What is your line of work? Why did you join the technology business in the first place? What motivated you?
I have been with Worldline for 4 years now, responsible for the Merchant Services business activities in Asia Pacific.
When I graduated from North Caroline State University, I really wanted to explore the United States. As a foreigner, if I wanted to achieve my goal, I had to get a proper job and this is when I decided to become a programmer as it was a pertinent entry to the job market in the US. The technology field chose me in a way, instead of me choosing the technology field.
My initial motivation to be in the technology business in my younger days was to have female peers in my day to day job. At my first job, I was originally on an all-male software development team. Within that company, there were less than 20 people. The only technology related role which was filled by a woman was in sales. After 2 years in my software development role, I decided that technology sales would be the next phase of my career so I started my MBA journey and paved my path towards the technology sales domain. I grew to enjoy the sales process with my background in programming since the early days of my career.
What do you find more challenging in your profession?
Firstly, I would say acting with insufficient information. Many times in the sales cycle, we may not have 100% of the information we need to make a decision, to stop or to close the deal. However, according to Jeff Bezos, the right amount of information to make a decision is about 70%. If you wait for 90%, you will probably be too late. Either way, we need to be good at recognizing and correcting bad decisions. It is more important than making the right decisions.
Secondly, I believe it is important to remind ourselves of our passion in the middle of our daily grind. Sometimes, we are submerged in the day to day routine and issues that we have to deal with, the quarterly closing, etc.; we forget what excited us when we first joined the industry.
And finally, it is quite a challenge to learn to accept failure. In sales, each outcome is not equal to the effort you put in. However, overall as a whole, the outcome does equal the effort you put in. We need to keep reminding ourselves to celebrate failures in sales.
What are you most proud of in your work?
In my previous job, I spent 6.5 years building the Asia Pacific territory for a US-based testing company. In my current role, I have similar responsibilities for Worldline APAC’s Merchant Services. Seeing the efforts I put in grow into a profitable business is what makes me excited to come to work every day.
Being a woman in a technology company which is a business sector where women are less represented in average than in banking or media and communication for example, what would you say to young women thinking about their future professional orientations?
If you are torn between equal opportunities, choose the path less travelled. If the options are not equal, stick with your choice. There is no best decisions in life, there is only the most suitable decision given the situation you are in and the options available to you at that time. We all have been in situations where we were torn between different options, but we need to choose and move on, regardless of whether the field you choose is a popular choice for women or not.
What would you advise your female colleagues to do within Worldline to successfully develop their career path?
- Stay confident. Being a female, we are very often over judgemental of our own selves.
- Practice to manage energy, not just time.
What would say to your male colleagues?
I don’t have anything very specific to say to male colleagues but more in general to all Worldline colleagues.
- We are in this together, working towards the same goal.
- We should work together with an open mind-set.
What advices would you give to achieve Work-life balance?
Work-life balance is about separating work and personal life. As more and more businesses are run globally, crossing multiple time zones, the need for a balanced life today relies on how you integrate your work into your life. There is bound to be times during which you’ll need to work some during your personal time and vice versa. Therefore you need to create a schedule, you need to prioritize and have certain boundaries. There are times we need to work extra during our personal time, and there are times that we need to take some time during our lunch break, or morning of our working days to get some important personal tasks completed, and the employer needs to accommodate that flexibly. In my opinion, we should have work-life integration and not work-life balance.
How has Worldline helped you to advance in your career and reach your professional goals?
I was part of Atos Gold for Expert intake in 2018. I was very excited to be selected and went through the 6-month residential program with the University of Cambridge and the University of Paderborn. The whole experience and journey with Gold for Expert were very valuable, combining executive training, exposure to the Atos Group’s business and team work with cross-regional colleagues. The program has provided me an opportunity to see Atos from a 30,000-foot view and helped me to relate my day-to-day work with the Group’s direction. The opportunity to work on team projects with colleagues from other regions was beyond measurable value in my career.