I graduated from NTU business and managed to do well in my career. After my initial success, my department had a female HOD.
Slowly all the men in the department were being replaced with women. I applied for a few jobs including one which claimed “headed by a female CEO”. My name cuts both ways so the interviewer did not know if I am a male or female and invited me for an interview.
They were not able to tell from my voice either because I am quite soft-spoken. During the interview, the hiring manager apologized and said she prefer to give women chance. The only reason they invited me for an interview is that they thought I was female.
Fair enough. Tired of looking for a job, I ventured into social media.
What I did not get in my career, I wanted to build in the social media space. So everyday after work for three hours before sleep, and on weekends I worked on my social media space content. My first success was 1,000 subscriptions. I became greedy, and soon it was 10,000. Today it is close to 200,000 with 70% being female (40% from the American Market, 30% from the European Market, 20% from the Asian market, and 10% from the UAE). I market products for women from cosmetics to intimate wear and from sports apparel to fashion wear. What these women do not know is that, the lady they subscribe to and support is a male who looks like Cinderella. I model these dresses, sports apparel, and intimate wear. I am my own model and make-up artist. I am my own camera person. So my cost is very low.
Now, getting back to my employment story. I was asked to leave the company by my female supervisor when I only had 20,000 subscribers. Sure enough, she found another lady to replace me. She terminated me using performance as an excuse.
For months I struggled. I took on various work from Grab to Starbucks. I even had to secure a forklift license and obtain a Class 4 driving license to find additional work scope to earn money. With what I earned, I built my business bigger and grew my subscriber base to 200,000.
Last week (it has been 3 years now), I bumped into my ex-female supervisor at Takashimaya. We had a brief chat. I learned that two of her employees did not perform well and it consequently affected her performance at work. She was offered to option to resign and she was looking for a job. She acknowledged that she should have kept me for my value-added contribution.
She asked me how I was. I told her I was “so-so” and managing. I did not know what to tell her. Because my online sales have increased, I needed someone to manage the financial aspects of it, while I focus on business growth. I don’t know if I should tell her about my success.
Of course, I don’t mind hiring her. If she did not terminate me, I would not have been successful. Just that I do not know how to reveal to her that I am in “female related business” and that I am the “girl” that these women follow.”