A car that can do multiple things

Categories: Workplace

In the 22 years of her career, she has invested her energy wholeheartedly into various industries. 

Event management, advertising, hotel, FMCG businesses… She did Public Relations work, management training and sales coordination work. Excelling especially in the Sales and Marketing realm, Patricia Ee shares about her stream of incentives – including a bigger car. 

However, the current Regional Learning & Development Manager at Danone popped the question five years ago – does sales drive her to wake up every morning? 

Then, the epiphany came – she was crossing over to HR, the “dark side” coined by people in sales. The one thing that connected her shifts from one industry to another was the people, and she wanted to brighten someone’s day in the volatile and unpredictable world. 

Now, she is pretty much a lot on the ground – active in ground training, creating development programmes and content for learning, in the Asia- Pacific region. Surrounded by people and working for people, she has never been happier to have a smaller car.  

Her background in sales meant that she was alike a car that could be adaptable and used for different situations. Without a full HR background, she was au natural. Coupled with her vast experience in other sectors, she provides a multitude of perspectives instead of typical HR deliverables. 

“You can have 10 lego blocks but fix them in more than 60 ways. It’s all about perspective.” 

Her broad-mindedness is useful when she interacts with people of different generations. Having a variety of people of ages 20 to 50 gets her excited, as she enjoys the thrill of “mixing a concoction” to communicate well with different groups of people. 

At age 44, she is thankful that she falls in between the strawberry generation (twenties and below) and mango generation (fifties). To her, it is a prime age for experimentation – as through communication, she observes how different people respond and interact. That, is something she takes great interest in. 

Navigating around the different age spaces allows her to use different forms of language with different people. While it may be a struggle for senior employees who are used to the dividing line between superordinate and subordinate, she enjoys the ride. 

When asked about the millennials and Generation Z in the workforce, she is more than happy to share her experience working alongside them. She takes up the challenge to buddy with them, and often found herself learning through their candid feedback and innovative ideas. “Reverse mentoring,” as she terms it. 

To Patricia, HR definitely is everything but the “dark side” – a choice she is grateful to have made everyday. 


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