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Company anniversary – welcoming work

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With social media, being inundated with birthday greetings – especially over Facebook – has become the norm. Hundreds of enthusiastic personalised wishes can get a bit overwhelming!

What snuck up on me was the recognition social media brought to the 1st anniversary of opening my company in Singapore.

Given that I’m buried deep into sorting through the accounts and navigating another tax system, the last thing I’ve been thinking about is celebrating one year of being my own boss internationally!

Which made it all the more delightful to see how many folks paid attention to LinkedIn’s ‘work anniversary’ alert to hit ‘like’ plus send a congratulatory message! Thanks folks!!

So in celebration of “CLH Consulting Pte Ltd” turning one, I’m delighted to introduce the new ‘work‘ category to Everyday Asia.

No this is not going to bore you to tears with the nuances of various consulting assignments, drown you with lofty claims of possessing deep ‘gyan’ (knowledge) or try to hit you up for more work.

Nope! This section is a loose collation of ‘work’ inspired ideas, themes, topics and related ramblings.

Up in the air - again!

Up in the air – again!

Work enabling 

The idea of having a ‘work‘ section is to celebrate that work is often the fuel that drives certain decisions or paths in our life, is the catalyst that opens the doors to new experiences, and can enable explorations in other parts of the world.

For me, academic then personal reasons originally brought me from Canada to Asia. Career reasons enabled me to stay.

My last ‘job’ before going independent nearly three years ago was a leadership role in a global consulting firm with a responsibility for learning and development, knowledge management and internal communications in 17 countries in Asia. I traveled like a maniac with that job and had a blast!

It was also the period that established Singapore as my ‘alternate’ home. So when it came time to get serious about opening my own international company (rather than remain a reluctant entrepreneur) for consulting work in places like IndonesiaMalaysia and conducting programs in countries such as Japan, China, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, the logical place to call my ‘work home’ was clearly Singapore!

Whistling Woods Costume Project

Whistling Woods ‘maid’ costume

Getting work done

And yet, as my heart remains in India, Mumbai remains home. Here ‘work’ provides a context for life at ‘home’ too.

It is often amusing the reflect of the different perceptions about work – from the everyday follies of being maidless in Mumbai and the morning ‘Ding dong!‘ that brings services to your doorstep to a very different definition of work being ‘done‘ as witnessed with the recent building infrastructural repairs. I also find it interesting to explore cross-national notions about ‘who keeps the house clean?

There is also the question of blurring lines between the personal and professional. In Bombay, you should never go to a party without your business card and accept that purely business connects will approach you through Facebook.

I want you to pay your taxes

Working things out

It also sometimes takes real ‘work‘ to successfully navigate a place other than the country of your birth. If you go global, there can be tricky little elements that hamper or help along the way, with an added twist if your ‘better half’ has a different nationality.

In that sense, I’ve shared tales on everything from:

Carissa Hickling LinkedIn

Oh… and if you actually want to know what I do for ‘work’, feel free to check out my profile on LinkedIn. And if you really do want to know more, happy to chat further at info [at] everydayasia {dot] com.

Thanks for sticking around as I continue to make a few changes… Take a little tour through the new ‘Work‘ section and tell me what you think!

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  1. Happy one year to you! I like your notes about work connecting to, prompting more or other and being a big part of non-work life. I’ve tried hard to separate them over the years and think I should give up. It’s like trying to cut my right arm off while insisting all my correspondence be hand written with that missing utensil.

  2. Congrats and Happy Anniversary 👏

  3. Congratulations Carissa! I’m seriously impressed by your focus and drive.

    • Just felt like a little blog ‘spring cleaning’ given our house disaster with all the work going on… control what you can and live with what you can’t! 😉

  4. Look forward to reading more about the work side of things 🙂

    • Glutton for punishment are we? 😉 Fear not, its on my mind more n more these days….

      • Am also self-employed, as you know, and I do consulting (FMCG field) from time to time, so this is interesting to me. And like you said, work is a catalyst for so much other life stuff… my work lets me move countries very easily, for example.

