Making Sense of Work with Jean Balfour

Ep. #29. Don't Quit your Day Job with Aliza Knox

August 18, 2022 Jean Balfour Season 1 Episode 29
Making Sense of Work with Jean Balfour
Ep. #29. Don't Quit your Day Job with Aliza Knox
Show Notes Transcript

Jean is joined by Aliza Knox. 

Aliza and Jean talk about

  • Portfolio careers
  • Being the first Twitter employee in Asia
  • The importance of serendipity in our careers
  • How to take a chance in your career
  • How stamina helps in our careers
  • How to prepare for promotion
  • The role a personal board of directors in our careers

Aliza built and led APAC businesses for three of the world's top technology firms—Google, Twitter and Cloudflare. Named 2020 APAC IT Woman of The Year, she spent decades as a global finance and consulting executive, and is now a non-executive board director and a senior advisor for Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Aliza now shares her passion and lessons learned with the next generation of business leaders, guiding companies across new frontiers while building and maintaining strong connections between teams around the world.

Ailza has been featured in Business Insider, Quartz, The Muse, TechCrunch and The Economic Times, and is a regular columnist for Forbes, where she shares her wisdom (and humor) to help professionals who dream of "doing it all." She’s the author of the new book Don't Quit Your Day Job: The 6 Mindshifts You Need to Rise and Thrive at Work [Wiley, April 25, 2022], which presents the six empowering, essential mindshifts necessary to rise and thrive in your career – and to love your life at the same time.

Connect with Aliza Knox on:

Official Site: www.alizaknox.com

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/alizaknox

Twitter: twitter.com/alizaknox

You can find Jean here:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeanbalfour/

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/jean.balfour/

Jean:

Hi everyone. And welcome to making sense of work. I'm Jean Balfour, and I'm really thrilled to be joined today by Aliza Knox Aliza. Welcome.

Aliza:

Hi, Jean. Thanks for chatting with me today.

Jean:

Thanks my pleasure. I'll start by telling you all a bit about Aliza. Aliza built and led APAC businesses for three of the world's top technology firms, Google, Twitter, and CloudFlare. Named 2020 APAC IT woman of the year. She spent decades as a global finance and consulting executive and is now a non-executive board director and a senior advisor for Boston consulting group. Aliza now shares her passion and lessons learned with the next generation of business leaders, guiding companies across new frontiers while building and maintaining strong connections between teams around the world. And I'm looking forward to hearing about that Aliza. Aliza has been featured in business insider. The news tech crunch and the economic times, and is a regular columnist for Forbes, where she shares her wisdom and humor to help professionals who dream of doing it all. Most recently, she's the author of the new book. Don't quit your day job. The six mind shifts. You need to rise and thrive at work, which presents the six empowering essential. Shifts necessary to rise and thrive in your career and to love your life at the same time. So I'm looking forward to hearing lots about that and about your book. Thank you for joining us, Eliza.

Aliza:

Yeah. As I said, really fun to be with you this afternoon.

Jean:

Good. We always start the podcast by asking a bit about how's work at the moment. And I know your working life has changed a lot recently. So could you just say a bit about how's work at the moment in your working life?

Aliza:

