Things are going so fast and it has been more than two months since I started working for J Rental Centre Singapore (JRC.sg) as a social media manager. I hope to share my experience working remotely from my home country or Myanmar, for JRC.
My name is Vum Lian Sang and I was a newly minted graduate from Yangon. I chanced upon this opportunity to work with a Singaporean company through Crossworks, and applied despite having little experience beyond using social media regularly :P I had only done 1 internship at a local journalism company prior and was not too experienced for work actually. However, after encountered a working life in a foreign company, these new learning points brought me to the next level of me and broaden my outlook.
Why they ask “why”
The first thing I learned in JRC, was about questioning and thinking. Most people commonly ask “what", and "how” for something they do not know- but more often than not, they forget to ask the more important question of “why”. Perhaps it is perceived that asking "why" will result in the receiver of that question being annoyed. Perhaps, I some people would like to be seen as an expert in the subject at hand, and hence are shy to ask.
I was once that kind of person. However, upon arriving in Singapore for my job training, I clearly noticed the way Singaporeans communicate. I often hear the question "why" in most conversations with them. It was then, that I started to make a conscious effort to grow in this area of asking why, why and why. This method of thinking puts the goals or objectives front and center, before the “how” and “what”, which I have come to realise can be flexible.
Life for me in JRC was no bed of roses- I had my fair share of difficult moments when instructions were not clear or I struggled with deadlines given. This led to poor work reviews and frustration among my colleagues. I have learned, however, the importance of over communication, especially in the context of a remote working arrangement like mine.
Coming from Myanmar, there was an obvious difference in the culture and psyche of the people. When I first started working, I found some tasks that I felt I was not able to accomplish. I saw how my colleagues worked through these seemingly impossible tasks (like writing over 1000 Christmas cards), sometimes even without sleeping, to accomplish what was set out to be done. They always give their best to achieve it and always question “why” if they do not succeed.
Being in charge if social media, I was thrust with lots of theory, best practices and inherited a lot of old practices and guidelines, all within a few weeks. Some things I learned:
PLANNING: Creating a strategy, followed by planning to achieve it.
ENGLISH: My limits are constantly being stretched (for the better), as the main language of communication is English, which I have always thought I was good at until I started work.
DESIGN: Social media especially Instagram and Facebook, requires lots of visual elements- and I have since picked up simple Photoshop and other design principles
While it is still early days and I am constantly learning more and improving on things which I have picked up, I look forward to one day be able to teach others these same skills.
“Killing three birds with one stone”
The company I work with, JRC, kills three birds with one stone, in that it is a platform for owners and renters of camera gears, event logistics, and creative spaces, to connect. Unlike traditional businesses which are selling products or services, this platform has to cater to the varied needs and my job involved understanding many groups of audiences and their objectives.
Owners want to use the platform to monetise their otherwise underutilized items/spaces, meet new people and perhaps find new clients for their professional services. Renters, on the other hand, may simply be searching for the closest and most affordable place to rent, before turning into loyal advocates when they realise that renting from another fellow professional brings a depth of experience and flexibility that is unrivaled by brick and mortar shops. While it is impossible to please everyone, all the time, I caught the spirit of ‘win-win’ through the work that I have been doing.
In conclusion, I have not just been inspired, but have learned a lot from my job. Even though it is a new and challenging work, I’m trying to adapt, improve my skills and adapt to the new working environment. Should you be an in the market for a job, I’d suggest choosing the job which will present challenges instead of one that you’re fully comfortable with. Don’t forget that as much as a company chooses its candidates, candidates should choose their company wisely as well!
BONUS Shameless Plug for J Rental Centre:
If you're in Singapore and wondering how you can unlock the value of camera equipment, event logistics or studio/event spaces, head over to jrc.sg! J Rental Centre is Singapore's first (and I'd say best) peer to peer rental platform for photographers, videographers, filmmakers, creatives and event organisers to find and rent affordably and conveniently from other like minded individuals. The platform serves not just to provide the required items/spaces, but to connect people through the islandwide camera rental network in Singapore. If you own such kit, drop them a message via email and the team will get in touch with you promptly!