Meet Yin Yin Tan. She has worked in Communications for more than a decade, first in agency roles and now in-house. Throughout her career, Yin Yin has helped to bring more attention to the good that companies do, including celebrating their accomplishments and helping to fight fires when they arise.
Her other full-time job? Being a mummy to a cheeky 2-year old.
“Both roles require a lot of persuasive ability. From trying to get a journalist to see the merits of a story, to coaxing a toddler to finish his dinner—it’s not too different! Except it’s appropriate to use threats in only one of those scenarios.”
What helps you in achieving your goals?
I’m not one to have a 5-year or 10-year plan. I’m not very ambitious and I think that’s okay. I think ambition is overrated.
But I like being good at what I do and I am competitive by nature. That’s what keeps me going. Working hard, putting in my best effort, delivering outcomes that make a difference and being appreciated for it.
Prayer helps as well. From my p6 exams and across every major or difficult moment since, prayer has always carried me through and gotten me to a good place.
What does a successful woman mean to you?
Someone who is maximizing their potential in the areas that matter most to them. And whose service is leaving a meaningful, lasting impact on someone else, whether that’s family, co-workers, or community.
‘Successful’ is anyone who is living a life they won’t regret.
My mother will never appear in the news or win any big award but I know she will be remembered by countless family members, church members, friends and even distant acquaintances who have been touched by her service and her willingness to go many extra miles for them. And I think that makes her incredibly successful.
Which animal best represents your working self?
I asked my boss and we agreed it’s probably a horse.
I can keep going even when I feel like I really can’t anymore. I’ve literally worked through tears. I think it’s that competitive spirit that doesn’t allow me to throw in the towel.
Any advice for women working towards their dreams?
I think I’m a little under-qualified to be giving advice on this. I don’t have big dreams and I’m very much a work-in-progress.
What I have come to realize more and more over the years is that life is easier to navigate if you have full clarity on what’s most important to you and who matters most. Things will get a bit off-balance sometimes, and distractions will come and go. But having that north star is very important—it allows you to get back on track and ultimately live a life that is meaningful and fulfilling.
I also think we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. I’ve felt guilty for moments of unproductivity. But I am slowly learning that operating at 100% all the time only works for some people. For the rest of us, it’s okay to slow down and even do nothing for a bit, if it means going further in the long run.
What’s in your Toscano bag & what do you love about it?
I carry the Aimee tote with the work BiB, mostly to the office. It’ll have my laptop, water bottle, wallet, earbuds, keys, wet tissue, spare mask etc.
I really like that it’s roomy yet structured. The compartments are great for making sure my things are not a jumbled mess and clanging around in my bag.
What’s your pick-me-up?
When I get things done. LOL.
A good chat and laugh with a colleague also works. Or bubble tea. The drink for all seasons and all reasons.
If you could be a superhero, what power would you possess?
I'm not sure what powers I would possess. But I know what I’d like to be able to do: read people’s minds. I think that would be a very useful skill in my job.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I don’t have a 10-year plan! But I think I’d be very happy if, 10 years on - I was still alive and healthy, if my parents were also still healthy, if I’m still being productive, and raising a happy, confident kid.
A quote you live by?
“Speak up, even if your voice shakes.”