• Bobbi Whitney

Getting to Know Sarah Aviram

Over the years millions of people have worked from home. In the wake of COVID-19, this number has only increased as offices all over the world closed their physical doors to ensure the safety of their employees. With the increase in technology, and the efficiency of virtual workspaces like Microsoft Teams, and video chat tools like Zoom and Google Meet, remote work is easier than it’s ever been before. Some companies have announced that most of their employees will not be returning to their offices until at least 2021, while many, like Slack, have decided that they are giving their employees the choice to work from home permanently. This shift to remote work has been difficult for many, from parents, to students, to everyone in between.

That’s where Sarah Aviram comes in. Sarah, who has spent her career in Human Resources and Talent Development and has an MBA in Leadership and Change Management, recently published a book titled Remotivation: The Remote Worker’s Ultimate Guide to Life-Changing Fulfillment, to help remote workers feel fulfilled while performing at their best. Sarah took some time to talk with us to tell us all about her story, her year of working remotely from 12 countries in 12 months, and her book.

What’s your background? 

I’ve worked in HR and Talent Development leadership roles for Fortune 500 companies like Avon and PepsiCo as well as in smaller high-growth technology companies. These roles have taught me a lot about what motivates people to perform at their best and be fulfilled in their careers.

From these experiences, my MBA, and extensive personal research, I’ve created programs and processes that have helped thousands of people (including myself) have more fulfilling careers.

The more I spent time with remote workers, the more I noticed that they often felt stuck and unfulfilled professionally — even with the freedom and flexibility of their lifestyle. Working remotely was only a band-aid solution for much bigger challenges.

I realized that if remote workers could better activate their key motivations for working, they could create their own path to more fulfillment in their careers and beyond.

So I began to pull together the knowledge and tools I’ve generated in my career and wrote a book and started a business to help empower remote workers - and organizations that employ them - to perform at their best.

How did you make the decision to travel and work remotely from 12 countries in 12 months?

In late 2018, I was working as the Director of Talent Development at a large technology company based in New York. I was doing a ton of research on future work trends and the way my company could create a competitive advantage by building future capabilities now.

One of the most significant themes that kept coming up in my research was around remote workers. Not only were people wanting to work more remotely, but there was a growing group of companies where 100% of their employees were location independent. These companies don’t even have an office — all employees work remotely, dispersed around the world. And on top of that, almost half of the American workforce would soon consider itself freelancers or contractors.

More and more people were okay with not working for a single company in a single location. They want the flexibility and the freedom to work where they want and on the kind of work that motivates them — and would target companies that allowed them to do both.

I identified as one of those people.

As I kept reading, my research took me to Remote Year’s website. I got super excited about what I read and how Remote Year “provides a platform for professionals who want to live and work in different cities around the world without having to compromise their professional pursuits.”

I decided I wanted to immerse myself in this world and I convinced my employer at the time to allow my participation in the 1 year program from March 2019-February 2020.

We’d love to hear a little more about your travels! What cities and countries did you go to?

I spent a month living and working in each city. Over the 12 months, I was in: Lima, Peru; Santiago, Chile; Medellin, Colombia; Mexico City, Mexico; Hanoi, Vietnam; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Kyoto, Japan; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Split, Croatia; Lisbon, Portugal; Valencia, Spain; and Cape Town, South Africa.

What can you tell us about your book?

Remotivation will help remote workers (from digital nomads to work from home parents) to find more fulfillment in their work while performing at their best.

The book guides remote workers on their journey to activate the six core “remotivators” that drive professional fulfillment: Money, identity, routines, growth, impact, and joy.

‍Remotivation feels like a strong wifi signal for your spirit. It’s when you remove some of the pressure associated with your money and identity, minimize the inertia of routines that no longer serve you, and create opportunities for growth, impact, and joy.

What are your goals for your book and your business? 

My goal is to empower remote workers to stop the inertia of their unfulfilling lives and build ones full of the freedom, authenticity, and intention they desire.

If readers learn the concepts in the book and my online course, do the exercises, and take action, they will feel more fulfilled and motivated to perform at their best — regardless of whether that means re-engaging in their current work or job, switching roles, or finding new work or a new field altogether.

The new business I have started consists of workshops and speaking engagements for organizations as well as online courses for individuals.  

And finally, what’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to?

Kyoto, Japan is one of the most beautiful and culturally rich places I've ever visited.  It's expensive but worth it. :)

Sarah in (left to right) Busan, Korea; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Patagonia, Chile.

We absolutely loved getting to know Sarah, her business, and her book. If you’re looking to find greater fulfillment in your life and would like to learn more about how Sarah can help, check out her website, follow her on Instagram @sarahaviram, and you can purchase her book on Amazon!

If you'd like to connect with us here at Pilota, check out our Social media @flypilota

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