Transitions—plan yours and make it happen

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

This provocative question inspires Jennifer Lien and informs her work as a life coach.

Asking yourself the right questions can lead to significant life changes, she says. Jennifer does know a lot about embracing uncertainty and making successful transitions. 

Her own life has been a peripatetic journey from San Francisco to Singapore, then Chicago, Australia and Taiwan—Jennifer has worked at some of the world’s top tech companies: Google, LinkedIn, and most recently, Facebook, as Head of Enterprise Marketing for the Asia Pacific region.

For Jennifer, getting comfortable with not having all the answers is key to seeking growth.

This approach comes from consistently learning new skills and immersing herself in new cultures and new experiences. Recently, Jennifer walked away from the comforts of corporate success to become her own boss and pursue her passion – to help others identify their goals and find ways to achieve them.

After seven years at Facebook, she was compelled to go outside her comfort zone to do something different. “I didn't want to look back and regret not trying.” After all, “what is there to lose?”

As companies increasingly adopt a hybrid model of remote work, or if remote work takes you as far as working abroad, Jennifer’s advice on making the transition as smooth as possible becomes especially meaningful.

In this special Season 3 kick-off episode of The "First 100 Days", Jennifer chats with host Trinity Nguyen, and shares her best tips for anyone considering a “leap of faith” transition. And how to make the most of the experience. 

Top tips for transitioning abroad

  • Determine what you want out of life and how to align your job/career.
  • Understand there will be tradeoffs (taxes, salary, distance from home). Not every company will be forward-thinking or flexible.
  • Talk to people who’ve moved to your intended destination. Get the good, the bad, the ugly. Bottom line: get the truth.
  • Re-evaluate your decision every couple of years. Create a timeline. 
  • Make sure your family is on board.
  • Be open-minded and remain humble
  • Connect with locals. It’s the only way you’re going to learn.
  • Don’t go into analysis-paralysis (but moving with family requires a lot of fore-planning).

Top tips for a professional transition

  • Ask yourself the right questions to reveal insights, obstacles, and inspire breakthroughs.
  • Address the emotional blocks and resistance, so you can move forward with your goals and intentions. 
  • As a manager, don’t prescribe all the answers
  • Ask the right questions to get people thinking differently and approaching a solution from a new angle. 
  • Have courage and confidence.
  • Take a leap of faith – in yourself.
  • Ask yourself, what’s the worst thing that can happen? It’s usually not so bad.

Finally, when it comes to marketers, Jennifer offers simple and straightforward advice:

“Stay true to your audience. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C marketer, don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing or the flashier gimmicks. Even with Covid, there are so many opportunities to get in front of your users and audience.”

It all comes back to asking the right questions. The right questions lead to audience engagement, insights, and breakthroughs.

So, ask yourself – what would YOU do if you weren’t afraid? And then apply it to your work, your relationships, and your personal ambitions. 

Listen to the full interview on The First 100 Days podcast-- "What would you do if you weren't afraid, with Jennifer Lien"

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