Entrepreneur Yijia Tiong juggles a busy professional life
As a key executive of a well-respected media group in Hong Kong, Yijia Tiong juggles a busy professional life. Besides her family business commitments, her quaint Japanese eatery, Tabibito, nestled in Sheung Wan's artsy Po Hing Fong, is one of the best-kept secrets among local gourmands. "I'm planning two more ventures coming up, and a craft beer brewery," says the proud entrepreneur.
Tiong had a baby earlier this year, but the busy working mum still manages to find peace through the balance of work and family. "My son is the joy of my life," she says. "Time wasn't such a big issue before, but now I prioritise my son. My schedule works around him. I really enjoy seeing him grow."
Tiong recalls the first time she laid eyes on her precious baby boy. "It was such a memorable time that I would never forget," she says. "For the first 10 weeks of my maternity leave, I spent every single moment with him, to a point where my husband got a bit jealous."
Now that Tiong is back in the workforce, her advice to other working mums is to ask for help when it's needed.
"To have a really good nanny for the baby is very important," she says. "I have a great one, so I can be less attached to the baby. For women who want to go back to work after having a baby, we need to slowly be more independent. Meet friends and get back to your old life."
Exercising was a major thing that Tiong missed when she was pregnant.
"I've always been athletic," she says. "I enjoy hiking and Pilates. I think even when you don't have time to hit the gym, just walk. My office is on the 15th floor, and I make sure to walk up the stairs every day."
Sorting out her busy schedule, Tiong says punctuality is something she subscribes firmly to. "My father taught me how to be on time. He's always 10 minutes early to all the meetings," she says. "I think being on time is showing respect to people; we shouldn't be wasting their time unnecessarily."
Nowadays, Tiong's perfect day off would include waking up at 10am and going on a hike, followed by brunch with her family. But when she's at work, she gives it 100 per cent. "I would rather work, because I think it's more balanced for my life," she says. "And I also look forward to seeing my son when I get home."
To be able to spend time with her family is now perhaps the biggest luxury for Tiong.
"Luxury for me means that you feel so content with your life that you don't need to buy anything [to prove it]," she says. VC
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