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2020 Reflection 1/3: Why I left my job to create one for myself

The last thing I’ve written (technically) is in June, which article I never published. It’s about murders of sexual assaults. I figured that I didn’t know enough of the topic and would not have put out a good argument. Maybe I will eventually finish working on it and publish it, at some point.

The last article I’ve actually published was in the first quarter of 2020. Well, 2020 has been a shit year in many aspects — I know, everyone has said that but doesn’t take away the fact that it has been. Besides COVID-19 (which makes up 99.9% of the shittiness we’re all feeling rn), it’s really the fact that we, the lucky ones, got to sit at home to think about what went wrong so badly in our lives. Why have we been feeling so unfulfilled and unhappy, despite having a stable career, etc.? It’s having the time to finally do some self-reflection and to kinda be in touch with our true selves, albeit unwillingly. And I’m no different.Some highlights of 2020 for me:

Some of my 2020 highlights: (yup, this is what you came for)

  • I left my job (that I was comfortably in for almost 3 yrs) & started my own marketing agency
  • Got into a very blissful & stable rship with a man who’s 100% compatible with me (to my long-time readers/friends, IKR lmao, who knew years ago 🙄)
  • Cliché but I don’t care: Learnt to genuinely love myself spiritually & physically

May seem like I’ve been “adulting right”, bUT NO. Life threw me so much more other shite which I won’t go into. Like, whAtEvEr. But let’s talk about each item one by one.

Why I Left My Job

I obviously did enjoy my last job. As with every single job out there, there were good & bad days. But I guess with the circuit breaker, it started to become a little clearer to me that I wasn’t as happy as I was anymore. Ok not like I was super happy about everything prior to that, but you get the drill. Not due to one specific factor, but in general, a combination of seeking a different direction because what I want in life was becoming clearer.

When I first joined the company, my former boss gave me an opportunity I will always be thankful for; but of course, with the same gratefulness to the one who has first brought me in. I only had 8 months of marketing experience prior to joining them, but my former boss made me marketing manager. He gave me full authority to learn on my own, to make decisions, but also to be there if I needed clarification or direction. Besides him, of course, there were other individuals who were very supportive and helpful in my journey (you know who you are).

Bearing in mind that when I first joined the company, I was clueless about most things in my life from relationships to my career path. A year ago, I thought I was destined for a 2.5k job with a Fine Arts degree (I KNOW i know I know). But I asked for a significant increase and he actually agreed to it, with the final amount given to me after my probation. I was so grateful for the opportunity and worked my ass off for the next 2.5+ years.

Throughout my entire 2.5 years, I also got to travel to a number of countries (even if it was on my own) fully paid for, taking charge of things I was responsible for and work with clients who are successful business owners all over the world. All of these experiences helped me become the independent individual I always wanted to be. At the end of the journey, I knew exactly what I wanted and what I had to do to go where I had to go. And this was why I made the decision to resign and start my own agency, but with the full acknowledgement that my former boss has helped me realise this.

Some random thoughts as I thought about very common workplace complaints:
The truth is when it comes to work, it was never meant to be a positive environment even from ancient times. It was never meant to be a spiritually enriching experience. It was always made to be tough, cut-throat, for survival but these help you realise your full potential, only if you see it as an opportunity to better yourself. But we’re luckier these days because people, a majority in Singapore at least, are getting more comfortable, have more choices, and are more exposed to the world and different standards. Now, we somehow started caring a lot more about work culture and know the fact that we don’t have to “suck it up” anymore.

So yeah, my mantra to work or hustling is: no matter how tough the environment, just do your best and be yourself. If you work hard and smart, nothing much to be afraid of. Screw whatever else. At the end of the day, ask yourself if you learnt something. If you did, it was worth it. Also as my dad always said to me when I was younger, “if someone gives you a problem, give a hundred back & they’ll know not to mess with you”. Take this with a pinch of salt. 😂 But I haven’t. I’m 100% on this. This saying has been very helpful to me in guiding my decision-making process when it comes to keeping friends close (or away) to dealing with toxic colleagues.

& Created One for Myself

Upture Digital, my marketing agency, is around 0.5 yr old now. I’ve been meaning to talk about this on my site but never got the chance to. When I tendered, I wanted to explore my options, even beyond marketing roles. So I sent a lot of resumes, had a few interviews, but wasn’t accepted by any. We all know it’s been a bad year to job switch, but I did it anyway because I knew I had to for myself. I needed a break.

So instead of sitting around and waiting for someone to call back, I decided to create a job for myself, a path for myself, and hope for myself. Of course, with calculated risks & back-up plans. I spent day & night finishing my website, launched a campaign, and actually got a number of clients from there, which were mostly word of mouth. And this is also a reminder to myself (and now you, you’re welcome) that marketing is so important. The earlier you start, the more you’ll be rewarded in time to come.

Upture represents my thoughts on the marketing landscape

HARSH TRUTH ALERT: Marketing teams have always been a “cost” to businesses. A majority of business owners don’t see marketers or marketing teams as something they need; especially when the business is doing well or surviving. That could be true for some old and traditional businesses, (but word of mouth is also marketing so whatever don’t wanna debate), but not the case for new and upcoming businesses. Unfortunately, this is also why marketers are always the first to go when a company decides to “restructure”. I’m also not referring to big brands here which can afford to spend millions on marketing.

My vision for Upture is to be entirely transparent with my clients, in a perfect world where business owners understand the importance of marketing and very importantly, respect marketing enough to not slave-drive the marketing team. A perfect world where my clients, which projects I choose to take up, can understand that it takes time and effort, it takes planning, it takes money, to firstly bring awareness and then work on conversions. We are fair with our price points, and deliver purposeful & quality work. We are not the most artistic, but we are very thoughtful and strategic. This makes scaling difficult, but not impossible. It takes time, careful planning and patience. And of course, we don’t live in a perfect world. We’ll never meet the “perfect” client; but we can perfect the way we communicate, the way we understand our clients and their needs, the way we explain our strategy so they can understand why we do what we do.

One word for upture: Purpose. (I’ll go into this next time cuz I can go on and on about this. lolll)

&So far, it’s been quite a journey running Upture. Mostly positive. We’re also very much alive despite being quite dead for awhile now on social media. It’s the usual – busy with clients that we haven’t really focused on ourselves. I also realised that hustling doesn’t have to mean you lose sleep, appetite or friends. It could be hustling with a healthy work-life balance. Honestly, how far can you go if you don’t take care of yourself? Side-tracking quota reached.

So ladies & gentlemen, this is why I left my job to create one for myself. And I’m glad I did. I don’t wish for easier times, I only wish for strength.

Merry Christmas & Happy hols to everyone!! mwaaaaa x

To be continued.. (Look out for parts 2 & 3 in the coming week)


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