One description that I have always thought about myself is that I “rise to the occasion” - or at least, I try my very best. Sometimes I get there, and other times, I have room for improvement. And now, with over 20 years of many occasions where I didn’t quite make it, I have the advantage of hindsight to discover where my weaknesses lie.
When you break down any problem and its solution, there are 3 core elements: the awareness of the problem, the understanding of the people involved, and the discovery of the path to the solution.
And what I have realized over the years is that, in the times that I have failed, it is not simply because I did not know one of these elements. More disturbingly, the reason for the failed attempt is because I actually did not know that I did not know. The issue was not even in my universe of items to research or analyze - because if I had known, then I definitely would have done the work to get to the right answer. Because I did not know what I did not know, I had identified the wrong issue, or I had spoken to the wrong people (or oftentimes, I did not speak to anyone at all), or I had built a subpar solution (that I thought was excellent). It was like I had blinders on, and I just could not see the whole picture.
Two years ago, after giving birth to my second baby, I had some time to reflect. It’s interesting how children will make you question your life and the meaning within that life. I thought deeper about this next step in my career. What problem do I want to help solve? Where can I add the most value? I realized that this blind spot is where I want to focus.
When you buy a new appliance or product, are you the type of person who reads the manual, or do you try to figure it out on your own? I am definitely the former. I have my moments of wild abandon where I try to assemble something on my own, but those are few and far in between, and I often end up with a lot of wasted time attaching the wrong pieces together.
I enjoy following guides and I value learning from mentors. So in early 2021, when I started working on the Skills Bridge program, and other knowledge-sharing programs, I felt like all the pieces of my life’s puzzle had come together. I think I may have finally found my Ikigai!
I imagine that my career would have been so much easier, had someone opened the door to the knowledge required to make it to the next step, and the next step (and the next step!). And that is my goal with TVL Group - to help people know what they don’t know, and master the unspoken rules that underlie long-term growth in any career.
In 2021, we launched our first Skills Bridge program, in collaboration with the US Consulate General and AmCham Vietnam. Our inaugural class focused on advancing women in the workplace. We focused on critical thinking, self development, and communication - the three foundational skills for a young professional in any field. The application process was quite competitive - for our 25 slots, we had 400 applicants and 1,100 people on the pre-registration list for the next course. Thank you for everyone’s interest! We will be launching more Skills Bridge programs, open to both women and men, in the upcoming year.
In February 2021, we launched our Lunch with Linh video series. In these lunch-time chats, I share my thoughts on topics ranging from career development to personal relationships, with a focus on concrete tips that can be used to immediately take action. This series has received over 9 million views, with over 25 thousand comments. Thank you to everyone for watching and I hope you have tried out some of those tips!
In June 2021, we launched our Advance Like an Expert video series. The goal of these one-on-one chats is to learn from the mistakes of those who have come before us. I interview people with 10+ years of experience, who share nuggets of wisdom that they found after quite a few cuts and bruises on their path to the top. These fireside chats have reached over 5 million people, and have included sharings from Experts such as Ms.Manisha - CFO of MoMo, Mr. Tuan Anh from Shopee and Suboi - Vietnamese Queen of Rap. Thank you to all our Experts for your generosity with your time and for being so open with your tips and advice!
In total, our videos have been viewed 50 million times over the past year. Thank you to you, our community, for watching, sharing and contributing to the conversation!
We also have several weekly written series that provide breadcrumbs for your knowledge-snacking habits. Motivation Monday, provides words of optimism to start your week. Tips Thursdays focuses on suggestions on how to develop yourself and your career. Finance Friday talks about personal finance and how to save and invest for the future. And Sunday Funday shows the lighter side of life - enjoying time with family and friends. These series have received a warm welcome from the TVL community, and have had over 1.4 million engagements over the past year.
As we close out 2021, I am reminded by a phrase that is often cited, “Knowledge is power”. As a child, I was told that education is the key to rising above poverty and that learning is the best thing I can do for myself and for my family. And one of the lessons that life’s battle scars have taught me is that this old adage is only half true.
And as I look into 2022, I am excited to focus on the other part of the equation: Action. Knowledge is the foundation. Action is what gives life to that knowledge. I will continue to let this be my guiding light. I hope that you will join me in making this upcoming year a truly spectacular one for yourself - full of new insights and new experiences, regardless of the challenges that we face.
Happy 2022 everyone! Onward ho! ✊🏃♀️