Ren Ren, Director of Operations, reveals the serendipitous turn of events that landed him in his current role. Hint: It involves beers at a party!
In this thoughtful conversation for our Employee Spotlight Series, Ren shares his success mantra: A solution-focused mindset that tackles problem-solving via collaboration and brainstorming. He believes that as individuals we gravitate towards comfort and stability, but growth and creativity thrive out of our comfort zone.
His advice for a person joining PixMob is simple: Be human, patient, creative, and brave.
Ren considers the rise of remote work as the driver of creativity and ideas. Read on!
1. How did you end up in this role? Can you tell me about your professional journey?
I was working for a local company on the north shore of Montreal as a purchasing and logistics manager when my wife was invited to a friend's birthday party, and I accompanied her. At this party, I met David (Former CEO) and Jean-Olivier (President), and we got talking. We exchanged ideas on production, and I believe they liked what they heard since they asked to meet with Vincent (CEO) and made a job offer! Here I am six years later!
To sum up, I went to a party, had a few beers, and had exciting conversations only to land a job that I wasn't looking for but now love. I believe life brought me to this place.
2. What's the best career lesson you've learned so far?
The one lesson that's stuck with me is to stay solution-oriented and improve constantly.
We work in a fast-paced industry, and there are always last-minute requests, changes, or delays. At that time, it is crucial to attack the problem through collaboration and brainstorming. Having a positive mindset is vital. As the famous saying goes, "half the battle is won in the mind." If one believes there is no solution, one is not likely to find one.
By keeping a positive and solution-focused mindset, you can encourage yourself and your team to keep moving forward without dwelling on the things out of your control.
Five years ago, we had 20 hours to fix a wrongly-delivered shipment. While it seemed impossible at the time, we pulled off a night shift and managed to ship twenty thousand units to the client.
As individuals, we gravitate towards comfort and stability, but growth and creativity usually happen outside the comfort zone. So, use your imagination and think outside the box to fully embrace any challenges life throws at you!
3. What advice do you have for a candidate looking to join our company?
Be human because you work with incredible human beings here, so stay considerate. Your work is not just your daily job, but it's more than that—it's about helping and supporting your team and colleagues to do better and be better.
Stay patient with people because they may be different from you -- in terms of knowledge, level of understanding, background, or culture.
Be creative and take risks! There will be times when your out-of-the-box ideas may not work, but that doesn't mean that the idea was terrible. Remember that timing plays a significant role in success -- there are no bad ideas, only lousy timing. It could be because the concept is not ready, or you're not prepared, or the situation is not right.
Be brave because we work in a fast-paced industry, and things are not always smooth. You can make improvements to smoothen the process, but there will always be surprises that need you to be creative!
4. What would you be doing (for a career) if you weren't doing this?
When I was younger, I envisioned at least two or three different careers for myself. Given my love for food, I wanted to run a restaurant. Or a tour guide since I've traveled across Asia, America, and Europe. I would've liked to guide people to memorable places. I would've also loved to be a writer or an artist, sharing stories through the written word or music. A more realistic career choice would've been a teacher since I like sharing my experiences and vision with other people. It's a rewarding career that allows you to create a positive impact.
5. What's the coolest (or most important) trend you see today?
The pandemic has introduced us to the concept of remote work, and we're not going back. We have learned that we can do things differently without being bound by geographical limitations, which makes us powerful because it gives us many options. People are collaborating despite being in Europe or different provinces in Canada. And this shift in mindset presents a host of opportunities. When travel shut down, and borders closed, we became creative in our solutions and ideas to overcome these hurdles.
Another blessing from the pandemic is that we've realized that learning is not limited to classrooms anymore. TikTok is a perfect example. If you look deep and hard, you'll find videos on construction, garden maintenance, etc. With such democratized information, we all have chances to learn.