I'm working on an activity for advanced students to help them talk about their careers. I am making a true or false listening activity, designed to help them talk about their careers in ways other than three or four word simple present sentences: "I am a manager," "I work at Sony," etc.
The context for the listening activity is a video about a retired police officer who cleaned furnaces, flew a Medivac helicopter, and worked the roads as a state trooper. Some of the statements for consideration are: "Cleaning furnaces was his main job," "Working in the police department was a routine job," or "After working as a helicopter pilot, he switched to the roads."
One sentence is giving me problems: "Working the roads, he felt he was helping people." "Working the roads" is a participle phrase. I would like to avoid this construction as I feel it won't help and will lead to too many problems and questions. I would like to add "by" to help understanding: "By working the roads, he felt he was helping people" as I feel there are other ways that this can be used: "By talking to customers, I can solve their problems," or "By visiting factories, I can understand their issues."
What kind of phrase is "By working the roads,"? Is it a similar construction to "After working at [company], I then worked at [company.]"? To me this kind of phrase yields more expression potential in the classroom, so I'd like to explore it in the activity.