Evergreen Notes

Evergreen Notes

Loose, unopinionated notes on things I don’t entirely understand yet.


Different High-level Designs

The more senior the designer, the more abstract the problem they should be solving.

Designer Lvl 1: Design a form that lets people edit their profile. Pretty scoped—assumes there is a profile, and that the solution takes the shape of a form.

Designer Lvl 2: _Design the best interface for users to edit their profile._The solution could be a form, could be a WYSIWYG inline editor, could be a modal window.

Designer Lvl 3 (broad): Design a system for editing across everything—profiles, posts, settings, etc. Now we’re not just profiles, but the editing system should be flexible enough to work across the entire app.

Designer Lvl 3 (deep): Design a way to get users to want to update their profiles. Here, the questions the designer is asking is why should users update their profile? And when? And how to best convey the value proposition?

Designer Lvl 4: Design a solution to increase the authenticity of users among your app. Maybe editing profiles isn’t even the right thing to focus on for our ultimate goal, maybe a peer-review system would be better.

Designer Lvl 5:Identify the biggest product problem with your app/company/site and design a solution. At the highest level, the best designers drive the vision for a product.

Note from The Looking Glass: Higher Level Design - by Julie Zhuo


🌱 Being a generalist helps you find the right career choice

Being a self-taught designer has been something that made me unconfident.

I hated how I never specialized in anything in particular—illustration, UI design, typography, color, animation, coding,… whatever. I always saw my work as average but later realized that I acquired many more skills.

I admired people who found their careers at an early age. I thought they were lucky people because they knew what they wanted to do. But it’s only what I assumed.

But after reading the book Range, I realized that not knowing what I should do at an early age is a gift.

I think about what I dreamed of when I was a kid and what I’m working on now. Am I living my childhood dream? Absolutely not. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a gardener. Growing older, I wanted to be a cartoon movie maker. And now I’m a product designer.

When not knowing what you want to do, you experiment with many different things, then find a career that you want to pursue. Not only that, when you experiment with different things, you combine that different knowledge to create a valuable combination that only you can make.

“I feel sorry for those people who know exactly what they want to be at 19.”

— Phil Knight (The founder of Nike)

We need specialists to push the limits in each field. But we also need people who can see the big picture, find unexpected connections, and guide the efforts.

And this is a LinkedIn post that I stumbled upon last week. It emphasizes my belief about being a generalist.


🌱 Children who are later talkers

🌱 Feynman was an American theoretical physicist born in New York City. He’s a famous physicist, but many people know him by the framework Feynman Technique.

It’s a great framework of [[🌱 Three steps of learning anything with Feynman Technique]] that can help you learn anything.

Do you know that he was a very late talker? He didn’t speak a word until he was three. But from a young age, it was clear that he was extremely observant and intelligent.

Albert Einstein, a genius that everyone knows, was also a late talker. He didn’t speak full sentences until he was five years old. It was so famous that people named the term: The Einstein Syndrome.

According to Sowell in his 1997 book "Late-talking children", these are some characteristics of a child with Einstein Syndrome:

  • Outstanding analytical or musical abilities
  • Outstanding memories
  • Very selective interests
  • Delayed potty training
  • Extreme concentration on whatever task is occupying their time

So if your little one is a late talker, it may be a rare gift.



🌱 Feynman

Richard Feynman was an American theoretical physicist born in 1918 in New York City.

Feynman was a very late talker—he didn’t utter a word until he was three—but it was clear from a young age that he was extremely observant and intelligent.

Feynman taught himself advanced mathematics in his teens and earned a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a PhD from Princeton University. He became famous for his work in quantum electrodynamics and received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 for his contributions to the field.

So yes, you could say that Richard Feynman was intelligent...



🌱 Fall in love with the process over outcomes

If you are like me and many other creatives, you have many interests and want to do many things. You’re excited at the beginning. Then two weeks later, it’s getting boring and you give up two months later.

The main reason is you didn’t meet your goal. You don’t get many subscribers for your newsletter, YouTube, Instagram,… None read your post or you don’t lose any weight.

