Having more than 20 years as a manager in various industries, Kally Tay founded a career website to help others to thrive in their jobs. Featured on numerous platforms such as WordPress Editor’s Pick and AllWomensTalk, her website MiddleMe.net discussed difficult and sensitive issues like workplace abuse and discord among coworkers while providing practical advice on how to handle those situations. As a freelance writer & recruiter herself, she helps others find success in freelancing and thus striking a balancing between work and family. Becoming unstuck: whether it is the job you dread, the financial status you are in or the negative mindset you have.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?
Evaluate my priorities: why am I doing this, what I am here for, how should I move forward. If possible, I love to talk out my thoughts with someone. The more I phase my thoughts into words, the clearer the picture gets.
What Are Bad Recommendations You Hear In Your Profession Or Area Of Expertise?
As a freelancer, you will not have stable income. Not true!
In The Last Five Years, What New Belief, Behavior, Or Habit Has Most Improved Your Life?
I took on freelancing and it has been the best 5 years of my life. Freelancing allows me to juggle both family and work life in my own terms. I don’t have to sacrifice my time or feel guilty anymore. Freelancing also empowers me to understand my strengths and allow me to choose the projects that will challenge me and enrich my experience.
What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
Building up a personal brand and reputation for myself as both a copywriter and recruiter for the past 5 years. Since last two years, I do not have to hunt for clients and most clients are referred to me by satisfied customers. This, in turn encourages me to continue with that I am doing. Building up my website, providing free career advice has also helped to boost my reputation as a reliable creative copywriter and a honest recruiter.
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — what would it say and why?
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes … the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. … You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. … They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Quoted Steve Jobs. I am one of the misfits who found my own round hole where I fit perfectly. I have never felt more useful, more appreciated and more “at home” where I worked with brilliant people with crazy ideas. I wished I had found my round hole much earlier in my life where I have wasted time trying to fit into a square hole, but better late than never.
Don't care about what others think of you and allow your ideas to run wild.
What is the most significant thing that someone much younger than yourself has taught you?
YOLO. You only live once. If you don’t go out to make those dreams a reality, they will forever be a “What Ifs”. I do not allow What Ifs in my life.
What Careers Advice Would You Give To Your 21-Year Old Self?
Don’t care about what others think of you and allow your ideas to run wild. In my earlier career days, I would be told that my ideas are too radical or impractical, I need to tone my thoughts down. I was lucky I met my mentor in my mid 20s and he was the one who supported me and had listened to every crazy idea I had, discussed why it will or won’t work and how we can execute those workable ideas. From then on, I learn quickly how to express my ideas, sell those ideas and make them work for me.
Tell us about your business. What does it do and what value do you add?
MiddleMe.net is where you can find the collaboration of all those pieces of advice that I have given to everyone regarding career, entrepreneurship and freelancing. This website will surely inspire and enrich you in so many ways. MiddleMe.net is also about helping you to make smart career moves and decisions. I will offer some tips, recommendations, and even personal stories to help you in your decision-making. Lastly, MiddleMe.net is a platform for sharing. I will be sharing both mine and other people’s experiences, and the actions that we have taken to get ourselves unstuck in various situations, hoping that these stories can help you too.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
An Author. I’m trying to write my own book at the moment.
Where do you see your industry in the next 5 years?
As many people get used to the idea of remote working, they may try their hands at freelancing and hopefully found their own freedom and passion in doing so.
Tell us about someone you admire and why you admire them?
Steve Jobs. He is a visionary like no other.
What is currently wrong with the recruitment process today?
Hiring freelancers for a traditional office position is still fairly new. The biggest challenge I see is that HR, hiring managers and recruiters are hiring freelancers using the same methods as they would hire a full time employee.
What is the most common mistake you see people make when applying for a job?
Not reading the job scope. This irks me as a recruiter especially when I specify for certain terms to be met. Not that I won’t take a chance and hire someone who is outside of the scope but sometimes, the job entails specific needs that requires the incumbent to possess otherwise he or she will not be able to do the job.
How has Covid-19 changed your industry?
I started out freelancing 6 years ago and then freelancing is still something that other people perceived as a side income. Due to Covid-19, many industries have evolved to replace a lot of office bound positions to freelancers instead. I have seen much more gig requests flooding my inbox than 2 years ago.