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Friday, May 6, 2016

Sharing My Thinking Cap As An Employee

Everyone fantasizes being something different once in a while and I am no different from the rest.

When I started the blog, I was inspired by fellow bloggers who walked a certain path of life that are different from the rat group I belonged to. It was always exciting to be different because the experience was not mundane and it gives an escape to the life we have yet to experience. It almost feels as if the grass is always going to be greener than the one we live in today. 

As an employee myself, most people will be able to relate to what I am experiencing. You wake up everyday at the same time, do the same activities in the given time, take the same bus with the same group of equally dreaded passengers and reach the office to do your required task from 9 to 6 after which you reach home for dinner and repeat the same again Monday to Friday. During the weekends or public holiday, we usually chose to escape from the reality because for the sake of the 2 seemingly short days, we need a break from the routine. We need a holiday to slow our mind down and perhaps a laid back resort by the beach would be the perfect vacation plan to recharge our energy. Towards the month end, we get paid for our labor and this is perhaps the most looking forward moment of any employee's life. After all, it is a fact that in modern slavery, we had exchanged one resource after another - our precious time for a glamorous life and money.





When I started the blog, I had written about such escape from reality as a measure of attractiveness to readers, for instance you can view the About Me page. You can say I am just like any other salesmen on the street trying to sell you insurance or any other products. I was selling an envious lifestyle to readers, an opportunity to join me in what I do in order to escape the dreadfulness of reality. But this is no longer the case now. To me, the blog has grown to a matured stage where I should be able to offer readers some insights that I get over the years more than just dividends and envious lifestyle. I want readers to know that there are many path to a greener grass and my path is not the only way for you to reach that ultimate zen that you seek for unconsciously.


Based on B's personal scoring

Table Factor Matrix

The above table you see will show an underlying matrix to how much each factors will mean to me as an employee, early retiree and an entrepreneur. The score input on the table is based on my personal scoring so that will be different for different people.

Let me provide the breakdown of each factors in more detail:

Money - This is a rather straightforward decision for me. As an employee, I can say that I am extremely comfortable with the amount of salary I continue to receive because I get paid rather well as an employee, admittedly. Note that I don't earn sub-abnormal high salaries like what you read on the paper but nor do I earn such a low pay that I have difficulty paying my butter and bread. In fact, for most of us who are an employee, I think we get paid an obscenely high amount of salary that it can easily feed hundreds or even thousands of people in a poor nation. I think that's a pretty fair statement for people who are earning at least a median salary.

I rated 3 for early retirement because obviously I will not receive any sort of income when I am no longer working. The score of 3 is there because I have at least a small dividend I received that can pay off the basic necessities. But for now, they are inherently not sufficient at all to fund our family lifestyle.

As entrepreneur, it is often a risk in terms of money. You can either be very rich if you are successful or very poor if your start-up goes bust. Because of the unknown factor, I have factored the score at 3 for now.


Risk - As an employee, the one risk is always going to be retrenchment when the economy turns sour, as much as we dislike it to happen. However, there are certain roles that I think are more durable than the others. Myself for instance, it is pretty unlikely that I will be let go even in dire conditions because it is one of those thing that you will need an accountant no matter what happens. Phew, safe score checked.

Again, quickly dissecting the risk factor as an early retiree and entrepreneur are pretty self-explanatory.


Fulfillment - I rated this as 5 for myself as an employee because I do not get the kind of fulfillment others get in my role as much as I would have liked. It is okay because this has probably got to do with the role I'm playing in my company. I certainly can't be an accountant yet at the same time reach a fulfillment such that I scored a goal in the extra time in a football match. That just will not happen unfortunately.

I rated a high 9 for early retiree and entrepreneur because I guess they'll be more aligned to what they prefer to be doing and have that sort of drive and satisfaction that the corporate world cannot give. I can be very wrong in this of course because I have a few friends who get a high 9 fulfillment in their corporate role and I congratulate them for it.


Autonomy - As an employee, I think it's fair to say that we don't usually get an autonomy to do the things that we want to do, pick an idea that we think is right or take leave from work as and when we feel like it. There are corporate rules and hierarchy to follow no matter how much you disagree with and this is why I am scoring myself 3 for this as an employee. I think most people would agree with me on this.