Don’t get me wrong, setting goals for projects is a need. Goals are good for setting direction. But achieving the goal depends on many aspects. Many of them are external, things that are beyond your control.

When you focus on the output, you easily get disappointed when you don’t meet the goal. Then you’re easy to give up.

A wiser approach is to focus on your daily process.

When you focus on the process, you focus on the thing that you can control. That’s your effort, your time, and your hard work. You don’t know whether we meet the goal or not, but when you’re consistent, you’ll be there some days.

Jerry Seinfeld, one of the top comedians of all time, knows the secret to produce good work. It’s to write every day. His method is now popularly named 🌱 The Seinfeld strategy — Don’t break the chain.

My biggest idol for this belief is Seth Godin. He has written every day since 200...

I think for most of us, the purpose shouldn’t be to win the game. The purpose should be to continue playing the game.

So we can take pride in the daily progress that comes with consistently showing up and doing what you say.

It’s 1% better every single day.

Consistency builds trust and 🌱 You can improve anything with 30 min a day for 30 days.


🌱 You can improve anything with 30 min a day for 30 days

🌱 The Seinfeld strategy — Don’t break the chain encourages us to use a big calendar that has a whole year on one page to keep track of progress daily.

One year seems big, but we can start smaller: the 30 for 30 challenge.

30 minutes per day in 30 days is 900 minutes in total. You can improve anything in the world if you spend 900 minutes focused.

How to do it?

  1. Choose one skill or habit you want to practice.
  2. Commit to focusing for 30 minutes per day for 30 continuous days.
  3. Track daily execution on a calendar.
  4. Don’t break the chain.

It could be exercise, writing, reading, meditation, or a secret project.

30 minutes for a day is minimal and easy to do. 30 minutes is short enough to remove any friction. We should learn to 🌱 fall in love with the process over outcomes.

Start today.


🌱 Atomic essays

Have you heard of the term "atomic essay" coined by the Ship-30-by-30 creators? It's a fascinating concept that I absolutely adore.

An essay is a long, serious document and must be written professionally and in a structured way. We need to dedicate lots of time to writing it, which is very hard for beginners.

But the word "atomic" eases that anxiety. It makes the essay more approachable: a short essay written around one single idea.

So each atomic essay should be:

  • A single idea
  • A ~250-word writing, which equals one page on paper.
  • It’s more than a thread but less than a blog.

The concept is somehow similar to 🌱 Evergreen notes, but there are some differences:

Atomic essays are more structured than evergreen notes. Every atomic essay has its key points and a message to expand on these main points.

They are written with a specific audience in mind. When writing atomic essays, we have to think a lot about the audience: identify what they need, write a catchy title,... Evergreen notes are more for personal learning, so the content is more explanatory, and the title is declarative to describe the concept of the note.

The main goal of atomic essays is to test your audience to see if they are interested before spending longer time writing longer forms like blog posts, articles, or essays. For evergreen notes, they are for learning and expressing personal opinions.

But there are two things I love about this idea:

  1. Writing 30 atomic essays for 30 days is a good challenge to improve your writing skills. Similar challenges like the 30 for 30 challenge started by Sahil Bloom and Austin Kleon have inspired these challenges, inspired by 🌱 The Seinfeld strategy — Don’t break the chain.
  2. It teaches me the structure of good writing. That's what I'm looking for when practicing writing.

I believe you can improve anything in the world if you spend 30 minutes a day for 30 continuous days of focus.

I'm looking forward to writing better with the idea of Atomic Essay.


📗 And I got an offer 🎉

Oh Yeah. I got an offer.

After almost 3 months of unemployment and many rejections, I got an offer. I consider it a good one.

I like the company. The company is a streaming platform; a portal for people to watch movies and series, focusing on Asian content, especially Korean.

I like Korean movies and series. Not all of them, but some series like The Kingdom, Reply, and many other movies.

Comparing Hollywood and Korean, of course, Hollywood will be preferred more. But in Asia, Korean is the best one.

