She (ELLE) Defines Herself

I read in the news recently that Malaysia will finally have its very own ELLE magazine, to be launched in March 2014. ELLE Malaysia will be published by Mongoose Publishing, which also publishes some  Malaysian and Singapore favourites such as Time Out KL / Singapore, Esquire KL / Singapore and Expatriate Lifestyle.

Elle Singapore, May 2011

I was surprised but elated to hear the news 🙂 I couldn’t remember a time back in my teenage years when I didn’t entertain myself with the glossy fashion, beauty and feature pages of a magazine, the likes of CLEO or Her World. I even dreamt of being a features writer for a beauty magazine some day (this dream is not yet realised, but someday, I would!)

Glossy dreams

It also brought back memories to a time when I almost landed a job at ELLE Malaysia.

I applied for the position of Account Executive and was called to the job interview with MediaCorp Publishing Malaysia in 2005.

At the time, I was Senior Account Executive at GTI Specialist Publishers, an education and careers publisher, and very eager to join the glamorous beauty magazine world. My resume also showed 3 years of promotion and events work experience in OH! Only Health magazine.

The interview

I don’t remember much details about the job interview, except that I was excited to be given the opportunity and it went quite well. The interviewer told me that ELLE will be hitting the Malaysian shores soon. I told her that I loved ELLE Singapore and especially admired the intelligent feature articles inside and the clean, gorgeous covers that caught my attention.

MediaCorp Publishing Malaysia was also the publisher of FHM Malaysia and I remember getting a sneak peek of the cosy office (it was compact but neat and colourful). Young 20-something me was just thrilled to step into the publishing office of one of the most popular men’s magazines around!!

Eight years

Alas, I never got a call back even though I felt very good about the interview outcome. I assumed that I didn’t meet the cut for the job and they’d hired someone else.

For many months after, I looked high and low for the ELLE Malaysia magazine, excited about the magazine’s entry into Malaysia. It never appeared.

Until now, when they just announced the launch. Can you imagine that it took 8 years for the intention of ELLE Malaysia to be brought into reality?

Yes, it sometimes takes a longer time for ideas to manifest into reality, even after the seed was planted years or decades ago. ELLE Malaysia is just one example.

* * *

Career growth

The announcement also triggered a mini reflection of my career. I started off my career as a writer but later moved on to events, promotions, sales, marketing and now communications. I’ve worked with 2 magazines, 3 online portals, one training centre and at present, an educational institution.

My old dream of being just a writer would have been, in my opinion, limiting.

With experiences in events, sales, marketing and PR under my belt, I am now a full-blown communicator, capable of executing marketing projects, sales and marketing events and also communicating the very core messages that the company wants me to. My capabilities have expanded beyond the print and online medium, to the  social media platform as well.

How I have grown in my career over the past 12 years! While there were some jobs which I resisted, I was tough enough to persist at least 3 years in each position, giving myself the opportunity to see where it would lead me to. I’m glad I was not the type to give up too easily.


I wonder now, where would my career path lead me to next? It really feels like a fork in the road is coming up soon.

I often look at choices I make as choosing either the left fork or the right fork in the road. But life has taught me that no matter which fork I choose, I may not be leaving the other behind entirely. Everything is interconnected and we do relate to other things even when we are in our specific field.

Also, I did realise that life is made up levels. We ‘level up’ as we go along in life, collecting more skills and points and we move higher and higher. I suppose this is a type of evolution. But, you know what? We actually determine the types of levels we want to move up in, and the skills or areas that we choose not to develop ourselves in.

Are you moving up the levels in life?


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