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Thread: I also stay HDB.

  1. #1
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    Default I also stay HDB.

    https://www.facebook.com/happinessno...95775793824291

    I would like to share a story that I wrote today about this former Hwa Chong students' council president who was earning $20,000 a month when he was just 36 years old. He was retrenched two years later. But he remained arrogant, rejecting a $8,000 salary job and even bought a car when he was jobless.
    He's like one of those people who are caught in a race to obtain more expensive and high-status stuffs like bigger cars and houses. But being rich is great, pretending to be ric...

    At 36 years old, he was already earning $20,000 a month as an expatriate in Hong Kong. But two years later, Eugene Seah was retrenched from his investor relations job with Nomura, a top Japanese bank, in 2014.

    His world came crashing down. Until his retrenchment, he was leading the high life.

    “My boss flew my whole family to Hong Kong, we were all very happy being treated like a king… and the bank paid me really well — $20,000 a month. I felt that I had arrived, I was set for life,” said the 41-year-old father of three kids.

    His life was then unfolding according to the Singapore success story script: A lower middle-class kid who studied hard to get into Hwa Chong Junior College, became the president of the students’ council, and was later awarded a Singapore Exchange (SGX) scholarship for his university studies.

    But reality hit him hard when he realised he couldn’t pay his credit card bill. He had remained jobless for nine months despite intensive job search after his return to Singapore.

    “I cried a few times… how could this happen to me? I was so successful in my studies and CCAs. I was the HCJC students’ council President for goodness sake,” he recalled.

    “There’s a board in Hwa Chong JC that listed every year’s students’ council president, these people were CEOs or CFOs of their companies. I kept looking at their names and wondered what’s wrong with me.

    "How did I end up as a good for nothing when we went through the same education, joined the same CCA, elected as president? That’s how I treated myself — a good for nothing. It’s really horrible.”

    Eugene, who now runs a successful personal branding and training company, was sharing his life story with me in an interview held at the LifeLong Learning Institute.

    He’s my senior in NTU’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. He’s from class of 2001, I was from class of 2007. We never knew about each other until we connected on Facebook.

    Intrigued by his work as a personal branding coach — most mass communication graduates work in the media field — I decided to interview him for Happiness Notebook. My intention was to help my readers to explore more career choices.

    But during the interview, he shared candidly about his darkest moments, the struggles and humiliations, and how he later came to acceptance of his failure, learnt about humility and the importance of financial literacy.

    Back then, Eugene was living his life according to the society’s expectations, not on his own terms. He’s like one of those people who are caught in a race to obtain more expensive and high-status commodities. They subconsciously believe that success is about having bigger cars and bigger houses.

    “My son was (then) still going for expensive tuition at Learning Lab, the most expensive tuition centre in Singapore. I wasn’t very good in financial planning, I even bought a car without a job. My savings depleted a lot faster than it could have,” he said.

    Why buy a car when you just lost your job?

    “I was confident of getting a job very soon. And because I had a car in Singapore before I moved to Hong Kong, so when I came back to I wanted to go back to my previous life as if nothing had changed.”

    He was living in denial. And when he finally got a job offer that pays $8,000 a month, he rejected it! Could you believe it?

    “To me, it’s an insult,” he said, adding that headhunters had told him that he could command $14,000 salary based on his work experience.

    His arrogance soon gave way to desperation when he saw his savings dwindling fast. He started looking for any kind of jobs. “Very ironic, I gave up a job that would pay me $8000 a month, then I ended up looking for jobs that pay $4,000 a month,” he said.

    Despite lowering his expectation, he still couldn’t find a job. He almost went into depression, but thanks to his religious faith as well as support from his wife, friends, counsellors and pastor, he was able to lift himself up. His elder brother lent him a five figure sum to tide over.

    With no luck in the job market, Eugene co-founded a training company called Trainium Academy, with an entrepreneur friend in 2014.

    As a trainer and consultant, Eugene provides training for executives in sales, communication, and leadership. He also runs a personal branding programme called SuperBrand Me, and a kids’ programme called Megachamps.

    “I am now earning nowhere close to $20,000 a month but I feel very comfortable. I live very frugally, I don’t own a car, I stay in a HDB flat, and go to restaurant perhaps once a week,” said Eugene, who has been the sole breadwinner of his family since 12 years ago.

    He is just glad to be able to make a decent living from his passion. Since young, he has always been interested in being on stage. He loves speaking, acting, directing, scriptwriting, and watching videos. Hence he chose to study mass communication in NTU. But along the way, he gave up his dream to enter the rat chase.

    After graduation, he joined the Singapore Exchange as a marketing communication executive. He was promoted every two years or so, and later became assistant vice-president of investor relations.

    “My desire to work in the media field was replaced by KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), money and stability. Before I knew it, I had subconsciously changed track from pursuing my dreams to pursuing promotions.

    "Every time, I got promoted, my desire for my dreams lessened and my desire to earn more money increased. I slowly became a corporate zombie, working for money,” he said.

    Today, Eugene has found the sweet spot in his life, running a successful and purposeful training business. He finds joy in helping people to avoid repeating his past mistakes.

    He sees training people in personal branding as a way to help them to stay employed, find better jobs or build their businesses. To create a greater impact, he’s adding personal finance into his repertoire of training and consulting services.

    Reflecting on his disastrous financial management in the past, he said: “Looking back, I realised we never study finance from primary school to secondary school to junior college and university. My first financial education came from the book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Why didn’t our schools teach such critical skills?”

    Key lessons from Eugene's life story

    1) Study personal finance — be rich, don’t appear to be rich.
    2) Live life on your own terms, not according to society’s expectations.

    Stay tuned for the second part of Eugene's sharing where he talks in greater detail on how he turned his life around — and how you can do the same.

  2. #2
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    We need more options these days and several sources of active and passive income. Everyone is not guarantee of a job. Learn to be financial savvy and work towards financial independence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DC33_2008 View Post
    We need more options these days and several sources of active and passive income. Everyone is not guarantee of a job. Learn to be financial savvy and work towards financial independence.
    Note to young generation, expect future career to have shorter life span. Invest now and protect your future income. No time to play defensive...u have to be on the offensive.

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    It is no more paper chase only unless you are TOP scholar and in the inner core. Most average people will only be frustrated with life. Look at South Korea sand Hongkonger.
    Quote Originally Posted by indomie View Post
    Note to young generation, expect future career to have shorter life span. Invest now and protect your future income. No time to play defensive...u have to be on the offensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DC33_2008 View Post
    It is no more paper chase only unless you are TOP scholar and in the inner core. Most average people will only be frustrated with life. Look at South Korea sand Hongkonger.
    It is not What you know, it is Who you know.

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    Yes. For sure. Look at Peter Lim's Daughter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcachon View Post
    It is not What you know, it is Who you know.

  7. #7
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    teddybear is offline Global recession is coming....
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    What? You mean cronyism and nepotism??????????

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcachon View Post
    It is not What you know, it is Who you know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by teddybear View Post
    What? You mean cronyism and nepotism??????????
    All School are Good School some are Better.

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