Another interesting thing about the team is I will design for TV also. From Apple TV to Android TV, from LG, and other brands. More than 5 TVOS that I need to design for.

I like to design on big screens like TV and the web.

I remember Aadil, my ex-Carousell colleague, designed for TV also when he worked at Starhub. I would love to talk to him to understand more about designing for TVOS.

What else did I miss?

Of course, the difficulty when searching for a job and happiness when getting one offer.

As someone mentioned, rejection is common, but an offer is rare. We will get hundreds of rejections, but we need only one offer. That's all we need.

And my friend said, we usually get rejected by 10 places before getting an offer.

Talking about my job search, I think it's not that bad. Compared to stories I heard from authors who tried to publish their book for the first time, they got almost a thousand rejections before getting an acceptance from a publisher. And then the book became a bestseller.

There are so many inspirational stories like that.

I realized that in a difficult time, we have to stay positive. And better yet, enjoy the process. Things will be better.

About the compensation, if we count by the month, I got less than the previous company. But if we count by the year, I got more than the previous one. They have a 15% bonus each year and public stock (real money) rewarded for each year of working.

It's a good amount during this time when I'm unemployed, and the economy is bad.

Now when joining any company, we all need to care about their finance. Because when things happen, we are the most vulnerable ones.

I hope the company will do well this year, and no layoffs will happen. If it does happen, it will be very bad. But Tina, my design friend there, said the company is stable and they didn't over-hire in the past.

As you can see, I didn't share much from January because I was busy with Lunar New Year in Vietnam, preparing for job interviews, and settling my emotions (when being unemployed).

I felt like the time was forever. I only got one interview in one week, and the waiting time was so long, especially the waiting time after the last round with Viki. It's 2 weeks of waiting.

Those two weeks were the longest ones because it was the only company I was interviewing with. If I failed, I would need to start all over again, and it would take more than 2 months to proceed.

I was not confident while waiting. Because I didn't feel like I did a good job, even though I tried my best. And there are many other good candidates out there that they are interviewing.

It's competitive now because of the layoff. Many talented designers are unemployed. I'm just average, and many people are better than me.

That thinking made me feel anxious. But in the end, I got good news!

Another reason is that I realize many recruiters will read my sharing, and they will know that I'm interviewing in many places and my thoughts about each company, including their own.

It's both good and bad, as we can't please everyone. However, it's safer not to share it or keep it a secret for yourself only. I'll write about it when things have settled.

Many of my friends who were affected by layoffs are still interviewing, but the process is slow. They are still at the beginning stage.

I hope they get a job soon, and that their mental health remains positive during these difficult times because it's the most important thing.


📗 A company I'm interviewing at has conducted a layoff

Do you believe that?

Yeah, it's the truth. Anything can happen, mah.

I was in the middle of an interview process with a company and was waiting for confirmation to proceed to the next round.

I had a good feeling after the second interview, but when a week passed without any updates, I started to feel uneasy. This was unusual since the company usually responded within two days.

I decided to look up the person who sent me the initial information email on LinkedIn and was surprised to see that their profile photo had a badge #OpenToWork

Note: I decided to look up the person who sent me the initial information email on LinkedIn and was surprised to see that their profile photo had a badge


I went to the company's LinkedIn page, but I didn't see any updates about it. So, I decided to Google the company name with the keyword "layoff" and it led me to a post on Blind (an anonymous professional platform) about the company's layoffs.

They had silently laid off people.

I emailed back to the HR contact that I had been communicating with and asked my friends who had referred me there. I got the confirmation that the company had just had a round of layoffs and had changed their "hiring strategy" - they were not hiring a product designer anymore. Luckily, my friend wasn't affected.

In short, the company I was interviewing with had stopped hiring for the role I was interested in, and I now need to search for other opportunities.

Wish me luck!

#User Research

🌱 Ask for quick sharing right after every user interview

We need to synthesize all research projects to filter insights from the interview. Synthesizing is where we filter the noises to find signals from the sea of input. It’s tough, takes lots of effort, and is very tiring.

But I found one way to make it easier and more effective.

