Sylvia, before Superbloom, what did you work as?
For about four cumulative years, I took on an account management role in a large company and later at a small media production agency. My primary job scope included the planning and running of media advertisements. My team and I worked with the clients to plan strategies and activations throughout all the phases of the campaigns.
Did you enjoy your job?
I loved it. There was a sense of accomplishment after every campaign — I was part of the crew that helped brands bring their activations to life. We worked hard for months just to make a one-night event happen, and when the public’s feedback is positive, it’s a tremendous feeling. Our efforts also helped our clients to increase their sales. I challenged myself to consistently hit my target and beyond. I also enjoyed the problem-solving aspect of the job.
Stress is of course part and parcel of any job, and it does take a mental toll. Even when we were on holidays, we brought along our laptops and worked, because we felt a responsibility to ensure that the campaigns would run smoothly. Because of the hectic nature of the job, there were times when I forgot to eat. I didn’t sleep well: work was constantly on my mind. Almost every weeknight, before sleep, I could be nicely tucked in my bed and I would suddenly jerk because I thought I had forgotten to complete a task. I’d then run and flip open my file to check. Or I’d get paranoid that an important email was stuck in the outbox. As a result of the stress, sleep deficiency and poor lifestyle choices, my health deteriorated. I developed an autoimmune disorder that still affects me today.
How debilitating is this disorder?
Because my immunity system is down, if I’m near someone who’s sick, I’ll catch the illness very quickly. And my cells don’t regenerate as quickly, so I take a longer time to recover and I need to be on medications. Now, I take extremely good care of myself. In the past, I would get frequent bouts of fever. There were random attacks of kidney and liver inflammations. My eczema flare-ups and rashes didn’t heal properly. One Monday during a highly stressful sales meeting, I had a nosebleed. Everyone was shocked. Acting on the advice of my doctor, I quit my job at the large firm as my body just couldn’t keep up with the stressful work environment anymore.