Episode - 013: - Where we learn from Angel Lam, what qualities she looks for in a finance pro, the importance of tech skills, how to tweak your LinkedIn profile, change in working styles, and why she’s sceptical about ChatGPT.
After starting her career as an accountant, Angel worked as an Associate for Heidrick & Struggles and then Korn Ferry, before moving to work in senior positions for companies like Robert Walters, Derwent Executive and Envision Human Capital Advisory Services. Since then, Angel has founded JumpUp Global, who provide Executive coaching and Career Development services for those looking for career promotion, development and enhancement. Angel speaks 4 languages, and in her spare time likes to dance to different genres, like Hip-Hop, Jazz Funk and Waacking. Angel is also a Muay Thai fighter, so make sure not to get on her bad side!
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[00:00:00] Angel: Later on, if they wanna step up into becoming a finance management role or maybe they want to be head-hunted by another company who's just gone through or who is going to go through another system change or upgrade, then this is going to be a good reference and a good experience to sell yourself into a better opportunity.
This is just a really old term that I think we should just throw it all out. We're looking for a finance business partner who can look into the future for us. And that's the difference between the old versus new.
They just wanna follow the crowd, so to speak. And I'm pretty sceptical about that, you know, learning from my past experience about crypto, NFT, and Web3.
[00:00:47] Adam: Hello and welcome to Tech for Finance, where we help finance professionals leverage technology to level up their lives. I'm your host, Adam Shilton, and in this episode, we are chatting with Angel Lam, founder of Jump Up. After starting her career as an accountant, Angel worked as an associate for Heidrick & Struggles and then Korn Ferry before moving to work in senior positions for companies like Robert Walters, Derwent executive, and Envision Human Capital Advisory Services.
Since then, Angel has founded Jump Up Global, who provide executive coaching and career development services for those looking for career promotion, development, and enhancement.
Angel speaks four languages and in her spare time likes to dance to different genres like hip hop, jazz, funk, and waacking. And Angel is also a Muay Thai fighter, so make sure not to get on her bad side. That's for sure. So, you know, thanks for coming on the show today, Angel. Really appreciate it.
[00:01:46] Angel: Thanks for having me here, Adam. It's a pleasure.
[00:01:50] Adam: So yeah, let's get straight into the good stuff. So obviously you've gone from a career as an employee to founding your own business. Can you talk to us about why you decided to do that?
[00:02:06] Angel: Well actually it has always been my dream to have my own business, and I have never really found the right timing. I wanted to make sure that I have the structure, the resources, I know how the process and system works given.
As nobody knows, actually I am an accountant by training, but I just decided not to pursue the path because I wasn't good at it. So after almost two decades of the corporate world, I've decided to venture out and into my own business. That's number one. And number two is having worked in the recruitment industry, focusing on the finance sector, there are so many amazing finance professionals out there that I wish I can work and help and support.
But unfortunately, there's one myth about the recruitment industries that the job seekers are not our clients. Our clients are actually the company who are looking for particular positions and looking for specific candidates to fill that particular position. So the amount of candidates that we can work and coach and grow is very limited.
And that's one thing that inspires me to start Jump as a business to work with all these aspiring finance professionals and, amidst the evolution of finance which we're gonna talk about later, to become obviously up to date with what's happening in the finance world. But most importantly, to be a cheerleader and also chaperone, chaperone the aspiration and also CFO journey by coaching and also by counselling and even for some of the resources and materials and newsletter, etc.
And this has always been my passion to grow anyone who is ambitious and aspires in their career.
[00:04:16] Adam: Very good. Thanks for that, Angel. So looking at your profile, you've placed over 700 finance executives, which is quite a lot of experience you've got there. And then you've obviously gone on to help them with their career progression. So when you look at, when you place people, what qualities are you looking for? And I suppose that ties to your point about working for the client as well. So do you often get a brief from the client that says, we're looking for this, and then how do you go about assessing the qualities of that individual?
[00:04:51] Angel: Okay. Let's start with the last five years. The clients are looking for it because if you compare to like 10 years ago, the requirements are completely different. In the last five years because we have the pandemic, obviously, we are still kind of like steering what we should do. We are also having a lot of challenges with the business, with the economy.
There's also a recession happening in different parts of the countries. So currently, the clients are looking for, specifically from finance, is beyond just a report and numbers generated versus 10 years or 20 years ago. If you can submit a very accurate report, they're fine or consolidations they're good with thought systems, they're fine.
But at this moment, what they're looking for definitely is a commercial acumen. Number two is communication and presentation skills because they are actually relying the finance professional to interpret the numbers and then explain it to non-finance professionals. And that includes business holders and management teams, and a lot of them are just purely focusing on the big picture.
And some of them are not financially trained. So that particular skill on translating finance into business, but also at the same time having the curiosity, not just by producing report numbers but interpreting the reports and how that is going to affect the business and presenting it to make an impact.
And also the power to influence, that is the kind of soft skills that clients are looking for. And it's becoming increasingly important and an emphasis for the last two to three years.
