Right from the time the school was first opened, babies were left abandoned at its gate (fondly known as the ‘Gate of Hope’) in Victoria Street (where the current CHIJMES is located). Ever since then, the IJ Sisters founded a service to care for these abandoned and at-risk children.
Over the years, this service evolved with the changing needs of the social landscape of Singapore. While the residential care for children continued, day care service such as learning support/out-of-school hours care programmes, Sounds of Providence (music, dance and speech) programme, Headstart programme for pre-schoolers, were offered alongside.
Today, the IJ Sisters, together with the lay partners, remain called to the service of the poor.
All my 3 daughters are in CHIJ schools and even my sister is from CHIJ schools too + being a father, it is unthinkable for me to know that babies are being abandoned so I’m fundraising for IJHCC. All kids should have their childhood and have an equal chance in life.
So donate generously this year end festive period and support this very meaningful non-profit.
Since Sundown with Love is an initiative by Sundown Marathon, I’m also going to be running 10km to support this cause. Come join me by registering with promocode “SDM2017NICK10” at sundownmarathon.com.
I’m also accompanied by fellow daddy bloggers Isaiah Kuan (J Babies’ Dad) who is running the half 21km and Andy Lee (Sengkang Babies) who is running the full 42km. I salute them and am will also be rooting for them.
I have loved running since secondary school, and always asked my PE teacher if the class will run 2.4km at every lesson. Recently I gave myself a challenge to run 5km for 30 days straight, and although I almost gave up half way, I managed to conquer it with encouragement from friends over social media.
I started blogging since 2000 and am part of the Daddy Matters network of Daddy bloggers advocating active fatherhood. I married my childhood sweetheart, and we have three daughters together. When not running or parenting, I work as a Digital Strategist at a global marketing agency and have been online since owning my first modem in 1995.
It’s the first time you’re coming on board as our Sundown With Love ambassador. Tell us more about yourself!
I’m a family guy and I like to believe I’m a fun daddy / friend to my three daughters. I have many interests ranging from Extreme Sports to Lindy Hop, EDM to Jazz, Calligraphy to Photography, Science Fiction to Online Culture and many more.
In the day I work as a digital strategist at a global marketing agency. I have been super active online since 1995 when I got my first modem.
How do you get your family and kids involved in running?
My eldest daughter Clié is a sprinter with explosive power, while my second daughter Cleo has stamina and is more of a distance runner. Sometimes they join me on my runs. With my wife, we walk around our neighbourhood after dinner or on Saturday mornings. Living in Punggol also means we are blessed with Punggol Waterway.
You participated in Sundown Marathon previously. How was your experience like?
My last Sundown was actually in 2013. With my hectic work schedule and parenting commitments, I can only run casually and have not been joining many organised runs. I’m glad to be part of OSIM Sundown Marathon 2017.
Which category will you be participating in OSIM Sundown Marathon 2017?
I will be running 10km, alongside the many other Singaporeans who bow down in respect to those who can do half and full marathons.
What will be your goal at OSIM Sundown Marathon 2017?
I’ve always done 52mins to 55mins for 10km, and hope I can go under 50mins this time. I’ve been training for it, so I hope I can break my personal best.
What advice would you give someone who is participating in Sundown Marathon for the first time?
Running at night is really comfortable and there is no need for sunglasses, so that is already an advantage. But in all seriousness, if you’ve not been running at all or have not been running for a very long time, do train a bit to get your body slightly more conditioned for the run so that you will have a safe and injury free run.
Get wireless headphones and start building your favourite music playlist for running.
How do you divide your time between blogging, family, and ensuring you lead a healthy lifestyle?
Having no time is very real when you have to juggle work, family and exercise. I really think it is all about your mind set. If you decide to do something, you should make time to do it. I do however have certain timeslots in the week for some activities. For example, free evenings are set for blogging; and nights and weekends are dedicated as family time. For runs, I usually run before dinner or after everyone has gone to bed on weekdays, and on weekends at Sunrise.
What tips can you provide dads who are considering on participating in OSIM Sundown Marathon 2017, but have yet to sign up?
As a dad myself, I think it is a responsibility to exercise and stay healthy for my family, so regular exercise is necessary. If you have not signed up, ask a few friends to join you. You are also welcomed to join me and a few fellow daddy bloggers for OSIM Sundown Marathon 2017. Andy Lee will be running 42km for the first time, Isaiah Kuan will be running 21km and I’ll be running 10km, feel free to join any one of us.
