POV: You made a name for yourself as a 20-something in tech and content creation
My first role out of college was working in Staffing Operations at Google and shortly after, I worked as a creator partnerships manager, leading the gaming roster at a live streaming startup, and working with a lot of gaming talent on YouTube and Twitch. I then went on to work at places like TikTok, Meta, and Google — taking on a lot of different roles, ranging from partnerships to product.
In tech my work was primarily focused on the creator economy and fostering online communities, but over time, I started to feel that working in a corporate job just made me feel invisible. A lot of the time, I would work on something, and my name would never be credited. I hated the experience of being erased from history and someone else taking credit for my work.
“I hated the experience of being erased from history and someone else taking credit for my work.”
But then I looked for career advice online, I got really frustrated with what I found. It was all just very generic, and I felt that my career path was so gate-kept — like you had to know someone higher up in order to gain access to advice. It was because of that frustration that I started to share my stories about my career in tech, creating the resources I wished that I’d had when I first started.
Today, I have an incredible role as a product manager at Discord, where I get to work on launching products that help our users. Outside of my day job, I’m a content creator, sharing videos about my work life, finances, and life in my late twenties. There’s so much variance in everyone’s career path, so I never approach my videos like I’m an expert. I can only speak from my own experience, and I can only share what I've learned and what I've seen, and hope others are able to learn from that.
Balancing the two roles can be a challenge, but I find the two worlds mutually beneficial; at work, I get to learn about how people build companies, make decisions, focus their time, and launch products, and then I’m able to apply that thinking to my own storytelling when I’m creating content.
My approach has seemed to resonate. I recently made it onto the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, and I’ve been given opportunities to partner with brands I really respect, and who respect creators right back.
Here some of the most important lessons I’ve learned about balancing your career with your creative life.
Transparency > everything
At first, I didn’t totally know what I wanted to say or even how to say it. I gradually started making videos about my life, but it was really just for friends. I started with a topic that I felt most comfortable talking about — my career — because at that point, it was the only thing I had really ever done. I realized that once I started to talk transparently about my career in tech, the reach on my videos really started to pick up, because it was honest and real — and that resonated with people.
“I never approach my videos like I’m an expert. I can only speak from my own experience, and I can only share what I've learned and what I've seen and hope others are able to learn from that.”
Channel your unique perspective and experience
My goal was to share the insights and tips that I had learned throughout my career in an easily consumable, approachable way. I wanted to open the doors of all this knowledge to people who don't have access to these networks or resources. I found that a lot of the people on social media giving career productivity advice don’t actually work in a full-time career capacity, or for a large company. I didn’t like how it was being explained. It wasn’t helpful, tacticle or realistic, so I wanted to go in with a very specific perspective and change the narrative.
Create the resources you wish you had
I focus a lot on career tactics, like creating actual templates for a meeting and showing people how to use them. I use Adobe Express for these types of educational videos because it makes it really easy to share information. Whenever I need a graphic and I want to create it quickly, there are tons of options for designs, and I can easily add my own text. If I want to create a certain style or a theme for my resources, I can just search on Adobe Express — it feels like a mood board of sorts.
“If I want to create a certain style or a theme for my resources, I can just search on Adobe Express — it feels like a mood board of sorts.”
Streamline your process
It’s easy to feel like you have to produce huge amounts of content, graphics, and photos, but I've created a more comfortable process that feels so much more sustainable and enjoyable to me. I use a lot of the AI features on Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro to help make my job easier, to fix shots that are too close, YouTube thumbnails that need to be much wider, or to use the Gen AI tools to add or remove things in the background. It’s been super helpful to lighten my workload and help me create the content I want.
Know what and who you represent
People who look like me (a young, Asian American woman) work so hard in the shadows, but you often don't get to be the main character. You don't get the promotion, the resources or validation, you get passed up because you didn't sell yourself or you didn't schmooze, or you didn't rub elbows properly. I want to give a voice to those people who feel invisible, to women, to people who are really upbeat and smile too much and are therefore told they’re not Silicon Valley leadership material. That’s my community, that’s who I’m creating content for.
Find your people
I’ve often felt isolated or underrepresented in tech, so I’ve made it a point to find other female leaders and creators to look to for inspiration and create community.
“I’ve often felt isolated or underrepresented in tech, so I’ve made it a point to find other female leaders and creators to look to for inspiration.”
I really admire Abigail Hing Wen, who was an exec at Intel and also New York Times bestselling author. She’s a big source of inspiration for me when it comes to tying my professional and creative identity together.
Taylor Bell is another person I admire. She’s a New York City-based lifestyle creator who shares stories about her career in consulting, travel, and personal finance. I really love her authentic storytelling, because she portrays a very realistic lifestyle of people who balance living in big cities, life in their 20s, and having a career.
I also absolutely love how creative LilyPichu is, from singing to drawing to voice acting and just being incredibly funny in her videos. She always gives me a burst of inspiration!
Because I have both a full-time job and a career as a content creator, I have to find a healthy balance between the two. I often edit my videos after work on weeknights, and my weekends are usually spent filming. I'm a power user of Premiere Pro and Adobe Photoshop, and those are the two main tools that I rely on to edit my videos and posts.
Chloe Shih is a Product Manager at Discord and content creator, focusing on tech, money, and life in your late 20s. Find her on Instagram, YouTube, and follow along with her online to learn about in-person events and meetups with Chloe.