Six months ago, I broke the news that I would be leaving my role as Senior Research and Insight Executive at We Are Social in Singapore and requesting for a transfer to the London office. I was in a long distance relationship for years, and when I spotted an Analyst position in London it seemed like an obvious solution for two tired but highly determined people to finally live on the same side of the world.
I was afraid of tempers flying, teary farewells and Tyra-inspired outbursts.
Instead I had interviews, a tremendous amount of support from the directors, and HR on both sides were super efficient with the paperwork. Everything I could worry about I didn’t have to worry about, and that eased what was a massive life transition.
So what’s it like working in good old Blighty? Tasks are delegated well, people work smart, and we go home not only at reasonable times but in a pretty good state of mind. If things get crazy in the day, there are quiet areas to work in: Standing desks, cosy sofas and countless phone booths - all within reach of free coffee, fruit, eggs, toast, yogurt and all manner of spreads imaginable. Occasionally, angels aka Jenna/Gemma/HR announce that there are sandwiches, furniture, or even massage slots up for grabs.
The office looks insane
Have I mentioned about the coffee, fruits, eggs, toast, yogurt and all spreads imaginable? That’s mainly in the Town Hall, which also has sparkling water on tap. I don’t even like sparkling water, but I find myself saying to everyone I know that: "I bet your office doesn’t have sparkling water on tap."
I was also intrigued by the industrial chic-decor, Instagrammable chairs, Airplay projectors and themed meeting rooms - all of which I wanted to photograph on my first day, but was afraid people would think I was a super eager Asian. So I played it cool.
Good range of clients
Speaking of cool, I’ve been able to work with at least 7 clients in just over a month. These are big players, including Google, Benefit, Ballantine’s and Lavazza. A steep learning curve and fast-paced environment? Hell yes, but it was exactly what I was looking for.
In my previous role, I focused on performance reporting. Now, I work across social listening and qualitative projects. I work alongside strategists and insights generation and get to see how our research influences creative work. It also happens that our office is Millennial central and a perfect pool to tap into, so I've already interviewed plenty of my new colleagues from across the business.
And that leads me to my final, most important point. What has made the biggest impression on me isn’t the free stuff nor the beautiful work space, but the people. Over the Christmas ball, breakfast chats, and various projects - I realised how passionate everyone and every team is. Everyone has an opinion, everyone wants to prove something, and everyone is fiercely ambitious. That takes me to positive extremes I think - I want to be bolder and better, and at the same time I feel at ease that I am around like-minded individuals.
So thank you We Are Social Singapore and London. It still feels surreal to be given this wonderful job - twice. You’ve seen me as a bright-eyed graduate, a sleep-deprived researcher, an engaged person, a married person, a Singaporean and now a Londoner. I even elbow my way through the Tube every morning without feeling bad about it.