Sure. So I consider myself to be in Aliza 3.0 having worked in software. I learned about software releases. And so 1.0 was Boston consulting group, uh, Schwab visa, some other financial services, 2.0 was tech, Google, Twitter, CloudFlare, and a small startup in there. And now 3.0 is I think what people call a portfolio life or portfolio career. I sit on four boards. I serve as an advisor to BCG. I've written the book and I'm talking to people about it, you know, just as we are here today. Um, and that's part of the set of activities that I'm doing the way I've thought about life post working full time and working full time means one job at one corporate. And I did that for four decades. Is. Um, something far more flexible. So I'm trying to spend about a third of my time on the boards and on anything related to business directly. That's not social impact. So for example, each board, I think people say should take at least 20 days a year. So if that's in terms of reading material, being at board meeting, attending meetings. And if times are tough, which for example, they are for many companies right now, as stock market has really shifted. It might be more so let's say that's 80 days a year plus some time with, BCG. And then I'm trying to spend about a third of my time being far more flexible, having time for things that I like to do, whether that be yoga or badminton or travel. The last third I'm trying to use to give back. And actually the book is part of that because the book is sort of bottled mentoring. And we can talk about that later. So a little bit around the book and these chats, I'm hoping that I can share with people, some things that I maybe learned the hard way that could help accelerate or ease their path. Uh, in addition, I do a lot of, I would say coffee mentoring, but I have two very. serious and time consuming mentees. One is a young Australian woman who is, uh, an Olympian. There are a group of women in Australia who formed a group called Minerva, which I joined after they formed it, but kudos to them for having the idea. And it was really about noticing that female athletes in particular may focus very heavily on their sport. We reward them for it while they. Playing or exhibiting, you know, it's go team. We cheer them on at the Olympics or at Commonwealth games. And then when they're done and they've given it, their all, they may not have had time to think about a career beyond athletics. Yeah. And the business world doesn't really bring them in. Yes, sure. Particularly in the us, some people get sponsored. Some people are on cereal box. a few become broadcasters that tends to be more men than women. And so this group of business women said let's mentor these women while they're younger and help them not only get through their athletic career and support them there, but maybe help them think about what they might wanna do afterwards. So I'm part of that. And then I started mentoring a number of years ago now at the Asian university for women one, which is in Chita, gone and Bangladesh it's intended. people, um, probably marginalized communities in Asia who might not otherwise be able to go to college. And big sponsors include Goldman Sachs among others. And one of my mentees a few years ago was a young Afghan woman who had gone back right after graduat. and ended up being in Kabul during the fall of Kabul and working with the university, we were able to get out about 158 women, which was mostly, uh, the university's doing mm-hmm but I've been supporting her through that and her family. She's now at an extremely good university in the us. She just got accepted to graduate school and public health, which will be fantastic. She'll be a great contributor in that field. And so that really takes a lot of my time. And so I'd put that in the sort of volunteer bucket or giving. Bucket. And so that's how I'm thinking about my work. So whether you consider that all work, I don't know.

Jean:

it sounds busy. It sounds like you have a lot you've it's is work. I dunno if it's work. Well, I dunno. I think we could define work however we choose to, and if we're enjoying it, it can still be work.

Aliza:

So it can definitely still be working. I think if we're giving back, it can still be work. I guess I see that the third that's on boards and BCG is definitely very officially work. Yes. From that perspective. I'm not working full time anymore.

Jean:

Yeah. Yeah, no, I can hear that. And you've already said a little bit about your career, but I wonder if you wouldn't mind just briefly describing the journey that you went on through your career.

Aliza:

Sure. I, as you can tell by my accent, which won't go away, I'm originally American. I grew up on the west coast. I went to college on the east coast. I got a job at a bank in New York while I was doing that job, I wanted to exercise at that time. I only knew how to swim. You'll see that exercise is kind of a theme in my life. Away, I guess, to build stamina and also to vent or get rid of excess energy. So, uh, there were very few pools in New York where you could swim laps. They were tiny pools to show off your body after aerobics, which I didn't know how to do. I found two swimming pool that were long enough to do laps that were within anywhere, a reachable distance that I could get to before or after work. So one had a quote on people under 25, which of course would not be an issue now, but it was then, and one was at New York university, which had just built a brand new gym, but the only way to get access was to take classes. Hm. So another friend and I started our MBAs that way thinking, wow. She go back to Harvard. I wanted to go back to the west coast and go to Stanford. And neither of us ever got there, we just kept taking classes. And so after four years at the bank, I had an MBA. I had, very brittle hair. My apartment smelled like chlorine and I had exercised a lot. At that point I decided I really wanted to live overseas. I'd spent six months in England during college. It was fun. Uh, but the vegetables were soggy. Whether was equally so, and I'm, I like the sun and crocodile Dundee had come out. So I thought, right, I'm gonna get a job in Australia. I really wanted to live in Asia, but didn't think I had the language skills in general. I'd say I'm very persistent. But at that point, I don't think I looked into it hard enough. Mm. So I spoke to some people in Australia. Someone had said to me, well, you could be a consultant now because you have an MBA and you've been in finance at the bank. And you did a marketing degree for your business school major. So I applied to two consulting firms. I wound up at a company that had split off from, and then went back to the Boston consulting. did that for 13 years, loved it, single biggest stint in my career. And part of the reason why I've gone back to be an advisor, there absolutely fantastic company. I only left because I wanted the experience of running a P and L and being an operator. And you don't do that when you're at a consulting firm? No. So I went to two financial services firms, Schwab first. And then visa back in the. Then we really wanted to come back to Asia. And so, and somewhere in the middle of that, I we'd lived in Singapore for BCG I met Vint Cerf who was one of the real founders of the internet, uh, through a meeting at visa. He was at Google and we can talk about serendipity later, cuz I would consider that this very serendipitous, but ultimately I used that meeting to talk to Google. Ended up with a role at Google running. Two thirds of the revenue in Asia came back to Singapore, had been here ever since and had roles at Google. Then I ran all of Twitter in Asia and then I. A company called CloudFlare, which is internet security and performance. Mm-hmm in Asia as well. Mm. So sorry, such a long story, cuz I've been working for so long,

