INTHEBLACK December 2020 - Magazine - Page 60
F E AT U R E
// C O M P L E M E N TA RY S K I L L S
AT A G L A N C E
Devoting time to
a hobby or interest
that is completely
separate from work
routines is not only
good for health
It can also spark
60 ITB December 2020
aside time for
Varying one’s skills
is also a means of
relevant in a fastchanging world.
T H E S E C PAS H AV E B O O S T E D T H E I R
S K I L L S A N D P R O D U C T I V I T Y AT W O R K
B Y S E T T I N G AS I D E T I M E F O R E X T R ACURRICULAR INTERESTS.
STORY HELEN HAWKES
n our youth, we are encouraged to try our hand at anything and
everything to build skills and expand our horizons. The older we
get, however, the harder it can be to find the time and inclination
to challenge ourselves to get out of our comfort zone, especially
with a busy career.
Yet, pursuing interests outside of work can help accountants and
finance professionals develop skills and knowledge that can advance
or diversify their lives and careers.
For Bernard Poon FCPA, partner with EY Hong Kong and
CPA Australia’s 2012 Divisional President for Greater China,
that has been competitive sport.
His highlight – completing the Ironman World Championship in
Hawaii last year, aged 52.
“That was my Everest,” says Poon who, in the late 1990s, was
also the first Hong Konger to complete an Ironman event, and
who has completed 14 other Ironman events worldwide, including
the world championship.
Poon had been involved in sports, including soccer, basketball
and table tennis, throughout his schooling in Hong Kong, but his
athletic interests really paid off by helping him meet locals and
form connections when he came to study in Australia in the 1980s.
Poon added Australian rules football) and cricket to his sporting
resume and, even today, is an active member of the Hong Kong
“Later, triathlons gave me an entry into circles with people who
were potential clients,” Poon says.
“Other sports have helped me connect with people, including
senior partners in the firm, while I was still in my junior days.”
Having an interest outside of work helps you to converse on a
wider range of topics than finance, says Poon, while the discipline
required for competitive sports has helped him hone his time
management and problem-solving skills.
intheblack.com December 2020 61