As an early retiree, the biggest takeaway is perhaps the release of this autonomy that tied you as a rat in a tight race. When you get to this stage, you no longer have a boss to report to nor do you have to follow an SOP that someone unknown has created in the past. You do what you want and need to do at your own leisure and disposal. This is why I have rated this as 9.




Sharing My Thinking Cap


Based on the above table matrix I've shared, you can see that there are different combinations you can choose in order to obtain happiness.

For instance, if you are an employee with a low score of fulfillment and autonomy just like me, you can perhaps take on roles that might increase your fulfillment and autonomy score over time. You can change multiple jobs to trial and error and see where the sweet spot might hit best for you. That is one option.

The other option you can choose is to take the leap of faith to become an entrepreneur. Perhaps, cooking is your passion and you've been dying to do this from young. Taking a leap of faith to entrepreneurship from an employee will increase your fulfillment and autonomy almost immediately but will increase the risk and monetary factor. In other words, if you decide to become an entrepreneur, you better think thoroughly on the amount of money you have to burn and risk of failure should the business doesn't work.

For me, I decided to go with the third option.

The availability of option to increase my autonomy scoring appeals to me very much because I don't like to be tied with decisions and time. For instance, in my current role, it is often very difficult to take leave during the last week of Christmas and New Year because they are my peak period and it is almost impossible to be away during such a time. In fact, there was once when I was seriously sick and I had to come to office to close my year end book. Being an early retiree appeals to me because it gives me the option to do what I wanted to to during Christmas and New Year. Perhaps, a white Christmas getaway vacation would be nice for my family. I do not know how it feels because I am bounded by my job at the moment.

The other thing that weighs on my mind is money. Obviously, regular readers of this blog know what I am trying to do with this one. I am trying to slowly but surely transition my income from an active one to a passive one in the form of dividend income. When the amount of dividend has reached an inflection point and able to cover my expenses, that is when I declared myself financially free and I can transition to an early retiree lifestyle when it comes. Of course, who knows by then I might be offered a role as a coach for my favorite soccer team and by then my fulfillment score will shoot up and I won't be dreaming of early retirement again. Anything is possible.

Final Thoughts

Please be warned that the above scoring is purely based on my current input and you are welcome to disagree. But if you are picking on that, then you're missing the forest for the trees.

Everyone has a process thoughts on the things they do but they are often crumbled together that it is often difficult to put a piece of the puzzle together. Writing them can help to organize the thoughts more concise and properly.

Now that I've shared my thinking cap, it's time to close the cap and get back to work. See ya!!!



47 comments:

  1. So you have already quit your job and starting a business now?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi LKh

      No, I'm still a poor bloke employee right now :)

      Delete
  2. very interesting scoring system and i like posts like this that brings work stuff to our personal domain and see what you get.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kyith.

      I can still see people not getting the message though. The focus is on the scoring system. They need to understand the scoring can be anything and interpreted in any way by any person but that is not the takeaway they should be getting.

      Delete
  3. I don't understand your table. Or any other people's table for that matter.

    My table only has one column.

    Entrepreneur. Scoring 10,10,10,10,10!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jerry

      Good that you have achieved your maximum level of happiness.

      When you are married, has dependents to support and house to mortgage, those scoring will adjust differently. But good you have found your highest level of zen right now.

      Delete
  4. There is definitely a mistake in the scoring, unless you are saying that higher risk is better than lower risk, I.e. The higher the risk you are exposed to, the happier you will be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi GK71

      Like I said, the scoring does not has anything to do with the level of happiness, i think you are taking that assumption on yourself.

      Again, if you are picking on those scoring, then you fail to get the message of what I was trying to say. The scoring is not important nor does picking on thosr scoring will matter to you. There is a deeper message i want to put across.

      Delete
    2. The reason for my objection is that you have a total score column. If risk = 9 is undesirable but fulfillment = 9 is desirable, then it doesn't make sense to add them together to get a total of 18. The purpose of assigning a score is to allow some kind of comparison, which is what you did in your post. But your total score column doesn't't serve this purpose.

      Anyway, just an objective comment on the use of scores rather than to 'picking on those scoring'.

      Delete
    3. Hi GK71

      Thanks for your note.

      I'd remove those total column later if that bothers readers too much.

      I'll take note of it in the future.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Delete
    4. Hi B,

      I have to agree with GK71 that the scoring is contradicting and not logical and nothing to do with personal preference.

      High score in risk should be negative!



