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Crystal Neri | Things I Like About JFDI - Crystal Neri

Things I Like About JFDI

What’s been keeping me busy these days is my new job as Social Media and Content Marketing Manager at JFDI Asia. In short, I handle our socials and make sure we have awesome content. How I am today – giddy and challenged and fulfilled – is a far cry from what I’ve been the past few months.

My biggest worry about moving to Cebu was finding the right  kind of work (also, earning a liveable salary). Did you know that unemployment is in the Top 10 traumas for a human being? Going through that was like living a nightmare. Add to that I was also very picky with how I spent my time. I didn’t play golf, even if my fiancé often does, as it is something I consider irrelevant.

I didn’t take any “survival” job either. I worked in San Diego for year and saved 50% of my salary, so I can be deliberate in finding work in Cebu. I want a position that would force a learning curve in writing and digital media. 

One of the most important points in Dr. Meg Jay’s book, ‘The Defining Decade’ is about spending “your 20’s learning.” She adds, “Salary is roughly equivalent to your skills. In your 20’s don’t expect to earn money. You simply don’t have the experience. Instead, you should spend this decade learning and absorbing as much as you can. Hopefully by the time you’re in your 30’s, money shouldn’t be a problem.” There’s a lot of easy-money dead-end jobs, that even my fellow 20-something friends are forced to take. 

One day while browsing Mynimo (an online forum like Craigslist), I saw a job opening in socials for a company called JFDI Asia. Three interviews and a writing trial later, I was hired. I was that overdressed lady you probably saw fist-pumping at the intersection of Cardinal Rosales and Mindanao Avenue on a hot afternoon. At that moment, everything felt so right. 

JFDI Asia is a Singapore-based accelerator. In short, they help venture-fundable startups. Right now my job has me reading and writing about technology, entrepreneurship, risk mitigation, etc. – things I have never written before in my life. This week I had to make an MIT paper web-friendly. I’m racking my brain everyday, but this is exactly the learning curve I’m looking for.

Day One of my employment, I sent out a tweet that JFDI is so cool. Our company mascot is a frog we call Smoochy (#spotsmoochy).

I’ll share with you the Four JFDI Principles listed in our employee handbook. I’m very fond of them and believe they can be applied in all areas of life:

4 Principles Of JFDI 

1. Resourcefulness Principle – You should assume that at any given time, other people are busy with their own work, so if you can accomplish something or find an answer to a question without bothering someone else, you should try to do that first. 

This filters all the ignoramus and annoying people out of our offices. It means I can work in peace, except when somebody really needs something from me. I heard this story once about JFDI Chairman Meng Wong. One of my coworkers needed some information, so Meng told the guy to: first, google like crazy; second, hit his head in the wall; third, (if that’s still not working) only then ask someone. No spoon-feeding works for us, so we can focus on big wins.

2. Relevance Principle – avoid unnecessarily taxing the attention of people who don’t care. 

3. Searchability Principle – make the communication available on demand to anyone looking for it.

We use the Slack app to make office communication seamless. We don’t like email because info gets buried there. So in the Slack’s editorial channel, I get almost real-time feedback from my editor, Joyce Huang. All of us gets to read and learn from company ‘critical incidents,’ something we all talk about weekly. I also get to easily reach out to our CEO Hugh Mason and Chairman Meng Wong, would I ever need quotes. Searchability supports our resourcefulness principle, which in turn supports…
4. Openness Principledefault to the medium which is the most open for the communication at hand.
Openness has long been cited as a hallmark trait in successful marriages. How would I have known these works in company culture too? Everything is online for us to read, check and use. Openness very well ties into searchability and resourcefulness which all, in turn, optimise our work flows. We don’t have to rely on other people to ‘send us this..’ (OK, sometimes we still do). We use Asana for tasks, Nimble for contacts, SlimWiki for company SOP’s, and Slack for office chitchat. All open, searchable, paperless, efficient and awesome.
Hi from the office! We use Hangouts to touch base with the Singapore team.
Cal Newport in his book, ‘So Good They Can’t Ignore You,’ talked about three things that define great work:
1. Creativity
2. Impact
3. Control
My work today is giving me autonomy and flexibility. I can clearly see the impact of my work in Hubspot metrics, feedback from my colleagues and retweets and follows from tech people on Twitter. When I get better, I’ll eventually handle Inbound Marketing, a skill I consider highly valuable in today’s connected world. So, I cleared all of Newport’s requirements.
Every morning I sit in the garden or take a few minutes in the car to pinch myself. This is the reality of where I am at the moment. I’ve left my life in San Francisco/San Diego to move to Cebu, Philippines. I’m getting married soon. Despite of being picky and specific, I found the job that I’m looking for.
I read this from Paulo Coelho as a kid and it still holds true today:
crystalCrystal Superal is the Social Media and Content Marketer at JFDI, the #1 business accelerator in Asia. She finished her Multimedia Communications degree while playing golf for a San Francisco-based art school. She currently lives in Cebu City, Philippines. For her thoughts about tech and lifehacks, follow her Twitter @crystalsuperal.