[00:07:05] Adam: And we're hearing more and more about this. It's the, how does that department bridge the gap between other departments? So you're absolutely right. I mean, it goes without saying that businesses are looking for individuals with good number skills and those hard skills to produce the reports and to produce all of that sort of stuff. But yeah, as I say, more and more we're finding that businesses need almost a translator.
[00:08:05] Angel: I think the old impression for finance is accountants. You look at the past or maybe a max present information of the business. But at this moment, and also in the future, we're looking for a finance professional and we wouldn't even call them like accountants anymore. This is just a really old term that I think we should just throw it all out.
We're looking for a finance business partner who can look into the future for us, a forward-looking mindset and a business partnership. And that's the difference between the old versus new, the old accountants or finance professionals. Focus on the past and presence as long as the data is accurate and specific and spot on and on time. They're doing their job, but at this moment in time, they are not looking for that because these transactional works are slowly replacing by AI and RPA, as everybody has been speaking about, and there's a lot of my clients in the FTSE, fortune 500 companies that have already started these transformational projects.
So the value of the finance professional is definitely going to be more forward and future-looking.
[00:09:45] Adam: Thanks Angel. And I suppose that that ties to another question we have around, tech skills. So, You've quite rightly said there, you know, finance now need to act as translators. They need to work as partners.
They need to bridge the gap between different departments. How important are tech skills alongside that? So, so you've mentioned data, analytics, you know, are businesses looking for finance professionals that have got experience with business intelligence tools, you know, are business is looking for finance professionals that have knowledge of certain erp or base finance systems?
How much more of that? Being in the work with clients at moment?
[00:10:29] Angel: Yeah, absolutely. Technical thoughts? It’s super important, especially in certain industry sectors. Especially for example, manufacturing because they're constantly upgrading with the ERP system and the majority of the clients, as far as I understand, it's SAP.
But also there are other systems that have transformed exponentially that my client, some of these clients are starting to switch from SAP to other systems because of cost reasons and also because of functional reasons. Right? And, you have the IT side who are strong with the technical configurations, but they might not know the finance modules.
For example, let's get technical. We have the fi, the m and the SD modules, for example. So the finance professionals are the users. So a lot of the times, these large organizations will pick existing finance professionals within the team who have good communication skills to act as a consultant or to work on this project to add as a bridge on understanding and communicating on the finance user requirements.
Like for example, what is needed in a particular report? What are the main sectors or the outcomes or other little intrinsic things that need to be talked to the IT person? The user experience and the user requirements being clearly communicated to the IT is super important. If that communication bridge has not happened or is not being clearly communicated, there's no point in upgrading, transforming or even changing a system.
I have experienced this before. I have previously worked with a company that upgraded their system and launched it without consulting any of the users, which were the sales and marketing team. We were the active users of the system. They launched it in a way that became so ineffective for the users and it just became such a loose, loose situation. So, to answer your questions, I'm going a little bit long-winded here, but we do need middle persons to be able to bridge the gap and I definitely believe somebody in the finance team, if they're looking for a broader scope of experience, that's a very good exposure for them and it paves the way for their career journey.
Later on, they may want to step up into a finance management role or maybe they want to be head-hunted by another company who's just gone through or who is going to go through another system change or upgrade, then this is going to be a good reference and a good experience to sell yourself into a better opportunity. So, it's definitely important that the connection is made and I wouldn't miss it if I were the finance professional.
[00:14:32] Adam: Mm-hmm. Coming back to your point earlier about tech skills, and obviously I appreciate you've got work experience with some quite large companies. Obviously there was reference to SAP there and some of those larger enterprise applications. But I think you're right. Many companies are looking to move away from some legacy applications if they've been in place for however many years.
[00:14:56] Angel: AS400. Yeah, absolutely. I used to do that [unintelligible]. Yeah. But yes.
[00:15:07] Adam: So, we'll see more of that. Of course, there are more options now, with more and more true cloud solutions coming along the way, there's less reliance on IT and physical infrastructure. So yeah, there are two thoughts that I have along those lines.
First, are we seeing a reduction in the size of IT teams if more of these solutions are offering that infrastructure and that plug and play approach? Coming back to your point there about finance taking more ownership over it, is there likely to be less reliance on IT? I think there could be.
The second thought where you were talking about where it's nice to have experience with these sorts of technologies and being able to translate and make sure that these solutions are tested and so on and so forth. Is there an argument to say that if you don't have experience with software implementations, that it's probably good to try and find some experience with software implementations so that you've got that?
Even if you can't find experience with a company where they're changing systems, maybe you can do your own research and training on the systems that are out there. So, when it comes to the point of applying for a role, you can say quite honestly, "look, I've only got experience implementing this system, but actually I've done this course, this training or this research knowledge from these other systems". Do you think that sort of approach might help you?
[00:16:45] Angel: Yeah. This is definitely a fair question. Over the course of my 20 plus years in recruitment, I have been asked by clients to work on a number of finance transformation projects or what we call finance system analysis related positions. The questions that I always ask my clients are, "once you're done with that transformation project, then what would that person do?"
