From The Straits Times    |

8 singapore career women on how to utilise the year-end lull downtime

“I fill out a Word document at the end of every project to note down the key work deliverables while they are fresh in my memory. For larger-scale projects, I keep track of accomplishments on a regular basis throughout the campaign period. These could vary from executed PR plans to media deliverables. During the year end, I look over this document again to help me complete my annual performance review.” – Jolene Seet, manager at Singapore Tourism Board


“I go offline: whether it’s a vacation in another city or just taking my headphones off and walking around Singapore, eavesdropping on conversations while on the MRT or standing in line at grocery stores. Despite the digital nature of my job, doing this gives me perspective on my work and exposes me to the possibilities of ideas, stories and creative sparks in real life from the streets. As a strategist, I need to keep up with what’s current – and what better way to find out what’s trending than to start a conversation with a stranger in a shared Uberpool ride?” – Josie Khng, senior strategist at Bartle Bogle Hegarty

“Being detail-oriented, I like to prepare to-do and reminder lists. I make notes on follow-up actions like whom to catch up with, and ideas to try out in the new year, then mark them in my calendar before recharging myself on a family vacation. Once, I came up with the idea of hosting drinks for friends who’d recently lost their jobs, and those who might be able to offer or introduce them to jobs, with the hope that opportunities could be created.” – Rachel Eng, deputy chairman at Wong Partnership

“At Savills (a UK-listed real estate consultancy), I review my department’s performance, business outlook and plans monthly. Retail real estate is a dynamic industry, and we need to constantly evolve to stay ahead. I conduct one-to-one sessions with team members so they can freely communicate their aspirations and what makes them tick. We then motivate them accordingly, tailoring approaches that align with company goals. This also allows me to juggle my restaurant at its craziest time: Christmas season.” – Sulian Tan-Wijaya, executive director at Savills, and investor at High Society restaurant

“I make it a point to write end-of-year memos to all my key clients, mentioning what went well, what we could have done better, and some ideas for the future. This also forces me to reflect on what I can improve upon.” – Vidhya Ganesan, associate partner at McKinsey & Company

“I ask myself where I will be this time next year. It helps me visualise and reflect on what is important to me, to identify areas I want to eliminate or de-prioritise. It also serves as a great party conversation opener. Hearing others’ reflections inspires me to take control of my life by cultivating new habits like keeping a daily journal.” – Sue-Anne Chng, SMB marketing manager APAC at Facebook


“I love year-end vacations. Long-haul flights let me take stock of the past year, plan ahead, fix important meetings and plot vacations and personal commitments. I work out a task checklist: what to do more of or eliminate, whom to delegate to, how to create a ‘multiplier effect’ – actions that yield results in many ways, whether it’s listening to music while sorting out clothes, or gathering different networks of friends for pleasure while introducing them to one another for partnership programmes.” – Claire Chiang, co-founder at Banyan Tree Holdings

“I believe that when September comes around each year, we have higher spirits for making changes. That’s when I do things I’ve been meaning to do. I read more branding, marketing and general business books, and say yes to risks I’ve hesitated to take. Recently, I sent a long e-mail to the boss to share what we can do better at work. It was a breakthrough as he acknowledged it was a deeper insight into the company from a different perspective.” – Zean Vo, regional project manager at Zalora


This story was first published in the December 2016 issue of Her World magazine. 


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