Waiting until you’re unhappy (or let go) is too late

Photo by Carsten Stalljohann on Unsplash

Lately, I’ve been responding to recruiters with a lot more enthusiasm whenever I see a potential role I might be interested in or could be a good fit for.

Most people only start this process when they’re either unhappy with their career, or if they’ve been let go. You don’t want to do this because it puts you in a vulnerable position as the job seeker. The best time to apply for jobs and explore potential opportunities is when you’re not looking for one. Here’s why:

The last couple of times I’ve searched for a job was when I was…

Photo by Raja V on Unsplash

But first, what is unhappiness?

Simply put, unhappiness is the state of not being happy.

But what causes it and how do we recognize it within ourselves?

I think unhappiness is a symptom of perfectionism. As capable functioning humans, we yearn to be perfect. That’s why we set unrealistic expectations and goals for ourselves. The second we realize that we are in any way inadequate, we spiral and the perfect world inside our head comes crashing down. It’s also the reason why it’s so damn hard for us to show vulnerability and accept help. …

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

“My parents thinks I’m lonely”, I said to my friend, “I don’t think they understand that being alone is a choice, not a sadness.”

Lunar new year was only a couple of days ago and the hot topic of the day was my relationship status. My parents, grandparents, and all my relatives from Vietnam called in to wish me success in my career, and most importantly, luck in “tình duyên”. This means love or rather, fated love.

This sentiment started sometime last year when I turned 27 and it left me wondering: What about my stable career, independence, and self-sufficiency…

With not even a dollar to my name, it still didn’t feel like rock bottom.

Photo by JOHN TOWNER on Unsplash

When you tell someone you’re working for a startup, they’ll either think you’re gonna be really rich or crazy broke.

I remember telling my parents and friends about my decision to join Christina’s,

“I really like the company’s mission and they’re growing really fast. If they continue at this speed, I should be coming back with more than enough to start my own business once my stocks are fully vested”.

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

Just like an investor would do their due diligence before investing, so did I before I committed to Christina’s. When the co-founder & CEO, Thu, reached…

Photo by Anton Darius | @theSollers on Unsplash

I think love is beautiful even though I spent the majority of my life questioning its very existence.

The two questions I usually circle back to is why do people love?
And what is the point of it?

I’ve asked these same questions to many of my friends who are single or have been in a committed relationship but none of their answers were able to satisfy the inner skeptic slash hopeless romantic in me.

I couldn’t understand or make sense of why it is that we choose to love and therein place ourselves in such a vulnerable and compromising…

I thought I wanted to be a doctor.

Image by Clay Banks on Unsplash

We all think we should be doing something, and sometimes, we do it without even asking ourselves why we’re doing it in the first place. We’re all guilty of this, especially me.

It was around this time of the year, 3 years ago, when the doubts I had about my career choice started to push its way to the surface. It took meeting someone special, a thought-provoking life question, and an extremely tough and heart-breaking conversation with my parents to finally admit that medicine was just not my cup of tea.

Truth be told I wished someone had asked me…

On my way back from visiting home (aka Florida)

Two years ago, I switched from medicine and redesigned Instagram.

Three months after, I packed what I could fit into my carry-on and two moving boxes, and flew to Saigon to become Christina’s second product designer. Fast forward to today and I am now their Head of Product.

I can still remember my first task on the job: creating color swatches for our tour guide’s awesome new helmets. It might sound like a simple feat, but after trying out hundreds of color combinations and learning a thing or two about color theory, I was pretty proud of the results.


Me, attempting to make sense of all the data from my research with post-it notes and my Gator shirt.

The challenge: to take an application I love and use everyday, then see how far I could push myself creatively as a designer, by rebuilding it from the ground up.

I chose Instagram because I’ve been a dedicated user since 2011 — a year after it was launched.

Originally, I started using Instagram for its filters. But over the past 6 years, I’ve been able to see all kinds of changes and innovations that have emerged within the app. And I now use Instagram pretty religiously to express myself and stay connected with current trends.

You could say I’m an…


A year ago, I would have probably rejected this idea and reprimanded myself heavily for even considering it.

To me, changing was synonymous to losing one’s identity. Over the years, I fought off any indication of it. If my interests for something was waning, I would try to hold on even tighter. If I started to drift away from anyone I was close to, I would try to initiate even more efforts on my end. If I noticed that my thoughts didn’t match the perception of who I thought I was, I would make the appropriate adjustments necessary to make…

You know you’re special.

No one can see the world quite like you do.

You look at the world through sharpened lens —
with every decision and every moment under constant scrutiny.

You feel every emotion.
You see every detail.
Nothing slip by you unnoticed.

So trust yourself.

You are… instinctual.
You are… wise.
Trust your gut. Your senses. Your feelings.
They’re there for a reason.

If something doesn’t feel right — be brave enough to examine it.
Don’t neglect the doubts that’s knocking at your door.
Invite them in for coffee and have a conversation with them.

Save yourself from the heartaches and…

Kim Thuy Tu

Intj, designer, coffee enthusiast. http://kimthuytu.com

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