Apart from being the joy of the company, Jesa, our Executive Assistant, will often be found shuttling between the governmental agencies and client offices, ensuring that all the necessary administration is accounted for. It is only because of her that the rest of us can fully focus on excelling in what we are best in, be it training, IT development or…eating. In today’s interview, Jesa tells us her 1010Life story – a testament to the importance of company culture and assembling the right team.
Note: A few tissue boxes were sacrificed in the process of this interview.
How has 1010Life impacted your life?
I came to 1010Life with a lot of fears due to bad experiences with my previous company. For that, I was initially very quiet and kept to myself, I was afraid to make any mistakes. There was a point of time where I almost wanted to resign because I felt that I wasn’t good enough for the job, and I thought that it would be better if 1010Life hired someone else. Thankfully I stayed on, because I later found that I was able to learn the skills, and I can now contribute to the company. Being in 1010Life has also required me to step out of my comfort zones, such as having to meet new people constantly, but it is these experiences that have helped me to grow in self-confidence.
How is it like working in 1010Life?
The office is very accommodating and encouraging. Michelle is also very genuine with her employees and truly cares about us. 1010Life is a safe environment where I can be myself, and it is here where I gained the courage to make mistakes and learn from them. Even though most of my job scope requires me to work independently, I am thankful that there are still many opportunities for me to interact with the rest of the team on a deeper level.
What is one thing you think 1010Life has done well?
Building a culture of inclusivity and warmth. There are many great things about the company, and there are also many things that would make any company great. However, I personally think that people and relationships are the most important to me. I like how open we are with each other, and even when we have OJTs or new colleagues, the dynamics of the entire team doesn’t really change, in fact we become a bigger happier family.
What would you attribute the success of this culture to?
I would say our teambuilding training sessions have contributed greatly. For the uninformed, our teambuilding trainings aren’t made up of the usual ice-breakers and games, in fact, it would be more accurate to view them as bootcamps that push you out of comfort zones, test your limits and shape your character. I have been through two rounds of teambuilding since I’ve arrived at 1010Life, and I remember that we kept wanting to give up halfway, and we probably would have if Michelle didn’t push us to completion.
Looking back, I can only say that I am filled with a sense of fulfilment whenever I think about those experiences, for I know that with each round, I have become stronger, and our team has become closer. One particular activity we did took a total of 4 hours to complete, it was so challenging, even our team member who is usually the strongest and most resolute, ended up in tears. However, it was during this activity that we learnt the importance of resilience, and it is also this lesson which has sustained us through all the difficult times we’ve had to overcome since.
There definitely seems to be a lot of emphasis on building the team, but how do we ensure the success of the teambuilding training sessions?
This is exactly where our other expertise comes in – the use of psychometric tools such as MBTI®. Michelle has been practicing the use of MBTI® for about 10 years now and she’s extremely adept with the tool and its applications. With regards to teams and teambuilding, MBTI® is most useful in two ways. Firstly, in selecting the right people and assembling a balanced team. Secondly, in helping every team member become aware of their strengths and weaknesses, how they can best contribute to the team and how they can better communicate with their teammates.
You can take me as an example. I function primarily as Michelle’s Executive Assistant, this means I work most closely with her and need to ensure that I can fill all her gaps. If you look at our MBTI® Type Preferences, I am an ESFJ, whereas she is an ENFP. Our similarities -Extraversion and Feeling preferences – means that we can keep each other energized and empathize with each other. Whereas my Sensing preference ensures that all the facts and details (especially when dealing with contracts and legal documents) are accurate, and my Judging preference helps to keep things planned and organized.
Could you share more about working with Michelle?
Michelle was initially just a boss to me, but I have come to respect her as a leader and as a mentor. She will not hesitate to correct you when you make mistakes and she will not put you down, instead, she will be there to encourage you and give you confidence. Michelle is always optimistic even during challenging times, and even when things seem impossible, it will become possible. She has impacted our lives with her faith and positivity, inspiring me to impact others as well.
Why do you wish for others to be impacted by 1010Life?
I want to inspire others the way that I have been inspired by 1010Life. I have seen how our trainings push the participants and bring them closer together as they are challenged beyond their limits. Seeing their faces at the end of the training always brings joy to my heart and I am reminded of why I stayed in 1010—there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.
Jesa also has a big heart for children and although she has never said this, we know that she secretly wants to be a dancer. Amongst all of us at the office, she’s the most natural at networking and external liaisons (read: fun and easy to talk to). We really don’t know where she gets all her energy from, but if you’re having a bad day and need someone to empathize (or cry) with you, our dearest Jesa is who you should look for!
THIS IS THE THIRD OF AN INTERVIEW SERIES WITH THE PEOPLE BEHIND 1010LIFE. STAY TUNED FOR OUR NEXT INTERVIEW WITH OUR GRAPHIC DESIGNER & FRONT-END DEVELOPER, MARIENNE TERRE, WHO HAS A SUPERPOWER OF MAKING ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL!