Interviews, Marketing & Comms

Balancing the Grind With Lynn Tan, Manager of Go to Market Planning at FedEx Express

May 23, 2019

As the Manager of Go to Market Planning for FedEx Express, Lynn is responsible for overseeing teams based out of Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as driving marketing programs for customer acquisition, growth and retention.

Balance the Grind spoke to Lynn about her decade-long career in marketing, a typical day workday, listening to audiobooks for recharging and plenty more.

This conversation is brought to you by Teachable, a powerful yet simple all-in-one platform to create and sell beautiful online courses.

1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your background and career?

I am a full-time marketer and has been in the business for almost a decade, covering roles across brand, communications and marketing.

I started out in agencies then moved in-house, but have always focused on B2B clients/customers. I studied both IT and Mass Communications, so you can say that I have both the ‘hardware’ and ‘software’ needed for enterprise marketing!

2) What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?

I am currently managing an Asia Pacific portfolio for small & medium business marketing. I look after our go to market strategies across the funnel, from demand generation to customer loyalty engagement programs.

A typical day for me involves cross-functional discussions, looking at data insights, working with my own team members across two countries to implement programs, and not forgetting working closely to product and service launches across the region.

3) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I have to admit that I am definitely not an early riser, even though I am a morning person.

I would usually start the morning with coffee and a light breakfast, usually overnight oats, and spend 15 – 20 minutes on my language learning apps or reading through the news headlines.

Then when I get into office, I go through my calendar to ensure that I have an idea what’s ahead, then work on my checklist for the day before I start on my emails.

Usually, by lunch, I would’ve cleared most of the ‘urgent’ items that may have crept into my inbox when the international teams are up, and I would spend the rest of the day working on my list, or with my teams through their respective projects.

On most days, the official workday ends by evening, and I will squeeze in a light run or swim before dinner or spend some time with my two pets – a cat and a dog.

4) In between everything you do and all your responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?

There are two principles I live by: “Don’t take life too seriously and have fun”. and “When we become kinder to ourselves, we can become kinder to the world.”

It is easy to drown and feel overwhelmed by all of our responsibilities, and especially so when you need to be accountable for people you work with, and your family, friends.

At work, I constantly remind myself and my team members that the stress or pressure we put ourselves under to perform the best we can, while not necessarily a bad thing, should also not determine how we feel (in terms of mood).

My way of finding that fine balance between “good” and “bad” stress, is to remind myself that at the end of the day, we are not our jobs.

Secondly, I make sure that I have moments to myself amidst the madness and to do things solely for myself. 10 – 15 minutes ‘breaks’ for yourself can work wonders, and also give you a bit of headspace to think clearer.

5) What are some of the things you do to take time out and recharge?

I listen to audiobooks on my commute, and spend some time on the weekend to reconnect with nature or friends and just be away from my laptop and mobile phones.

I’ve started ballet lessons as well about 2 years ago, even though I’ve never danced a single step in my life!

6) Are there any gadgets, tools or products that you can’t live without?

Definitely my notebooks, both the e-version (Evernote) and my diary. I will be quite lost if I don’t have my reference points with me.

7) Do you have any books that you love and would like to recommend?

I would recommend Love for Imperfect Things: How to Accept Yourself in a World Striving for Perfection by Haemin Sunim. It’s an easy read, and also timely as a reminder to slow down, reflect, and be better.

8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

I want to say “but first, coffee”, but I really think all that caffeine isn’t great for me! All things aside, making a to-do list of the day everyday really makes a huge difference. It gives me visibility into how I need to pace myself, and split my time. Also checking each task off gives you that small sense of satisfaction that you’ve done something for the day.

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