Right after finishing every interview, spending 15 minutes together noting down the interview's highlights.

Because our head is still fresh, and anything important and valuable will still be in our brain. If we don’t write it down, we will forget it later. And we need to re-read the whole notes to recall them again.

You might be afraid that you will miss some important information if you do like that. But it might not be important if something isn’t in your head right after the meeting.

Of course, we will do another review round for all participants with related people. But I found the thing I took notes after the interview covers 80% of all insights.

Do that, you will save hours of re-reading the interview notes and recall your brain.


🌱 📗 Whiteboard challenge Step-by-Step & Tips

Some companies will have a whiteboard design challenge. I will have one session next week. It will be a case studies presentation and whiteboard challenge.

So I need to prepare and practice the whiteboard challenge to master it. I've never done it before. I need to do some research. Here are what I learned.

This is a step by step guide to help you run a whiteboard challenge smoothly.

The goals of the whiteboard challenge

The whiteboard challenge's primary goal is how you approach a problem and how the candidate works with others as a designer.

What are interviewers looking for?

First, we need to know what interviewers are looking for when doing this exercise.

  • They want to see if the candidate asks questions to clarify the goal of the project or not.
  • They want to see if the candidate focuses on users and their context. Because designing an experience is always about people. The design will only be valid if we focus on the user.
  • They also want to hear your solutions' weaknesses and improvements.

Step by Step doing a whiteboard challenge

Context about the company & project

  1. How big the team
  2. Platforms
  3. What's the goal of the project?
  4. What is the hypothesis behind this project?
  5. What's benefits can we provide, or how we're different from other apps ← This is the essential question for this step

About the user

  1. Who are the different types of users? ← So we can choose one persona to do from it
  2. How are they solving their problem now without the app?
  3. With which other products will customers compare what we're creating?
  4. Is there any insights or existing research about it?

Create user flow in a story format

  1. Draw a step-by-step flow that the user takes in the app in a story format to make it easier to follow
  2. Example: "a business traveler, let's name him Mike, wants to dine at the restaurant before his flight. He looks at the menu, orders, and pays by credit card. While looking at the food status, he's checking his flight status and checking out the entertainment system."

Draw key screen wireframes

  1. Idea time.
  2. P/s: I will change the camera view to show my paper sketch. This will be how I make a difference. Because doing it on Figma is very common. But if I see someone draw on physical paper, I feel they are a pro! Because it's rare now. And I admire someone who is still doing it. BTW, I should do the same for my day-to-day activities.

Summarize the story and alternatives, improvement

  1. Presenting ideas and talking about improvement and alternative
  2. Good to talk about constraints and limitation


  • Don't work in silence. Speak out loud. The interviewers want to know your thought process; if you don't say them out loud, they won't know.
  • Write down what you talked. While asking questions, note down the main point on the board. It will give you a clearer view after the conversation. But it also shows interviewers that you're listening.
  • Don't start on the solution immediately. They are not looking for ideas. They are looking for your work process. So the ideas aren't important during this exercise.
  • Ask for a time check. It's ok if you ask an interviewer to be a time checker. Because when you're working, you usually won't pay attention to the time. But for this exercise, we work under a time constraint, so it's good to have a time checker.

Good luck!



🌱 Building a product isn't about whether it can be built

But about if people need it.

Learning to code might be wise. I think everyone should learn to code nowadays. You’ll earn the autonomy to build a product. It’s a valuable skill. Seth Godin also mentioned that everyone should Learn to code.

But it could be good if you don’t know how to code now.

If you have a product idea. Your first question shouldn’t be, ‘Can it be built?’. Instead, the first question should be, ‘Do people want it?’

In the early date, you should focus on validating if it’s a real problem you need to solve and if people want it. Then you can experiment with no-code tools. No-code tools will help you ship your first MVP faster so you can learn from users faster.

Of course, this is all very contextual. I see many people believe in what they want to buy and code it. 🌱 Obsidian is an example; they started by solving their problem.

That said, not knowing the code isn’t a gap if you want to build a product. It helps you focus on the initial part of a product: does it solve real problems people need?