Jean:

you must have been running Twitter when it was just at its early growth stage here in Asia, cuz it sort of,

Aliza:

yes, I was the first person on the ground in Asia for Twitter. Mm-hmm there was nobody living in Asia until I started in Singapore in um, our. Living room. Mm, wow.

Jean:

Well, congratulations. Cuz that's a, that's certainly a success story. Yeah. Yeah.

Aliza:

Well, I don't think we can put it all up all down to me, but it was great to be around for that. Yeah. Yeah. Um, you talked about serendipity actually.

Jean:

I'd love you just to say a little bit about that, cuz I think it does play such an important role in our careers. It's it's not just the moment. It's the action we take after the moment that I think. Leads us places we might go. Could you say a bit about that?

Aliza:

Well, I think you've stolen my thunder and very nicely too. um, you know, people talk about serendipity and I in the book I talk about and someone that always reminds me of that word is that I think there's a story. I don't know if it's apocryphal that Kate Moss, when she was a teenager, was walking through an airport in Florida somewhere and somebody said to her, oh my gosh, you're gorgeous. Do you wanna be a model? And that launched, you know, this amazing. Career for her. And that is certainly serendipitous, but I think that kind of serendipity doesn't happen too often. I mean, there are little bits of serendipity like that. You bumped into a friend on the subway who you'd been meaning to call. I was recently in Greece and I posted on Facebook and a friend of mine who never uses Facebook, but had to look up something, saw that I was there and said, Hey, we're an hour and a half away. And I said, and he lives in Washington, DC. And we live in Singapore. And I said, well, funnily enough, you're not gonna be an hour and a half away tomorrow. We're coming to the same town where you are. So serendipitously, we were able to see these close friends twice for dinner. So little things like that happen, but I think big career moves. I wrote this little equation, uh, and maybe I'm not the first person to come up with it, but in the book that serendipity equals opportunity. Plus. And I think that's, you know, what we need to be thinking about in careers is noticing when there's something that might be serendipitous and then acting on it. And I suspect I've had tons of times where I didn't notice and that lots of people had that as well. Yeah. In the case with Google, because I was living in Silicon valley and because all these people were around when I was at visa and we were trying to work on a project with Google. It had occurred to me that, gosh, I'm in financial services and I like it. And it's interesting. And I still have lots to learn, but this, you know, quote unquote, air quotes, internet thing is going on around me and I'm not part of it. And I just wonder if I'm missing out. And I think it was before anybody had coined FOMO, but basically I'm just naturally curious. And so I thought, wow, you know, I wonder if somebody like me, who's already, you know, mid career. I was in my forties. Could go work at someplace like that, which is known to be hiring people outta college, but I could learn something if I could go I'd learn something really new. So I sat on it for a couple weeks because I thought, gosh, writing to somebody who I met through my current business about their company is a little out there. Audacious, but you know, is it appropriate or not? But I finally decided, you know what, I'm just gonna do it. Of course, I used my personal email to write, write to him. And I did say, look, if you find this, um, inappropriate, uh, please, you know, feel free not to respond, but I'm just wondering whether you think Google or any other similar company might talk to somebody like me. I'm not the natural profile or I don't seem to be the, the profile. You're hiring right now, but I'm interested. I'm curious. I'd love to learn. Um, and that started my conversations with Google, which took about nine months before we settled on something. Uh, because I wanted to go back to Asia. They were focusing on the us at that time. Uh, they said, well, what, what can you do? And I said, well, you're right. You know, I don't know online media, but I can certainly contribute. I've been running sales and marketing. Uh, business development and running this for companies both globally and solely in Asia for most of my career do you need that? Oh my gosh. Yes. You know, we need to drive these sales. So that's how we came to a meeting in the mind. I consider that because I suspect that since I came in through Vint Cerf, who is an evangelistic, Google, and somebody, they respected. That I got more focus earlier, even though I had a non-traditional resume.