        • Yes indeedy! I have a feeling that we have many work related aspects in common… from the rhythms of balancing work and play to keeping the employment pipeline primed. Those pesky mundane aspects of actually making a living. May love what we do but… like any job – whether your own boss or someone else is – has its ups n downs. 🙂 And biggest bonus is how work IS a catalyst for such much fun stuff!!!

          • I’m just a wee insignificant scribbling dogsbody, though, I don’t have a company (plural, even?) like you 🙂

          • TheLastWord says:

            Being your own boss is harder than working for someone else. I mean you have to go back home to yourself at the end of the day and if you’ve done a rotten job, you know all about it. I was independent for the first 3 years of my career then employed for 2.5, ran my own company ( with employees and all) for 10+ years, then spent 11 years as an employee. Since 2009 have been independent again with my own company.

            I do actually have a separate work related job, which is being neglected because (a) I’m having so much fun at SloWord (b) I’m not sure how I should write a professsional blog. I mean how much of my usual flippant style do I use there? If not, then how true am I to myself?

            Carissa: Expect a LinkedIn invitation to connect and congratulations on the anniversary. I turned 6 on the 14th of this month 🙂

            • TheLastWord says:

              work related “blog” not “job”, duh! Silly me!

            • Heheh… had to re-read that and then it dawned must of have meant “blog”… hope that doesn’t mean your “blogging” is starting to feel like a “job”?!

            • Yup! No one to blame and no one to back up… sounds like you have definitely had a few variations between job, self-employed and leading real live company with employees!

              I’m still reluctant to take on the responsibility of employees yet also appreciate collaboration. So am super lucky that the larger projects are with a couple other independent guys not just me. 🙂 The core group of us all used to work at one of the big consulting firms and have actually beaten in bids / RFPs our ex company.

              As for having the ‘work’ section be professional? Bah! Nothing of the sort, more the elements that are enabled by work or related topics. If I ever felt compelled to write professional related pieces, would likely just published straight on LinkedIn not this blog.

              Looking fwd to your LinkedIn invite – just include a msg that connects SloWord to the invite and I’ll be happy to accept!

              And congrats on “turning 6” – that’s an accomplishment indeed! 🙂

            • TheLastWord says:

              Look for an invite from Ajesh Sharma or rather Ajesh B Sharma ( mustn’t forget the “B”…. there’s a story in there, or at least a blog post 🙂 )

            • Got it! And yes… look forward to the ‘B’ story! 🙂

  5. Congratulations!
    It is still amusing to see how these tax troubles in India are appearently an impossible problem to be solved but then again it would be similar in any country, they just dont want to admit mistakes or give money back 🙂

    • I don’t think I will ever get free of them!! Various issues have cropped up since 2005… I kid you not.

      It is absolutely absurd that I can see online confirmation that the govt has received full payment of all taxes and yet still keep getting notices demanding payment for what is already there on their very own system as paid! Aaaarrrggghhhhh!?!?!

  6. Sandeep Koul says:

    Also & too in the last sentence. Isnt that tautological ?

  7. NancyTex says:

    Happy Anniversary! I’m so envious that you can blur the lines between personal and work. I tried for a little bit, but then realized that I either had to a) edit myself before expressing myself; or b) de-couple my work life from my personal life on social media. The one exception is that I do have some FaceBook friends who started out as work associates, but for the most part FB is made up of friends and family; LinkedIn is all professional (except for a small handful of friends and family who are curious about what I do for a living :-)); Twitter: I had to split into two personas because I didn’t want to have to filter every word to make sure I was representing my company in the way they feel is appropriate.

    Even in blog-land, I’m at the point that I kind of wish that the very small handful of email subscribers (i.e. non-bloggers) would just unsubscribe. Those few are ‘real life’ folks – who I also feel that I sometimes need to edit my thoughts and words for. I’m giving serious thought to pulling the plug on My Year of Sweat and starting a whole new blog, one that will be truly anonymous.

    But good for you that you can marry the work stuffs with the life stuffs! Awesome!

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