Monday, January 25, 2010

I can dream, can't I?

Anyone who has worked for at least a number of years must have pondered on this question at one point or another:

Am I in the right job? Is this the line of work that I should be pursuing for the rest of my career/working life ( which in the current loca Singapore context of enormously large mortgage debts owed to the banks, means a lengthy 35-40 years)?

It really is a difficult question to answer. Speaking from personal experience, after working for 12 years since graduating in '98, I am still asking the same question.

Obviously I have gone past the stage of fresh (from school) innocence of looking for that "perfect" job. Simply - there isn't such a thing. Ok... well, to be brutally honest, there IS such a thing, but only if you happen to be born with a silver (or golden/platinum/whatever!) spoon in your mouth. Ie. You have super-rich parents who'd not even blink when you ask them for obscenely large sums of money to set up a business (where you are the boss, of course) in an area of your personal passion or interest.

In my personal scenario, it would be like that this:

Me: "Pa, can I have 3 million dollars?"

Pa: "Ok. Let me get the cheque ready for you."

Me: " Aren't you going to ask me what for?"

Pa: " Nah.. I trust your judgement. (plus, it's not really a large sum of money)" *Didnt I mention "SUPER-rich"?

Me: "I'll tell you anyway. I intend to set up a guitar shop for classical guitar afficionados in Singapore to meet and gather. There, I'll also sell instruments and guitar CDs, plus there'll be a small lounge area (can sell drinks/coffee ) for ppl to sit, talk and listen to guitar music. So I need 1 mil to rent over that shop space (at so-and-so road) and to cover operating costs for a year. Another 1 mil to renovate and furnish up the place decently. The last million to purchase some good concert instruments, and CDs, etc."

Pa: "Sounds good.... anyway, here's the cheque."

~~~ The End ~~~

You see, the "perfect" job does exist - if only in my dreams (or in an alternate reality).

But seriously, I do know of friends who seem pretty happy about their line of work. Take Wolf for example, he's a self-employed fund manager who's passionate about meeting people (added incentive if they are pretty gals, of course) who are also his prospective investors. He loves going out, enjoys good food and is pretty much a wine-lover as well. In his own words, he "enjoys his working life" - as he doesn't need to stay in an office from nine-to-five, doesnt have to report to a any boss, and he pretty much sets his own target of how much to make (depends on how hard he works). Needless to say, he enjoys growing his wealth too.

Another acquitance of mine started a business in rock climbing. He is an avid climber himself, and he rented this shop house, and converted it into a inhouse climbing gym, where people can sign up as members and use the climbing facilities. He also offers climbing consultancy ( I think he brings groups of interested climbers to popular climbing locations overseas).

It occurs to me that both examples above are self-employed. Does it mean that one can only have a "perfect" job if one is self-employed? Perhaps it is not so surprising after all, if you think about it. After all, most self-employed people go into business in an area which they are interested in (or at the minimum, knowledgeable about). For instance, a meat-lover like me would NEVER open a vegetarian restaurant! hahah

Yet, for all their passion and joy of running their respective businesses, these 2 guys have also confessed to me that they are sometimes weighed down by financial concerns. At the end of the day, what joy can there be in running a business where you are worried about the bankers knocking on your door asking for repayment of your loans? Hmm... so their jobs aren't that "perfect" after all, huh?
Again, we are back to square one - IS there such thing as a perfect job?

Yes! When you can be a business owner (tao kay) in an area of your interest and yet have no need to worry about the business not making money to stay afloat - possible when you have SUPER-rich parents whose wealth can "feed" the family for generations and generations. Maybe someone with a net worth of >100 million bucks? =P (looking at some shops I see around Singapore, I dare say many of these must belong to these lucky sons/daughters of the super wealthy families, since there's seemingly NO WAY these shops could've survived for such a long time.. )

Or perhaps more realistically, you run a business (that you love) and that business can self-sustain itself. e.g. In my "dream scenario" above, maybe I can sell one or two concert guitars a month, as well as a couple of CDs, plus the profit made from the drinks sold at the lounge area. Enough to cover operating costs and rental, plus a little something more for me to feed myself (and family) and enjoy my life.

Hahaha...dream dream dream. How I love dreaming....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

unless the father or sugar daddy's name is called tom glocer .. ;p

11:52 PM  

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