Like, would they be made redundant or like, you know, like you told them that it's going to take one to two years. So, I wanted to use this as an example. So, I have an Apple phone, and I don't know if you are an Android or Apple user, but I think the frequency of Apple prompting you to just get an update. And if you don't, they just keep prompting and to a point, you just get so annoyed.
Okay, just update it. And I think that's the same with finance systems or any other ERP or CRM system. They're constantly changing and constantly perfecting. They could have bugs or they could have some minor issues, but it's an ongoing process that is never going to end.
So, to answer your question, I don't see this being a short-term thing. I definitely see this being a perpetual thing. It's never going to end, to be honest with you.
[00:20:47] Adam: And, and to come back to your point there about. Raising your hands so that you can start building that into your profile, you know, your CFI CV and, and, and all of that sort of stuff.
People still aren't using enough of the skills on LinkedIn. And for people that don't use LinkedIn, but very often when you go into your experience and your job history, you've now got the ability to add skills for past and present roles. And from a keyword searchability point of view.
And I know you probably do it when you are searching online. Your look for the key skills. So they're there front and center. Then it improves your visibility at the end of the day, doesn’t it.
[00:21:34] Angel: Yeah. My advice is to keep your skills section, which is preset by LinkedIn, to a maximum of 10 to 15.
So for example, if you have a 15-year experience, if you add four experiences in your skill sets, is it relevant? Pick 10 to 15 skill sections, but make sure it's related to the last two jobs. And that's number one.
And also another one that you have to think forward. It's like, okay, if someday I want to change jobs or if I want to be spotted by a hunter or by an internal recruiter from another organization. What are other skillsets that they are going to search and what are the jobs that I want to take on?
So make sure that you include that particular skillset in your LinkedIn profile. And also make sure that you can back yourself up with putting your skillsets with actual practical experience, project experience.
So yes, we do keyword search and also we do skillset search. Keyword search I wouldn't usually recommend unless it's very specific requirements, like, oh, you know, I'm looking for somebody who can speak five languages and who knows Oracle, SAP, Sage, Salesforce, so forth, so forth, then I would use keywords.
But with skill set session, it's good enough and it should generate. And one thing that I want to tell finance professionals, I know that a lot of them tell me they do look at LinkedIn. They’re more like lurking or maybe just receiving information.
I think it's part of the personality. I think a lot of finance are introverts. They might not like to interact like the social media and marketing type, but if you do interact and also if you have a bigger personal branding on your LinkedIn profile, approach from a recruiter's point of view, it's better to have an all-star LinkedIn profile.
When we do a recruiter search based on our criteria, if you have an active all-star LinkedIn profile, you will always end up to be one of the top 30 candidates on our search results. So that is actually a benefit for finance professionals.
You might not be looking for a job right now, but you still want to have a personal brand and also to create a presence because you would never know what's going to happen tomorrow. So that's a little bit pro tip or maybe some secret from recruiter's point of view.
[00:25:07] Adam: And there's been a lot of discussion around personal branding, especially with a lot of connections I have that have got various passion projects and side hustles. But there is a misconception that a personal brand doesn't have to be external to your job.
So you can develop a personal brand internally, especially if you work for a big company. So even if you've got no ambition to move jobs, improve your visibility, whether it's to get a promotion or something like that.
So it never hurts to be known as the go-to person for something. You know your brand and your skillset. So even internally, if somebody's looking for help with a project or for the next opportunity, then if you have that brand and that visibility internally, then it's only going to help you.
[00:26:05] Angel: I couldn't agree more.
I couldn't agree more. So often time that finance has taken up different types of project and they just kind of like keep it to themselves and even comes appraisal time, they will just like, oh, you know, I did this and did that, and. They never really know how to negotiate or bargain for some reasons. But you know, for example, if you have worked on this business transformations, or digital transformation project, hey, share your experience with your finance teammates and especially with international organizations, you can share it with colleagues all across the world.
Like they have finance department in Asia Pacific, they have like in, in Europe, and you can just share it and you might even, conduct like a. Quite zoom session just to share about experience. And,I have seen some people done it. Let's say they, they, they did like a mini training, and share, oh, you know, if anyone you know who's like, interested in business, digital transformation process, you know, these are the things that you'll be able to learn.
These are things, things you pick up. And, if you come across these type of challenges, then you know, this is something that you can, work on and, you know, like then you will be actually be the go-to person, on this particular idea. And maybe, for example, like if you are looking. To, say, say you have just recently taken a finance storytelling course, right?
And, you have just done,an incredible pres finance presentations in front of the management team. And everybody's like, wow, good job. Good job. And most of the humble finance professionals, they're just, ah, you know, case nothing, but hey, you can just, you know, raise your hand. It's like, Hey, you know, I've just done this.
And, you know, I'm very, very fortunate to have the opportunity to learn finance storytelling, and I would like to open, workshop for our finance colleagues around the world. If you guys are interested, please do sign up. And this is also internal, personal branding. And people will start noticing you not only just finance by finance, but hey, you never know.