Once you validate it and prove that people want your product, finding a technical team will be much easier.



🌱 Moving my website to Ghost

I’m building an entirely new website with Ghost. My goal is ambitious — to make it my primary website.

It will include all my content: Writing, Books, Notes, Projects, Side Projects, and my newsletter.

I was pleased with my current site based on Gatsby, but it adds friction to my writing. My Gatsby site is a static website. Every time I want to publish a post, I have to add my content to the source code, then push it to Github, then the site will be built. It takes about 5 minutes to develop and publish my post.

It’s not a big problem. Because I didn’t have many audiences and I didn’t need to post instantly. But now, I’m writing lots of notes and. I write almost daily and want an easy way to share it online. A static site will add more friction to my publication.

I have a similar issue that Matej Latin had. (He moved back to WordPress)

For me, Ghost is a great solution. It has everything I need, plus an email newsletter that I can send and publish my post to my subscribers at once. Nore more friction.

Working with Ghost and building my custom site requires some coding knowledge. My basic CSS, HTML, and JS should be enough. I made my website based on an official theme and learned much from many Ghost official articles. Like how I can query posts, how to config the design on the package.json file,…

Now I’m integrating all the current content into my new website, built based on Ghost.

I’ll share more progress when building it.

#Post-Layoff Diary

📗 Interviewing & Rejection

Yesterday I had only one interview with a designer from a big crypto company.

The interviewer is very nice, kind, and calm. Feels like Keith, my ex-head of design. I think most designers are like that. :D

I think the interview went smoothly. It’s just that I may not be a good fit for them. They are looking for someone good at visuals. Someone willing to draw illustrations for many marketing campaigns and landing pages.

My visual sense is good. But I don’t think that job will fit me well because I want to improve my product thinking.

I told her I didn’t draw anything in the last four years at Carousell. But I forgot to mention that I drew in the past.

This is my playground, with many visual works.

I didn’t show her that to show my skills.

During the interview, she mentioned that she read my layoff diary. She’s very interested in it. And she asked why I wrote it.

When knowing someone is reading my stuff so I’m very happy, and I share my honest thoughts. I feel good. Then she said that she was sure that I would write another one after the interview, and she hoped I could write something nice about the company.

Yeah, I think so because I enjoy the conversation and know more about the company and how big it is.

After the call, the HR who talked to me asked me if I was free for a quick call.

Then she called me and asked if I could remove the company name that I mentioned in a post that I wrote.

What did I write to make a person call me and ask me to remove it? I wrote about the call with her and how weird I felt because it’s very different from other companies.

She said it’s ok to write anything about her but not the company. The company has 500M users, so things on the internet should be nice.

Did I do something wrong when writing the company's name on my website?

I’m not sure. But I respect them. So I removed it from my post as her demand. I should do that if it’s better for her and the company.

Writing the diary is just a way for me to document the process. It’s like a therapy session for me during this hard time. And I have something to tell friends in the future.

After the call, I’m sure 99% that I won’t go to the next round, because of the need for the role and what I wrote in a post about the recruiter.

OK, I will miss the chance to work on a beautiful product and work with many other designers. But it’s fine. Let’s find another chance.

Yesterday I also got an invitation for an interview. But it will be in the next 2 weeks. Quite far. People are still on holiday.

8:45 pm

Finally, I got a response from the big crypto company. Yeah, they rejected me. I ask them the reason. And they want to find someone strong in UI design.

Another rejection. Wel. It’s normal. But this status on LinkedIn helps me feel better. Just keep applying.

And I will continue documenting my job hunting in public. Some recruiters or interviewers may read my diary, and they may not be happy with it. But it’s not my problem.

Keep going!


🌱 Powerful life hacks for career, health, and relationship

Sahil Bloom is my greatest resource for learning. His newsletter and Twitter content always give me new and powerful lessons.

His sharing includes many different areas, including business, life, habit, spirit, and parenting.

Here are some powerful hacks from Sahil that I resonate with and want to apply in my life.

