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January 9, 2024

In Taiwan, Jenny Lin Keeps Learning and Growing

# APJ
# Leadership
# Business Management
# Networking
# Sales and Marketing
# Summit

This young, energetic and positive Dscooper is helping Wan Long Printing thrive.

In August 2023, Jenny Lin, the dynamic, 28-year-old vice general manager and chief director of sales for Wan Long Printing Co., Ltd. in Taiwan, embarked on a transformative experience at the Dscoop Bali Summit that has left an indelible mark on her professional journey. What set Jenny's experience apart was her realization that Dscoop offered more than just networking — it presented a platform for personal growth.

Inspired by her new connections from the Bali event, Jenny recognized the potential to expand her network globally. The revelation motivated her to become a Dscoop APJ committee member representing Taiwan. On January 25, 2024, she hosted the first-ever Mandarin-speaking Dscoop meetup with participants from China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia.

We are inspired by Jenny's energy, strength and ideas. Enjoy this conversation covering her print-industry journey, the pros and cons of being a young print professional, what she's learned from (and about) others, and more.

DSCOOP: Thanks for spending time with us! How has your journey in the print industry been so far? 

JENNY LIN: I came from a people-oriented hospitality industry to the printing industry, and it was difficult at first to adapt to different cultures, people, the way of working and so on. However, I am grateful for all the experiences I had facing customers in hotels. I got to learn skills like problem solving, work efficiency, communication, troubleshooting, adaptability, creativity and how to work under stress. All those experiences are extremely helpful right now for me in this industry, as I have to face different complaints from customers, problems with printing products, constantly making connections with people from various industry or backgrounds, creating designs, coming up with new products and more. 

I thought I wouldn’t be able to fall in love with what I do right now, but slowly I’ve come to realize I am actually good with people. I’m outgoing, always being positive toward things whether they are good or bad, and I love challenging myself every day. I can utilize all the qualities I have, and gain connections, memories, skills and experiences from this industry. What’s better than that? 



DSCOOP: What unique challenges or opportunities have you faced as a woman business leader?

JENNY LIN: As a woman in the printing industry, especially in Taiwan, it was hard for me at first due to several reasons. First of all, I was studying in Switzerland for hospitality before I joined the company. The industry shift from service/people-oriented to traditional production-oriented was huge. The Taiwanese working culture of how people work, communicate and react to problems are very different from others.

Second, as a sale in the industry, especially in Taiwan and Asia in general, it’s all about building connections with customers through meals, after-meal drinking sessions or other events. Personally, I think it’s much more unsafe for a woman. Moreover, although women are getting more rights and equality in workplaces around the world, the printing industry itself still uses more men as printing operators and sales than women. This has made it difficult sometimes for people at work or my customers to actually listen to what I would love to say, which can be frustrating at times. 

However, there’s always pros and cons, and the same can be said for being a woman in the printing industry. If you show dedication to your work, talk firm and act strong, people tend to find you more persuasive and believable. And that does help me a lot with my sales performance. I am also more considerate, creative (when it comes to helping customers with their product designs), sensitive with colors and really good at talking customers into senses and giving recommendations. These are all qualities that can help me drive sales as well as earn trust from my target markets.

I can utilize all the qualities I have, and gain connections, memories, skills and experiences from this industry. What’s better than that? 

DSCOOP: Wan Long Printing is a family business. How do your family's expectations align with your career choices? 

JENNY LIN: Working in the family business is never easy. There are expectations from the boss (aka my father), who hopes that I could lead the company toward a better and greater future. There are colleagues and employees who depend on you to gain sales. There are family members who depend on you and wait for you to achieve goals they’ve set for the company. There are too many eyes on you, and too much stress and targets to achieve. However, I believe I’m a strong, independent women with a good heart. I’ve been trying my best every day to make a difference within the company since the day I started, whether it's making better connections with my colleagues, being a good listener to employees, being a considerate manager who helps others, stimulating others to come up with solutions but not just stating a problem, or just simply making this industry and this company a better and happier workplace for all people within and beyond it.

As my father’s motto goes, “Do not find excuses for your failures, but find ways to success.” Choosing to join the family business and becoming the chief director of sales has been amazing and fruitful so far, and I’ll continue to find ways to make it more interesting, innovating and eco-friendly, not just for our employees, but also for my family, the neighborhood we are in, customers who needs us and society as a whole. 


DSCOOP: As a young professional, what advantages or challenges does your age bring to your role?

JENNY LIN: In terms of advantages, my generation is more outspoken with our ideas and thoughts. I think it is one of the greatest qualities we have, as we say what we think. We are more direct, which could lead to better communication without misunderstandings, and can sometimes come up with better solutions through brainstorming. Moreover, we love innovations and creativity, which helps us elevate the whole level of our production procedures, as we are eager to find unique materials (for example, eco-friendly inks and recyclable materials) and solutions to our problems such as using digital printing for smaller-quantity orders, customized printing products and creating environmentally friendly pouches. We are also quick thinkers, who can combine various new ideas, experiences from older generations, lessons we’ve learned from mistakes we made, and turn them into opportunities for our industry. 

In terms of disadvantages, the generation gap we have with older generations is always an obstacle. We have different ways of thinking, and the ways we carry out our ideas are just so opposite from each other. That gap often turns into miscommunication or misunderstanding, which stop us from improving ourselves or challenging ourselves. 

