Career arc: 5 years in one place

In her career journey, entrepreneur Le Thi Mai Linh underwent several work environments before assuming the position of Director of the Luxury Division at L’Oreal Vietnam.

Through the ‘MBA For Success program organized by ISB Institute, Ms. Le Thi Mai Linh encourages young individuals to step out of their comfort zones and experience but not indulge in opportunistic ventures.

Dense career trajectory: the cosmetics and fashion industry

In her career journey, Ms. Linh has navigated through various fields, such as cosmetics, high-end products, retail, fashion, domestic operations, and duty-free markets. She held multiple management positions within large corporations like KAO and Unilever before joining L’Oreal.

In 2020, entrepreneur Mai Linh received the “Talented Rose” award at the ‘Top 100 International Business Style Awards 2020-2021″ ceremony. Additionally, she was among the top 50 outstanding female business leaders in Vietnam in 2020.

Entrepreneur Lê Thị Mai Linh – Director of Luxury Division at L’Oreal Vietnam

Breaking out of the comfort zone to seek new experiences

According to this businesswoman, in her career journey, making transitions after a certain period is a way to explore new things and continue personal development. Feeling comfortable within a safe space of familiar tasks might lull a person into complacency.

People might think they are truly skilled, handling tasks swiftly, but in reality, they keep circling around familiar issues, staying within a risk-free zone.

Ms. Linh believes that for young individuals with a desire to explore themselves, it’s important to actively seek opportunities and challenge themselves with more difficult and complex situations. It’s precisely in challenging circumstances where one can truly demonstrate their abilities, even ones they might not have known they possessed.

Experiencing different work environments doesn’t mean… job-hopping

However, Ms. Linh emphasizes that experiencing various work environments and positions doesn’t equate to… job hopping. Constantly changing jobs in a short period might give a negative impression to potential employers.

Therefore, the time spent working for a company should be “complete.” For Ms. Linh, a minimum of 5 years is essential, with the first year focused on adaptation and learning. The second year initiates some changes, and the remaining 3 years will yield results for the corporation.

According to the director at L’Oreal Vietnam, young individuals should ask themselves questions before seeking new challenges in their careers, such as: What have I learned in the company? Have I identified new strengths? What changes do I need to make for improvement?

And most importantly, what “legacy” have I left for the organization? If satisfactory answers are found to all these questions, then one should consider whether changing the work environment on their career path is worthwhile.

MBA For Success is an online event series led by Assoc. Prof. Tran Ha Minh Quan – Dean of ISB – aimed at providing practical insights into learning experiences and work expertise from entrepreneurs and senior leaders in multinational corporations, both domestic and international.