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Mitchell Wong headshot

Figure it out or find a way

Mitchell Wong

Data & Applied Scientist, Modern Life Experiences

Microsoft Canada

The new generation is constantly innovating the future of work. As an Aspire at Microsoft Canada, I believe that the new generation will expect flexibility as the default, with a more traditional work structure when necessary. This generation speaks more openly about their preferences of work, without accepting the status quo. The companies that will win the hearts of this generation are those that can maintain a balance between giving employees the freedom of timing and location, while still helping them feel included through digital equity.

Whether it’s been shifting my degree to a data science role, challenging myself to build and sell wooden furniture as a business, or turning my final year engineering project into a start-up with my peers which also appeared on Dragon’s Den - I didn’t know how I would make my goals happen, but I knew that I would find a way. Through these experiences, I’ve learned the importance of committing to a vision and saying: “let’s just get it started”. I find confidence in not how much I know, but that I will do what it takes to figure it out or find a way. I encourage others, especially those beginning their career journey, to have the confidence in themselves to do the same.

Hybrid work has introduced me to many opportunities, including exploring new roles at Microsoft that would normally require me to relocate. With flexibility and career support, I can create meaningful solutions virtually with my team in San Francisco and still spend time in person with my friends and family in Toronto. This balance was an important aspect I was looking for in my career and life. Being Chinese, understanding the importance of spending time with family was an important lesson in my upbringing. Having spent so many years away at university, I rarely got this opportunity, so it is extremely important to me to prioritize this in my career.

"If you believe that you are capable, then you will find a way to reach the goals that are important to you."

It is extremely important to be vocal about your boundaries in a hybrid working environment. Navigating a new job in a remote setting, I found myself feeling more comfortable expressing my opinion. As someone new, speaking up is daunting, but asynchronous team conversations gave me the space I needed to formulate my thoughts before bringing it up to the rest of my team. Since my team is based in San Francisco, I had to adapt to the 3-hour time difference.

While I tried to accommodate with the late workdays in the beginning, I slowly realized that it was not giving me enough time to recharge after my workday and work on other passion projects. When I expressed this to my team, they were very receptive in accommodating our meeting times and introducing collaboration strategies that aligned with members within different time zones.

Mitchell Wong and teammates at CBC Studios for Dragon's Den filming

I walked out of the conversation feeling heard and with a deeper appreciation for my team and Microsoft. If I had not spoken up, no one would have known how I felt, and we would not have been able to make these changes to be a more effective and inclusive team.

Mitchell Wong woodworking for his business
Mitchell Wong on set for Dragon's Den
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