Jean:

Yeah. And you took some audacious to use your word action as well in the space of that, right?

Aliza:

I talk about that in the book and I really encourage people to do that. And just to kind of, I can't think of the times that I missed it because I missed it, but I am sure there are times we've all missed opportunities like that and thought, oh, I won't do it. Or I shouldn't or. Uh, that person won't wanna hear from me and help back when we probably could have, uh, made something happen for ourselves.

Jean:

Yeah. Yeah, for sure. For sure. well, you've mentioned your book, so first of all, congratulations on it., thank you. I'm curious, it's an interesting book to be writing at this time. Don't quit your day job. We're in the middle of what we, uh, talking about the great resignation. So I'd love to hear a little bit about what led you into writing it.

Aliza:

Sure. So the title of course is a. Meant for the times, it's a little controversial. It's always good to be contrarian. I definitely don't mean never quit your day job. Otherwise I'm the worst example, right? In order to write the book in order to have the time to do it, I quit my day job, but I guess there are two things. One I do find. That I do a lot of sort of coffee mentoring an hour here and there with people who, who want some help, usually when they're at a crossroads in their career, a turning point or a tough time, not that many people call me up and go, can I have coffee with you? Because everything's so great. And I just wanna tell you about it which would be okay too. But yeah, there are two issues. One, I don't really love coffee. I drink decaf latte with lots of milk, so just kind of wave the coffee over it. So, I don't wanna spend my whole day drinking coffee. And anyway, it's not scalable. Even if I used 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there aren't that many people I could see. Yeah. And, um, I'm hoping that by having written the book, more people can access it. If there's or more access, you know, my learnings. and the learnings of there's basically three dozen, maybe more people in the book whose examples are used. So the idea is that it's relatable. If you don't feel like you're like me, you might be like, Susie, you might be like Ning Faye. Um, you might be like Rahul. There's lots of different people in the book. Age range, 22 to 62, different ethnicities different genders, different parts of the world. Different industries, academia, healthcare tech. And if there's one thing you learn in tech, it's that it's gotta be scalable. If you wanna succeed, it's gotta be scalable and coffee mentoring is not scalable. Yeah. So I thought, great. I'll try to learn what I've learned. Um, at tech one thing is test and iterate and the second is be scalable. So that, that was why I wrote the book and why I wrote it now. Is because I feel like people are coming to me and I feel like a lot of people are thinking about potential career changes, life changes. And I don't think there's a secret. I wouldn't say I found, you know, all these answers and life is utopia, but I think there's a number of learnings that can help you help. enjoy their life and their work.

Jean:

I would agree and I think it's good for us to be looking out for the opportunities to make that happen. So in the book you talk about six essential mind shifts. Could you tell us just briefly about those six mind shifts that you see as key.

Aliza:

