Emma Newman is Head of Business Development at Veridate Financial. In her 2021 Spotlight Series Interview, she discusses her opportunity to move to Hong Kong, her 2020 motivations, and much more.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am an English expat who has been living in Hong Kong for over two years. When I first made the announcement that I was moving to Asia, my friends and family could not believe it. I had recently bought a house and considered myself settled for at least a few months, if not years in my new home. However, I knew when the opportunity was presented, there was no question, and within a few months, I was married, renting out my house and on the move to Asia. Carpe diem or lose the chance is a moto I tend to go by when navigating life.
Career wise for the past 9 years I have been working in young and growing businesses; making an impact and building relationships from the ground up has been the norm. I saw great success in the UK growing portfolios in the Pharma-Tech industry and helped take a company to status as the largest privately owned technology business in the UK. It was a fun few years but when Hong Kong was in the cards, I knew it was time for change.
Fast forward a couple of years, and I am working on the next chapter in my career at Veridate, a young and growing FinTech firm. I am on the Networking Committee for WiFA and also known as the Fitness Lead for the organisation. When I am not at work, you will either find me playing for Valley RFC Netball club where I am actively participating as a social committee member for the teams, or hiking a peak in the glorious country parks of Hong Kong or socialising with my husband and friends at brunch.
2. How do you stay on top of your professional game? Any tips on how you keep your competitive edge?
Honesty, integrity and building trust. It’s not rocket science, nor is it a game. Hong Kong is a competitive marketplace. Many people are here for the same reason: to be successful. When I first arrived, I had no job (thanks to my husband for giving me the dream to move abroad to springboard to the next level of my career). I knew I must do three things meet people, keep educating myself and remain focused on what I want to achieve. Within three months of networking, studying additional technology and marketing courses, I had been offered an exciting role as Head of Business Development at Veridate. By this point, I was making even more professional connections than I had done in my previous job. You meet many people during your career, especially a career in sales but this is heightened even more so by living in Hong Kong. The networking does not stop, you are always looking for opportunities and exploring ways to progress. However, one key aspect to bear in mind, do network appropriately, do make meaningful connections and always think of how you can help others achieve their objectives. People remember the people they can trust, and a referral goes a long way in business to sustain that competitive edge over others. Who knows where a chance networking connection might lead in the future?
3. Think back to when you were starting out your career. What advice would you give your younger self?
Stop worrying about the small things and concentrate on the bigger picture. Life is a marathon and not a sprint. Back when I first started out in my career, there was only one thing on my mind, what can I do more to be noted, be seen and be successful? Obviously when you are first starting out, it can be daunting but exciting knowing this is the first step you’re making as a young professional. I am not saying I should have worked less, it goes without saying, work hard and you will be rewarded however, the additional stress factors to burden yourself with is added worry you don’t need. Especially when it is outside of your control. Persevere, have faith in what you are doing and trust in your ability to succeed; the rest will fall into place. There’s not much else to it.
4. What has kept you motivated to succeed this past year?
Remaining positive is a huge factor in my mindset. The past year has been ‘interesting’ both professionally and personally and I am certain this is true for most people. The pandemic has without a doubt thrown unexpected challenges to deal with. Setting myself realistic goals and expectations that are manageable is a great way to keep me motivated and not dwell on the negative factors that are beyond my control. Being in sales has taught me one thing, you won’t win them all. Focus on the objectives you can achieve, understand the needs and wants of prospects and gently chip away. When the opportunity is right, it will work out. We’ve had good success at Veridate these past few months including having signed our biggest customer to date after a few months of exploring and discovering the opportunity. The working from home arrangements set us back at points but it’s building on these successes that drives me forward even more. In addition to this, a huge factor to keep motivated to succeed has been my newfound love of hiking the peaks in Hong Kong and continuing with my passion for health and fitness. Success outside of work is just as important to me. To succeed personally only motivates me to succeed more inside of my professional space. It’s all about the balance.