In the dynamic world of Asian business, young professionals often seek guidance from experienced executives who have navigated the challenges and triumphs of their careers. Two seasoned executives, Dee Dee Chen from Taipei and Simon Willison from Singapore, share their valuable advice with the younger generation. In candid interviews, they reflect on their early career experiences and impart invaluable wisdom to help aspiring professionals achieve fulfillment and success.
Embracing the Power of Work-Life Balance: Dee Dee Chen’s Perspective
“When I began my career after graduation, I was eager to prove myself and excel in my role,” Dee Dee recalls. “My first company’s culture encouraged long hours and complete dedication to work. As a result, I ended up sacrificing my personal life, missing out on spending time with friends and even postponing my dating life until my thirties.”
Looking back, Dee Dee wishes she had realized the importance of work-life balance earlier in her career. “Embracing this balance allows us to nurture our personal lives, build meaningful relationships, and maintain overall well-being,” she explains. “Saying ‘no’ to excessive work demands and investing time in social interactions can be a game-changer. Prioritizing my social life has not only made me happier but has also enhanced my creativity and productivity at work.”
She talks about this a lot on a podcast she hosts, as well as in internal company videos. “My current company is a progressive multinational firm which embraces this message and encourages me to spread the word throughout our teams spread across Asia.”
Slowing Down and Investing in Career Sustainability: Simon Willison’s Journey
“When I first arrived in Hong Kong 15 years ago, the expat lifestyle was alluring, and I thought my destiny for greatness was certain,” Simon reflects. “I was driven by ambition, titles, and an impressive paycheck. However, as time went on, I realized that there was more to a successful career than immediate gratification.”
Simon offers sage advice to his younger self and other aspiring professionals: “If I could speak to my younger self today, I would advise slowing down and focusing on career sustainability. Building a career is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s essential to invest in personal growth, continuous learning, and building authentic relationships along the way.”
“While titles and money may bring temporary satisfaction, long-term fulfillment lies in the consistent development of skills and expertise,” Simon affirms. “I eventually moved to a fintech company in Singapore, where I found genuine happiness and career satisfaction, even though the paycheck was smaller. Young professionals must not get swayed by short-term gains. Instead, they should focus on building themselves and their careers thoughtfully and sustainably.”
Navigating the Path to Success
Dee Dee Chen and Simon Willison’s personal reflections offer valuable insights for aspiring professionals seeking fulfillment and success in their careers. Embracing work-life balance, as emphasized by Dee Dee, allows individuals to excel in both their personal and professional lives.
Simon’s advice to slow down, prioritize growth, and avoid being impressed solely by titles and money serves as a valuable reminder for the younger generation. Sustainable career development and genuine happiness are the rewards of consistent effort and dedication.
Through the experiences and advice of these seasoned executives, young professionals can chart a course for a rewarding career journey—one that embraces balance, authenticity, and a mindful approach to success. In the competitive landscape of Asian business, their guidance illuminates the path towards achieving personal fulfillment and professional prosperity.