Well, I don't think I'll tell you about all of them. Cause then you won't wanna read the book. and also it'll take me too long. Okay. One thing I will point out is there are six mind shifts and each one has four or five power perspectives and a couple of very concrete action steps. So it's not a workbook, but it is meant to be something. Whereas I said, you can find both relatable examples and, um, ideas about what you might do yourself, uh, to. Make things work for you. And, and one thing I'd like to say is that I talk a lot about work and life, but I really hate work life balance the term, me too, that it, it makes life sound like a Seesaw. So if your life is up, your work is down. Like if you're enjoying your life, you shouldn't be enjoying your work. Or if you're enjoying your work, then you can't be enjoying your life. And I, I think that that's not, not right. So I tried to write about how to make. It's not a zero sum game and how to make them both work for you. So that was the main point of it, I guess. Um, let me see if I talk about a couple of them. One of them is about stamina. So I only came up with two equations for the book, and I don't think either one's gonna be as famous as equals MC. But I did come up with this other one that stamina equals perseverance plus enthusiasm. And that's how I think about it. You know, we read about grit, we read about grinding it out. And I think not everybody will have, will be able to have a job or career where they're happy, but I think a lot of us can and stamina is something that keeps us in there. So not every day is gonna be great in any career. or not every period of your career or not every step you're taking. And so the stamina is the part that keeps you going with the enthusiasm, which is the part that makes it okay. Cuz you know, you're gonna get to the next step and you know that there are a good things there. And I think cultivating that gives you kind of a superpower. Hmm. And I'll give you an example. There's a woman in the book named Barbara. It's not her real name. She didn't, many of the people it's the real name, but some people didn't give me permission or wanted to be disguised. And I met her when she was at a tech company in the us, and she was in her mid to late twenties. And she said, I'm being layered over. I've been head of sales here and they're bringing in ahead of sales over me. It's demoralizing. It's demeaning. I've gotta go. And the reason I'd met her is cuz I knew the person who was coming in over her and I, he, you know, he just told me and then I had to meet her socially. That's how I knew about her. And so I was like, oh wow. You know, I understand. Do you really think that you've gotta go? She said, absolutely. You know, I still wanna be head of sales and I, I don't wanna take this. And I said, well, as it happens, I know the guy who's coming in. And he's known for being a really great leader, really investing in his people and being very good at driving revenue. I wonder if it would make sense for you to stay a little while, like that would take some stamina that would take some guts on your part, cuz you're really upset, but you can still always quit. Right? Once you quit, it's hard to come back. Although during the great resignation, apparently 5% of people have already gone back to the jobs they left. um, it's harder to come back, but you can always quit later. I wonder if you wanna experiment and stick it out. I am sure there are other people who gave it the same advice. I don't think she did it just based on talking to me. And we did have a longer conversation than that, but she stayed at that company. And I know from the outside that she got promoted twice, including once, while she was on maternity leave, which should not be an event we're talking about. But sadly in this day and age, it's still something worth mentioning. Yeah. And now she, herself is the chief revenue officer at a tech firm, but alar larger one than the one than the size of the one she was at when all this happened. So if she had left at that time, if she hadn't had the stamina to stick it. I think she would've certainly been employed again. And she would probably consistently be at smaller tech firms, maybe series a, maybe series B in this case, she's at a larger firm. I believe it's series D because she hung in there. She had stamina. She decided to give it a shot. She kept her enthusiasm up and she did really well out of it. And she. The new boss. Yeah. So that's just one example of where stamina kept somebody in there. Um, when they thought maybe they should go Hmm. And it really helped. And, and. some of what you're talking about.

Jean:

And what I think is important is that often stamina is about our mindset. It's the way we approach the situation that we are in. And that if we can find a way to reposition it as you help to, to do, then it's possible. It makes it all possible.

Aliza:

Yeah. I think there's a couple things. I think there's a lot of stuff you can read in positive psychology and from people like Art Markman, who talk about. Mindset and, you know, I'm at best in armchair psychologist. So there's a little bit of it. And I, I did get art Markman to gimme some quotes for the book, but there's also doing what you need to do for yourself outside. So you can hear from, in everything I talked about before, I do some sort of physical exercise every day for an hour or so, because I really like it gives me satisfaction. That's my me time. Somebody else might. Um, somebody else might spend that time volunteering or cooking. And if you're a fan of Ariana Huffington, or even Dan to listen to her at all, over the last few years, she's just spent a lot of time talking about sleep and how important sleep is both for making you. Pleasant to be with at work for your own energy and now less from her, but more from, I think Mayo clinic just put out a study and there are a couple other ones. So, um, we're all aging. And I may be ahead of some of you listening to this podcast, but they're showing that it seems that lack of sleep may be a cause of dementia, which doesn't really seem like a pleasant outcome later in life. So I think that's another important. It is really. Yeah.

Jean:

And it's really important. The, the sleep conversation, because we have so, uh, rewarded people who said, oh, I don't sleep much. I can live on little sleep, but actually the research is really pointing, not just to the long term, but to the short term implications of that. You say something in the book about preparing for promotion, actually, I'd like to read a bit about it. You say. you need to prove that you can do the job you're angling for. And I guess I'm wondering how you think we can prepare for future roles and show that we are promotable, which kind of links to the story that you were just saying, how do we do that?

