Meet Angela Zdravkovska, Our Legal Associate
We are thrilled to introduce you to Angela Zdravkovska, our Native Teams Legal Associate who comes from Berovo, Macedonia. Angela’s journey took a remarkable turn four years ago when she endured a traumatic brain injury (TBI), resulting in left-side hemiparesis. In her own words, she gets to experience the beauty of living twice now, and it’s no exaggeration when we say that she is one of the most positive and warm people of Native Teams, from whom we can all learn important and valuable life lessons.
Read the interview below and get to know our amazing colleague Angela! 👇
Hi, Angela! We’re so happy to catch up with you today! How are you doing and where are you at the moment?
Hellooo! I don’t know where I am, to be honest, haha. Just came back from vacation and still summarizing impressions from where I’ve been, and the people I met.
First things first, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Well, greetings and salutations! I am Angela, the social chameleon and delightful puzzle. 😃
That was to spice it up a bit 😃 I live in the most beautiful city in Macedonia, Berovo (the so-called “little Switzerland”). For the past four years, I’ve been living with left-side hemiparesis and I am beyond grateful for things that happened in my life, otherwise I wouldn’t be where I am today.
You’ve been part of Native Teams for almost a year now. What is your role and what do your daily tasks include?
Started in December 2022, as Legal Associate, so 10 months now. I am happy to be part of the Legal & Ops team as KYC and Anti-money Laundering Specialist. I’d say I am the financial Sherlock and Compliance Captain of Native Teams. I make sure our business is safe and our customers are safely onboarded.
My everyday tasks include due diligence, risk assessment, and transaction monitoring.
Long story short, I ensure compliance with regulations and prevent financial crimes.
Where did you hear about Native Teams for the first time, and why did you want to join our team?
I found out about Native Teams on LinkedIn. I was looking for a remote job after I suffered an injury. I wanted to join because I wanted to be part of a start-up where you can grow and learn things daily, but also because I needed a job to become independent financially – and here I am today! 😀
In 2019, you suffered a TBI (traumatic brain injury), and in your own words, you’re experiencing the beauty of living twice now. You’re a big ambassador of focusing on ability and not disability. Can you tell us a bit more about how your perspective on work and life changed as a result of your TBI and recovery process?
Experiencing a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be a life-altering event, and the recovery process can profoundly impact one’s perspective on work and life.
The TBI taught me to prioritize my health and well-being above all else. I learned to listen to my body and mind, recognizing the importance of self-care. Also I became more adaptable as I had to find new ways to perform tasks and adapt to my changing abilities. This adaptability translated into my approach to work and life, making me more open to change and innovation. The TBI led me to reevaluate my career and life goals. I realized that it’s okay to adjust your aspirations to align with your current abilities and passions.
Indeed, what I learned is TO BE PATIENT. With people, things, and actions in life. To be patient with myself because good things in life take time. Also, I learned to let go and go with the flow. To live in the moment, not to think about what has happened or what is going to happen. That’s the power of now.
How has the role that remote work played in your recovery and your return to work? Were there any specific accommodations or adjustments that were helpful?
Remote work has its benefits on every level. I’d say first of all flexibility is the crucial element. Especially in the beginning when I needed to take breaks during the day until I adapted. Then I created myself a comfortable and familiar environment from where I could work and be most productive and I had increased control over my work environment and routines, which can be empowering for someone in the recovery process.
Regarding the accommodations and adjustments, there were not any because I do not have any severe disability that needed that type of assistance.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Native Teams sponsored the ‘Trcaj Be’ run in Bitola, North Macedonia. Our aim was to #empowerability, to empower people with disabilities to continue doing the things they love. You were also part of the run and successfully completed the 5k walk – congratulations on that achievement! Can you share your feelings about the walk and how your team’s support impacted you?
Running a 5km race is a significant accomplishment for me as this was my first participation ever in an event such as Trcaj be. I had a mix of emotions and experiences because I was preparing myself for this for the last three months and I beat my personal record. 😊 I’d like to thank Maja Krsteska and Carolina Trigo for being my moral support during the walk. I think the three of us were the only ones not sweating ha ha, we enjoyed that hour and 30 minutes so much.
Do you know what I was thinking during the walk? My team and my colleagues, do not run only for me and people with disabilities but for themselves and the rest of the people out there with one aim: increasing awareness that we, people with abilities, do exist and we are part of the community, that we can do great things as well. That was the message and Native Teams sent it out to everyone making sure they are participating in my life mission – to raise awareness for people with TBIs.
Looking forward to my next achievement – Wizz Air Marathon. 🙂
Let’s talk about some lighter topics. What’s your favourite Spotify playlist?
I do not have a favourite playlist. I have a song I love listening to every morning. When I wake up in the morning, I put “I Say A Little Prayer” from Aretha Franklin and the day can start. I pick my playlist according to my mood. Believe me, I can listen to Michael Buble’s Christmas playlist in July. His Xmas playlist is like a warm, cozy blanket for the soul, sprinkled with feelings of nostalgia, joy, and a touch of romance. I’m hopeless romantic soul, cannot help it <3
What do you like to do whenever you’re not working?
I used to watch Netflix, but I switched that to reading books for spiritual enlightenment and personal growth. So, I do read more now.
I am discovering new music as well and I am traveling. Oh, I love to travel.
What’s your hidden talent that not many people know about?
2. Singing. Even though I don’t know if I can classify it as a hidden talent since I have been participating in music shows when I was younger. But I can disclose a secret, I’ve started recording again, and very soon you’ll hear something fresh from the oven. Looking forward to that project. 😊
What’s your favourite vacation spot?
Alicante, Spain – para siempre!
This year I discovered the Croatian Islands so I think I’ll start going back there.
And lastly, is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?
You are not aware of how happy you are! Enjoy every day of the ride called life.
Don’t miss a chance to tell someone you love them, you might not get another chance. Don’t miss that party you want to go to. Say thanks to the one who deserves it. Sorry is a big word with which only you can find peace. And it’s never too late for anything. For that house, that trip, job… For you.
And schedule a meeting to understand what we do in Native Teams, you’re gonna love it!