@Mr. George Chu
Time: 2015/12/18, 12pm-1:30pm
– Career tips for female engineers
– How to leverage our strength as female engineers
朱正中：美国化学和工商管理双硕士，美國芝加哥 Lake Forest 大學 EMBA，前中国可口可乐副总裁兼总经理，曾任上市公司董事、香港友信行總裁及 MPI 廣告公司集團首席營運總裁、美國諮詢公司 Thomas Group 的中國區總經理、 上海永樂家電公司,恆安國際，蒙牛乳業的獨立董事。中美食品协会会长、美国华人创业协会的主席。在上海期间，曾两度获上海市市长白玉兰奖。早在1989年，朱老师的名字被载入了美国主管人士名人录。是锐成企业管理公司创始人，现任国际华人企业家协会董事长。
1. The hard fact that we must face
- Tech industry is still a men’s world.
- It’s natural for women to feel alienated.
- Women deserve more respect than they are currently given.
- Women are given less promotion opportunity than men.
2. Don’t bury our heads in the sand. Learn to deal with it.
- Try harder. There is no such thing as “I deserve it”. We might have to try 10 times harder than our male peer to get promoted.
- It’s not all about performance, but performance is a prerequisite. It’s the basis of everything.
- Be presentable
- Be able to talk/communicate: be familiar with sports and politics.
- Have a sense of humor: start with remembering some jokes and make people laugh.
- Bosses are more willing to promote people who can represent him/her.
- Find the gap and figure out how to bridge that gap.
3. Chinese ladies are easily stereotyped as:
- Lack of common sense
- Not knowing what’s happening in the society.
- Only cares about family and kids.
- Work hard
- Only knows how to work, and easily perceived as a “worker”, and not a “leader”.
- Not knowing how to enjoy life, and perceived as “boring” and “nerdy”.
- Enjoy gossiping
- Break room gossip in Chinese might hurt your professional image without you realizing it.
- Talking in Chinese among yourself in work place might do more harm than you think.
- Not being assertive
- Too soft spoken might hurt you.
- Might be perceived as “not confident”.
- Quiet (considered as having no opinion, and lack of judgment)
- If you don’t say anything, people assume you don’t know anything, and you are easily perceived as “incompetent” or “lack of knowledge”.
- If you think “action speaks louder than words” and shows that you actually know stuff in action without talking about it, you might be be perceived as “not honest”/”sneaky”.
- People respect whatever you say. Do speak up. Say anything.
- Opinion is the really the lowest form of knowledge. Sometimes you just need to voice your opinion/preference. There is no correct/wrong answer.
- Being too mindful of narrow personal gains and losses
- 0.5% raise is not that important in the grand scheme of things. Argue with your boss on little things is not worth it.
- Elevate yourself in the highest horizon and move yourself higher.
- Don’t limit yourself on little things. Think big picture.
4. Become the favorite workplace character
- Delivering excellent results
- Not good/mediocre results. Excellent performance is the prerequisite of everything.
- Never assume. Know what your boss is looking for. Have lots of dialogue to understand needs.
- Know how much time/resource for you to achieve that results. Manage expectation.
- Quickly learn new things. Learn fast.
- Know how to learn: learning by doing; free online resources; go to the field;
- Monetary gain should not be the goal when you try to learn new skills. Find ways (voluntary opportunities) to practice skills and acquire experiences.
- Team player
- Team player doesn’t mean always agreeing with other people.
- It means know how to motivate/encourage/inspire other people who are around you. Make people feel good/get better.
- Make people feel the team is a concrete entity/know how to hold people together, that’s how you become a leader.
- Not too humble
- Humble might be perceived as “weak”.
- Good communication
- Good presentation skills is super important.
- Practice in front of mirror/with your family.
- Start taking action NOW.
- It’s a long term investment in time & effort. Harvest time might be 10 years or later.
- Knowing big picture
- Don’t limit to your technical domain.
- Pay attention to what’s happening with your industry/company.
- Broad common sense
- Engineers love solving problems. But problem solving skills are not applicable when there is no “problem” or the problem is not well defined.
- Engineers are too logical, but all things are not “logical” or “reasonable”.
- Relationship building is more important than anything.
5. Learn some marketing & psychology might help you in the long run
- Know how people think and why people behave certain ways.
- A simple statement from the manager -“I’m always there whenever you need help”- makes the team perform substantially higher.
- Know how to give feedback.
- How to influence without authority
- Build self-confidence.
- Posture is super important.
- Practice your posture.
6. New trend in management/leadership styles
- No longer focus on toughness/decisiveness.
- Millennials works well in places where their leader understands them, instead of forcing them.
- Women are better in reading social cues such as facial expression, vocal tone, body language/posture, and gestures. Such strength can make women better leaders in the new age.
7. Leverage women’s strength
- Higher EQ
- Women are more willing to understand others’ perspective.
- Being calm and cool under pressure
- If you can bear the pain of having a baby, nothing else should scare you.
- More objective
- Men are more subjective, more often making judgments based on their perspective.
- Better communicator
- Easier to build relationship
8. Time management is crucial
- Successful people are often highly disciplined. They stick to their time management plan. Never sloppy.
- You do not need to sacrifice career for family, or vice versa. Good time management skills save you from wasting time on things that don’t matter.
- Build strong relationship with other people so you can best utilize your time on things that matters. Try to find win-win situation for people around you (husband/children/boss).
9. Manage and control your emotion in work place
- Understand your emotion. Know your hot button and find ways to regulate.
- Getting angry is not worth it. Effectively communicate.
- It’s a skill you might want to cultivate your children early on. Ask him/her: what makes you happy and what makes you sad?
10. Tips for career women who have heavy family care duty
- Ask yourself: how serious are you with your career?
- Opportunity comes and goes. Your boss will not wait for you.
- It’s okay if you are not willing to take on new opportunities/new roles because of your focus on the family, but you need to prove to your boss that you are worth the money he is paying you.
11. How to make the leap from non-management role to management role
- Don’t wait to get promoted. Tell your boss that you are ready to take on new challenges to learn more. Let the boss know that taking on management role is part of your career plan.
- Show that you are serious about it by coming up with an action plan: training/learning opportunities/take on new responsibilities.
12. How to change career path from technical to marketing.
- Ask yourself: is this the job you want? If not, find ways to improve yourself and change it.
- Take time to think: what do I need to learn? Where is the gap? Think about areas that you can integrate what you currently do and what you want to do. For example, technical marketing might be a good fit if you want to make the transition from technical to marketing.
- Many free learning resources available online.
- Take on volunteer/non-paid jobs to practice your new skills.
- It takes time to see results.
- You are the only one who knows what you want. No one else will do it for you.
13. How to better prepare yourselves before starting your own company.
- Know your customer: who is your target audience.
- What’s your value proposition: product or service? What makes your product or service unique/non-replaceable/not easily copied by another company?
- How big is the market? What’s your break-even point? Know when you can make a profit.
- How much capital is needed and where can you find the capital?
- How to grow your company from one stage to another?
- Does it worth it? If successful, return for working on your own venture is higher than working for others.
14. What triggers you to change jobs?
- Clear objective. Time for a change when you can’t grow/ can’t learn new things/ can’t get satisfied with your job.
- It’s more about learning to be a better human being, than being savvier in your technical domain.
- Don’t force yourself to move up. Do you really want it? Higher level positions mean more work, more responsibilities and more pressure.
- Find your calling: what makes you happy.