Aliza:

Well, so I did give an example in the book of someone who's manager told them, um, you know, you aren't ready for the next role because you don't have. Really global experience in this worldwide company, you only have this country and also you're not very strategic or we haven't seen it. And this person was pretty lucky cuz they had a great manager and also their company had, and a lot of companies have this, some kind of limited, but some guidelines about what do you need at each level. And so if you're not getting that, you need to be asking management for it. What do I need to be, to do, be promoted? they were able to then ask their manager, well, how am I gonna get this? And the manager said, okay, I can help you. So the manager went about looking for a global project, so it wasn't a new job, but just something where this person could participate. And also, so that was for the sort of worldwide perspective and then on strategic issues, the next year's plan and the three year strategy were coming. And the manager carved out a task for this person so that they could demonstrate and learn. So I'm, I'm totally oversimplifying it. It doesn't happen that quickly. It doesn't happen that fast, but I think many times companies would like to at least see some evidence that you're going to be able to do the next role. Um, and so. you need to be looking at what does that role above me or beside me, or over there, whichever it is that you are aiming for, what does it require? And if I don't have those things, can I start demonstrating them? Yeah. Now there are all these stories that we hear all the time that, um, a job will open up. women in particular will say, oh, there's 10 elements. I only have 9.9. I won't raise my hand. And maybe some men will be braver and say, well, I've got two of the 10 that's good enough. And they'll put up their hand. So of course there's some willingness to, again, stick your neck out. Be audacious, say I'm ready. But I think often especially if the role hasn't become empty and they're looking just at promotion, it, it really works. If you can demonst. That you are doing some of that already. And I think that's easy in many cases as you're climbing up. So, you know, in consulting, for example, um, one of the things you have to do when you become more senior is sell work. So you start out analyzing, then you start out leading projects, you build client relationships, but you don't have to be a partner or principal or whatever term is used in your company to sell work. If you've got good relationships with clients and you can start to. Come up with a way to partner with them and think about what work you might organize to complete for them. Go ahead. Nobody will say that that was a bad thing. And that's already demonstrating. That you have one of the capabilities that will be looked for later?

Jean:

Mm. Yeah. I absolutely agree with you on this. I often talk about it with coaching clients as being like a simple gap analysis, which people will do in their, you know, when they're doing some planning for something, but actually it's about us in our roles. Where do I wanna be? And what's the gap. Right. Um, but the other thing that you said that I think's really important is having. Open conversations with your manager about it. If your manager's not willing, then with a mentor or with a coach to help you think through what is that and how do you achieve it. But the starting point is your manager,

Aliza:

because the start important is really your manager, or if you have skip levels with your manager's manager, because they're the ones who are promoting you. I think it's great to get outside. Um, I really believe in having a personal board of directors, which I talk a lot about in the book. Yeah. When you think about companies, they have a board of directors whose main job, you know, their primary job is to hire and fire the CEO. That's the most important decision they make, but of course, they spend a lot of time trying to guide the company, ask questions and, um, perhaps give insights as the management requests and to do that effectively corporate boards. Are made up of people of varying backgrounds, varying industries, varying functions, you know, somebody might be an HR expert. Somebody might be an ESG expert. Somebody might be an it expert. Somebody might know real estate. Somebody might know retail, somebody might know oil and gas depending on the company. So if you think about that, there's no reason we shouldn't do the same for ourselves I think coaching is great. Some people can afford to pay for coach or have their company pay for it. Some people cannot. And asking somebody to be your mentor or having somebody become your mentor takes a long time. And I think it's a big responsibility. For the mentor, having a board of directors, I think the people don't even need to know they're on it. Um, having written about it in the book, I've now had people say, okay, well, I like the language and actually thinking about it that way, you know, you Aliza are on my board of directors for which I feel very flattered, but you know, I don't think you need to tell people it's a relationship you cultivate over time. You don't need to see them that often, maybe four times a year, it's somebody you need to be genuinely interested in. I don't think you can just use them. It's not a machiavellian thing. and like, if I wanted to switch to healthcare, maybe I need to talk to somebody who's been a healthcare professional, or maybe a few, maybe a nurse, a doctor, a physio. Maybe I need to talk to someone who's worked in a hospital or somebody in private practice or hospital management. Maybe I need to talk to somebody who's currently in a hospital management course. There's lots of different kinds of people I could hear from. Maybe I need to talk to somebody who made that switch. Uh, maybe I need to talk to someone who had that career and walked away from it. You know, I, I can pull all those sorts of things together. Maybe I need to talk to someone who's in Australia and somebody who's in Singapore. So I think that's one good way to get that outside perspective of what are the gaps or how to think about your career differently. Yeah, yeah. Than you might be thinking about yourself. Mm-hmm but for the promotion per se, I think they may give you good insight, but mostly. your manager or somewhere in your, firm's gonna need to tell you it.

