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My Three Principles

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Toan, the founder of “How I Got My Job in the US”, reached out to me after discovering my website. I’ve been immensely impressed by the inspirational stories showcased on his platform. To further ignite the passion of dream-chasers worldwide, here’s my story. This account was originally shared by “How I Got My Job in the US” on their Facebook page and website. I can only offer my experiences, hoping they resonate with some. They’re not prescriptive advice but rather reflections on personal decisions. Until Toan prompted me, and as I now sit by the Thames River in a quaint coffee shop, I’ve never truly pondered my earlier memories and how they shaped my journey. Reflecting on it, I’m astounded by how far I’ve come. Each day, we live countless moments, but some experiences have left a deeper mark on me. These epiphanies over the years have become foundational to my persona. I’ve distilled the most impactful memories and realized that the three principles below have been pivotal to my growth. You might initially wonder how these tales relate to job-seeking, but it will all connect by the end.

1. A Take-Charge Attitude: The “Rent-Seeking” Principle

I vividly remember a formative experience from when I was ten, during a tumultuous first year of secondary school. It felt like everything that could go wrong did. My grades plummeted; I fell ill repeatedly and had several mishaps. Moreover, as the class monitor, I felt responsible for our class being the lowest-performing because they wouldn’t heed my leadership. Alone, with my parents away, a crescendo of setbacks induced overwhelming anxiety. One bright afternoon, cycling home in tears, I was bombarded by thoughts: “Why is my life awash with problems? Why can’t I anticipate these issues?” That day, young me made a firm resolution:

“I won’t merely let life happen. I will face challenges head-on and take control.”

At ten, I began methodically addressing my issues. For the unresolved matters, I acknowledged my limitations, sought assistance, and moved on. This proactive attitude became a cornerstone of my character, bolstering my charisma and resilience. Over time, I’ve met every challenge head-on, growing stronger with each obstacle. If you struggle to embody this mindset, consider the “Rent-Seeking” principle, passed onto me by a mentor. Approach tasks with the same urgency and dedication as when you’re seeking a rental property. Pursue your goals relentlessly, like searching for a new home, and you’ll foster undeniable leadership.

2. Connecting Authentically: The “Old John” Principle

During university, I had myriad acquaintances but lacked deep connections. I especially felt a disconnect with my Caucasian peers, struggling to engage with them. Recalling a group discussion, I tried expressing my views but was continually sidelined by some English girls. Initially, I thought they were unaccustomed to a petite Asian girl with big ideas, but similar situations persisted. Eventually, I realized the barrier was my own mindset. Intimidated by the cultural difference, I unintentionally treated them as “other,” hindering genuine interaction. Once I recognized our shared human experience, interactions became more relaxed and genuine. Employing the “Old John” principle transformed my connections: approach everyone as if they’re a long-lost friend. Conversations become natural, leading to profound mutual understanding. Treating people as familiar friends opens doors to deeper connections, both professionally and personally.

3. Self-Love: Embracing Humor and the “Beyoncé” Principle

Until 21, I viewed myself as somewhat “stern and uninteresting.” I gravitated towards “serious” topics, creating a rift between me and my peers. Wishing to be more engaging, I asked a friend, Ms. Genius, for advice. Her simple suggestion was:

“Always find ways to laugh at yourself.”

Initially skeptical, I tried it and began noticing a shift in my aura. Laughing at myself broke down barriers, making me more approachable. This self-deprecation wasn’t a lack of confidence but a sign of true self-awareness and acceptance. Others treat us the way we perceive ourselves. Thus, self-love is paramount. The “Beyoncé” principle resonates with this: act like Beyoncé and be treated as such. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.’ By setting and upholding personal standards, you command respect.

If you’ve made it this far, you might be wondering how these principles relate to job acquisition. My response? It all starts with self-awareness and growth. Earning a role in a prestigious company or achieving academic excellence is merely a reflection of one’s qualities. Recognizing your true worth and potential is the foundation. With this understanding, nothing is insurmountable, be it securing a dream job, launching a business, or pursuing other ambitions.

Illustration credit: My friend from ANML Studio. Support her by purchasing her art on IG @anmlstudio. I’m on Instagram as well! Connect with me @official.mai.le.

Written by Mai Le

My name is Mai. I am originally from Vietnam. After my university years at LSE, I worked in investment banking at Goldman Sachs. After a wonderful time there, I started several of my own business as well as helping others on theirs. I've always been building communities and businesses for as long as I can remember, and absolutely thrilled to see others enjoy what I've built.

Comments

3 Comments

  1. Nicholas Teo

    Thanks Mai, inspiring read.

    From Singapore

    Reply
  2. Nicholas Teo

    Thanks Mai, inspiring read.

    From Singapore

    Reply
  3. Josh Park

    Couldn’t agree more with the "oriental and caucasian fellow and its subconsciousness to distant yourself from them" and the "I’m a boring and serious person" Thanks for the Old John and finding something to laugh at yourself tip.

    Reply

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