It could be like a CEO, or in-country CEO or. You know, like, different functions, you know, I've seen C F O or finance professional that gets transferred, to different functions like sales or supply chain, commercial finance. Just seize the opportunities whenever that you have, whether that is internally and you're right.
Yeah, I, I absolutely agree with you internally or externally, but again, it's now we come to the stage where finance is also a sales role. Mm-hmm. , I think any role is a sales role. There's a sales element into it. Mm-hmm. ,in order to progress in your career that you really need to kind of just, just really, take a leap of faith and, and, and just, just, just, just do it.
If it fails, it doesn't. But what's I important, what's most important is you actually try and making hap make things happen for yourself.
[00:29:36] Adam: Yeah, a hundred percent. And, and to come back to your point there about bringing others into the discussion, so you used the example there of a, of a financial storytelling course.
for example. Yeah. I think in a lot of instances as well, people underutilized the tools that they have. And, and, and I'll give you an example. So, we’ve seen a shift in moving away from, from email for internal communications and organizations will now use, you know, Microsoft Teams or Slack or Yes.
Tho those more collaborative tools, right? And they're the sort of tools that I think companies can be, be leveraging better. So let's say, I’ve done a financial storytelling course, I’ve got some notes, you know, maybe I want to record a few of my own videos on the key takeaways that I've got.
You know, so I use something like a, like a Loom or a video or something like that. Why don't I create a teams or a Slack channel? You know, why, why don't I put that information in there? Why don't I share those resources and then invite people into, into that channel?
[00:30:40] Angel: Absolutely,
[00:30:41] Adam: absolutely. And of course, you know, if you do work for a larger organization and there is governance around the creation of these groups, then of course you're gonna need to ask, you know, permission from it.
And, and the various departments. If you can build that almost internal community within your organization and you can grow that, then again, you're building more and more influence, you know, using tools that aren't too intrusive. So you're not sending people, you know, five or six emails, you know, every week saying, oh, you know, look how amazing I am, and all that sort of thing.
Just, you're just building that conversation. You, you are sharing valuable insight, right? Yeah.so that's, it's a big gap. And, and, and we've started doing this recently as well. So we, we tie it to sort of weekly lunch and learns is what is what we Oh, cool. So, various departments on a Friday, will have 30 minutes to bring the rest of the organization up to speed with what's going on, you know, a bit more of the background because in a lot of instances we, we don't know what's going on in other departments.
You know, a lot of times we just don't have that knowledge. And then of course, all of those sessions are recorded. They're then shared in the team's channels, so anybody can pick it up. If it's new starters, it's great for them because they can go straight into the teams channel, they can see that history of all of those sessions and bring themselves up to speed really quickly.
But then there's also a conversation that surrounds that. And then there's ideas on new subject matter. So we've got polls to say, all right, well what you looking for in the next lunch and learn, you know? So, yeah. I don't wanna go off on a tangent because I could talk about this sort of thing forever in a day.
You know, it just, it got me thinking when you were talking about that, you know, sharing the knowledge that, you know, there are ways to make that knowledge share easier. Yeah,
[00:32:20] Angel: definitely. A hundred percent. What’s most important, it’s, having that mindset and also the state of. yeah, I could understand like, a lot of people are kinda aware of the fact that, oh, you know, like I work for an international organizations, whether to post something or tome you something internal or externally.
I mean, like, everybody knows how to just kind of, kind of like navigate this themselves around, on, on how to make things happen. That's number one. Number two, it's, you'll actually be surprised that other departments, like you said, especially because a lot of the companies, have implemented policies that work from home, so we don't get as much like face time, like interpersonal interactions time.
So you could be very, very surprised that if I am hosting something about finance, oh my God, like a child sells supply chain. Like, you know, like. All walks of life, they are actually participating, into my little finance storytelling because despite for the fact that it's finance storytelling, but it's like the storytelling part that everybody wants to just, just, just understand a little bit more because it is interesting everyone who wants to tell a good story.
So yeah, I mean, like, yeah, it's just the technology now, Isaiah has become so easily accessible and for us to utilize it. So, it’s really just, it's all about your mindset and your state of mind. Yeah. And taking the initiative, whether it's. You are in the finance sector, run out and, you are absolutely right.
Yeah. It's just, I couldn't agree more. It's very good. Like it's just manifest and, you know, people see you doing it and then, oh wow, that's cool. Then I'm in supply chain. Then I can, you know, maybe learn something about supply chain management and then as finance, I want, wanna learn about supply chain management, inventory managements because hey, if there is a backlog or like, you know, supplier and then it could cost, you know, like some companies money, so you would be amazed by how many different departments.
So we would love to absorb information from each other. Mm-hmm. . So that's a fantastic idea.
[00:29:36] Adam: Yeah, a hundred percent. And, to come back to your point there about bringing others into the discussion, so you used the example there of a financial storytelling course, for example. Yeah. I think in a lot of instances as well, people underutilized the tools that they have. And, and, and I'll give you an example. So, we’ve seen a shift in moving away from email for internal communications and organizations will now use, you know, Microsoft Teams or Slack or Yes. Tho those more collaborative tools, right? And they're the sort of tools that I think companies can be leveraging better.
