Angeline Chow
May Woman to Watch

Angeline Chow

Tell us a bit about yourself and your career so far. 

I have been in Australia now for almost 7 years. In terms of career it has been super varied and I have worked in a lot of different industries. My first real job was as a buyer at an ecommerce business in fashion/retail. I then got into banking whilst I was going to university, and I progressed through for 5 years ending up in relationship management. In banking it was great to go through all the exciting major life events with people in the five years I was there. I kind of thought I’d seen so many exciting events in other people’s lives that I wanted to do something big in my career and life so I resigned and moved to Australia to try something new. 

In my move I wasn’t sure what roles I was going to focus on, I looked at banking but it was obviously very different and saw it as an opportunity to try something new. As most expats do, I started in recruitment which I really enjoyed and a great way to get a lay of the land in Australia and learn how Australians do business. I then moved to Mumbrella, a media and events company and got to work on exciting events – it was great for my career and I started working with a lot of tech companies. I naturally ended up becoming very focused on the tech portion of the industry and when the opportunity with Asana came up it felt like the right opportunity for me. I have been here for 2 years now and it’s been amazing. 

Why did you choose sales? What is it about it you love?

Besides my first role in buying, a lot of my career was in sales – selling banking products, recruiting, selling advertising space, events etc. I also started working on the creative side of things at Mumbrella which I thrived in and I found interesting. At Asana it’s great to be able to work with so many different industries and also work within a range of teams. It’s amazing to know how many of the problems that we face are so similar. It feels like a puzzle and it’s really satisfying to connect all the dots. 

What would you say was the biggest difference you noticed between working in the US to the move to Sydney?

I think the industry that I was working in in America makes a big difference – banking is very structured and there are a lot of laws and regulatory considerations for selling. I think it’s also important to consider the differences in maturity of the markets, Asana and work management is relatively new to Australia. 

The US is a lot faster in adoption of new technologies – when you look at all the big tech companies, they are predominantly based in Silicon Valley which contributes to a culture of adopting new tech in the states. With Australia it feels like we are still in the teething stage where we are still explaining what work management is and a lot of people are used to the old ways of project/work management and using excel. 

Asana in Australia is only about 5 years old, so it’s really interesting to be a part of a company that is relatively new in the market. We are still building brand awareness, and with COVID and the massive change in the way we lived, worked, and interacted – it really highlighted the urgent need for a different way of working and the introduction of work management tools. Now that we have more opportunities for hybrid work, it’s all about how to make this work for everyone in the company, to encourage collaboration, and get the most out of it. 

How are you finding the current market? What is your advice for salespeople who might be struggling to find motivation during this time?

Every industry is feeling the pressure and there’s no denying the current macroeconomic situation is a challenge. I think it’s important to realise that so many people are in a similar situation but tech will always be a fast paced industry and we will always be in a state of change. It’s tough hearing about all the redundancies, but I think it’s important to think about what you can do to make the most out of your situation. 

People have made it through economic downturns in the past and it’s not always going to be like this – there is light at the end of the tunnel! I think it’s all about framing it and shifting the way that you work. 

Whatever tech you are selling, I think it’s important to go back to what your purpose is or what the problem is that you are solving. Especially during this time, we are all going through similar challenges, so you already have something to connect with your customers on. Take this time to dive in and solve the problem and sell authentically. Showing customers that you genuinely understand and are empathetic to their problems is so important to authentic selling. 

In terms of motivation, I think it comes in waves. Sometimes you will put in a lot of effort and it’s not mounting to anything. In those situations you need to celebrate the little wins and treat yourself. It’s also all about the mindset. If you have a positive mindset and shift yourself out of negativity, you might be able to see it as an opportunity for trying new and creative ways of selling and talking to customers. 

It’s a great time to try something new, what’s the worst thing that could happen? If what you are already doing isn’t working, it’s a great chance to show your creative capabilities and ability to think outside of the box. It’s fun and motivating when you try something new and it works and you get to share it with your team. 

What have you been reading or watching lately?

I like to read two books at the same time – one non fiction and one fiction – one to learn and bit more and one to escape. My non fiction recommendation would be Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown and for fiction I am currently reading Upgrade by Blake Crouch. I also am a big fan of the Diary of a CEO podcast.