      Delete
    5. Hi Rolf

      That's fine if you see it that way.

      Again i want to emphasize its got nothing to do with the scoring methodology. And everyone can interpret it anyhow they like.

      Thanks.

      Delete
    6. Hi Rolf

      That's fine if you see it that way.

      Again i want to emphasize its got nothing to do with the scoring methodology. And everyone can interpret it anyhow they like.

      Thanks.

      Delete
  5. Hi B,

    There is a forth option. Change your job!

    There are jobs that pay and give fulfillment !!!

    Come join the friendly sky lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi SI

      I can't change my qualifications sadly and I can't change my job that easily because of my niche qualifications. I guess its normal for an accountant not to like their job. Maybe if there are any it would be rare. But yeah i hvnt across anyone who truly likes it.

      Delete
  6. B, Anyway, u mention the pasture is greener at the other side. Very honestly, you are the source of my envy then LOL. An inner demon set free by u.

    I do think what u have achieved at the age is wonderful and I am not sure if I can a grove what u did in 10 years time.

    But, the search has come to an end and I am more (not totally) at peace.

    I might be able to find some time on Tuesday to meet for tea? U free? I give u an email if u are available

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahah guess all of us have moved on to think better like smol said ,:)

      Delete
  7. B,

    Patience.

    You didn't start out as being "cryptic".

    Need time for your readers to adjust.


    From "escape" to "achieve".

    Welcome.

    Quite fun to see how you and 15HWW have evolved over the years ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi SMOL

      Thanks for your comments. It's been a while my friend :)

      I really like how we evolved in our thinking over the years, and hopefully to the better. I guess this has to do with age and life experience that we go through... eating more rice feeling more reality

      Delete
  8. Silly investor is right. Many employees dream of early retirement and financial independence because they hate their job, hate their boss and don't get fulfilment from their work. Truly successful people usually don't retire, they work into their golden age, think Warren Buffet, Wee Cho Yaw, LKY ! They enjoy immense satisfaction, achievement, challenge that keeps them going forever! I think we should stop thinking about early retirement and start doing what we like and never retire. I think that will be a better decision.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Employees are just employees. Either they voluntarily retire on their own or ask/force to retire by their company. Don't like to retire then move over to become self-employed or business owners.

      Delete
    2. Hi Lim Tan

      Thanks for your comment.

      You're very right. I think when I mention early retirement, I will not be idling around at home surfing couch counting sheeps. I think life is too precious to pass it that way.

      I'll continue to be busy doing things that I enjoy, most likely in the form of full time investor and also spending a lot more quality time with my family.

      Delete
  9. That's true. Most people are not risk takers and very few people have to courage to start out on their own. Quite sad, we only live once.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Monster

      Thanks for leaving your comment.

      I guess it has to do with the education we received in Singapore. It's almost as if the opportunity cost is too big to take if one venture out on its own.

      Delete
    2. Hi Monster

      Thanks for leaving your comment.

      I guess it has to do with the education we received in Singapore. It's almost as if the opportunity cost is too big to take if one venture out on its own.

      Delete
  10. If there is a coffee session, ask me too la. See if we can chat about being free :) drop me a note at mymoneynme.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Angelfire

      Sure thing, will organize one soon and reach out to you if there are any :)

      Delete
    2. Hi Angelfire

      Sure thing, will organize one soon and reach out to you if there are any :)

      Delete
  11. Hi B,

    By the way, I do not think accountant is risk free in the job itself.

    I myself seen many accountants let go before. When jobs, are bleak, what for we need so many accountants compare to good sales guy.

    But I do understand ur notion that every company need an accountant. But then again, every company also need a sales guy. most company will need a operation, project or HR guy, but does not mean they are save in their job.

    It just means they are more versatile even when they are axed. Guess that is probably ur meaning?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Older human assets tend to cost higher and more likely to become an effective cost cutting target or focus. Bo pian!

      Delete
    2. Hi Rolf

      Yeah you're right.

      Accountants are not indispensable to the company certainly and I've seen a fair share of accountants who are axed during restructuring exercise.

      Fortunately for me, i worked in a middle sized firm where I am the sole finance manager in charge around. One of the critical role for my job includes budgeting for the following years ahead, together with the rolling forecast and compliance, so even if the company had to close down, I am pretty sure I will be one of the last to leave because I still am required to do all the paperworks. In that sense, I get a general good gauge of where my position is. Of course, if you are working in a large company where you had a few finance managers and a few accountants, the trajectory would be very different.