So let's say, I’ve done a financial storytelling course, I’ve got some notes, you know, maybe I want to record a few of my own videos on the key takeaways that I've got. You know, so I use something like a Loom or a video or something like that. Why don't I create a teams or a Slack channel? You know, why, why don't I put that information in there? Why don't I share those resources and then invite people into, into that channel?
[00:30:40] Angel: Absolutely,
[00:30:41] Adam: Absolutely. And of course, you know, if you do work for a larger organization and there is governance around the creation of these groups, then of course you're gonna need to ask, you know, permission from it. And, and the various departments. If you can build that almost internal community within your organization and you can grow that, then again, you're building more and more influence, you know, using tools that aren't too intrusive. So you're not sending people, you know, five or six emails, you know, every week saying, oh, you know, look how amazing I am, and all that sort of thing.
Just, you're just building that conversation. You, you are sharing valuable insight, right? Yeah.
[00:32:20] Angel: definitely. A hundred percent. What’s most important, it’s, having that mindset and also the state of. yeah, I could understand like, a lot of people are kinda aware of the fact that, oh, you know, like I work for an international organizations, whether to post something or tome you something internal or externally. I mean, like, everybody knows how to just kind of, kind of like navigate this themselves around, on, on how to make things happen.
That's number one. Number two, it’s, you’ll actually be surprised that other departments, like you said, especially because a lot of the companies, have implemented policies that work from home, so we don't get as much like face time or interpersonal interactions time.
So you could be very, very surprised that if I am hosting something about finance, oh my God, like a child sells supply chain. Like, you know, all walks of life, they are actually participating, into my little finance storytelling because despite for the fact that it's finance storytelling, but it's like the storytelling part that everybody wants to just understand a little bit more because it is interesting everyone who wants to tell a good story.
So yeah, I mean, like, yeah, it's just the technology now, Isaiah has become so easily accessible and for us to utilize it. So, it’s really just, it's all about your mindset and your state of mind. Yeah. And taking the initiative, whether it's. You are in the finance sector, run out and, you are absolutely right.
Yeah. It's just, I couldn't agree more. It's very good. Like it's just manifest and, you know, people see you doing it and then, oh wow, that's cool. Then I'm in supply chain. Then I can, you know, maybe learn something about supply chain management and then as finance, I want, wanna learn about supply chain management, inventory managements because hey, if there is a backlog or like, you know, supplier and then it could cost some companies money, so you would be amazed by how many different departments.
So we would love to absorb information from each other. Mm-hmm. . So that's a fantastic idea.
[00:34:55] Adam: And yeah, to come back to your point there. The shift in working style. So more companies having working from home policies. Have you spent any time in the metaverse? Have you looked into this yet?
[00:35:12] Angel: Very interesting. Because I'm an extrovert, so I still long for the human interaction. So I would just kind of show up to the office and announce, "Hey, how are you?" and stuff. In Asia, in Hong Kong, particularly, or maybe in Singapore, we don't really have that kind of luxury, but because we are much smaller and the community is so much easier.
So for example, if I need to go to work, it's just 15 minutes on the tube. And also, because, you know, like the covid, everything is easing, we can actually work on a hybrid mode like three days at home and three days in the office.
[00:36:16] Adam: You're not at the stage yet where you feel the need to put on a virtual reality headset and walk into your virtual office to see all of your virtual peers, so you can have face-to-face meetings as an avatar in virtual. So we're not at that stage yet, for sure.
[00:36:36] Angel: Definitely. I mean, I kinda appreciate the people getting so used to like, "Hey, you know, if you can make it, or we have different times, so let's do Zoom or Google meets." But because before in the recruitment industries, a lot of times I have to stay past the office hour and I have to wait for the candidates to come into my office.
And a lot of times it's like seven or 8:00 PM and by the time that I get off work would be like nine. And the next morning, I have to show up around eight. But now that's all change. So that's also a good thing. We get the flexibilities. I think it's still going to be the future.
But I hope that this would not be the only thing that people would rely on just for no personal interaction. And like you said, wearing that big Googles like, you know, it gets me a headache because it's just too heavy, very virtual reality. And it just reminds me of so many episodes about Black Mirror. It reminds me a little bit of that, and I just don't wanna go too far. I just hope that we still have a little bit of human interactions just because probably what I do for a living is very much human related. Yeah. We'll see. It's just my wishful thinking.
[00:38:36] Adam: We've gotta pick our mediums, haven't we? What is the best form of communication? What is the most efficient form of communication at this moment in time?
You know, is there gonna be a lot of value in face-to-face? Do we need to do that? Is it just a quick catch-up? For example, whereby we need the whole business on the call. Is that gonna be better by our teams? But I'm with you.
I hope that we don't ever lose that human interaction, but I think it is coming because when you look at some youngsters now, and I mean, I've got a two-year-old and a six-month-old.
[00:39:10] Angel: Oh, wow, okay.
