Linh Lanh is Digital Marketer & Founder of Dekcs. She founded Dekcs.com because she has a passion for digital strategy. Throughout her career, she has worked with some of the brightest minds in marketing and advertising to win new business. She aims to help business leaders successfully promote their products and services and present themselves as trailblazers along the way.
- What is your backstory? What do you do for a living?
I am a full-time digital marketer and part-time presentation builder. I started my company, www.dekcs.com, when I realized many of my fellow marketers dislike building slide decks, even though they can be an effective communication and marketing tool.
- How did you start your remote work journey?
I started my remote work journey in 2016, after having worked myself into the ground and stressing over a job I thought I must have. I had to walk away from that job to take care of myself. That is when I learned about Mike’s mission with Blue Ocean Life and his vision for remote work and mental wellness. I have worked remotely on and off since then. I consider mental health to be one of the most important criteria for being successful.
- What have you learned working from home?
I have learned to value good relationships and let go of those that don’t serve me. For example, I make time to connect with an old friend who always supported me. I say no to acquaintances who invite me to events that do not align with my professional and business goals. Saying no often allows me to say yes to what I truly care about.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost every part of the economy and our daily lives. What challenges have you encountered both personally and professionally? How have you weathered these challenges?
Some of the biggest challenges for me were communicating effectively via video calls. At first, I was not comfortable being direct on-camera or openly discussing problems I was trying to solve. Gradually, I learned to focus more on the other person’s interests and how to make the interactions more meaningful for both of us. By not hyper-focusing on how I was perceived, but on the task at hand and the audience to whom I was speaking, my meetings became a lot more enjoyable and productive.
I also learned to manage my expectations for both myself and others, for example, setting a soft deadline for my team so that I can deliver on the hard deadline from clients. I have also learned a lot from working with coaches and mentors who gave me the tools to manage and achieve my goals.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has created an increased sense of fear, depression, and isolation. How have you been able to get through pandemic-related anxiety and stress issues?
I reach out to friends, former colleagues, and family. I schedule times in the day to connect with them regularly, even if it is just 10-15 minutes. I also spend more time evaluating relationships that I will fight to keep or let go, to be a better version of myself.
- What are your best mental health tips?
Develop a hobby that you enjoy doing alone, for example, biking alone to a new place or cooking. Also, alternate between mentally and physically challenging activities throughout the day. After finishing a project, I would take a quick mid-day break and walk my dogs around the block before starting the next one. Doing so helps me sustain the energy throughout the day and start a new task with a fresh perspective because I had a mental break in between tasks.
- Before the pandemic hit, you may have worked in an office or corporate setting, but what do you foresee happening now? How do you see companies allowing employees to work?
I have worked in both traditional corporate setting and remote roles before and there are pros and cons for both. It all depends on the industry and office culture; obviously, companies will need to add options for employee work situations to stay competitive in the hiring process.
- Do you believe that remote work is the future?
I think remote work is already here, given there’s sufficient technology for many jobs to be done virtually. For example, we use Team or Zoom to meet, Asana, or Google sheets to manage and track projects, and email to communicate with clients. Even when working with my coaches, I use Google Meet and Google Docs to manage progress and set goals.
- How do you think COVID will shape the future of business?
On a positive note, the acceleration of remote work options will increase diversity in cultures, geographic locations, ideas, and beliefs. It is sad that many businesses have been severely affected and closed, because of COVID, but there are also new businesses created from it, too. For example, Dekcs was started this year during the pandemic and we have helped our clients communicate effectively online using PowerPoint or Google Slides presentations. My team and I can effectively collaborate remotely and serve clients located in California or North Carolina without actually being there.
- How can readers get in touch with you?
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