Balancing the Grind with Amelia Seow, APAC Senior Channel Manager at GitLab

Amelia Seow is the APAC Senior Channel Manager at DevOps lifecycle platform GitLab, where she is in charge of driving the channel ecosystem in APAC.

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1. To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I am the APAC Senior Channel Manager in GitLab. I joined GitLab three months ago to drive and build the channel eco-system in APAC to help us reach and support customers in this growing market. 

My career first started in marketing and fortunately for me, fell into IT through a recommendation by a contact. This was two years after the bubble burst and there was growing opportunity in the technology sector.

My journey into tech started at a distributor, which gave me a great perspective of the channel landscape, working with vendors and corporate resellers. I knew from there that this was the sector to be and haven’t looked back since! 

2. What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

My workday typically starts at 8AM or earlier if I have global calls. It is meeting-heavy and I have to allocate time to get operational work done.

Most mornings I try to allocate to internal meetings or meetings with ANZ partners, and I keep afternoon for meetings with partners in the rest of Asia. I use Zoom for all my meetings, and we use Slack to communicate internally and with Partners. 

3. Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine? 

One of the reasons I joined GitLab was its remote working culture. Gitlab is an all-remote company with flexibility built into its values, and we measure results, not hours worked.

In other words, I can work in the morning, go for a grocery run, come back and work again, have family time and work again later when my son is asleep. So with the COVID-19 environment, I haven’t had to adapt to a new way of working, apart from the changes with taking on a new job. 

4. What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

I don’t believe in work-life balance per se, in that work is so much a part of my life. I believe in living my life the best way I know how by ensuring I allocate time to what is important to me and work is one of it.

I also spend time during my day on other things that are important like my family, time to relax, time to do things I enjoy (which are usually on the weekends). The duration of each varies day by day which is fine so long as I spend time on each. 

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5. What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?

I have been told I demand a high level of work ethic that although has helped me through the years, has also been a source of unnecessary expectations for myself and others. 

A big one is listening. As I get older, I have come to listen more and speak less. Which I understand can be counter-intuitive in a world where sometimes the loudest voice wins, I have found that it has allowed me to learn more by understanding different perspectives and make more personal connections. 

6. Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

A recent book I read and really enjoyed: Dan Millman; Way of the peaceful warrior. 

I listen to a random assortment of podcasts (not as many as I would like) such as the series that Tim Ferriss has, one that I go back to (though it is a few years old) is the interview that he did with Debbie Millman.  

7. What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

It is really easy working remotely to get up from bed, start work and continue until you stop for a meal or go to bed. So before I start my day, I find that my day is more productive if I take time in the morning to take a walk, get a coffee, breakfast before I start work and have intentional breaks within the day. 

8. If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?   

Jacinda Ardern. While it’d be great to get her take on work life balance, I am particularly interested to understand how she prioritises and gets as much done as someone in her position as a mother with a young child. 

My colleague Darren Murph’s blog post on why all-remote is for everyone in particular resonated with me, in that I have a more engaged family life because I work for an employer that empowers me to work remotely. Gitlab also has a great repository of guides, articles, videos and best practices for remote professionals and teams

9. Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers? 

Work is important but it’s just one part of our life. I would suggest that everyone should consciously take some time in the day to spend it on the other important parts of your life. Sounds simple but it is something that I need reminding myself.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.