[00:39:12] Adam: The two-year-old. He's always got his head in his iPad. Right. And so, you know, we've gotta sort of think about limiting screen time and all that sort of thing, but we are now finding that there's a generation of youngsters that are more into VR that are more into screen time.
And yeah, I think that we are potentially breeding a new generation of introverts that will be more than happy just to sit at the other end of a screen. And it's gonna be interesting to see the way that the job market changes because with the advent of AI and some of these other technologies that we've been mentioning, there's gonna be more requirement for coders and systems.
Than there is for some of the more traditional functions that we're seeing today. So can I see a future where you go into your pod at home, and you've got your screen in front of you and you've got your VR surrounding you? Do we just have entirely virtual experiences when we go to work? And I dunno how it's gonna evolve. I'm very interested to see how it's gonna evolve.
[00:40:17] Angel: I wish I have like crystal of all, cuz like, I have a teenager. My daughter is 11 year old. And so interesting. Like whenever I see her hang out with her friends at a restaurant, they're not really talking to each other. It's super duper funny.
It's like everyone is holding the iPhone. They're actually on disc chatting with each other on Discord. And it's just the craziest thing. Like you guys are literally together in a physical environment. Why can't you just talk to each other? Yeah, yeah. Oh my. And then they say, oh, it's because like, I wanna talk to person A without person B knowing, and then I want to also talk to person B without person C.
No. I'm like, yeah, exactly. You were saying that we're just creating like a breed where that they're supposed to be extrovert, but they are just so used to not being confrontative, would I say the word or just like, just, just interact enough. Like they don't really need to interact.
There's no necessarily to interact. And this is something that I wish I have the crystal ball.
Yeah. something's gonna change. I, I hope, you know, that's like a savior. It's like, Hey, you know, this is not the way to go. And, you know, the Gen Z is creating a new world that's completely disrupting. And, you know, we're definitely not moving tomorrows and stuff like that, you know, like, and, and then maybe we can just do, you know, like 3, 360 revolutions or whatnot. And, you know, like I wasn't, I, I didn't grow up like this. So it's really funny to see, like, whenever I see, you know, like. Youngster on Instagram and they're posting stories.
Definitely. Oh my God. Like, they're on camping, they're on, having dinner. They're even going to like karaoke’s or whatever they are on the phone. I'm like, and even the, when they go to concert, like they're not enjoying the concert. They're videoing the performance, the concert, and, and
[00:42:34] Adam: you know, like, and, and you guys have more of a battle over your way, you know, the likes of Hong Kong and, and Singapore because technology is loaded over there, hasn't it?
[00:42:42] Angel: You, you've, oh yeah, yeah. We actually, and, and we're like our, our, our internet speed. It's probably the number. In the world. Number one is South Korea. Yeah. And I'm just like, it's, everything becomes so easy. So
[00:43:03] Adam: it's mine, isn't it? It’s, well, we'll, we'll, we'll have, we'll have to see how it, how it goes, eh, but the, the, the last question that I've got, and then obviously feel free to tell people where they can, where they can find more about you.
[00:44:08] Adam: So, so the first relates to a recent LinkedIn post that you put out about ChatGPT, remember, ask you Thanks. But by, by the time that this podcast comes out, which will, will be a few weeks time. So probably, I'm guessing about, about mid Feb. I’m hoping that the whole, the whole, you know, shtick around ChatGPT is quieting down a little bit because we're absolutely inundated with it the moment.
But you've got a slightly alternative view on ChatGPT, haven't you? So do you just want to talk us through the reason for, for the post, what the series was and, and why you're pushing back a little bit?
[00:44:08] Angel: I think, I have fallen into the, not trap, but like frenzy of crypto and web. Three years ago maybe. Yeah. And everybody was talking about it. It wasn't just LinkedIn, it was just basically like Bloomberg and all the social media and, and even NFT, right? I was just like, oh, oh my God, I'm missing out. Like, I couldn't log onto overseas. Oh my God. Like I'm missing out. I'm missing out. And look what's happened today, right now that's number one.
So just because something is new and it's being completely super hyped up. And I always think that either it is because people have FOMO or it's because they just kind of wanna follow the crowd. So, I'm pretty sceptical about that, learning from my past experience about crypto, NFT and Web3. I even joined like a Chinese NFT club then. Luckily I really didn't go to any of those auctions or whatever, but I did. Yeah. It was just like, so, so, so, so now I'm becoming a little bit more cautious, like, Hey, I know that everybody's talking about it, but it was just started last year in November.
We're talking too much about it, isn't it? And on the contrary, we have been talking about the evolution of finance for the last, what, like three years at least. We have been talking about, hey, finance people get up and talk to your finance business partner, take them out for a coffee and lunch. They're still scared. This is the finance, this is the priority. Number two is, we have been talking about, Hey, you need to be commercially asked you finance people stop generating consolidations reports and reports that nobody will understand. No read. These are the priorities. So I know that I was a little bit too strong with like my headings, but I, I kind of really wanna make upon.