Spend 15 minutes on Sunday night to prepare for Monday

“Spend 15 minutes on Sunday evening preparing for what your first focus tasks are going to be on Monday morning. That 15 minutes will save you 2 hours and a whole lot of stress.”

Swallow the big frogs for your boss. It’s the best way to optimize your career path.

“Observe your boss, figure out what they hate doing, learn to do it, and take it off their plate.”

When learning something new, try to teach it to friends and family members.

Teaching is the best way to learn. One way is 🌱 Learn in public or teach people you’re close with.

For started, teaching strangers is very awkward. An easier way to teach your learning is to teach them to friends and family members.

“See what questions they ask and how those questions expose the gaps in your knowledge. Study more to fill in those gaps. The act of teaching is the most powerful form of learning.”

When you meet someone, say their name once in the convo. Their name is the sweetest sound they hear. But if we talk about it more than once, it will be cheesy.

“Once is enough. If you do it more than once, it will become phoney”

Compliment strangers every single day. You will be thrilled if you receive compliments from strangers as well.

“Getting a compliment from someone will make their day.”

Try the 4-7-8 method to sleep easier.

“Breathin through your nose 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, exhale for 8 seconds.”

Get your body moving to start the day with a 5-5-5-30 routine

“5 pushup, 5 squats, 5 lunges and 30s plank. You can do that while brewing coffee of waiting for your kid to finish their meal.”

Tip the bartender at your local graciously the first time you go

“You'll get better service and build a relationship that will last.”

#Letter from Audience

📨 Letter from Audience #01

Hi Trong,

I am Yurong, a product designer based in Singapore. I chanced upon your article on LinkedIn and when I clicked into your article I had a pleasant surprise when I saw you have a repository of articles that's hosted on your website :)

It's always my personal goal to design and put up my own website with articles. I wanted to ask you how you managed to do up the newsletter + hosting articles on your website. I am super new to this website building thing, so would appreciate hearing more from you.

I am not sure if you would be keen to work for the public sector but if by any small chance you are, I am currently working at GovTech and I would love to refer you to any roles we have :) I wish you all the best in your job hunt!


Hey Y,

I’m so happy to see your email. Thanks for sending it!

For your question on hosting articles, I’m using Ghost. It’s an open-source platform. They have very good experience in writing + newsletter (and also paid newsletter if you need :D ).

They have paid option ($9 USD/mo). If you use it, it’s very easy to start your own. Just in couple clicks, everything will be done (Including the newsletter.)

I’m using a free one. Meaning that I need to buy a server (I’m using DigitalOcean, $6/month) to host my website. And I need to config something so I can enable the newsletter. There are many guides on the internet to help us. So it’s not too complicated. I just copy and paste their guides :D

You can consider a paid option, which is easier to start. Or maybe another option is Substack, but your writing is under substack domain (i.e. yurong.substack.com). If you want to write and send newsletter, Substack is fine also. For me, I just don’t like it.

I am currently working at GovTech and I would love to refer you to any roles we have :)

Wow! So good to hear it. But is GovTech open for non-citizens? I’m Vietnamese and don’t have PR yet. But if they are open, I want to try.

So, I hope to answer your questions.

If you need more help or clarity, let me know!

Thanks for the email again. I really enjoy replying email like this 😄

#Post-Layoff Diary

📗 Chat with a recruiter from a 3D AI Startup

Today I will have two chats with HR. I did one this morning with E. Their product is innovative. Building 3D environments with AI.

I don’t know how far they can go, but the idea and the foundation are incredible. I want to work on it. I hope they will give me a chance.

Later at 11 am, I will have another chat with Homage, a healthcare tech startup in SG. Their product is quite simple and similar to the ‘eCommerce’ style. I’m not so interested in the product idea, but I want to take all the chances.

The HR is from Australia. Do they open their business in Australia also? Maybe. But their team’s HQ is in Singapore.

As Eugene mentioned in the call, it’s the end of the year so it will take a bit long on the process. They will close the office next week and back in Jan. So the process will take longer than usual. We all know that. I shouldn’t be feeling too negative.

