Today’s Notable Young Professional is Amy Chan, who is currently the founder of JustMyType.ca and the Vice President of Hotel Relations for Hotel Insider, as well as being the Director of Marketing Outreach for TEDx Vancouver. How does she balance it all? Find out in today’s profile…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I’m a luxury hotel reviewer by day for www.HotelInsider.com and a relationship columnist by night for www.JustMyType.ca. In addition, I am also the Director of Marketing Outreach for TEDx Vancouver.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
When I was 25, I went through a breakup and wrote a blog about the experience. It was a way of healing. I received a tremendous amount of positive response by my friends who said the piece helped them, and that was the first time I thought that maybe I had some writing talent.
I pitched that blog to over 100 publications. Most of them ignored me, some told me I wasn’t experienced enough. But one editor gave me a chance; that was the 24 Hours Newspaper, and seven years later, I am still writing for them. The process taught me a valuable lesson: be resilient. Don’t let rejection deter you. You only need one person to give you a chance.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is that writing is not work for me. Reading and writing is a daily ritual that I look forward to. I also feel blessed that I get to interview people, learn their stories and gain wisdom throughout the process. The most challenging part is when I have readers who reach out with their problems, and sometimes my heart breaks as I can feel their pain. One time, I had a reader tell me she was thinking of suicide.
I’m trying to learn how to separate empathy from sympathy, but it’s tough to not take the pain of others on.
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
I become absent-minded, start forgetting things, and am not fully present in a conversation. That’s my cue that I need to do something relaxing to decompress and get back to equilibrium.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Writing and speaking full-time. Starting a family.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Learning how to balance my femininity while being a respected leader in a male-dominated industry. I remember when I just started the corporate world, I had a male colleague slap me on the ass. I felt ashamed and questioned myself. As I grew in my career and emotional intelligence, I learned that our energy and confidence is the currency that others will transact with. I am clear with my boundaries and what I will and will not tolerate. I do not try to act like a man in order to fit in. I’m assertive, but not aggressive.
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Society’s definition of success is often based on achieving a level of financial status and material wealth. The problem with this definition is that success is always a moving goalpost, and you can lose it in an instant.
Contributing to the world in a positive, meaningful way, living a life filled with laughter and joy, creating a supportive community, helping others reach their potential, doing things with love… that is success to me. It’s about creating a life filled with an abundance of love and giving.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
One of the most memorable milestones of my career was when one of my articles went viral and made the front page of the Huffington Post.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
If you want something, spend time to create the vision for it. Be specific. Write it down. Create a vision board. You need to know what you want before the universe transpires to help you achieve it. Once you know what you want, break it down into small, attainable steps, so that you don’t see the overall goal as too overwhelming.
Then start creating and nourishing your relationships. Every great opportunity for me has happened because someone took a chance on me. Enter every relationship with the mentality of “how can I help this person” and give without expectations. Provide a connection if you think you can make a valuable match, give expertise on an area you are skilled at, gift a book that you think the person will get value out of. Create a habit of giving and connecting others.
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
In my home in Vancouver, my favourite place to dine is Nook. It’s an Italian restaurant with delicious food and an energetic vibe.
In New York, it’s a toss up between Blue Ribbon Sushi and Rosemary’s.
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
I go to a coffee shop, have a croissant and read or write. I look at beautiful pictures, I dance, I listen to music, I have tea and a conversation with a friend. That’s how I recharge.
Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
I love Paris. It’s nostalgic, beautiful, and there is such a creative and artistic vibe there. It is a city filled with beauty.
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
Young Folks – Peter Bjorn and John
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
I can’t imagine not writing. But if I wasn’t to do any work at all, I’d be getting my Master’s degree in neuroscience.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I am passionate about organizations/charities that are making an impact to stop sexual slavery. Not For Sale Campaign is an organization I support.
What to you is notable?
People who choose to take life’s curveballs and traumas, get back up and use them as fuel to make impact, help others and push the bar further.
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#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)