Leaving my nest

You’re an injured young bird, who has lost its bearing. You got lucky at one point and found refuge to nestle in. The fleet took care of you like their own. Like Ohana.

And then you grew wings so strong, you wonder what’s the world out there like. You leave and maybe, never come back.

It’s never easy leaving the nest

Tech in Asia (TIA) was my nest. The nest that welcomed me with open arms when I was 22, still in college, and thought life was over because I got bummed out by a startup in Beijing I was so eager to work in.

Maybe, I even had a slight identity crisis that I wasn’t even conscious of.

My TIA journey has been a special one, one that I hold dearly to. The team got me in as an intern, where I picked up skills like UI/UX, product management and data churning (during the Techlist.asia days).

The internship opportunity was a dream come true for me because I wanted so much to be part of the startup ecosystem. The learning journey was bountiful.

Building a community at TIA

Helming the community full-time was one that came with challenges and sacrifices but a role that was so damn fulfilling.

Community management is more than customer support. Instead, make your community of users the heartbeat of any organisation.

With that, I’ve learned the importance of weaving community into every single functions of the organisation. I’ve witnessed the magic when you give before you receive. I’ve grown to have deeper respect for all community managers and the power they have to be a change agent. (Fist-bump to all CMs out there yo.)

I took in so many learning points of a domain that is still pretty nascent in our region and I couldn’t have done all these without the opportunity at TIA.

Just a week ago, I left the nest

Man, does it hurt. I hate making people feel anything else other than happy. I am the kind of person who hopes for everyone to be happy by my doing and not be like, “fuck this shit, I’m gonna do it my way and I don’t care.”

I like to find the zen balance, where everyone lives happily ever after. I often feel the strong need to construct harmony amongst people. It irks me so much if this goes off tangent.

I know right, I’m so not cool. That said, I’ve learnt that too much consensus amongst a group stifles creativity.

All that said, leaving the nest was a choice I’ve set out for myself. I’m pretty sure about it and I’m particularly excited to embark on another learning journey set out ahead for me.

I might have hurt people along the way while making that decision and I sincerely apologise for that. I never have intended for that to happen.

Give thanks

I will forever be grateful for TIA and the people who have given me bountiful opportunities to learn and grow wiser.

Celebrating Chinese New Year at our old Chinatown office. (February, 2015)
Trivia night with the +1s (June, 2016)
The squad with Singapore’s codefather, Sau Sheong (August, 2016)

Special thanks to Willis, Daniel and Yanting for being with me in my journey as the Head of Community at TIA.

Christmas celebration at our office with the TIA community (December, 2015)

Huge thanks to the TIA community for giving me a chance to serve you guys; the community of readers, contributors, event goers and supporters.

I was a 22 year old and clueless when I joined TIA. Now I’m 24, still clueless but less blur lah.

TIA, it’s never goodbye.

Note to self: 饮水思源 (never forget your roots), Huiyi.

Where next you ask?

I’m taking on a community role at GovTech, the new statutory board spun off from Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore.

We want to deliver our Smart Nation aspirations to all of you. Building a community on a national scale is not a goal in itself but a journey to bring all of you along towards a better nation.

I’m up for this challenge.

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