As a senior associate counsel heading the employment/labor law practice at Aflac, I am driven to be successful in whatever I do. Success however, does not come without a plan. To that end, I’ve incorporated several key principles into my everyday strategies that help keep me focused.
Turn weaknesses and tragedies into actionable strengths. As an Asian American born to immigrant parents, I felt the sting of bullying as a child. As an adult, however, my choices were to stay the victim or overcome. I chose the latter. I turned childhood hardships into strengths. For instance, to overcome low self-esteem, I forced myself to learn how to communicate publicly. I attended law school so that I could become a voice for the voiceless, and became a business lawyer with a focus on protecting employees.
Live passionately and perform your best. When you are doing something you love, it’s like not working at all. I use my training and experiences to help the leaders and employees of the company improve team-building skills. I conduct Equal Employment Opportunity Laws training, sensitivity training, and diversity training, which has provided an opportunity to work with leaders to forge a great employer/employee dynamic—the foundation of equal employment law.
Seek solutions, not temporary fixes. I try to present solutions that are directed at identifying the cause of problems rather than just a quick fix and hoping it will go away. There are no short cuts in life or in business.
Build a strong team and focus on success. As a leader, I try to clearly communicate performance expectations and encourage team members to excell, so that they have growth opportunities corporate-wide and not just in the legal department. I try to provide resources and constructive feedback on performance to team members. Most importantly, I remain open to feedback that may also help me evolve as a leader.
Women in the workforce face challenges every day, but still have the opportunity to live full lives, both professionally and personally. I encourage women to strive for that balance. When you overcome obstacles in your life, be sure to share it with those around you too so they might learn from your successes. When we help others, joy and contentment always seem to follow.
How has education affected your career?
Going to law school and obtaining my Juris Doctorate degree have opened up opportunities for me because you develop skills that are relevant for leadership positions in business and community organizations.
What does it take to succeed and stay competitive in your position/field?
Do what you love and do it well. A key to success is to do something you are passionate about. Joining Aflac as an employment/labor lawyer has given me the opportunity to use my specific talents in meaningful ways that I also enjoy.
Has discrimination affected you as a woman in the workplace? How did you deal with it?
Everyone faces discrimination at one time or another. You need to constantly move forward and never let obstacles, fair or unfair, change the pursuit of your goals.