Working Class is a series by CLEO where we ask experts and real women for job, career and salary tips. Have relevant advice to share? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In an age where job-hopping is commonly encouraged, it can be hard to imagine working for the same company for more than a couple of years. But loyalty can and does pay off at the right organisation.
Vivian Chua first started out in the business development department of HP Inc. in 1999 and, over the past 20 years, has risen through the ranks to Vice-President and Singapore Managing Director. But that’s not to say that a long employee record is all takes to rise through the ranks, of course—her receptiveness to growth also set her up for great success in her career.
“Practising continuous learning and having a growth mindset were a big part of how I picked up the skills needed for my different roles,” she says. “I also reinvented myself by upskilling as the skills required in the fast-moving technology sector constantly evolve.”
She also keeps up with changes by embracing intergenerational learning, which provides her with insight on what is most relevant to the millennial and Gen Z consumers. In fact, she enjoys it so much that she now oversees an internal initiative that helps younger employees advance their careers.
Considering establishing your career in one company? Vivian has some tips for you.
1. Dive deep into the business
“People often use short-term thinking and top-line research in the ideas and strategies they present, but these ideas may not be able to withstand the test of time as the business landscape is always evolving. To sustain success, you will need a deep understanding of the business mechanics to add value to your company’s growth.”
2. Have open conversations
“I’ve noticed that younger employees tend to take a passive position. Age should not be a barrier at work and I encourage being vocal and sharing your point of view especially on matters where a fresh perspective is needed. I also urge younger employees to seek career advice from people you work with, and don’t, so that you have different perspectives on how to solve the challenges you face.”
3. Find avenues to better yourself
“You should constantly seek out opportunities to accumulate a variety of skills that will make you valuable to the team and the organisation at large. This will also allow you to explore the areas you are more interested in.”
4. Maintain and establish trust
“In my career, I wanted to be seen as trustworthy, respectful and attentive, so I built my personal brand with these values as a foundation. This has helped me create a credible voice in both my professional and personal networks.”
5. Strike a work-life balance
“The key to work-life balance is to prioritise and not overcommit. Do not take saying ‘no’ as a sign of weakness or as throwing away a chance to progress. Overcommitting can result in burnout that could compromise your quality of work, so you must learn how to balance your professional ambition pursuing interests in your personal life.”