I have loved sports ever since I was a child. While there is a plethora of sports to choose from today, swimming and running remain my favourite. I find that these traditional sports cultivate a spirit of perseverance—a spirit I have always applied to my work.
My interest in Dyson products initially drew me to join Jebsen in 2013. I was responsible for retail in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui, where I coordinated Dyson store operations with shopping malls. I also planned brand promotions with Dyson, from store design to product placement, to smaller decisions like where to place a promotional banner. To ensure that everything was executed according to plan, I had frequent and regular back-and-forth discussions with multiple parties.
This kind of coordination, especially with the foreign staff of Dyson, has not always been easy – because English was a challenge for me. Thanks to Jebsen, it was a challenge that could be addressed through the company’s extremely generous staff training. My boss also encouraged me to communicate more with senior leaders, using English. I got to practice my English while management gained greater insights into thoughts from the frontline.
My experience with learning English was very much like swimming and running. As long as I could grit my teeth and trudge on, I will eventually reach my goal. So I persevered through English online classes for two years, spent 25 minutes a day practicing with foreign teachers, and used an English vocabulary learning mobile app whenever I had free time. I would also read the English emails sent from my colleagues and supervisors, keeping a list of elegant phrases I came across, and using it as reference when I write my own emails and reports.
This drive to achieve also permeated my daily work. I recall the time when Dyson planned to set up China’s first concept store in Hangzhou The Mixc Mall, the most high-end shopping mall in Hangzhou, and we wanted to launch it with an event in the mall atrium as part of our strategy to enhance Dyson’s brand image. However, the mall’s first floor featured mostly domestic luxury brands, and only these brands could use the atrium venue where we planned to hold the event.
We submitted at least ten event proposals to the mall. We tailored our plans for the exclusive event in Hangzhou, and changed the event plan details many times, in order to convince the mall to let us have our event. Since there was no precedent for something like this, many people thought we would not succeed. But I was convinced otherwise. After half a year and a lot of negotiation, The Mixc Mall finally allowed Dyson to hold our event in the atrium—even during the National Day Golden Week!
I believe that opportunities come to those who are prepared. Only by putting in more effort than others can we fare better than others on the same playing field. Dyson first entered China a little-known brand, but has since become a highly sought-after appliance brand in the country. The story was similar for the more than 200 international brands that Jebsen brought to China. Many of them started out as unnamed brands, but have grown into established household names through the company’s meticulous planning and persistent efforts.
Working at Jebsen introduced me to different challenges, but it has also given me a great sense of satisfaction because I have seen how every employee's hard work is rewarded. In 2018, I began looking after Dyson's retail business in Shanghai, and I was promoted to Sales Manager the following year. I have since been entrusted with Dyson's entire Shanghai retail market.
Apart from persevering at work, Jebsen inspired me to keep learning and to be aware that I may not always know everything. This thinking enabled me to always chase the big picture, treat people with humility, and adapt to constant changes especially with the advancements in the Internet and big data. Driven by this growth mindset, I enrolled in the MBA programme of Shanghai International Studies University last year, and I hope that I will be able to put this new knowledge to use on the job.
I believe that by embracing change, and by constantly improving our professional skills can we find true growth. I hope that my years of experience and accumulated wisdom would place me in a senior management role within three years, so I can serve more and grow more. I will keep learning, with Jebsen guiding me and providing me the resources and experiences to become the best professional that I can be.