Employees who have worked in the company for longer periods might also be not willing to change or afraid to change. It takes time. No matter how hard or how stressful it may seem, I believe it’s our job to see the good forces and turn them into even better ones needed for future battles. It is also our responsibility to combine ideas and recommendations and create something better, stronger and more unique. 

DSCOOP: You dedicate at least 10 hours weekly on the road, often driving at least two days a week from central Taiwan to the northern region to meet clients and nurture relationships. In an era dominated by digital advancements, where many prefer online meetings or calls, you've chosen the traditional route of face-to-face interactions. What insights or realizations have you gained from investing so much time doing that? 

JENNY LIN: Dedicating so many hours on the road driving door to door to meet customers is definitely not an easy job. However, being in sales, I do think it’s very important to keep that personal touch of meeting customers in person. We have a saying in Taiwan, “見面三分情", which means once you see each other in person, the connection you’ve made is already 30% higher than just talking or texting on the phone. Moreover, although I’m a part of the younger generation, I'm actually a really bad texter and really bad with digital products. I would rather write things down in my actual notebook and a pen than on my phone. Hence, I love talking to my customers face-to-face just like meeting family and friends. 

Also, when problems occur or when your customer needs you, it is so much easier to understand the whole situation and give solutions to your customer on the dot at their company. This gives an advantage for me in terms of better pre- and after-sales service, as well as building connections with customers. Once you've made that connection in such way, the rest become easy as your customers will definitely rely on you more than you could ever imagine. They think of you whenever they have a problem, they think of you whenever they have a new order, they think of you whenever and wherever they are. Isn’t that a better sales driver than any advertising via internet, emails or calls?


DSCOOP: Who has been your biggest support in your career, and how have they influenced your growth personally or professionally? 

JENNY LIN: Although I’ve mentioned that my father, the owner of the company, has a lot of expectations of me, which gives me tons of pressure. I do think that if anyone has given the biggest support, it's him. He tried persuading me to join the company way before I finished my studies in Switzerland. He asked me almost every half a year for five years straight, just so that I would at least consider the option. When I think of that now, he has never given up on me, in a sense that he recognized my ability at work way before I even realized it. 

He has also shown me the biggest support at work by giving me the responsibility of taking over the whole sales department just three months after joining the company. In a way, I think he knows that I could do it, and it's also his way of giving me opportunities to grow in a really short period of time by pushing my limits and making me learn through hands-on practices.

I’m also very grateful for myself for becoming the person I am today. All the experiences I have in life have gotten me this far, and all the good qualities I've gained growing up in this family have helped me through ups and downs at work and in life. I love how I am, and most important of all, who I am right now. 

DSCOOP: Have you sought mentorship or guidance, and if so, how has it shaped your approach to work and life? 

JENNY LIN: First of all, I’m normally the kind of person who tends to think a lot. When I encounter a problem whether in life or at work, I spend a lot of time contemplating ways to solve them, thinking about all the scenarios that would happen if I made a decision. However, after three years of working in the industry, I realized that sometimes, you are just not enough. It is OK to seek help or guidance from others. It is OK to ask questions. And being a good team player is definitely needed, as fighting the battle alone in the industry or in the world we are in right now would not get you anywhere. 

Working in the printing industry, I get to meet a lot of people from all sorts of industries. They all obtained various experiences from life and from work. All these bosses, managers, decision makers, operators and even delivery drivers, they could all be my mentor in some ways and in different situations. Bosses might teach you how to be successful, managers teach you how to manage people, the decision makers sharpens your sales and communication skills, operators show you how the printing or labeling procedures go, delivery drivers show you time management skills and life skills. I’ve learned a lot from each and every one of them. 


DSCOOP: How do you think the industry can better support and encourage diversity, especially for younger professionals? 

JENNY LIN: I think the industry, especially in Taiwan, should be more transparent and open to one another. We should all work together to help the industry grow through communications, cooperation, collaboration and experience sharing. Extreme times need extreme measures, and in the old days, maybe it was all about the price fight -- whoever has the lower price gets the order. However, that couldn’t get us further as an industry, especially in our world right now where all customers are looking for something new and unique. Instead of continuing the price-reducing game, we should all work together to educate our customers and change the whole concept by advancing our skills and printing technologies, making the designers understand more about printing processes, encouraging customers to think differently or more eco-friendly. That’s how we would go further together in the future.

DSCOOP: Outside of work, what are some personal aspirations or hobbies you are passionate about? 

JENNY LIN: Working in this industry can be quite stressful at times, so I enjoy going to the gym for a one-hour workout session or boxing session at least three times a week. During those sessions, I can just relax and not think about anything but myself. If I had time to travel, I would also go to the beach, lie by the ocean, get a sun tan, and do watersports such as wakeboard or surfing. 

DSCOOP: Looking ahead, do you have specific career goals or personal milestones you're aiming for in the next few years? 

JENNY LIN: I have these four:

  1. Learn how to use AI design software 
  2. Build more connections through studying EMBA programs 
  3. Better time management 
  4. Come up with more unique products 

DSCOOP: Thank you, Jenny!

JENNY LIN: Thank you as well!

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台湾で、ジェニー・リンさん(Jenny Lin) は学び続け、成長を続けています。
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