Every organisation wants employees who perform and thrive in their roles, growing along with the company. Today, we have to say goodbye to one of the most influential employees on our team. It is rare to find someone who cares so deeply about our community of jobseekers, and it has been a real pleasure to have Shi Jun on our team for two years. Working with her has been thoroughly enjoyable, and we wish her all the best in her next role.
Read her story as she shares her thoughts and experience working in Freeboh.
My journey with Freeboh began in 2015. I joined Freeboh as a management associate on the marketing team. In the last two years with Freeboh, I have experienced what it was like working in a startup. Not only have I learnt more about the startup world and the company, but I’ve also learnt more about myself. Communicating with Freeboh users is a big part of my role and helping them solve their problems and find jobs give me a sense of achievement. That was the source of my job satisfaction. It also helps me improve on my communication and interpersonal skills. These are essential skills, and improving on them certainly helps me in many areas in my daily life, be it at work or in my personal life.
I was also involved in the marketing efforts on user acquisition, retention and brand awareness through both online and offline marketing. Online marketing focuses more on digital marketing on social media platforms while offline marketing focused on coordinating and participating in events such as career fairs, workshops, and seminars. The events allowed me to meet and engage with lots of different people, and this helped me widen my network. I also had to deliver speeches on stage, and I never thought that I would have the chance or the courage to do that! I was happy to discover this new side of myself.
Many call us sai kang warriors, because we take charge of the entire process, from brainstorming, planning, all the way to executing and analysing the results of your own campaign ideas. While working in a startup, you cannot expect a fixed job scope. Additional tasks are given along the way, and doing these made me more resilient and adaptable to change. You will learn to better manage your time and prioritise tasks on hand, and to focus on achieving your goal faster. It is challenging for most of us, but the experience was indeed rewarding.
I was given opportunities to lead teams of part timers during on-the-ground campaigns. I realised that it can be difficult to manage people because their reactions and behaviours are so unpredictable. In a way, it was a test for myself to know if I’m suited to be a leader. There are times where things weren’t going as smoothly as I expected, but those failures have made me stronger and gave me the determination to improve. Don’t be disheartened if you find yourself struggling while managing people, it is part of the journey of becoming a better leader.
Nobody likes to be wrong, and that’s why we often find it hard to accept criticism. However, in any working environment, you must learn to accept it with grace and gratitude. Be open to listen to customers about their negative feedback because it can help you and the company to continuously improve and grow. It is important to listen to both praise and criticism. Most of you must be thinking how cool it will be, working in a startup.
It is common to think that working in a startup is super cool and awesome. It IS cool and awesome, but, you need to be reminded that not all startups will become successful and be the next Uber or Airbnb. People often don’t see the hard work that a team of determined people put in to achieve the targets despite the huge amount of work and minimal pay. I must say it was a tough but fruitful adventure for me.
I’m moving on to a new role in the education industry where I will be providing counselling and guidance to prospective students. Of course, with every new role comes new challenges, and the experience I gained from Freeboh will help me adapt and excel in my new role. I’m ready to embark on another exciting adventure, how about you? 🙂
To ‘you’ who are interested to work in startup, expect your journey to be like a roller coaster with the thrilling (and sometimes scary) ups and downs. It is not going to be smooth, and you have to be prepared to go the extra mile, but I can assure you that it will be exciting and rewarding.
Most importantly, be open minded. Real learning starts when you decide to step out of your comfort zone.