I am a dynamic, creative, energetic, passionate woman and mother of two, and I have worked for the last four years as a Sales Representative for Palo Alto Networks, in the Asia Pacific, or APAC, region. In my role, I’ve been mainly selling to clients in the banking and finance sector. Because I have consistently exceeded my targets and set sales records within APAC, I’ve been given the exciting opportunity to lead the Enterprise team in Singapore to begin taking on new challenges in sales.
Sales is the frontline of technology — it’s where we present solutions to the clients. When we’re selling, we need to know our products well so that we can cater our solutions to appropriately address our clients’ problems. It’s a goal-oriented role in which we’re measured by how well we meet our targets. But it’s also quite fun in that we’re meeting many new people and building relationships with them. There’s a lot of flexibility in how we manage our work. I find that the greatest sense of achievement comes from helping clients to fend off their digital adversaries and protect their digital way of life.
From my years of working in this role, I’ve learned that I need to constantly think outside the box to find solutions that disrupt our competition in the marketplace and win over new clients. I’ve learned the importance of always staying positive when taking on challenges and accepting rejection. I also need to be open to changes in mindset in order to drive my team members forward to achieve our desired results.
Following My Heart
I come from a family with a background in the food and beverage industry, so I used to believe my career path in that industry was set. Fortunately, I have supportive parents who encouraged me to pursue my interest in technology — a much more specialised field than simply “Business Studies.” I chose to earn a degree in information technology and to work in technology sales, specifically, because it is ever-changing, like a chameleon. It is so important for every facet of our lives, and there are so many distinct roles within the field that contribute to our digital lives. Much like the fashion industry, I see technology as a very colourful trade. I’ve enjoyed my career in tech ever since I embarked on it almost a decade ago, and I’ve never looked back.
I’ve noticed that there seems to be an association between computers and the male gender, particularly having to do with gaming or coding. There seems to be the impression that technology is very complex and binary, and for some reason they believe that men are better “wired” to work in the field. This may be why fewer women work in tech than men. However, I don’t see gender as predisposing anyone to be “better” at technology. In fact, the diverse perspectives and approaches toward solving problems that come from having a blend of backgrounds, genders, and cultures contributes to a healthier organization and technology sector.
This can be a demanding career, though, which is why I find it important to maintain work-life balance. I do this by incorporating a weekly exercise regimen at the gym, keeping a weekly schedule for keeping up with friends and spending time with family, and taking holidays at least twice a year. I enjoy going out for a great meal and cocktails, taking drives by myself to explore new places and experiences, and shopping. I try to live by the motto, “Work hard, and play harder.”
I think whatever career you choose, you should find it satisfying and enjoyable. A job is where you spend time every day for most of your life, so it should be something that you care deeply about and find enjoyment in. Start with the right attitude, and don’t let your first impression of any industry turn you away. Know that there are numerous careers outside of the typical coding or tech support within the technology sector, so if tech is something that interests you, it’s worth exploring roles within it that suit your interests and talents. Be yourself and dare to dream!