Hello everyone! For those who know me, hello, and welcome to my new blog. For those who don’t, well, you can check the ABOUT ME page 😛
I used to run a blog that specializes in investing, where I used to share investing and trading ideas. It ran for a good 2-3 years before I decided to pull the plug as other commitments got the better of me.
The reasons why I’ve decided to start blogging again are as follows- my amazing girlfriend who inspired me to do so; I finally found what I really wanted to do after being out of school for almost one and a half years; I enjoy personal finance and have a certain level of professional expertise in it which I’d like to share with you. Let me go into the details.
I graduated in late 2018, and being young and ignorant, I didn’t know what I truly wanted in life or my career. All I knew was that I wanted to be rich. People around me have been telling me to get into corporate finance or investment banking because of the sheer amount of exposure and technical skills I can learn, which can then be used to make a lot of money. As some of you might know, being a foreign university graduate in Singapore, it is no easy feat to break into this part of the financial industry. Heck, even Singapore graduates confessed to me that it’s also really difficult for them to break into corporate finance. So what I did over the next 16 months is probably insane by societal standards, just to get an opportunity in the industry. I’ve done 4 internships in Asset Management, Private Equity, Corporate Development, and Debt Research. Most of the time I agreed to do internships despite the fact that there could be no conversion (either due to headcount, or lack of experience). But hey, it’s still a POTENTIAL, right?
Well, try as I might, I’ve never managed to use my internship experience to leap into a full-time job in the field that I was recommended to get into. The reasons that I’ve received so far include a lack of experience, not the right fit, etc. Now, at this point, I believe some readers might say that it’s because I’m lazy, too stupid, ignorant, etc. After all, I didn’t manage to get into a local university, because Singapore universities are the best in the world (according to some Singaporeans that is). Maybe they’re right, but according to my ex-bosses, they think that I have the right attitude at work, am hardworking, and am able to relate to people. Well if that really was the case, why am I still unable to land a decent job?
So here comes my last internship at a Debt Research firm. I managed to score this internship because a close friend of mine worked here. He’s the guy who isn’t afraid to give me the cold, straight-to-the-point comment about my work ethic and character, and I’m thankful to him for it. Because without his blunt comments, I wouldn’t have known what my problem was. According to him, and some of my ex-bosses (now that I’ve recalled), my weakness lies in a lack of attention to detail. And that is the problem that has been holding me back for the past one year or so. He then gave me a piece of advice that couldn’t be more enlightening than anything else.
“I’ve always felt that you could go much further and faster if you’re in sales. All of us add value in different fields, you don’t have to let others determine what you do.”
Wow, that was a revelation to me. Or was it? Thinking back, I certainly enjoyed my time as a corp dev intern raising funds. It didn’t take much effort for me to reach out to potential leads, compared to scrutinising excel formulae. In addition, my ex-boss at the Private Equity firm even suggested to me to do fund-raising/sales related jobs cos he felt strongly about my skills in that aspect.
This circuit breaker period is certainly a blessing in disguise. It made me stop in my tracks, reflecting on what I’ve done so far, and where I should go next. While it could be difficult for me to accept the fact that the past year or so felt like a waste, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to discover what I wanted to do if I hadn’t had all of those experiences. For the past 16 months, it had always been me doing what society wanted me to do. To get a job, to be in this field, to do this, not to do that. And that was the problem. I allowed society to dictate what I should do, where I should go, things I should avoid. It has never been about what I wanted to do, how I can use my strengths to make up for my weaknesses. But now that I’ve gained clarity on what makes me, me, I am ready to charge forward when this difficult time is over. Tough times don’t last, tough people do.
I am also thankful for the people around me, my girlfriend, family, ex-bosses, friends, etc. Sure, I’m still far away from my goals, but without their support, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I definitely wouldn’t be able to push forward harder.
Now that I’ve written a substantial amount on this post, I have to give a shout out to my girl, Rachel, for pushing me to get this blog started. I finally understood why you enjoy blogging, because it helps to solidify the crazy amount of thoughts into words people can read and perhaps apply in their daily life. I also have to give a shout out to my sister, who has been listening to me ranting and hesitating about taking up a career in sales. Without her persuasion, I wouldn’t have dared to even look at jobs in Business Development.
I do have a deep interest in personal finance, which I hope to share with my readers in time to come. I invest in stocks and am currently looking at real estate investments in South-East Asia.
For what it’s worth, this is indeed a tremendously difficult period for everyone, but remember that this is nothing more than a spot in history when we eventually look back. We shall prevail stronger than ever.
Take care and see you in my next post.