12th March 2004, 12:14 PM
Just sharing my experience.
I graduated in 1997, worked for about 4 years in the same company before I took up a double-masters (MBA) course. I was happy in my job and enjoyed working with my colleagues...but I felt I want to do more with my life. My dream then was to study overseas just for the experience. I wanted to take a break, learn more, grow myself, and maybe, take a leap in my career later on.
I started my course as a part-time student for the first trimester. As you said, it was limited time, less energy to concentrate, and always rushing around. But I had an understanding boss, so I could leave work early/on the dot on days when I had classes. The coursework wasn't too tough for me as I came from BBA background, so it's just updating of knowledge.
The nature of my course is such that I had to spend about 1 year in Switzerland (yippee!!), earning another degree at the same time. I had accumulated enough savings, no commitments (single), and had blessings from my parents to take time off work. And so I quitted my job, went, in Oct 2001, for my second trimester onwards.
Back in July 2002, to continue the second leg of the course. Full time student then, savings seriously depleted, but happy. I went back to my company, with the same boss and colleagues, in the same job, as a contract, working 2 days a week, for pocket money and social company. With more time to concentrate on it, my freelance photography work picked up from the same time. So I was full-time student, part-time contract, and part-time photographer. I get to do everything I love to do at the same time, and always give different answers when asked about my occupation.
At the moment, I have just finished all the work required for my degrees. Graduated from one, and waiting to graduate for the other. My 1-year contract ended (for me to go back to Switzerland for 2 months last year to graduate). I have nothing to do currently except fairly regular photography assignments.
..and there are two options tearing me apart: should I concentrate on photography, or look for a job that leverages on my degrees? I guess I am happy that I have two options...but it's a difficult decision to make, so I am procrastinating.
My photography only got better with the experience that I had. My peers already have family and kids and one step further up on the career ladder. I probably had already lost in the rat race, and am being viewed as a "bummer". I am not sure how easy/tough it will be to get a job. Money-wise, no house, no car etc. only richer for the experience.
To answer your question: courage I had, but I'm not sure if it was foolhardiness.
12th March 2004, 01:05 PM
Thanks all again for the sharing, and to berryhappy too. Very nice to hear your experience. Good to hear you've got an understanding boss and things worked out well.
For me, I only enjoy the job security and that's about it... Due to the nature of my job, I usually have a hi-bye relationship with many of my colleagues. And on top of that, there's lots of reading and picking up to do on the job. Otherwise, it's a pretty mundane job. I just yearn for fresh air and the ability to pick up many things I've missed earlier in life. Even photography has been in the back seat for a long time. All my cams and lenses have been in cold storage for months.
One thing I've learnt so far is that once we are in the comfort zone, there's this 'stability' feeling that we want to keep up with. It's basically just work and work and hopefully there's some pay increament along the way. And then work more, maybe find the right partner, get married, work to earn more to pay for housing and car, etc. It sounds scary to me cos there's very little for personal interests anymore. For eg, I used to learn piano for some time at school but quit after a short period of time. I so much want to pick it up again consisitently and seriously but time is so limited!
Now, I generally feel that if one has missed out on the learning during childhood and maybe up to late teenager years, it can be very difficult to try new things anymore as an adult, unless we choose to make some sacrifices or a radical decision to change our way of life... Agree?
12th March 2004, 01:26 PM
the cruel fact is that singapore employer will doubt you if you took a long leave to do things that you really wanted to do.
so you might have problem getting a job due to your huge gap in between,
i want to quit and tour all the divable sites around the world. but its not quite possible lor. so much committment, and if i quit.. i would not be able to get a job if i decide to come back and settle down.
12th March 2004, 01:45 PM
That's the sad part isn't it... We only have this short period in life -- at every stage we feel sort of differently. I have different interests and goals in life now compared to say 10 years ago. So say at 30, we yearn to go backpacking, diving or set up some business but some factors hold us back, then 10 years later, those desires may not be there anymore or maybe there are even more obstacles to take care of... maybe family, age-related reasons, other commitments, etc.
Originally Posted by lovells19
Some people ask me: If not now, then when??? When we're in the late 50's and about to retire? Would we still have the motivation, interest and energy to do the things we wanted as a young adult? That's why I posted this topic to get opinions.
12th March 2004, 02:10 PM
12th March 2004, 02:30 PM
Originally Posted by togu
Togu is right. Go for what is real.
12th March 2004, 08:27 PM
Hi Veronica, one comic strip (I can't remember the name) that stuck in my mind for a long time when I was young, and probably influenced me, was a conversation between a rich and successful person (A) with a lazy everyday-do-nothing person (B). B asked A what his dreams are, and A lists: get rich, get successful, own house etc so as to be able to retire to an idyllic life doing nothing but watch life passing by. And it shows B sleeping under a coconut tree doing that now.
Originally Posted by Veronica Choo
Er...it's not a very progressive cartoon and society would come to a standstill if everybody does that. But it does strike a point to take time out to smell the roses sometimes, that it's about the journey and not the destination.
It is very difficult to get out of the tendency to converge towards the mean, for that is the safety zone.
For me, I guess it's because there are a few people I know who died young...e.g. in their teens, 21, 25. So I want to do some of the things I want to do now, for I may not live to 50.
But I agree with what Jed said. All the opinions in the world will not help in making your decision, 'cos you are the one who has to live by it.
It doesn't matter what decision I made, I just have to make it the right one.
