“Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of introduction.” - Aristotle

The phaneron is a blog about beauty and lifestyle.

What I've been up to & why moving back now

What I've been up to & why moving back now

As many of you may know, I recently moved back to Hong Kong. But I wanted to share 2 things with you guys:

  1. What I've been up to since I graduated from University in May last year.
  2. Why I didn't move back to my hometown earlier


What I've been up to: Design is a journey of discovery?

My desk in Vancouver

My desk in Vancouver

UX Design is my newest passion that actually lasts. I really wanted to become a UX designer. So I took a few courses while I was still in school (Jan - May 2017) and I pretty much spent my entire summer on building my portfolio nickng.social and connecting with UX Designers in Vancouver, in hopes of landing my first full-time design gig. It wasn't until September was I actively looking for full-time junior UX design jobs/internships in Metro Vancouver.

Needless to say that didn't quite work out...Simply put, it seems like there has been an influx of aspiring UX designers since 2014 in Vancouver, partly thanks to schools like BrainStation and Red Academy (pretty much the same thing as General Assembly), and there were not enough opportunities there.

I only applied to a few jobs outside of BC because I had a very affordable apartment in Vancouver and I love the city and my friends there. Rents in Toronto are crazy and I only have a few connections, though these are definitely not deal breakers if I were to have an offer from the east coast.

Meanwhile, I made money from my previous job as a Social Media Manager (though it was more like a content creator + designer #jobtitleinflation), paid collaboration with brands on my own Instagram account, some odd jobs and some freelance design work. I also had some savings and my family helped a little. If you were curious about how the hell I made a living, here you go.

Unfortunately, not only was living in Vancouver not doing much to my non-existent career, it also got to the point where it just wasn't financially sustainable. I don't hate the city. I just hated myself for not getting my shit together.

I was low-key disappointed in myself in the sense that I couldn't find what I aimed in Vancouver. It was a failure for me. I should have known better about the competition in the UX Design field and I could have worked smarter. Moving back to Hong Kong was somewhat an ego check. But hey, at least I am honest about my thoughts and feelings on this matter.


"so Why didn't you just move back to HK?"

Shot by me, on my iPhone 6, at Mount High West, literally 1 day after I landed HK

Shot by me, on my iPhone 6, at Mount High West, literally 1 day after I landed HK

It just makes good sense, right?

The primary reason for me to move back to my hometown is that I got a UX Design Intern position at a digital transformation agency, which starts tomorrow (Mar 19), though there was definitely a bundle of reasons why I didn't move back earlier:

  1. I wanted to immigrate to Canada
  2. The tech industry and pay are better in Canada
  3. People are more LGBT-friendly and less judgemental in Canada
  4. My BF was living in Canada
  5. My parents are in Hong Kong

Deep down in my heart, the last one was probably the strongest reason why I didn't want to go back to Hong Kong earlier. My relationship with my parents is not the best since I "came out" to them about two years ago. Technically speaking, I didn't come out to them. One of them kind of forced me to. But that's another story.

I understand that every parent-child relationship has some rough patches. But let's just say that, in my opinion, I have more than a fair share of them about my coming out.

(no violence, just words. don't worry.)

Obviously we still talk to each other. Just not about that. Asian parents' acting skills are seriously underrated. It's like your mom would be yelling at you for coming home late the night before and pulling that face only moms have but the moment she steps outside the house and sees her neighbor at your favorite dim sum place all the sudden she's all happy and smiley and everything is okay.

So now we're just pretending that everything is "okay".

I am not sure how my moving back is going to impact my relationship with my parents. All I can say is that I have too much on my plate right now and none of us know how to break the ice...


My Plans Onward

It is a 3-month internship. Possible extension. I am going to live in Hong Kong for at least a year. Then go back to Vancouver. That's my intention. Within this year, I want to become the best junior UX Designer one possibly can while continue to up on Instagram game...and finally launch my YouTube channel (QUESTION: should do it in English or Cantonese?!? The truth is while everyone can enjoy content in English, I am more fluent in Cantonese... But I fully intend to become an Asian male skincare/beauty "guru" for everyone, not only for the Hong Kong/Cantonese market......)

Anyway...if you make it this far, thank you for reading. 😊

The thing about living in Hong Kong

The thing about living in Hong Kong