Hello 2018!

For no particular reason, I don’t seem to be in the festive mood everyone else is in these few weeks. Now that I’ve eaten my last meal for the year and decided not to do the New Year Eve fireworks countdown at the Sydney Harbour, I think it’s appropriate to do some reflections on what 2017 has brought.

I’m trying to remember what my 2017 resolution was set out to be. After a full minute of intense recalling, I questioned whether I made one. Hence, by default it would be complete 2016 resolution, which again, I’ve no recollection of. This doesn’t seem like a great start to begin the last evening of the year with.

The last two months was a blur. I didn’t expect that working for a luxury brand can be this hectic. Given that it’s the time of the year when people were buying and spending on their loved ones and themselves, the retail world’s cashier tills were ringing non-stop since the turn of the month. The crescendo leading to the Christmas season was greatly amplified on Boxing Day. Having to adapt to the new world of Christian Dior and the whole “smile, serve and sell” song and dance completely drained me out. Having said so, I’m glad I’ve a job and quite a good one.

From January to September, I had quite an easy time at my previous employment with Kiehl’s. It was a job I was very grateful for and this appointment became an uncanny resolution to my desire to work for the almighty L’Oréal and the skincare industry. Even though it seemed like a big jump from my puddle of casual roles I was working in, I knew quite early, that it was probably one of the easiest role I will ever have. If I hadn’t been presented new opportunities, I might have lingered on for a while more. When it was time to leave, I was hit with a plethora of emotions, but I couldn’t be more amazed how divine the time of departure was. Counter-intuitively, the relationships I had with my ex-colleagues became even stronger. The camaraderie shown in the last few months, and especially over a ridiculous situation, made me very proud of my team, to the point I felt bad leaving them behind. But they knew it was better for me, and thus, unwaveringly supported me to stepped up into my new role.

I dared say the last few years, and especially this last one, the world of retail have provided me with new insights. I’ve encountered intelligent leaders and incompetent managers, appreciative patrons and appalling customers, and laborious team mates and lazy workers. Above all, I learnt not to judge whoever walk through the door, as there were many times my initial predictions were wrong. An unassuming customer can end up purchasing all the products I’d recommended without resistance; and an elegant-looking patron can stoop so low to compromise their integrity in order to pursue an unrighteous gain. While I have seen it all, I believe I will continuously be amazed by what consumers can do.

In the last one year, I’m fortunate to have gain a lot of acquaintances and a lot have moved beyond just “hi-bye-I-know-you-work-here” connections. Living in transitional times where the traditional structures in career progression are being redefined, building a larger network may very well be the insurance to job insecurity. Learning to adapt quickly and being grateful when there are earning opportunities are not just for this awkward season, but for as long as I have to bring food onto the table. I don’t believe these are being taught in school and having a degree or two doesn’t qualify one to immediately have a job or preserve his job.

Overall, 2017 has been great. Despite not being in a joyous mood, I still look forward to a great 2018. Now, what shall my 2018 new year resolution be?



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