12th March 2004, 08:37 PM
12th March 2004, 11:31 PM
These are all paradox of our time I guess.
Originally Posted by TRiShnDaisy
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life;
we’ve added years to life, not life to years.
13th March 2004, 10:55 AM
Hi Robin, but this thread is not about this topic or me...not so nice to post here.
Originally Posted by Robin
13th March 2004, 11:23 AM
OT - I love Shrek!
Originally Posted by bonfire
13th March 2004, 11:32 AM
Originally Posted by TRiShnDaisy
Ain't that a quote from George Carlin post 9/11?
13th March 2004, 03:55 PM
dotn really need to "quit job" or "drastically switch paths". a job is somethign that gives u the money. the time u got to squeeze it out 4 urself.
14th March 2004, 12:32 AM
Very difficult... Yes, generally possible but I'm quite an ambitious person. I read a lot and there are many great books at home which I've not finished. And not to mention, there are many personal activities and interests that I'd like to pick up. Above that, I'm taking a degree course now. Add them all up altogether, it's extremely difficult if not impossible to achieve them all.
Originally Posted by clive
My job typically is 8-5 weekdays and 1/2 day on alt. Sats. But we all know that the 8-5 thing is never true in S'pore. As executives or professionals, you are expected to work beyond the stipulated hours without compensation. Simply put, by the time I get back home, I 've only about 4 hours left per weekday to do my stuffs, not to mention the tiredness after all the working. Whatever time I have is spent practically on studying and reading, attending lectures and tutorials. No more physical exercise time left for me. Even photography is now on hold. And sometimes, I have to work on weekends too with little compensation, though not so often now.
14th March 2004, 12:45 AM
14th March 2004, 12:46 AM
Hmmm, so true. But at least you have a kid to play with and it does make life more meaningful and interesting. It's sad to come to realize that working is just to earn $ so that we can start a family and procreate. It's just a matter of handing down the genes. It's so difficult to get ex-classmates down for a good chat sometimes. It's only a chat! Either they will be busy with tomorrow's issues or they come home late. Or else, too tired to do any else for the evening.
Originally Posted by mysonlovenemo
Of course, not everyone will feel this way. There are those who really enjoy what they are doing. And that's very healthy and good. Not many people can say they love their jobs or find meaning in them. Sometimes it helps too for those who don't have that many interests. For eg, suppose all you are interested in is photography. Then on weekdays, all you care about is to work to earn money so that you can indulge yourself in little luxuries or support your family. On weekends, you just go snapping. The cycle just repeats itself.
Berryhappy, you made a good point. Sometimes, we get so busy with our work and refrain from enjoying what we like that life can be cut short at the most unexpected time. I know at least 4 people (lawyer and oncologists) who were very successful. They worked hard and earn good $. But due to some unfortunate mishap, they or part of their family pass away b4 they can enjoy the fruits of their hard work. I'm sure they got big money in their bank accounts. Very tragic.
14th March 2004, 12:47 AM
Wow! What do you do???
Originally Posted by Parchiao
14th March 2004, 01:03 AM
A great bank, but I have to be that one idiot who takes that job that nobody else wants to do. $$$$$ is reasonably good though, and considering the kind of employment situation that we have now, I don't think that there is too much of a need to 'complain', just that it can get very frustrating at times.
I have done it before, quit a job to work on dream job (not photography related), which somehow ended up as a nightmare of sorts, and even gave running a small business (not mine) a try (which eventually went bust), and I even studied part time through it all. At the end of the day, because of my recklessness, I have lost out to my peers both in monetary and career aspects (not that I like to compare myself with others, but this is the truth).
My perception is no more like that of the past, where I would pursue a dream like many of you out there (a little reckless in my case), but instead do that thing that I love most and know I can do well. Whatever it is, to me, the key lies with proper planning (and I mean PROPER) and lots of patience.
14th March 2004, 01:07 AM
Yeah....I'm curious too....what do you do ??........i'll seriously freak out, if I'm in your position.......but then again...we're all victims of circumstances, ain't we ?
Originally Posted by Parchiao
14th March 2004, 01:53 AM
I have lawyer frens who work horrendous hours, sometimes till midnite (considered normal). but they do earn good money. I guess there's always always a trade off btwn pay and having a life. I figured out a long time ago that while its great to earn lots of $$$$ but there will be a limit where an extra $$$ means a huge loss in personal time. As veronica said, most of us would have about 4 hours of personal time everyday if we work 8-5 and minus time for travelling, eating, bathing, etc. if you think about it, when we work extra, we eat into this 4 hour time period. and you have to see the WHOLE time period to see the effect of the OT. for eg, if you think you ONLY worked 1/2 hour OT today and its no big deal, its actually 1/8 of your total personal time for that day. if you worked 1 hr OT, its 25% of your personal time gone!
so if you calculate how much you need a month for basic expenses plus a bit extra for indulgence, say $2000 for eg, then see how much your present job is paying you, say $3000 for eg, and see how much of your personal time is taken up everyday, say 2 hours, then it means you are getting paid an extra $1K everymonth to sacrifice 50% of your personal time.
since personal time = life, ie the only time you have for yourself to enjoy life, to pursue what you like, time with loved ones etc, its quite meaningful that you loose 50% of it every month. so I guess one has to balance the extra $$$ in a good job vs time lost. kinda like selling your soul to your employer.
A bit farfetched and sombre perhaps, but just sharing my personal views!