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Challenge, Stretch and Milestone

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Saber Yang - Corporate Communications Executive, Jebsen Group

Travelling to work each day, I am surrounded by morning commuters staring down at their phones. Some are browsing news headlines, others are reading emails, but a handful of them are always doing the same thing as me – playing my favourite mobile game, “Plants vs Zombies”!

“Plants vs Zombies” challenges you to defend your home from an army of zombies, which increases in volume and strength as you progress through the stages. To succeed, you must use your gardening skills to grow a defense troop of vegetables. Often, just as you think you have wiped out the enemy, another more challenging batch surfaces, forcing you to expand your strategic prowess and skill sets.

I can think of no better way to describe my work at Jebsen. At the core of my job, just as in the game, is the repeating process of new challenges, learning, and milestones.

I joined Jebsen three years ago as Corporate Social Responsibility Intern. I joined the company officially as Corporate Communications Assistant upon graduation, and was later promoted to my current role, Corporate Communications Executive. The transition from intern to employee was challenging to say the least. At school, I followed a largely well-planned progression to my studies. That stability meant that I could focus on equipping myself with knowledge and tools (or growing my vegetable garden, so to speak!). Once I started working in “real world”, things were not so clear cut. There were often unexpected challenges. Sometimes problems had no immediate solutions. And many times, when one problem was solved, another would inevitably present itself, forcing me to stretch my limits and find new answers. I think of each resolution as a milestone, and my collection of milestones is where I get a lot of my job satisfaction.

My work on revamping MORUS, Jebsen’s internal communication portal, was one of my most memorable milestone moments. Jebsen has a robust employee engagement programme, and the channel used for employee communications must be powerful enough to support it. My challenge was to help design a functional, appealing intranet and to work with suppliers to bring it to life.

For someone with very little tech experience, the project presented a steep learning curve. I had to learn everything I can about advancing and testing a website redesign. Not only that, I had to collect information from different Business Units, which meant I had to quickly familiarise with their individual work and priorities as well. Each day of the project brought something new to learn and solve. With the help of my teammates and some intensive self-learning, I was able to become a key contributor to the project, and I was proud to see the brand new MORUS platform rolling out last December!

I know that as I mature as a professional, I will face “zombies” that will only grow in size and complexity. The most valuable thing that Jebsen has given me over the last three years is a more valiant attitude toward challenges. Whereas my inner voice used to stop me in my track of making decisions, questioning “can I do this?” or “is this the right thing to do?”, it now responds to uncertainties with an assertive “why not?” I believe that as long as I am willing to stretch my perspectives and comfort zone, there is no limit to what I can accomplish.

Thanks to the Jebsen culture of continually challenging and empowering employees, I am developing a life-long confidence that will certainly help me take on any challenge that comes my way (but maybe not real zombies).

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