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Numb3rs Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Career.
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Three weeks into the job and i’m feeling tired already. Its surprising given that the work is not physical. Just sitting at the desk,staring at computer screens, and punching numbers is tiring. It wasn’t the same in my previous job and i thought that was more physical. I hope this is only so because i’m still in the transition period when i’m still trying to learn the processes and the various seemingly disparate IT systems.

The role is very routine – checking numbers and dealing with client issues. I wonder how some my colleagues could have stayed in the role for so many years.  The only thing making this worthwhile is the fact that i’m finally working in one of the firms that i have always wanted to. I would think that doing investment analysis, private banking, and even quantitative stuff would be more interesting and engaging.

 Gotta hang on….

Interviews Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Career.

I just had two interviews within these two weeks and both went very well. So I am quite pleased especially since I am not very good at interviews I think.  Unfortunately, there are more rounds to follow if I do get shortlisted after those first interviews. Although the roles that I interviewed for are not exactly what I had in mind, I guess I can’t afford to be picky at the moment. The good thing is that both jobs are with foreign banks so the experience should be very good, I hope.

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How badly do I want it? Friday, 16 February 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Career, Life in General.
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“How desperate or badly do you want it?”. That was the question posed to me by my friend. I was talking to him about my plans to enter the banking and financial industry. He had warned me about the downsides of this industry (e.g. long hours, paperwork/no support stuff etc) and how many people have tried to do financial sales and failed. One reason he gave was that these people do not have the drive or are not desperate/wanting success badly. They were unwilling to sacrifice personal and family time to achieve success. Indeed, my friend had worked really hard over the last 5 years in sales and is now recognised by his bank as a good performer (in sales). I remember those times when he had to work weekends and those weekday nights when he worked till 9pm or later in the bank just so that he could finish all the paperwork for the week’s sales. Am I up to it, he asked. Well, I think I might not have a choice by then. Unemployed with a morgage, I had better be desperate or wanting success badly.

Emotional Rollercoaster Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Career, Life in General.
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I had gone to karaoke with my colleagues after dinner and some drinks earlier in the evening. It has been quite a long time since I had done that, the last being almost two and a half years ago with this girl that was keen to go out with me. However, unlike the last time, I decided against singing tonight. I definitely cannot sing to charm anyone at all. I’ll be lucky if my colleagues did not find excuses to go to the washrooms.

I think most Chinese in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan would sing Mandarin or Cantonese songs. I haven’t listen to such songs for a long time except for the occasion times when I was giving friends a lift in my car. I’m usually very accomodating and would prefer to ensure that my friends or guests are entertained even if that means that I have to put up with songs that I usually won’t listen to. I don’t normally listen to them as most of them are often about unrequited love or love in general. However, it is very different for karaoke – I actually preferred to listen and watch Mandarin MTVs as original MTVs are often used unlike English songs where unknown models/actresses are usually used with no MTV-storyline whatsoever.

I couldn’t help but feel a little envious of my colleagues when I watched them sing. While I do not know what goes on in their personal lives away from public scrutiny, they certainly looked care-free and happy at that moment. I was envious as I can’t help but feel that I have always made my life difficult with my choices such as reading a new field of study for my first degree,  studying part-time while holding down a full-time job, and “abandoning” my first public-service career for one in the private sector.  I have often wonder why I would want to “squander” my youth on such pursuits. To achieve material comforts beyond the average Singaporean? To taste and hold success like those in the middle-upper class society? I wonder simply because sometimes I don’t think I might live long enough to enjoy the fruits of my labour. And the reason for that is in fortune telling.

I also feel the loss of my status, giving it up for an entry-level job in the banking and finance industry. I feel pained that I have to forgo my average* but comfortable income for a starting pay in the banking and finance industry. I feel anxiety when I know I have a property loan to service during the period that I am jobless while looking for a job. I feel these even more when I do not know if I will gain from this risky venture.

The oft-used cliche – nothing ventured, nothing gained – is definitely my personal motto right now. That’s what I tell myself nowadays whenever the anxiety sets in and trust me, it does so quite frequently. I also emind myself that I wouldn’t want to be like that certain person in his late 30’s or early 40’s  who comes to work only because he needed the income, who has a look in his eyes that tells me he regretted not leaving when he was younger or when he had a better chance of acclimatising and succeeeding in the private sector.

I tell myself that it has always been my nature to be the best that I can be, that I shall live a life without regrets even if I do not succeed from the decisions I make. I’ll probably be reminding myself of these constantly in the months ahead.

* comparing with my peers in my current organisation.

Banking and Finance Saturday, 10 February 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Career, Life in General.
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Would you give up your confortable lifestyle for a new career with pay starting at a fresh grad’s level? While I may not be rich, I am certainly comfortable enough to make ends meet and to stay in a condominium. Yet somehow something is missing. Personally, I think there is lack of professional development in my current employer. It’s not too bad if I intend to work here all my life I guess but it certainly won’t do in terms of preparing me for a possible uncertain future. So with some anxiety, I have finally decided to leave my current job. And I plan to take finance-related electives this summer to augment my MBA for a career in the banking and finance industry. Much as I hate to, given the cost of travelling and staying in the UK for a month, I will have to travel to the UK this summer to do these electives. And all because there wasn’t a strong demand for these electives in Singapore for the uni to fly their lecturers over. Bummer.

So there I will be, jobless and spending money to travel/study in June. Sounds like a risky venture.   I guess I should be thankful for my dear Y who has stoicly told me that I should not worry and that I should just go. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, she said. Bless her. Hopefully, my career change will bring financial remunerations, professional development and job satisfaction more than my current job can ever provide.

And what about my aspiration to be in business development and management? Unfortunately, the deal didn’t materialise. The final offer was not what I had expected and not what was discussed with the firm. Oh well, that is life. Gotta move on. My dad suggested that i start a business to be the sole distribution agent in Singapore for certain products. But I am not sure I should be doing this now. I think I should capitalise on my MBA and get into the banking and finance industry which is the hottest industry right now. I mean just ask GB, London has seen spiraling property prices because London bankers have been given bumper bonuses after the fanatastic bull run in the 2006 economy. And what do peple do with excess cash? They spend it. I read with amusement about how someone was actually willing to spend good money to the tune of 170,000 pounds (half a million singapore dollars!) for a 77 sq ft  “apartment” that requires an estimated 30,000 pounds to renovate and make it habitable. This “apartment” is a basement storage room in the posh west London borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Amazing.

So wish me luck in the banking and finance industry.

Hey, I was also pleasantly surprised to find that WordPress has responded so quickly to the requests of many bloggers and has provided a means to import blogs from Blogger (beta)! I have now completed the migration of my Blogger blog to here. I don’t think I’ll close my Blogger account just yet. Who know’s Blogger may improve further and offer the features that I want. Besides, blogging through email and mobile, privacy options for specific posts will make Blogger more ideal than WordPress I think.