#Post-Layoff Diary

📗 An ex-colleague asked to refer me to a company

Today is Sunday. There’s no more reply from companies. But I have some chat next week. Around 4 chats so far. It’s good now.

Jenny, an engineer I worked with at Carousell, asked me if her husband could refer me to a company. They are hiring designers (Principals only). But they will be changing the hiring strategy. They don’t hire a senior designer now, but they’re thinking of hiring one next week.

I sent my CV to her, in case they hire, her husband will refer me!

I’m thankful for that. Jenny is one of the first engineers I worked with on Carousell. I like to work with her. And she also likes to work with me (at least I feel)!

She’s the one I know using 🌱 Obsidian. That’s why I like her more.

For this time, I appreciate help from those people. The world is so kind.

All the best, Trong. You will find a job soon! Don’t be too hard on yourself. Give yourself time.

This morning, I learned that Luan’s wife hires people to work with her. She built themes for Android. And I think she’s doing good now and need more people to work with her.

Those simple jobs like that seem easy and not attractive. But when we work for a long time, we will get ‘combining’ effect. That’s the power of persistence. That’s the power of 1% better every day.

I should do the same thing! Doing boring things in years!

#Post-Layoff Diary

📗 One chat with HR and one more invite to chatting

Today is Friday, and there is no job that is in the interview yet. Most of the meetings are with HR to introduce and career background. It’s a good start then. Coz today is only the first week for job seeking.

It’s the end of the year, the process will take longer.

I will have a call with an HR from Airwallex soon at 10:00 am. I only applied for the job yesterday, but she asked if  I had time for today’s chat. I have time, so I accepted it.

Maybe she will be on leave next week and wants to finish his job. Or maybe, they don’t have many applications and saw my profile fit their requirements. Or maybe, I’m just really a good fit for the team.

Last night, I wrote a long cover letter to Bifrost.ai, a 3D tool. I’m very excited about it. It’s a startup, but the designing tool is always my favorite thing to do.

I rarely write a cover letter. But I need to write it for this position because I want to work on that. We won’t find many companies building tools like that in Singapore. Most of them are eCommerce, fintech, edtech,…

I hope the cover letter will convince them about my skill, and I’m looking for an email reply so I can chat to know them more and help them know more about my background.

Later, I will turn that letter into an [[🌱 Evergreen notes]]. A note should be concept orientated and can reuse for different jobs. I can feel I will reuse it many more times.

Also, I will create my system for interviewing. Preparing the point that I will share with recruiters. Because I’m doing mass interviews, better to have a system.

A system will include:

  • Self-intro
  • My design process
  • My career goal
  • My expectation
  • Behavioral questions
  • Questions to ask back
  • Notes for the interview process
  • And more...

I’ve just had a chat with Lin from Airwallex. The company is big. They have around 20+ designers globally. They focus on Fintech, Fiance, and Banking.

Their co-founders are Chinese-Austrailans. In a total of five, there’s one co-founder who is head of design.

It’s very big and quite feels like Carousell and bigger.

The HR is from China, but her English is very good. She talked fast with an American accent. She will share my profile with the hiring manager to see if he’s interested.

10:40 am
I got a reply from Bifrost. He’s the one who talked to me on LinkedIn! They’ve just finished their Townhall and are quite busy. So he said to read out to me next week!

#Post-Layoff Diary

📗 Getting some replies from companies that I applied

Today I got some replies from some places that I applied: Viki Rakuten, and Coinhako.

I also applied to some new places. One place is from an ex-carousel colleague, Vir, suggested to me by Aadil. Vir is now a product manager at CakeDefi, a crypto product. I sent my CV and portfolio to him last night and got the reply this morning. I didn’t know he was a Product Manager until I spotted the signature: Vir, Product Manager.

When seeing that, I feel like: “Wow, many friends went out and now got a better position.” The grass is greener on the other side lol. It’s good for them.

Tina also a Product Designer Manager at Viki Rakuten. I worked with her on my first project when joining Carousell. She left Carousell after one year I joined and became a manager at Viki.

