“I soon realize that English is only a tool to succeed, so I took a 6-month certificate in administration then heading straight to companies for internships, without the help from my university. I got accepted into an export-import agent of Germany - where I learnt how to set up the paperwork, meeting booking & other administrative tasks. I spent the next five years working for a startup in online marketing until I fully got the hang of how to operate that field. Then I switched to an event startup and started to build up things as a supervisor. After many ups and downs, I moved to a Singapore Tech company as an HRM.
It irritates me to recall the first day at work. I got bullied and disrespected just because I was a fresher. My first impression of my boss wasn’t that good. The more I got to work with her, the more I realized it wasn’t that simple. I suffered a lot from the errands because I felt like that wasn’t my responsibility. I didn’t apply to do those kinds of stuff. Then my boss spent a few times talk me through it. She showed me the experience I was lacked and why I should stand behind the scene until my knowledge and expertise got leveled up. I learnt at her the work ethic, and I understand the reason that she put me up with those errands because the work was too overloaded back then. I remember one thing she said: “Try your best to organize your priority”. That comes with me until now.
My ambition was to work at a non-tech firm in the first 10 years and move to the tech world 10 years later. I got a chance to talk with an IT help desk. It’s a shame, to be honest, because I couldn’t be able to distinguish IT help desk and programmer. Moving from a non-tech place to become an HR manager in a tech company takes time to earn trust. Most of the employees didn’t believe I could get the work done. Because my background in technology was zero. I heard many rumours behind my back. That somehow hurt my ego. So I strived to let my power be the noise. I set up the essential foundation to meet the need of employees. Setting a cool office. Making sure the payday is stable. Annual health check-up. Building the performance review. Insurance package. Gradually they notice the things I brought to the table and take my value seriously.
Being an HR means to deal with people problems. All-day long. Usually, I will get to know their personality at first and develop a method to soften their mood when a crisis happens. Once you get to know them well enough, it’s easier to resolve the conflict or performance review. Plus, knowing your employee means you get a higher chance to have them engaged in the long run. The startup environment did give me many precious lessons. It allows me to perfect things and widen the grasp all at once. For me, working at a startup means to take one step backwards, then take three steps forward. The resilient spirit is fantastic.”