The One-Minute Interview
• You work in a mainly male dominated industry. Could you tell us a little more about what it’s like?
My company supplies rigging, wire rope and mooring products and related services mainly to oil and gas construction companies. Oil and Gas is a male-dominated industry which generally employs 25% or fewer women in the field. However, Accountant is an occupation that consists of more females than males. There are fewer female senior executives in our company, which applies to most industries, even in the public accounting industry.
The CFO is the only male in the Finance Department of our company. Thus, mainly female colleagues dominate the daily working environment. The only difference is that I work closely with Sales, Production and Technical Services departments. Through the interaction, I have learnt a lot from my male colleagues who have very intensive knowledge and experience in the offshore industry. They are very patient when they teach me, a person without any offshore background.
• How ACCA helps you in your job?
Having ACCA behind my name is a form of professional recognition and it makes me proud to be a professional accountant.
The monthly Business and Accounting Magazine, the newsletters and the ACCA website keep me updated on new standards and regulations and the development in business. They enable me to provide professional and quality services to the stakeholders of the company.
Attending the workshops and seminars, networking and conferences organized by ACCA Singapore allowed me to have opportunities not only to learn from the experts but also to interact with professionals from different industries.
When company expands to overseas market, I can also benefit from the extensive network of ACCA. Liaising with the ACCA office in that country and participating the events organized by them to get the access to the local business community and our fellow members. It will save lots of time and resources for the company if we get advice from the local business executives.
• What is the one trait which you think has led to your success?
I am still a long way from success and there are still so many things for me to learn. The credit of the little achievements that I have today should be given to my former and current supervisors who provide me with the guidance and the opportunities to learn and grow.
On the other hand, the passion for my profession also plays a profound part as it motivates me to continue my learning and to keep on improving myself. Hard work is a foundation and the experience I acquired from sales and marketing helps me to work with different people at different levels.
When I worked as an accountant, technical knowledge was the fundamental requirements. However, the management of people; interpersonal and communication skills is the key to succeed.
• What has been some of the best career advice you have received?
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is the book that changed my life and so far the best advice related to my personal life and career development.
The following three habits that have governed me up to date, they are:
To be proactive
Proactive means that we are responsible to our lives. It made me to be a problem solver rather than a creator and work with people to get the job done.
Begin with the end in mind
This reminds me the importance of balancing between my personal life and advance in career. Family and Career are the two pillars that support me through my life. As a parent, it is my duty to raise children who will contribute to society. As an employee, I am responsible for the adding of value to the company and the people I work for and work with.
Put first things first
It is to develop self-leadership and self-management. It helps me to focus on the things and Put First Things First will bring me nearer to my goal. I am working on my time management skill, but it is difficult to be discipline and not be affected by distractions.
• What are some of the biggest work challenges you have faced and how have you overcome them?
These days the business environment is full of uncertainty and complexity. As an accounting professional, the biggest challenge that I face is the transformation of myself from financial reporting and control toward decision support and greater involvement in developing corporate strategy.
To overcome this challenge, it will take months and years, to develop the required skill and industry knowledge. However, with years of experience in sales & marketing and product management, it helps me understand the business challenges faced by the sales and operational departments and work with them to develop the solution and improve the process.
• And finally, with such a demanding schedule, how do you manage balancing work and family? What advice can you offer fellow members?
The three habits ‘to be proactive’, ‘Begin with the end in mind’ and ‘Put first things first’ I am developing help me to stay focused and balance my career with my personal life.
At home, share your passion with your family members and gain support from them. At the office, build an effective and dedicated team. I have built a team that in where all of us trust and support one another. One third of my time spent on training and coaching, while the rest is for planning and fine-tuning the process and seeking solution to improve efficiency.