My First Year of Entering the Workforce: CyberLink

I’m 26 years old now and I just completed my first year in the workforce. You might be wondering why it is that I’ve only been in the workforce for just one year now. After finishing my Master’s degree in January 2020, I worked in Citibank as an administrator for three months from March to May and I absolutely hated it. Leaving that company was the best decision I’ve made in 2020, zero regrets. Citibank later announced that they’re planning to close down all offices in Taiwan and many other Asian countries. After leaving Citi I took some time to find my next job, applied for over 200 positions, took at least 10 interviews, and landed CyberLink as a Marketing Specialist two months later. August 3rd of 2020 was my first day at CyberLink.

I believe that learning is everything, especially during my twenties to thirties. Therefore, I feel that it’s important for me to retrace my footsteps over the past year to record what I’ve learned, evaluate how much I’ve grown, and have clearer insights of my next steps.

Interview & Qualifications

It took a full five weeks from my first interview to my onboarding. I took two interviews and three assignments in total. I had one interview with my direct manager and one with the vice president, who was in charge of the whole web commerce department.

One of my assignments was to design an app push text and image proposal, the other was to design a sales email with the discount of 25% off. I later learned from my colleague that there was one other person competing for this position, but that candidate’s email layout was not compatible with CyberLink’s style. To be honest, the only reason mine was compatible is because I subscribed to the company’s email in advance and tried to recreate the style. Doing homework and tailoring to a company’s preferences is always a smart thing to do.

The interview with my direct manager took about 30 minutes. She asked me to show her my YouTube channel and my Medium portfolio. She also asked me about my perspective on the company and my past experiences. The interview with the vice president lasted less than 10 minutes. He asked if I had any questions and that was it.

Job Description

Initially I applied for the position of a creative copywriter, but then the company changed its mind about the position and arranged for me to work on English email programs instead. My job description in the first few months included designing email layouts, tracking email data and providing insights, and managing a weekly email project tailored for our creative community. Over time the vice president started to recognise my copywriting capabilities and assigned the copywriting for app push messages to me. Now I am also responsible for SEO of our blogs in Dutch, it was a task assigned to me about a month ago. So yeah, you will get to own diverse tasks if you want to.

We also have part time interns who help out with routine work, so that takes some tasks that are repetetive and mundane off our plate which is pretty cool.

Company Welfare

We have an 8,000 NTD travel subsidy annually. There’s a small gym on the roof. There are different clubs you can attend, I joined the Yoga club. Our HR department holds company activities quite a lot. These activities can include games, site tours, or themed contests. We have quarterly department gatherings at resturants.

The only thing I wish the company could have given me is a laptop. I had to share a laptop with another colleague in my neighboring department, and when we started to work from home I also had to buy my own laptop or I wouldn’t have been able to work remotely. The company did say that we could apply for a laptop to be sent to our homes, but I haven’t recieved mine and it’s likely that I never will because I applied for one soon after we started working from home, three months have gone by so far.

I recieved 3 days off after half a year and 7 days after one year. The company also gives us one additional day to go with the travel subsidy. Since now people in Taiwan are starting to get vaccinated, we also have two half days off to take the first and second dose of vaccines.

Cyberlink Culture

In aspects of attire, you can basically wear whatever you like to the workplace. This is a huge plus for me because I prefer casual clothing. I’ve seen my female colleagues wear crop tops and extra short jeans, and sometimes I see engineers walking around in flip flops. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any senior managers wear a suit and tie to work. There’s a small gym in the company where senior managers love to go to so generally upper management are dressed in a smart casual fashion.

As for daily communication, people are quite friendly unless you mess up. Even if you mess up, a serious talk is all you’re going to get. For me the communication style is a bit too mild. Sometimes I feel like we underdeliver our message because we don’t want to make the receiver feel offended even if it’s them who’s out of line. Shouting, insulting, physical violence, or any aggressive type of communication isn’t CyberLink’s style, so if you’re the type of person who derives a sense of achievement out of confrontation you’re not going to find it here.

CyberLink is a company that’s all about small revolutions, but never ones that are overly ambitious. We have bi-weekly meetings to discuss how the company can improve its current strategies. At the beginning of these meetings, everyone was throwing out all these crazy ideas only to learn very soon that they were all too “farfetched”. We gradually toned down the scale of our proposed improvements then some presented ideas were implemented. If you like change and improvements in baby steps, you’re going to fit in.

If you like working with people from different countries, you’re also going to like working at CyberLink. There are people who are Japanese, Indonesian, Columbian, English, German, French, Indian, Korean, Italian, and more working in the office. This makes small talk in the hallways much more interesting. It gives you the opportunity to get a glimpse at different cultural backgrounds and hear stories of how they came to Taiwan and chose to stay.

Self Reflection

Some of my key takeaways this year are as follows:

  1. Never stop learning

I’ve learned a lot over this past year at CyberLink but at the end of the day you just can’t rely on what you encounter at work to learn. The workplace is a workplace, it’s not a school. And whenever you stop learning is when you start falling behind. This year I’ve relied on Google certificate courses, podcasts, classes on Accupass, books, and Medium articles to keep my brain juices flowing. Although we have recharge programs and bi-weekly new idea proposal meetings, it’s still more effecitve and motivating if you use spare time to invest in yourself and learn new things. Investing in your brain will pay off at work and on your overall life quality.

2. If you don’t decide what you want to do, someone else will

If you never ask, the answer will always be no. I’ve seen people change departments, leave, or switch tasks overt the past year, all of it happening quite rapidly. Upper management is always keeping an eye on their subordinates and they have their own opinions on which people are the best fit for corresponding tasks. If you don’t voice your ideas or ask for what you want, you will always be at your manager’s disposal.

3. Forceful communication won’t always work

As mentioned previously, confrontation is not a popular communication method within the company. It might be an effective negotiation method is certain scenarios but I learned the hard way that sometimes it just won’t work. During my first few months I often fought aggressively for what I wanted, and I got disheartened when I needed to make a compromise or give up my proposal. I’ve observed from my manager that sometimes it’s easier to get what you want with the communication formula of “understanding, reason, disagree, reason, proposal, invitation for feedback”. Sometimes just stating why you disagree and proposing an alternative isn’t enough. People need to feel understood and appreciated, even if things ultimately won’t go their way. An example of this communication formula would look something like this: I understand why you think proceeding like this is a good idea, but based on previous data I think we should follow so and so, another alternative would be this and that, what do you think?”

This is a record of my first year in the workplace.
To learning and growing and getting stronger.

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Digital Marketer. Creative Copywriter. A record of experiences and events. I write to get back on track.

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Victoria's Dream Life

Victoria's Dream Life

Digital Marketer. Creative Copywriter. A record of experiences and events. I write to get back on track.

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