Friday, January 20, 2017

My Career Story - Past, Now & Future

For the past 6 years I have been blogging, I have not really talked about how I transition my career growth from one to the next.

It is not because that I had purposefully avoided them, but rather there is no impending urge to think and reflect about how I had transitioned from each stage to the next.

I had mentioned several times in my post about how important human capital is in the journey towards financial independence and they are part of the important equation to reaching that stage.

A good friend of mine and a fellow blogger, Chris (author of Re-ThinkWealth) recently shared an article with resonates with what I've gone through from each stage of my career journey - beginning to now.

In the article, the writer shared about his own experience in his 19 years in the IT industry and what he believes to be the optimal position to take as an employee. In this article, I am going to try and define the pace according to my experience.

There are many different type of characters that we see and worked with throughout our career lifespan. Some are unique, some are interesting but for the most part they are fascinating. Here, I am going to just group them in general terms.

Different Type of Employees

1.) The Gung-Ho Style (The "Outperformers")

These are the type of employees which are typically motivated by personal self-drive and competition.

They do not like to sit idle or achieve targets without purpose and are always going for the win.

Because of the commitment they promised to achieve to themselves, they typically work overtime beyond the normal working hours and at the end of the year, they clocked in many unutilized leave and/or time-off hours without knowing when they are available to take them.

Verdict: At the earlier stage of my career and when I was still single, this is the kind of approach I took to accelerate my career in the first few years. While the promotion at the end of the year was beyond my control, it was more of the self-drive and motivation that pushes me through these unwarranted but important stage of my career. 

Until this date, they become the backbone to which I had pushed myself to the limit, giving myself a chance for "delayed gratification" at a later stage when I knew I was going to settle down and slow down the pace of my career.

2.) The 9-to-6 Style (The "On Timers")

These are the type of employees which goes to work on time and goes home right on the dot, no more and no less.

While it is not impossible to achieve, they are often not the "star performer" of the company as the society bends on giving the award more to those that devotes extra time and efforts beyond. Special mention on the word extra and beyond here.

They are usually either family oriented or have activities that they would like to engage outside of work after working hours. Because of this, it is imperative that they only work according to what's set in the employment contract, and are agreed upon at the start. If the boss makes them work 30 min late, you'll often hear complaints from them, though they are generally harmless in nature.

Verdict: I am at this stage of my career where I demand stability and the "on-timers" because of family commitment mainly. I do still bring my laptop home and work from home after working hours as and when I needed to but they are often only activated if the matters are truly urgent in nature.

My other activities after working hours include spending quality time with family, vacationing, reading, analyzing my investment, writing this blog, watching my favorite US and Mediacorp drama and many more...

This is usually the stage where I no longer achieve that "promotion" status at work year after year anymore and I settle down with what I think I optimally can achieve, both inside and outside of work.

3.) The Flexible Style  (The "Part-Timers")

These are employees which tend to come in early and leave early or come in late and leave late. Either way, they have a flexible working pattern due to certain commitment that they have outside of work.

Some may also choose to work as part-timers for half a day if their working environment allows. These are usually position which are not critical to the daily business operation of the company and their roles allow them to work flexibly in different timezone.

Verdict: This is definitely something which I want to venture out to in the next 3 to 5 years. My current role doesn't seem able to fit in the part-timers role but it can be flexible if we try to work things out. My ideal is to eventually go for a 4-day work week so I'll but we'll have to see more about that.

Final Thoughts

There are obviously no right or wrong in these decisions. 

These are just some of the simple sharing which I had experienced and envisioned it to be in the coming years. 

The goal was always to start off very strongly during the early stage and set up a good base, then slowly stepped off the gas on the corporate ladder once there are other priorities that set into my life. This doesn't necessarily mean that you are slowing it down, but it means that you are stepping on in some other priorities in your life.

Don't let hard work refrain you from pushing beyond what you are capable of. You may be surprised by what you are more than capable of.


  1. Hi B,

    The link you inserted for Chris the blogger friend and author book bring me to a site of someone (also with name Chris) but said to be 23 years old. How the 19 years of IT industry experience....

    This Chris is not the same blogger I have seen you (in person) at the first BigScribe session. The former is about 40 if I recalled correctly when he introduced himself as a retired IT professional and now doing his JD law at SMU.

    (Also) I cannot find the article that you mentioned Chris wrote.

    Have you inserted the wrong link ?


    1. Hi JC

      I think you are mistaken.

      First of all, yes the Chris is different from the event you attended. I have 2 bloggers friend named Chris and they are completely different person.

      The link i have inserted belongs to the 24 year old Chris and has nothing to do with the article of the 19 year old IT experience. That one is a separate article written by an unknow author which I came across in Linkedin (recommended by Chris) but i will need to find them again if you need.


  2. Hi B,

    Interesting topic. I think I fall between 1 and 2 though. I am intrinsically motivated but I wouldn't call myself an out-performer (I think I'm average? :X)

    And I reach and leave the office on the dot (no. 2). Unless there's something really urgent, you wouldn't catch me staying beyond office hours.

  3. Interesting read and kodus to you for setting priority and things right... I am personally in a dilemma now I have probably been in stage 1 for a good part of my career.. now am 34 and have my first baby boy... And further now at a crossroad where job requires me to go hk... Or risk being jobless. Makes me sit back and think did type 1 actually do me good? Being in finance line... I am prohibited to invest( thx to all these compliance and regulation) which hinders my wealth growth opportunities... Nonetheless great job in ur personal investment and setting priorities right...=) Happy 2017

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