      But this is subjective from person to person so the role itself can't really ensure anything like you said ;)

      Delete
    3. Hi B,

      With all due respect, I understand ur importance to the company and can judge ur own importance to the company.

      Unless it's ur company then u r the last to leave for sure or many it's ur parents company. :-)

      Company can always replace a worker with a cheaper and more efficient one. If we r younger can work harder and less expensive, of course we can confidently say that.

      Frankly in Sg even if ur job is not that versatile and if our salary is below 100k range and not that old age, there is nothing so scary to be axed unless ur savings cannot even last few months.

      I may sound harsh, but it is really the truth and perhaps one day u will realise.

      Delete
    4. Thanks Rolf for your views and observations. I think you've stayed in corporate world long enough to witness that. I've too has seen my fair share of colleagues leaving and getting retrenched but its how the way it is. If these people are dependent for income from this then they better make sure they have a plan b.

      Thats what i dont like about the corporate unfortunately. Its 4 years and counting now for me, then i will wave goodbye to them forever and start afresh something else. Ive seen you working harder and taking more roles thats good for you too. Everyone fighting for their dream and wants.

      Delete
  12. Hi B, I am looking forward to building enough passive income for a good retirement. It is nice to wake up not having to work spending your day doing things you want.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi SR

      You are well on the way, keep it up!!!

      Delete
  13. Why do so many people hate their job? Is it really so difficult to find "work" that we can look forward to everyday, rather than spend our whole life dreaming for early retirement? Unless you are a big income earner or really good investor, it's really hard to achieve early retirement. I think it's easier to find work that we like, then you can feel liberate immediately!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lim Tan

      That's an interesting thoughts but in my circle of friends it does sound like everyone is going to work for the money and not something which they like.

      I congratulate you if you have achieved what you like, that means you are pile top of the happiness mountain.

      I dont hate my job, i just dislike the way the corporate life are being run in general.

      Delete
  14. Hi B,

    I can totally understand your dislike for corporate life. It's something I had to go through in the past. I'm consider myself lucky to be now "working" on something I like, and I don't intend to stop even if I no longer need the money.

    I just want to encourage all the readers here that this is possible. While it's good to achieve financial independence, which might take a few decades if you are still in your 20s or early 30s, why not find out what you can do that you can truly enjoy and earn an income at the same time. It might not be that difficult, if you work towards this goal too. Many people has achieved it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lim Tan.

      I think that's a golden advice for all of us who is still working and are still looking to find the right "working" lifestyle.

      My dad is just like you. He is financially free and is still doing his work that he chose to do and like so i can relate your situation to my dad, really blessful i must say, though i do wish for him to slow down and enjoy life a bit!!

      Delete
    2. Reaching the edge of financial independence gives us the option to choose the date to depart from corporate life and its KPIs and we can choose another work-life with better fit and less concerns on financial compensation. Leaving corporate life and its KPIs is not stop doing any meaningful works after that.

      Delete
  15. Hi B, I'm glad you can appreciate that. Makes me feel old to be compared to your dad, hahaha. I suspect he is having good fun getting all the challenges, stimulation and sense of achievement from his "work", no need to slow down! He is probably working at the pace that is most comfortable to him!

    It is a tragedy seeing so many of our young Singaporeans spend their entire working life (maybe another 30 years or more) dreaming of early retirement instead of enjoying the journey every step of the way !

    ReplyDelete
  16. Dear Creatwealth8888, you can live your corporate life now! With some planning and good ideas, you don't need to wait for financial independence to do that. Many people set up their business before they are financially independent!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to say not everybody like to set up business and loves to serve customers and like to be in sales.

      Delete
  17. I mean leave your corporate life now

    ReplyDelete
  18. What you feel about CMP delist offer? wait or sell now?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Like the old saying says, the lower the risk, the little you'll get. In this case, employee has fewer risks than entrepeneur, but it doesn't mean that you cannot be rich as there will always many ways to Rome, as an employee you can put your money in market neutral and start doubling your money legally through that way. soon you will see how your money works for you.

    ReplyDelete
  20. It feels awe-inspiring to read such informative and distinctive articles on your websites.

    http://www.thetradeonixreview.org

    ReplyDelete

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