It's like, yeah, every month, every minute there's gotta be something new and new like, new invention that it's going to arise. But you have to really look into your own pathway and look at what's most important to you. I think, at this particular age, you should know what you want about your career.
So instead of distracting your time into something that you are not familiar with, it's New year. How come you refocus on something that we have always been talking on? And for sure, you know that this is beneficial to your career. So how can we just stop working on them first, and if you later on, you know, interested in ChatGPT, go ahead. Yeah, if you're still interested in the NFT, go ahead. No worries. But you've got to understand that hey, we're still recovering from the pandemic and it can be career, it can be finance, it can be family, it can be your mental wellbeing. So let's stay focused. So that was actually my point,
Yeah. So, yeah. And, and, and that was this guy saying that, never say never. And I'm like, yeah, let's see about that.
[00:48:08] Adam: And I do. So I, I agree with you. For the most part, Yeah, I, I think that people can get too consumed by trends, and I think you need to have really good filters to be able to say, what am I going to latch onto and what am I not going to latch onto?
And with all of the publicity, you know, it is almost as if the general sentiment is chat GPT can be used for everything. You know, it's gonna revolutionize your life. In some areas, yes. In some areas, no.
So, for example, Google is seeing chat GPT as a pretty big threat because it's changing the way that people search. They don't need to do 10 or 11 webpages; they can just ask ChatGPT and get reasonably accurate data.
From a personal assistant point of view, if you can have a bot generate a template for a document, you can then just go in and correct it. These are all use cases that are really beneficial, as opposed to just how do we form the bot?
The second piece that's interesting around that, and it relates to what we were talking about earlier, is how the next generation is going to evolve. If I grow up and I've now got access to endless information whereby I can just speak to a bot to give me everything that I need, that then pulls into question the need for traditional education.
You know, if we're seeing this blend of human and machine-based resource sharing, why do we need to learn all of these concepts when we can have something explained to us in seconds, in pretty clear terms? So, I think there's going to be a pretty fundamental shift in education all over the world.
I don't know whether you've seen this, but they've had to ban chat GPT from schools because kids are using it to write articles for them. But now they've also got AI that is looking to spot AI generated content. So actually there are a lot of people now that are investing in technology to help them spot what is and isn't bot-generated content.
From a governance point of view, there's going to be quite a lot of uncertainty and quite a lot of focus on the legal elements of using these tools. Yeah. But no, like you, I think enough is enough. Sometimes, you know, we're right to focus on it as evolution in technology providing that we don't consider it a silver bullet that's going to solve all of our problems.
[00:50:41] Angel: Yeah, I agree. I mean, I would wish that I have a robot who can just cook for me and wash dishes, but the only thing that I've managed to get is the vacuum cleaning robot.
It just circles around and picks up all my hair and stuff. Definitely, it helps life a lot more efficient and better, but to completely 120% rely on it and become lazy? That's something that I truly worry about, especially for the next generation.
If you truly become 120% reliant on this, then where is your creativity? Where is your motivation to learn if you get everything done for you? Curiosity is what drives humankind to constantly evolve because you are curious, you want to be better. So, yeah, that's like, that's destruction.
I'm still trying to get my head around this, to be honest with you. They've had to ban chat GPT from schools because kids are using it to write articles for them. But now they've also got AI that is looking to spot AI-generated content. It's a lot of information to process.
For me, I'm so old-fashioned. I'm more about, hey, you know, you really need to put in the hard work so that you can look at yourself and say, hey, everything that I have, I've done my hard work and I've made this happen for myself. It's not chat GPT.
Okay, it's not an AI robot. Yeah, it cleaned my floor for a little bit, but everything else, I made my own bed. So, I'm struggling. Maybe I should talk to my doll a little more to see what her thoughts are. Yeah. But yeah, we'll see how that goes. I don't know what the future holds.
[00:53:01] Adam: So, moving from technology that you might not necessarily understand and agree with, my last question is: what technology could you not live without? Whether it's an app on your phone, a gadget, or a system, what could you not live without?
[00:53:21] Angel: My phone. Definitely. Oh my God. Like, seriously? Ugh. Like, it's just basically my whole life. I have not changed my number for the last whatever years I can remember.
I had a lot of apps and photos, and I'm that kind of person who just kind of like, I don't know whether you notice, but if I'm not sleeping, I would wake up in the middle of the night just to check if there's a message on LinkedIn.
If I see a message on LinkedIn, I respond right away. So, yeah, definitely my Apple.
[00:54:29] Adam: You, you might have to turn off your notifications so that you're not having to respond to LinkedIn messages in the middle of the night. But I'll leave. The thing is, I'll leave that up to you, but
[00:54:40] Angel: Yeah, the thing is, you know, like I have OCD. I've tried turning off all notifications, but it's just a curiosity about like, "Hey, am I missing out?" Let me just go to LinkedIn and check despite there being notifications. So I really need to chill.
[00:55:06] Adam: Do you have a favorite app?
[00:55:12] Angel: My favorite app right now is CapCut because I'm creating a lot of video content.
[00:55:28] Adam: What is that?
