Guo Youqi, a graduate of National Taiwan University and working in an internationally renowned management consulting company for ten years, seems to be a "life victory group", but in fact has faced countless confusions - how did she zero herself in the new field and bravely walk out of her own box-breaking road?
Are you now breathless because you are constantly catching up with worldly standards, or even afraid of "falling behind", and always suffering from overwhelming anxiety?
Guo Youqi, the chief operating officer of Alpha Camp, a new brand of program education, graduated from the Department of Finance and Economics of National Taiwan University, went to the United States to study for an MBA, and worked in the world-renowned Boston Consulting Group (BC) for more than ten years.
However, as she grew older and her role in life increased, she continued to break through the framework in her career and life, reborn from challenges and setbacks, and created her own definition of success between career, family and self-realization.
Photo | provided by Guo Youqi
Standing at the top, I couldn't see the way ahead
"Once, when I was in high school, when I returned to the classroom after a meeting, my instructor had a big cross on my desk in chalk because of poor housekeeping. At that time, I was very unconvinced, and I thought why should I care so much!" Hiding under a tree during lunch break and playing cat and mouse with the instructor, Youqi had a reactionary soul in his youth.
From the time of study to social work, he continued to prove himself with his grades and realize his inner desire for freedom; He has a brilliant learning and experience that everyone envies, but modestly claims that he is "just a person who can master the rules of the game".
"Taiwan is a small island, it's easy to shape pyramid-like rules, but it's hard for us to know what it connects to the world."
Standing at the top of the pyramid but not seeing the way ahead, the face of this social newcomer is full of confusion, "I really want to stand in a big world, because I feel that my world is small, and I also want to know if I can be competitive internationally after I go out."
He also mentioned that he once had the same myth as many people, and because the salary abroad was dozens of times that of Taiwan, he subconsciously felt inferior, and even denied himself before he was affirmed.
It wasn't until her MBA and internship at San Francisco Management Consulting that she found fulfillment in problem-solving and teamwork; In the face of her work, she was affirmed by her supervisor for the first time, and she also gained confidence and confidence that had not been well established.
"If I do it all over again, I still encourage myself to step out, expand my stage, and solve my problems bigger, because the environment can greatly affect a person's potential."
Laughingly called herself a "good child who rebels against the bone" in high school, she hated the rules and regulations in school, but she could not find an environment that suited her, so she immersed herself in school, and realized herself through exams and grades;
This time, she finally found her own sky, no longer let the rules of society push her forward, and also took the initiative of self-judgment back into her hands.
See your own dedication and get out of the dilemma of professional women
The ten years at BCG were an important stage in her life, during which she changed roles due to pregnancy and childbirth, stepped back from the front line of the mall, retreated to a support role behind the scenes, and like many professional women, faced career and family dilemmas.
"I'm a passionate person for my work. I used to be able to achieve 100 points at work, but after I had children, I became 60 points for work and 60 points for my family, which was really hard to accept for a while." The feeling of chagrin and frustration is still imprinted in her memory.
"In retrospect, 'Work Life Balance' is also a myth that makes us think that life and work are two different worlds, like a zero-sum game. I should look at myself from a broader perspective, even if work and family are not 100 points, but I put in 120 points of effort!"
Each role is a new environment, a new learning, breaking away from a single standard, allowing Youqi's leadership and inner thinking to grow significantly, "The point is not because I am a woman, but because I chose to play the role of mother."
Society has high expectations for professional women, which makes many people prone to feel torn apart in the process, and in order to get out of the squeeze and limitations, they also exert the spirit of solving problems in the management and care industry, and summarize the solution that penetrates into the inside.
"The most important thing is that you set your own standards, because other people's perspectives are one-dimensional; With your own standards, when switching between different life roles, the characters can nourish each other, and you won't feel like you're always compromising or giving up."
When she said this, she showed a comfortable and confident smile, as if a lost traveler saw a vast sea of colorful clouds after climbing to the top of the mountain.
Zero in from perfectionism and create a whole new version of yourself
In 2017, she decided to leave BCG and joined her husband's start-up Alpha Camp. Relinquishing her responsibilities and aura at a large company and digging into the ever-changing field of startups, she admits that she faced a long period of pain.
"In the past, in the management company, all the information was very clearly labeled, and it was easy to measure the importance of information by a person's job title. After entering the start-up circle, everyone is the founder, but I have never heard of it, so I will ignore what they say, which is actually a very bad mentality."