What’s your favourite food and why?
BEEF, CHEESE and WINE. I have one too many of these session with my friends at home and I’m looking forward to the next one all the time. It’s not just good food, but also great company.
How does the theme ‘Sleep Can Wait’ resonate with you, and why?
From young, I’ve always seen my mom sleep late and she never insisted that we sleep early. She thinks sleeping is a waste of time, but what she really means is that there is so much we can do in life that sleep almost feels like wasting time. I agree with her. I sleep because it is needed, and if I had a choice, I would rather stay up and do stuff or wake up early to go for a run.
The advertising agency sector is facing a talent crisis. A joint report by LinkedIn and 4A’s showed that when compared against competitive industries, the rate of talent turnover at agencies increased 10 per cent year over year, and that there was a 25% net talent loss at ad agencies.
To add to the challenge, ad agencies today operate in a complex advertising landscape, faced with an expanding number of marketing channels. As a result, brands are on the lookout for multiple specialised agencies to help them demystify these complexities – and yet every other agency claims to be full-service, integrated – that they can do it all.
If you are a young executive from an ad agency, are you confident to stand in front of your clients and be the one they can trust, having all the answers to their questions? I’ve seen many young executives in meetings with senior clients and they struggle. They feel they are too junior; they feel intimidated by senior clients. They feel they lack the gravitas. What if they are asked a difficult question and don’t have the answer for it? What if clients don’t believe what they say? What if they are not a good representation of the company? These are just a handful of common apprehensions.
All these fears are very real, and can be crippling for an individual’s professional growth. As marketing folks, we don’t just need to be good at what we do, we also need to be confident in our craft and we need our teams to be confident, too.
We need to be the ones leading the client-agency relationship. After all, clients hired agencies to help solve their challenges. Clients know what they would like to achieve, but rely on their agencies to develop the strategies and guide them into achieving their goals – failing which, the business will be taken to other agencies that will.
We need to be confident in front of our clients if we want to lead the relationship and be a valuable partner. So here are a few things that we can encourage our teams to do to be confident in our craft:
1. Know your stuff
Unsure of something? Read up, Google it, ask around. There is no excuse in not knowing your stuff. If you know your stuff, you can be questioned in anyway and you know you will have the answers.
Create a learning plan. List out the things you feel you need to learn in three, six, nine, twelve months.
Have the discipline to learn at least one thing every week.
Ask your seniors out for coffee and learn from them. Ask them any questions you may have within their domain of expertise.
2. Be passionate in your craft
Passion is a loosely used word. For the majority of those who say they have passion for their craft, most of the time they are saying it because it is the right thing to say. At interviews, when questioned, some candidates really have nothing to show for their passions and are only paying lip service.If we say we are passionate about our craft, let’s make sure we have something to show for it. If you are passionate, do what it takes and the enthusiasm will speak for itself. This gives your clients confidence in what you say.
Register a domain and build a small website of anything you like. It can be a blog, a cause you believe in, or simply a portfolio site.
Create a Facebook page, LinkedIn group of anything you are interested in and try to get at least 1000 people on it. It can be a hobby, a sport, anything.
Download the latest trendy app and work towards being good at it. It can be Snapchat, or BIGO Live.
3. Don’t think you can’t
Sometimes we lack confidence because we think “I can’t overcome this challenge, it’s just too great.” Instead of harboring second thoughts, focus your energies on thinking of “How can I?” That is a lot more productive and sets you on a path to overcome your challenges, so don’t think “I can’t.”, think “How can I?”
List out your top career challenge and think of 3 ways of how you can overcome it, then do it. Once you have overcome your top challenge, start working on your next one.
4. Everyone is your age once
Senior clients can be intimidating, but most of the time the only reason they are more senior then you is simply because they were born earlier. They were once your age too. So make sure you are above par when compared with your peers. If you are behind, start becoming better now. Tell yourself that you will be much better than them when at their age. And don’t just think it, do it.
For each client whom you find intimidating, search their profile on LinkedIn and then make a comparison with what they were doing when they were your age.
In short, we need more driven individuals.People who strive to better understand the client’s business. People who want to try out the latest app that everyone seems to be talking about. People who constantly go out of their comfort zone to learn more about how things work. People who are working towards bringing their client’s brands to meet their stated brand purpose.
In advertising, our people are our greatest asset. Just imagine what a few confident and driven people can do.