Your Birthday Gift to Me

I turn 28 today. This year has been the fifth year since I followed my American dream and moved to the States. As much as I miss my parents and family back in Taiwan, I feel living in the States provides me with another perspective I wouldn’t have otherwise. I’m more willing to speak up, step out of my comfort zone to make new friends, and never let someone tell me what I cannot do.

However, I often wonder now what the next steps are. I’m pretty much accustomed to life here … but it’s not always obvious to me whether I’m headed in the right direction. Indeed, we talk about globalization every day and technology has brought best practices from around the world within a click’s reach. But that doesn’t change the fact that sometimes, my different background leaves me unsure of whether I’m establishing the right professional identity here.

On the other side of the world, a market with tremendous potential grows, with consumers desperately wanting to be educated and to have their needs satisfied. The Chinese market is unique and booming, and that’s exciting to me. But what’s the American equivalent? What’s unique and booming here, and how can I be a part of it?

As of today I’ve got a long way to go, professionally. It’s taken me five years to get a taste of U.S. corporate culture, and now I’m trying to decide what new capabilities, what new areas of expertise I should add to my repertoire.

Dear friends, if you have words of wisdom or advice you can offer, please do take a few minutes to leave me a comment. Or, I’d appreciate your time for a cup of coffee or cupcake. That would be a terrific birthday present indeed!

4 Responses to “Your Birthday Gift to Me”

  1. Kim Bergstrom
    2011/08/25 at 5:47 PM #

    You have such great passion for technology! Do you ever feel God is leading you to use this gift to serve Him in some way?

  2. Matt
    2011/08/25 at 7:23 PM #

    Happy Birthday!

    Great post. I don’t know if there’s really a right or wrong professional identity as long as you’re being yourself. I think your unique background helps differentiate you professionally and gives you a very big advantage over people unfamiliar with living in or spending time in global markets.

    My biggest pieces of advice are to be yourself, be flexible, and be willing to adapt quickly. I think it can be difficult to know what the next big thing is, especially in a nation like the United States where there can be so many different things going on at the same time. I suggest determining areas of expertise to add to your repertoire based on what interests you, or what you think will help you become better or more valuable at the things about which you feel most passionate. I know there’s often a lot of talk about the latest and greatest skills to add, but in my opinion it’s only worth the time and effort if those things are aligned with your interests and you think you’ll enjoy using those skills.

    It’s great that you’ve made such big strides in stepping out of your comfort zone, speaking up, and not letting others tell you what you can’t do. Keep it up — I’m confident that you’ll continue learning and growing, and that your instincts and friends will help guide you well in the future!

    • evelynchou
      2011/08/26 at 12:58 PM #

      Thanks Matt! Really appreciate the feedback.

  3. Bob the slob
    2011/08/26 at 11:02 AM #

    If there is one lesson to be learned from toiling year after year — it’s do what you love. As much as it’s cliche & often considered unobtainable — you’ll fair much better if you work with a product/service you believe in, use, and enjoy.

    Figure out whatever that is & dig in :)