I learnt very early in my career journey that success is not defined by career titles nor status. It started from a tongue-in-cheek expression, that an Art Director of mine can bestow on me the fanciest of titles (‘Director of Awesome DI’
at that time) but I myself know the real role and responsibilities required to give my best work – to the people I’ll be helping the most.
Success itself is measured differently and will change as I grow, it has no deadline. As long as I am in the company of good people, motivated to keep growing and creating ideas & solutions, and doing a job I don’t hate, I’ll clench my fist like the Success Kid (as I get a little better each day!).
It started from the love for design really and I did find computers intriguing, from my first computer lessons in DOS.
I convinced my late mum to let me pursue design after my ‘A’ Levels and found myself designing websites and coding CD-ROM programs, in my first encounters of tech work. It felt like a natural progression thereafter, as I expanded my skills & scope (as tech changes) and got my first break to work in an MNC, through a kind recommendation.
It may sound clichéd but the biggest hurdle I had to overcome was imposter syndrome, channeled from self-doubt and early unlucky experiences with abusive ex-bosses. I was always overdoing things, overthinking, apologising unnecessarily and was even missing out on opportunities, since I thought I wasn’t ready or good enough.
I’ve had experiences before where past work acquaintances and potential employers/partners form a stereotyped perception of who I am and thus my “capabilities”, just from my name alone – even before meeting me. When they do meet and converse with me, they’re then surprised or act differently – which is also another expression of bias. Dealing with any micro aggressions or having to explain or prove why I’m not who they seem to think I am, in the guise of positive education or getting affirmation, can be tiring. Although I’ve been lucky in my current position so far, to work with amazing people, I subconsciously prepare myself to not let my guard down.
Don’t spend too many sleepless days trying to ace Flash and Director like a machine (multimedia programming tools which are now defunct). Tech changes so quickly and my health matters. Rather – try to look at things differently, absorb concepts, form scenarios and adapt the logic. Another thing is to also start early in recognising, building and improving on transferable skills… and enjoy the experience!
I hope to be able to continue growing and expanding my knowledge on the ever-changing world of tech. The aim is to keep building on being a better subject expert in the topics that I enjoy, whilst innovating ideas for new solutions. I would love to expand the experience and opportunity to start mentoring/training future generations as well. I hope by then, I’d also have somewhat inspired young girls, including those whom I know personally (friends & family) to also pursue tech.