[00:55:32] Angel: CapCut is basically for video editing. If you're talking about social media platforms, you wouldn't believe that I spend so much time on Instagram. It's just really crazy.
It gives me so much information in the world that's why I'm so into hip hop because I see all this, "Oh wow, that's so cool." I should really get back into it. I danced 10 years ago on and off and stuff, and also because I have a teenager, I want to make sure that I'm keeping up and being a cool mom. And I know about Grimes, you know who she's dated, Elon Musk and her music and stuff, that's me.
[00:56:35] Adam: What's the one thing that you can't live without?
[00:56:40] Adam: I'm a heavy user of Spotify mainly for podcasts. But what I like about Spotify is that now at the top, you can choose your category. So you can select music and it'll give you your music playlist. But then you can clip podcasts and it'll give you your podcast playlist. That's quite easy. Plug it into my car.
That's all on my phone. The app that I'm more into now, I'm quite at the point where I couldn't live without it, is an app called Notion, which is both task and note-taking, so I'm using that a lot.
But there is another one that I've been using more heavily at the moment, and again, still not quite at the point where I couldn't live without it, is an app called BrainFM. It's the same theory as binaural beats where you put headphones in and it'll beam sound waves into your ears to help improve concentration.
They're all set to music, so it's not just that it's music, but the way that it's done, and it's more advanced than binaural beats, is that there's kind of like a natural pumping that goes on in the background, and it's that pumping that helps you tune in.
When you go in, you can choose your category, so you've got focus, relaxed sleep, and meditate. So if I'm starting deep work, for example, and I want to find 90 minutes just to concentrate on something, I'll go into focus and then I'll go into work and it'll say something for 90 minutes to allow me to tune in with that sort of slow pumping in the background.
That's one that I'm using quite a lot at the moment. But as I say, I run a podcast called Tech for Finance. I love the Gadgets. So I could speak all day about this sort of stuff, but yeah…
[00:58:40] Angel: It's so cool. It sounds so, I'm literally like, I'm definitely gonna try this. Have a little bit. It's so hard for me to focus because my mind is always going into different directions, so it would be very nice if I could just sit and be focused because working in recruitment is literally like a sales job. It's really, really cutthroat. To describe the office of a recruitment house, imagine the wolves of the Wolf of Wall Street. The training is such that the louder that you speak, the more productive your boss thinks you are. So it’s just basically for the last 15 years, we have had an open office. We have around 50 to 60 people, so we're all talking super loud and I've become just really accustomed to it. Even if somebody is shouting behind me, I can still close deals and stuff like that. But now that I'm working from home more than before, it’s quite the opposite. I can't focus. It's so weird. So I'm definitely going to try that.
[01:00:14] Adam: Just make sure that when you put it on, that you've got headphones that either completely surround your ears or go in your ears. So if you've got any of the old school Apple headphones that just sit in your ears as opposed to going in, they won't work.
They'll be fine because they actually cover your ears. But the whole thing is that when they're in, it also blocks out all the outside noise. So if you've got your EarPods on and you're playing music, you can still hear stuff going on in the background. It's not going to work if they don't go all the way in or completely surround your ears.
[01:00:58] Angel: Do you use a particular brand hat for noise cancelling? They're not, there're like different brands.
[01:01:04] Adam: They're not noise cancelling, but the ones I use are called Jaybird Vista. So they're only little tiny ones, but they're quite well shaped to go into your ear. Yeah, Jaybird markets to more sports and active people because then it's all in place when you're running and that sort of stuff. I just got them because they were highly rated for obviously and that sort of stuff. They're really good. But any brand that goes right into your ears or is noise cancelling will work.
[01:01:45] Angel: Oh, it's like, I didn't even realize that we've been talking for like the last hour and 15 minutes. It's just time. When you are having a good conversation, like a great banter, you didn't realize it.
[01:02:05] Adam: Where can people find out more about you, Angel?
[01:02:11] Angel: The best way to find me is actually through LinkedIn. All my contact information is on IG and as well as if you want to book a call with me, you can directly click onto my LinkedIn profile and check my calendar schedule for a 30-minute consultation call.
Also, you can have access to my website. That's the best way to find me on LinkedIn, as well as if you click the notifications and follow my profile, you will get a lot of CFO and finance stories related pro tips on a regular basis. I try to post every weekday Monday to Friday, let me try to say, 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST time. So that's the best way to find me.
[01:03:05] Adam: And your LinkedIn is Angel Lam, L A M?
[01:03:08] Angel: Yes. Coach - Angel Lam Coach.
[01:03:12] Adam: Yep. And that's it. Jump Up Global is jumpup-global.com.
[01:03:18] Angel: Exactly. Very good. Absolutely. So yeah, thanks so much for coming. I'm an extrovert. Anyone who DMs me in the morning can have a chit-chat with me. More than welcome.
[01:03:34] Adam: Yeah, now Angel. That's fine. Well, yeah, really enjoyed this conversation. It's been a lot of fun. We'll speak soon, I'm sure. Thanks, Angel. Thank you so much.
[01:03:46] Angel: Have a great day. Bye-bye.