Jean:

Absolutely. Um, you also talk in the book about social capital. What do you mean by social capital?

Aliza:

Well, so we all talk about financial capital that's money, right? That's stuff we build up over time assets, but your social capital are your relationships and the connections that you have. And. um, I guess, you know, we think about it. You and I have a friend in common Stacy who introduced me to be on this podcast. So you leveraged your social capital to get hopefully a great guest. And I leveraged my social capital to be on a great podcast. And so, you know, that's a very little example, but I think it's those things we build up over time where you can call on somebody to. Help you with a project at work. I mean, obviously it's their job to help you, but if you've built some sort of relationship with them, it makes it that much easier. Um, maybe after you build social capital, you feel like you can ask for advice. I think it's that network of relationships that help us, us smooth our way through the world. So not necessarily having connections at the highest level, I'm not talking about. people who are, I guess, born into really well connected political families or financial families. I mean, they do, they kind of come with social capital, but the rest of us can build it and it doesn't have to be something you're born into. And it doesn't have to be that you go to the highest levels or that you feel you have to be obsequious to people. It's just your network beyond friendship or including friendship, but beyond of people whom you can work.

Jean:

to get things done. Yeah. I mean, I hold that all organizations are fundamentally relational and that, that everything happens through relationship, ultimately that even, you know, if one developer doesn't talk to another developer, then the code breaks. And so that part of the importance of social capital of our relationships is actually even just to get our day jobs done. It's right. It's the whole I mean, big, congratulations on your book again, Aliza. It's really, it's really wonderful as we draw to a close. I wonder if you could finish by sharing one piece of advice that you wish that you'd been given earlier in your career that would've helped you.

Aliza:

I, I really think it's this board of directors thing. I didn't start doing it until. E even though this seems like a pun or something, it's not, I didn't kind of start that approach until I wanted to be on corporate boards of directors. So I went to one friend of mine who's on boards and said, oh, it's never gonna happen. And she said, uh, why not? I said, well, you know, you gotta be a CEO and then you retire. And then people call you. She said, that's not how it works anymore. She said, have you told anybody you wanna be on the board of directors? And I said, no. And she said, well, you know, that might be a good start. It sounds like I'm an idiot. Right. But you know, that was one piece of advice. Then I have another. Woman. I spend time with who, um, is a very well respected senior Singaporean woman. Who's been on boards for years, and I go to her to try to understand how to better operate in the Singapore Milu. And then I have another person who helps in Australia. So I've sort of only started crafting that in the last decade. It doesn't mean I've never asked for advice before, but I think that if I thought more clearly about. In my younger years and thought about who might be able to help me. And can I create this Codery of people who are, I'm able to go to periodically, uh, that I probably would've gotten some better insights earlier on than I did both about myself and the world of work.

Jean:

Mm. Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. I think so important for us to have those people around us who can support us, help us advise us, guide us and be there for us. brilliant.

Aliza:

And, and one of them might be your coach if you have one. I think that would, that's great. I just didn't have one of those either.

Jean:

yeah. Yeah. Well, neither did I actually, but, uh, I kind of wish I had earlier on. Thank you so much for your time. Aliza, it's been great to hear your story. You've been, um, in your career. Probably many firsts, actually. I think certainly you've led the way in tech. I'm sure. I'm sure you've underplayed some of that role that you've played in leading in that industry. And I would encourage everyone to get a copy of your book.

Aliza:

Well, thank you very much for having me on Yeah, first sometimes, and sometimes lucky last as they say in Australia. And like when we're doing, um, races for fun and a picnic and, uh, yeah, hopefully the book will be useful to anyone who reads it. I think if you take one nugget away for now and something that tweaks for you five minutes or five years later, it's probably worth the read. It's very fast. I must say there are a lot of great examples in it. And I can say that cuz they're not about me. Some really interesting stories. Yeah. There are. I know. They're really good. All right. Well thank you very much thanks Jean.