What I take with me when I leave each employment
When I first started my career in recruitment agencies/ executive search firms, I had the opportunity to interact with people of different seniority levels. The majority of them were highly successful individuals in their late 30s and 40s. They were holding key positions in their companies, leading teams, and making huge impact with their words and decisions.
While I may have forgotten what exactly were their contributions at work, here’s some conversations that I bring with me year after year.
- Claudia, have kids as early as you can. I’m 45 and youngest daughter 9.
- If I’ve given birth to my second one earlier, I’ll like to have one more.
Give birth early if you can.
- Claudia, have kids as early as you can. You can still travel at 40s when the kids are older and by then, you are more cash loaded.
- Some people say it is good enough to just play with other people’s kids. But think about it, if everyone thinks this way, humans will go into extinction.
- I’m paid more than 200K per annum but you know what Claudia? For the whole of last year, I miss every single birthday of my children.
- My son said this to me when I was based overseas and only went home couple of times a year, “Dad, we aren’t big spenders, come back quickly before we’re no longer boys but men”. It broke my heart.
- How to find a job that pays you more than 200K? I have no qualifications. I read, I worked my way up and more importantly, I have mentors.
- My job requires me to travel 70–80% so I live most days in the air. Well compensated? For sure. But it costs me my marriage so Claudia, weigh what you want.
- It is important to work hard, but do also remember to never neglect your health.
- Work hard but remember to save, pick up a sideline, invest and prepare yourself for retirement as early as possible.
- You worked hard so it is ok to reward yourself with a branded bag. But, don’t get suck in. Work towards retirement instead.
- People asked why am I still staying in a HDB (public housing in Singapore) when I own a few private properties. Know what Claudia, as long as you know what you are working towards, that’s the most important.
These were real moments that drove me at work. Years later, they still make me think as I advance in my career.
Beyond their VP, Director, Manager title, industry and business talk, getting to know each individual as a father (mother), son (daughter), friend or simply, a human was the most rewarding part of my career.
Are there conversations you bring along with you too?