The Day My Career Fell Apart

What I am about to share with you in this post is what I don’t really share much even though I do mentioned a glimpse of it in my very first post.

That day was 21 April 2000.

4 years prior to that, I was working in an admin and data entry jobs each of which paid me about $650 to $800.

By right, I could have listened to my parents’ and relatives’ advice that I should continue to stay and grow with the companies emotionally and financially in status.

But I didn’t.

Because the truth is I am always not earning money and given the fact that I need to support my family and pay bills, I always ran out of money before the next payday.

Before getting my second job at an office and computer supplies company and after leaving my first job at Jurong Engineering shipyard company, I came across a newspaper of how a lady went from secretary to manager in just 3 years after making more than what most people earned in their jobs.

I went for an interview but what was supposed to be an interview turned out to be an informal discussion between that lady boss and 4 other people – whom I presumed to be job candidates.

But I did not take the offer.

Why, Wesley, why didn’t you take up the job?

A lot of you might ask.

Well the reason why I did not take the job was because in order to be like that lady Tina Ang earning more than most working people earned, I needed to sit for a series of exams. A series of financial exams required by our dear government body Ministry Of Monetary Authority or MAS in short

And to sit for exams, you need to bear the upfront cost fees which I could not afford.

So I went on searching and eventually got the second job as an data-entry clerk.

But before that, let me give you a brief explanation of my first full-time job experience and why I left besides lack of money.

Even though I started working in 1993 just a year before my national army service the following year, that was an intern admin. This job at Jurong Engineering Limited was my first full-time job.

Initially everything went well for the first 3 months.

But after my probation, I started becoming complacent and making stupid mistakes in my job. Such as not remembering some of what I am supposed to do and asking questions I already asked before, knew and took note of the answers.

I also fell in love with an intern admin girl Adna but my inexperience and impulse showed my flaws.

It was in April 1997 when 2 more new admin assistants came in full-time, I knew my time was up.

Though my probation was over and I was considered full-time staff, I could not say the same for being permanent.

Henceforth, to cut short my misery by my direct superior, I choose to resign.

Resigning was easy. Getting a new job was also easier.

And that was precisely the 2 fundamental reasons that brought about my career downfall eventually.

My second job was a data entry clerk for a computer and office supplies distributor Saggio. It was a Hong Kong company branch based in Singapore and right next to Hewlett Packard in Alexandra Technopark.

Compared to my first job, my second job was slightly longer by 6 months.

However the pay was still low at $800 and after the necessary deduction by government for taxes and retirement funds as well as contributing to family and bills, I only got $300 to fend for myself for the entire month until the next payday.

Given the fact that I was working for the sales and marketing division, I clearly overestimated myself and thought I could build a career in sales and marketing instead of having to work as data entry clerk forever.

Because to be honest, that was a lonely position for me. I had no friends I could speak to except having to have lunch with my direct superior Karen and her colleagues who only tend to gossip besides eating.

But that was nothing compared to another major mistake I made.

I accidentially amended and deleted one of the major client accounts and was heavily reprimanded by my superior as back then technology was not so advanced as it is now.

If you have an account deleted, it could take days or weeks for the IT programming team to retrieve the vital information.

My only luck was that when I made that mistake, I had also passed my 3 month probation and was on my way to having my first year increment and bonus.

But that mistake cost me dearly and I was put back into probation again with another review after 3 months.

That was an insult to my ego and pride. I felt I was taken for a ride even though I knew from the bottom of my heart that what happened to me was the result of my doing.

Because my month was still low at 900 and I could not make ends meet on my own, I was forced to do part-time evening telemarketing for an insurance company called Prudential which paid me $5 an hour and $3 for every appointment I fixed for the agents.

To cut the long story long, that very same pride caused my downfall.

After leaving Saggio, I went back to American International Assurance and was working for Tina Ang – the very same lady I talked about earlier and who made the jump from secretary to being a lucrative boss. I had a misconception that if she could do it, so can I.

How wrong I was!

While that was nothing wrong with that belief, there was everything wrong with the way I saw success. I did not understand that in order to reach her status, I needed to go through a process and pass through it in order to build a successful insurance career.

I needed to pass not one but two exams which were Basic Life Insurance (BLI) and Investment-Linked Policies (ILP) exams.

I have no problem passing BLI even though it took me 2 attempts but when it came to the crutch which was ILP, that became my biggest challenge and my way of avoiding challenge by shortcuting my way was what actually caused my career to fall apart.

To begin with, Mathematics had always been my weakest subject since childhood. It took me until Primary 5 to finally understand and pass the subject. So from Primary 1 til 4, I have had to work harder than any other student in other subjects just to make the shortfall of not passing Mathematics.

Even though I was given 1 week to go through and study the book to prepare for the exam, I still could not grasp the basics and fundamentals.

But I also knew that if I did not pass the exam, I could not be certified as a professional full-time financial services consultant or advisor whichever way you call it.

And seeing one girl cry her way out of the exam room before I entered made me all the more determined to pass the exam no matter the cost.

So I brought in the formula table which I needed it badly to come up with formulas to do proper calculations.

Unfortunately I was caught red-handed by the invigilators. Without even being given a chance to explain my doings, I was expelled from the exam room and subsequently sacked from the company .

If that was not bad enough, I was not allowed to practice insurance or being involved in jobs related to insurance for the next 5 years.

That was in April 2000.

And for the next 9 years, my career was falling apart, my finances were wiped out and I was on the treadmill trying to move against the grain.

I worked on many telemarketing calls at various call centres promoting accounting systems, credit cards and even timeshare.

I also did direct sales of selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door but I could not stand the heat and gave up after just 3 days.

Even so, I could barely make ends meet, being in debts and not contributing to the family as regularly as what other people at my age could as my mom always like to compare me with others.

I could have gone back to studying but my dad refused to sponsor me. He told me directly and bluntly that since I chose this path, I should learn to face and overcome the consequences.

My turning point came when my dad passed away in 2009. Though I started internet marketing in 2008, that moment was when everything changed for me and I discovered I had to take responsibility for what happened to me instead of blaming everybody else.

And having learn from motivational gurus Eben Pagan and Adam Khoo, I discovered that in order to achieve what i want in life, I need to help others achieve what they want FIRST. In other ways being a person of value and treat others the same way I like to be treated.

As an introvert – someone who does not like talking to people, it took me quite a while to figure this out. Though I heard the typical saying by Zig Ziglar, no one explained to me the step-by-step process in order to be that person of value.

Until I do my internet marketing business full-time.