Last week I got to interview Jessica, a previous participant of my “Recipes of Success workshop”. When I met her I could feel her passion for her work. She started to tell me about her work experience that it blew me away. I knew I had to share it with you too. Jessica enjoyed every job she ever had since starting her career as a receptionist. However, she never let her jobs define her. Even when Jessica went through very difficult situations, she never let go of the 3 magic powers that defined her then, and still does today.
Magic Powers to Achieve Ultimate Bliss # 1: Curiosity
She always went beyond what she was expected, and her employers had so much trust in her that they asked her to do accounts/payroll and she started to learn how to use the computer. The commercial manager liked her so much; he hired her to be his PA when the company got sold off to a German company. Her boss became the Managing Director and asked her to join him. Because Jessica always gave her work 110%, every company always supported her, even to the extent that the company car, a Mercedes, picked her up and dropped her off at work every day.
After 5 years, she had to leave the company, as her fiancé (who had his own property development firm) was moving to Malaysia for a project. The date of the wedding got pushed back three months so Jessica decided to take a temp job in an oil rig support company. She was supposed to do a support role but ended up issuing letters of credit for banks, and freight companies, in which she immersed herself, as usual.
The company liked her so much that they decided to hire for their office in KL, where Jessica worked for 2 years before deciding to quit and become a full time mom. But the company liked her, and they kept sending work to her house for her to do.
Magic Powers to Achieve Ultimate Bliss # 2: Learning
Jessica returned to Singapore, where, for 7 years she continued working with her husband in their Interior Design Company. Working with her husband was very challenging, due to the fact that they were together 24/7 and had such different perspectives and management styles. Several risky projects later, they had to declare bankruptcy and the family had to downgrade, which affected their lifestyle severely.
But Jessica didn’t let that stop her or get to her. She had to provide for her family and there was a debt that needed to be cleared. Instead, she decided to launch another business. She found out about the opportunity while doing quality control for a major Japanese electronic company. Most suppliers had workshops and had staff, but after the last experience, she wanted something with little risk and with only one helper, Jessica transformed her living room into a quality control centre for electronic transistors. After two years of making 6-7000 dollars a month and slowly paying off their debt, the company relocated the factory to Batam.
One of the things Jessica is grateful for her and attributes her success to, is the many people she has encountered on her path who have taught her so much. She considers her rock to be her spirituality and the community she has in church.
She then decided to join her cousin and they both set up education centres in Bishan to do English enrichment, and creative writing. Although Jessica didn’t know much about this niche, she was resourceful and went to the library and looked online to find out what to do, and how to improve.
She became the head of Operations for the School Programs and managed programs for 5 schools, preparing notes for teachers, going beyond the norm and decorating the room and ensuring the environment was aligned with the cultures and values she had.
For her philosophy of life is that you need to love your work and do it with passion.
After her marriage ended in divorce, Jessica was finally was able to pay off the debt, and educate her kids, but she was exhausted. After 9 years of running her own business, she needed rest. When her cousin decided to relocate to Canada and asked her to run the business by herself, Jessica decided to find a new path, too. She didn’t have the energy to run the business by herself and they sold off the company.
Magic Powers to Achieve Ultimate Bliss # 3: Acknowledgement + Gratitude
At 50 years old, Jessica took time off to reflect and spend time with God. She realized getting a job was very challenging. No one wanted to hire her. All the job ads, were hiring people in their mid-thirties.
But Jessica didn’t let that stand in her way – instead, she marched in for a walk in interview doing telemarketing for American Express. Despite being older than all the other consultants, her performance was always in the top 10. Much as she enjoyed her job, Jessica found telemarketing exhausting. Her director was upset to see her go, and tried to encourage her to stay, but she felt this was not the place for her.
She got recommended to check out justbooking.com, and she went for another walk-in interview. She didn’t expect to get it, as it was an IT company, and at 52 she was going to be the oldest employee. For two weeks no one called her. But she had faith in God, and there were signs that this would work. New to technology, she soon outperformed senior managers. They soon realized that Jessica was learning quickly, and was constantly looking for ways to improve things. That’s why she quickly went from PA to now the Client Servicing Manager for South East Asia team.
For Jessica, her principles that she would recommend young people.
Trust God: Never give up, because He gives you all the strength you need to carry on.
Health is Crucial: It affects your mind and energy levels. Eat right, exercise, be active!
Don’t Act Old: For Jessica, she really enjoys working with young people, and getting involved with their activities. Go back to your 20-year old self!
Be Willing to Learn: The world is changing, and you can’t be arrogant. If you are idle, your mind is not working. You need to always be willing to work, read, and get new ideas. Go beyond your circle and use the web. Study more – education is so important!
Build Relationships: Spend time with your family + friends. Get involved in activities, have new experiences.
Positive Attitude: You will get it right! Start your day expecting something good to happen and surround yourself with positive people.
Question Everything: Why are things a certain way? What can you do to make it better?
Share Positive Affirmations: Speaking positivity will draw more good things to you.
Don’t Talk – Listen: Listen more and don’t try to correct until after you understand what the person is trying to explain. This is also helpful with children.
Know Your Boss: By understanding how your boss things and manages, you can become an even greater asset to the company.
What Jessica said “ I am afraid of not doing anything, even not doing social work, because an empty life would mean a dying mind.”