Later, with the help of many people, he realized that his thinking needed to be restarted.
"Everyone has opinions and is subjective, but what is the value of something to you needs to be judged by yourself."
"When the label disappears, you need to focus more on the essence of the discourse, not to confirm whether the other person is right, but to find out what your relationship is with this opinion, and learn from it."
This kind of "zeroing" thinking is not only reflected in the way information is entered, but also has a great change in the mentality of facing work results.
Working in a world-class management firm, the workplace culture does not encourage mistakes, because when mistakes occur, the professionalism of individuals and brands is questioned;
As a result, the lead time has been very long, from long-term planning guidelines to interactions with customers, and in the past, she always required herself to achieve "zero defects", believing that her value was based on creating impeccable results.
However, in the new innovation circle, the opposite is true, not only can the end be not seen, but each stage milestone is a new starting point.
"There must be a lot of uncertainty about launching a new product or idea, but we have to keep up with the market at all times, otherwise we will miss the opportunity, and I learned that real feedback from users is more important than more polishing."
For anyone who switches tracks, the most important thing to remove the label and return to the essence of the matter, "Of course, not to throw away the past self, we want to create a new self."
"E-learning" breaks down gender frameworks, and non-male patents in STEM fields
Alpha Camp has been cultivating program education for many years, and many students have successfully started businesses after graduation, and up-and-comers in major fields such as Yourator, Fresh Dairy Shop, Amazing Talker, and Finance M Square are their proud protégés.
After more than 6 years of online education, you also have interesting observations on the learning situation of different genders.
"We found a very high percentage of female students, with an almost 1:1 male-to-female ratio for introductory courses, with almost no gender difference; In the late-stage challenge, many women performed well and were even selected by companies, and their strength was recognized by the industry."
When it comes to the IT sector, it often gives the impression of a single gender dominance, but the online learning method has created new opportunities for students to have a high degree of temporal and spatial flexibility, including many mothers who are in confinement and want to return to the workplace.
"Asynchronous learning, because of the distance and the many tools that can be applied, so that women are not stressed because they are in an environment full of the opposite sex, and more introverted learners have equal opportunities to ask questions, and there is more output between students, so everyone can learn better."
You Qi believes that women have many restrictions in STEM (science and engineering) fields because this field is not interesting enough for girls.
"According to the stereotype, girls love to play with dolls and boys love to play with electric, but if we all feed children whatever they like according to their preferences, then there will be a big gap between the two."
"The current way of education is likely to only inspire a specific gender, and if you let the games or toys in the STEM field be presented with themes that girls will enjoy, there may be different results."
In the era of developed information, you also recommend that workers from all walks of life start accumulating scientific and technological literacy skills from now on.
"You don't need to start with a website, but you aim to equip yourself and add a knife or a sword to your toolbox. You can still do what you love, but the more technology language you can understand, the more you can inspire, communicate with different people, or make more complete management decisions."
Bedtime rituals with daughters, building box-breaking thinking in life
Looking back at the different stages of her career development, when she was younger, she chased social frameworks, proving herself by conquering apexes, and in the middle of her new role, she began to think about how to integrate standards between different roles.
Now, as a parent, she has watched her daughter grow up and has a new understanding of how to define life.
"We may not be so honest with ourselves, but when you need to be responsible for another life, your thinking becomes pure. Do I really want her to score 100 on every exam and live her life according to all external frameworks? Or is there actually a better way to measure life?"
Not only does she break through the framework in her own life, but she also hopes that this kind of thinking can be passed on to her children; Using her parent-child time before bedtime, she always discusses the following 3 questions with her daughter:
- What do you think is the best thing about today?
- What did you like most about yourself today? Why?
- Who are the people you admire or appreciate today? Why?
There must be a lot of setbacks and challenges in life, so remember to affirm your efforts every day.
"What we want to accumulate is definitely not the progress and achievements that break the box, but the inner strength to be able to accept ourselves, and any framework and rules, if they are not acceptable to themselves, must not last."
Letting go of the excessive pursuit of perfection, whether in the new industry or the transformation of life roles, you not only reshape the vision of life in every practice, but also guide others in a more mature way, exert your own influence, and help every soul who meets with themselves to have the confidence to dare to break the box.