5 years ago a string of events drove me away from my company in Singapore. A company sponsorship for further studies which went to a sales person instead of me. A promotion that didn't feel like a promotion.
So pretty soon after the promotion I left the company (actually I submitted my resignation letter the day after my promotion). Then this post in HK came up and I promptly used the remaining dollars in my bank account and flew over.
Work became interesting. Having to study part-time and travel to Shenzhen for my exams was tiring. But I managed to scrape through and completed everything by 2007. Frankly speaking I cannot really remember what happened in 2006 except for studies, my first property purchase and that one major status change in June...
Bought a place in HK and moved into the new place by mid-2007.
If my mind serves me correctly, the best trips to Japan was made in Apr-May 2007. Flew to Hokkaido, started off at Otaru, then visited a hot spring village called Jozankei. First time I got snow in my hands, no joke. Then a bus ride to Sapporo where we took the evening train to Tokyo. Awesome trip.
Bought myself some crayfishes. My first pets ever! Then I broke down when the 1st died. lolz...
Then I got my promotion. 3 years after entering this company I got the manager post which I longed for not so much because of the monetary rewards (but hey, who can complain about more money?) but more so because of the recognition of my efforts. In the end, the money wasn't fantastic nor was there any surge of happiness or enthusiasm...
I also decided to restart my study engines. Sent my application to a few universities and came back with a few admission offers:
1) NTU-Waseda Double MBA (Singapore)
2) St Gallen MBA - tuition sponsorship (Swiss)
3) NUS S3 MBA - 25% upwards study award (Singapore, Shanghai, Seoul)
4) City University MBA (HK)
In the end I took up the following offer :
"Greetings from The Nanyang Business School.
We are pleased to inform you that the Selection Commitee has recommended you for the offer of admission to the NTU-Waseda MBA programme. The orientation starts on 22 July 2008 and the new academic year will commence on 28 July 2008."
And of course I didn't attend the orientation nor start the academic year then. I chose to defer for 1 year. I chose to stay in HK, watched the Olympics coverage on TV and enjoyed the financial storm. The storm basically threw all my plans down the drain and I decided to hold on to my job and complete my masters part-time.
HKUST's MBA was kind enough to let me into their interview but that was about it. I could have gone back to CityU for their MBA programme but I didn't want to do an MBA from a middle-ranked school. So I went back to HKUST and chose something I like.
And then started bowling. It turned into an obsession. Bought a ball, and bought another ball and bought another ball... I bought more bowling balls in 1 year than all my previous 18 years of bowling history combined. Managed to bowl a 300-game which made all that investments down the lane worthwhile.
And then gotten a pair of poodles. Learnt so much about dogs during my time with the pair. Remember that we went home one day to find the TV on full blast, Coffee on the sofa fiddling with the TV remote, shit all over the sofa and Cookie on the floor crying to climb onto the sofa. That was an unforgettable sight~
And started my MScISM studies in HKUST. Always great to learn something new. Always tough to wake up early on Saturdays.
And also in 2009, we moved out of the city and started life in Tung Chung. Cannot imagine what will happen to Coffee if we remain in Tai Kok Tsui... The pigeon-hole shoeboxes are no place for energetic poodles.
Still studying, eating good stuff day in day out, catching serials every weekday and counting down to the days left in HK. This day 8 years ago I would have been clearing my day-offs and annual leaves in the army, counting down to the day that I get released from National Service. I don't feel that much different now. Except that I don't have any leaves left (I got 14 days/year since the 1st year of army. I start from 7 here and is now at 10-11 after 5 years in HK).
Like back during my army days, there is this sense of insecurity about leaving this place.
"Pay was/is like shit but it was/is so stable. "
It is human nature to worry about the unknown. Back in 2002 I didn't even have a university degree, just taken my JLPT (Japanese certification 1-4, with 1 being highest level) level 3 exams and had no working experience. Now 8 years later, I am going to graduate with a masters from one of the best universities in Asia, already gotten my JLPT1 cert back in 2005, and had been working in a managerial role for the past 5 years with experience in both IT and Logistics. Not to mention Cantonese on my spoken languages column.
But finding work is not all about credentials, sometimes its about luck. One can have all the qualifications and experiences but end up working for a terrible boss. Others can be poor at their work and have no qualifications but their boss just loves to stuff money into their pockets.
There are people out there who will do anything to make their bosses happy. You may feel that they are degrading themselves and you will not go so low as to get a promotion or benefits. And that is where they are better than you. Because you are not even capable of doing that! Don't forget that!