George is a 26 year old who writes articles and long-form content for Doing Good Works. Prior to working with Doing Good Works, he lived and taught English in Da Nang, Vietnam. In his spare time, he enjoys playing chess, reading books, and writing fiction.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. What is your “backstory”?

My backstory is actually pretty interesting. I moved to Vietnam two years ago. There, in Ho Chi Minh city, I met Ryan, we became friends and we moved to Da Nang city soon after. Between teaching English to Vietnamese students, the stresses and strains of surfing and relaxing at the beach became too much, so the following summer we surfed and relaxed in California instead. We lived with Ryan’s family, who were kind enough to have me to stay for the summer. Ryan’s dad, Scott, is co-founder of Doing Good Works, and all-round top guy. We became friends and after understanding my interest in writing — and reading some of the fiction I’ve written — decided to give me a chance to write for his B Corp. I began this part-time in Vietnam, and then full-time when I moved back to England.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

Before I started at Doing Good Works, I was teaching English as a second language. I taught Vietnamese students in the classroom before the COVID pandemic necessitated teaching online. It turned out to be an amazing opportunity to teach Chinese students, who had many interesting stories to share with me. One of my favorite students loved telling me all about life in Ningbo. We talked for a long time after class about places we enjoy going to in our cities and our local cuisine.

When our classes came to an end I even received a postcard from him with a lovely photo of the port. This was really sweet and a great memory that I treasure from my first remote work opportunity.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Again, going back to my teaching days, I remember accidently loading the wrong course material for one of the students. Instead of teaching colors and shapes which were suitable for her age and ability, we ended up having a lesson about renewable energy — talk about jumping in the deep end! Thankfully we adjusted the lesson to be more befitting of her level. After that class I made sure to check carefully before opening the file! We enjoyed more suitable classes after that day.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

This is saying that I learned in Vietnam: “Remember, the storm is a good opportunity for the pine and the cypress to show their strength and their stability.” This is one of my favorite Ho Chi Minh sayings. It was important for me to remember this quote when I was in the country in which he was born. During the pandemic I was faced with endless difficulties; from employment to housing, at some points just leaving the house had the law against me! Although it was an exceptionally tough six months, remembering this quote proved important. It reminded me that it’s not enjoying the good times that makes us strong but battling through hardships, overcoming the odds and having extra strength once the storm’s over.

What advice would you give to other business leaders to help their employees thrive and avoid burnout?

I think the main thing is being a business that contributes to the betterment of society. Because Doing Good Works is a B Corp, they’re legally responsible for issues often ignored or abused by traditional corporations. Their commitment to the environment and social causes, means that it’s a company you want to work for, not for financial incentives but knowing the work you’re doing is having a direct impact on the disadvantaged communities the company works with. Employees will thrive when they work for a business with a purpose over than simply profit.

Ok, let’s jump to the core of our interview. Working remotely can be very different than working with a team that is in front of you. This provides great opportunities but it can also create unique challenges. To begin, can you articulate for our readers a few of the main benefits and opportunities of working remotely?

Having remote workers can be beneficial for both the company and the individual. For the company, it can allow people with different ideas and different cultures to contribute with ideas that may only have been possible thanks to their different geographical location. Another plus side is sometimes with different members of my team, I can share something I’ve been working on at the end of my working day. Instead of twiddling my thumbs while I wait, the time difference means it’s ready for my attention again the next morning.

On a personal level, I love working remotely! This is primarily due to the freedom it brings. When times are safe I’m looking forward to travelling whilst working, something I wouldn’t ordinarily have the chance to do if working in a traditional work environment.

Can you articulate for our readers what the five main challenges are regarding working remotely?

Probably the biggest hardship when working remotely is missing the connection you can generate with colleagues that occur when working in the same physical environment. Sharing ideas and having a laugh while you work is something I miss greatly.

This feeling deepens when an event is happening at the office. Whether it’s an office party, or a fancy dress day, it can be difficult when you can’t take part with your friends. At my place of work, there are ‘pack-outs’ the preparing of the goods to be delivered to customers. Even these can be exciting and something you regret not being a part of.

Something that can never be replicated by working online away from the office is having the opportunity to meet new members of staff, especially those who don’t work in the same team or department. Not only does this restrict the experiences that can gather from meeting new people but also lessens the chances of receiving help or advice from someone you wouldn’t expect.

As a consequence, working remotely can be lonely at times. It takes a lot of self-motivation and not being an ‘active’ part of the workplace definitely isn’t for everyone. While it suits my character, those who are considering working remotely should be aware of the downsides.

I know I mentioned some advantages of working in a different time zone but there can be downsides. Only certain hours of the day are available to collaborate and if you need a quick answer, sometimes you just have to be patient! Of course, time differences don’t aren’t intrinsic to working remotely, but again it’s something to consider, especially if you intend to travel whilst working.

Based on your experience, what can one do to address or redress each of those challenges? Can you give a story or example for each?

  1. While meetings aren’t always something people get excited about, I’ve found them great at addressing some of the concerns I’ve had about working remotely. They’re a great way of interacting with other people in the company, especially those in different departments.
  2. Along similar lines, I often have video calls with colleagues in the same department. It can help share our ideas and it makes me feel not so far away!
  3. Even though it can be lonely working primarily alone, it does increase motivation to pursue other interests and activities. Because it’s difficult to be social and make physical friends during work hours it pushed me outside of my comfort zone in my spare time. For instance, I now I attend chess club a couple of evenings a week and play seven-a-side football at the weekend. Maybe if I had a ‘normal’ work environment I wouldn’t feel so compelled to start these activities that I now love!

Let’s talk about Career Development. Can you share a few ideas about how you can nurture and advance your career when you are working from home and away from other colleagues?

The important thing to remember when working remotely is that even though you’re physically absent from the office, you’re not isolated from colleagues. So long as there’s good communication and a team that’s willing to listen, you can develop your career while working remotely. My manager and I are inconsistent dialogue. Since starting at the company, I’ve already gone from writing basic listicles to thought-provoking and powerful pieces, such as the history of environmentalism in business and the positive impact some companies are making today.

My advice is to have good dialogue with your team and be motivated to explore new opportunities for growth — if you can do this it shouldn’t matter if you’re in the physical workspace or not.

Can you share a few ideas about how employers or managers can help their team with career development?

My manager, Jordan, is brilliant at helping me achieve my potential. This is mostly in developing the tasks I’ve been set to keep me challenged me and allow for more creative and enjoyable tasks. He also gave me access to training to learn new skills which I’m very thankful for. I consider myself fortunate to have great support at work, having colleagues and managers listen to ideas and ways to improve my work environment is something I don’t take for granted.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 😊

I think it would be great if every member of a company, from intern to CEO, was obligated to take part in some volunteer work under office hours. Too often we’re isolated in our own bubbles, that we don’t have the chance (or desire) to meet people from different walks of life in places we wouldn’t otherwise venture. I believe this project would help elevate compassion to others, while listening to other people’s ideas, and generally just understanding more about people less fortunate than ourselves and how we can make a genuine and direct contribution to worthy causes.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

You can read about my blogs at https://purposeprintery.com/blogs/good-business. These can be particularly useful for managers of small and start-up businesses, with many of the articles going into detail about how print can be a useful marketing tool. On https://dgwbranded.com/blog/ I write more in-depth articles that often delve into the future of business, and how it’s important to manage profit with purpose.

Thank you for these great insights! We wish you continued success.

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In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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David Liu

David Liu

David is the founder and CEO of Deltapath, a unified communications company that liberates organizations from the barriers of effective communication

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