Yeah, again, feel like people who often change jobs, highly get promoted to better positions. Yeah yeah, the grass on the other side is always greener. Good for them.

This morning, I also apply another company called Airwallet, another crypto tech product. For this season, only Crypto companies are hiring. That’s what I feel. But the goal is to find a job, not a perfect job anyway.

OK, I’ve just got the interview invitation at Coinhaco next Tue. It’s a one-hour-long interview with two other people. I emailed back to ask for detail and the agenda of the meeting so I can prepare better.

Seems like the interview will be coming soon; many interviews will happen next week. So far, I got two, but more are coming soon. I should prepare for it.

Now, the priority is to update the slide to showcase my portfolio and experience. The website will come later.

Trong, you are a good designer. It’s just that you didn’t show off enough. Share more, you deserve a better position. You will get the job, and you will get a good offer soon!

Sometimes, an affirmation is what we need!

#Post-Layoff Diary

📗 The first official day to look for a job

Today is Wednesday. The first official day for me to look for a job.

Seems like not many companies are hiring now. It’s the end of the year, the hiring process is slower. Companies are still planning for next year. That’s why they closed some positions. For example, Grab, just last week, I was still seeing their Product Design job description on LinkedIn. But now, it closed and no longer accepts applications.

Another from Viki Rakutan. Tina said that she would send my profile to HR. But today is Wednesday, there’s no news.

Companies I talked to an HR, the one that I had a long chat about last week. He said that he would send the info and CV to their Product Lead, and it went well, he would send me the exercise on Wednesday (which is today) and arrange an interview on Friday. The assessment requires only 2 days to do. But until now, no reply from him.

Is the process slow, or am I not good enough?

No, I shouldn’t blame myself. Don’t make it bad and not useful for yourself. I’m a good designer, and I will find a job soon.

The process is just slow because it’s the end of the year. Many people are on leave, so the process is slower.

I also chatted with a Head Hunter, who wants to introduce me to a job from Viki Rakuten. Somehow, it’s the job that Tina mentioned. She asked me to ask Tina if she could represent my portfolio.

But I enjoyed the conversation with her. She shared details about the role and was quite interested in me. She also asked me if I knew anyone who was looking for a job now. I introduce her Gabriella, Nayanda, and An. They are my vertical friends who got affected by the layoff.

Ah, I also apply for some jobs on LinkedIn. Most of them are…crypto. They are hiring all the time. I didn’t have much experience with Fintech or Crypto, but I’m curious about it. So I should consider also.

One company replied just right after my submission. It’s from the Homepage. I replied with my available time. I will have a call tomorrow or Friday with HR to chat about the role.

I’ll take any opportunities anyway. Getting a job is now more important than getting a perfect job.


🌱 Folders kill creativity

The folder structure defines specific content belonging to one category.

The content is stored in the same place, but they don’t have a relationship. So it’s hard for us to combine existing knowledge to generate new insights.

Creativity is about connecting the dots.

P/S: But in 🌱 Obsidian, we can use folders to make things cleaner. But it’s not the primary job.

Related: 🌱 Evergreen notes

#Post-Layoff Diary

📗 Much support from friends and LinkedIn people

Keith, my ex-head of design, sent me a message yesterday. He sent me a Job description from Google and a job from Viki, which Tina had asked me on Instagram. Seeing Tina’s year-end party at Viki makes me feel very interested. Many companies didn’t have a Year End party this year, but Viki had. So they are quite OK in terms of finance?

I need to interview different places so that I will have choices. When I have choices, I can easily deal with people.

My post on LinkedIn got lots of attention and support from the community. I’m surprised with the post's impression on Linkedin, around 50K impressions until now. It even got the highest number of reactions of all the posts I posted on social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, IG,…)

So, I’m considering using LinkedIn as the primary platform to share my content. For both personal and Vidizai. With the content I have, I think LinkedIn will work well for me. It’s also the best time to start being more active on LinkedIn. Coz I’m unemployed anyway, none will care about why I’m so active on LinkedIn.