14th May 2020
Want to Make a Change in Your Life?
If this title has caught your attention, I surmise the idea of making a change must be resonating in your heart and mind. However something is deterring you from taking that bold step outwards, am I right? This decision could be anything related to your life: Career, Family or maybe a simple decision – should I start to lose weight or should I start taking a step to quit my bad habits (yes i hope certainly!).
I totally feel you. And this was exactly what I had gone through last year. I decided I wanted to make a change in my life. That was to move out of the HR industry – THE industry which I have accumulated a decade of my work and life experience after graduating with a HR Consulting degree from Nanyang Technological University. To put it simply, HR was the only thing I knew about what work is about.
At the (prime) age of 33, I made the biggest change and decision of my life (other than marriage) to do a career transition by giving up a very stable, comfortable and well-paid corporate HR job to become a Financial Consultant with a top insurer company, Prudential. At that time, I was already a Mother of two children, 5 and 3 back then respectively. This career move shocked most of my friends. It was deemed to be risky in the eyes of many, especially my friends and even some of my fellow Financial Consultant peers.
Starting all over again, not knowing if I could make it. Does it sound daunting to you? If yes, then I hope that this post would give you some reinforcement and inner strength. Many have since asked me “Aren’t you afraid to fail?” My response was as follows:
“I would rather undertake the risk of failure than not to try at all. Otherwise I would never know how far I could land. There is never failure just lessons learnt.” ~ Jaslyn
Compared to many others in the world who are facing critical life and death issues – Syria civil war, world hunger and poverty, human trafficking, forced child marriages, in circumstances where people are not even entitled to a chance to make a change in their lives; Who are we to say that we are afraid of lose?
Having said that, my belief is that one should always take calculated and mitigated risks. Back then in Economics class, the best thing I had ever learnt, other than the Demand & Supply theory, was Opportunity Cost. This was definitely a key takeaway which we can apply in day to day life. For every single decision we make, there is always an Opportunity Cost. Perhaps my ability to evaluate Potential Pros and Cons is further reinforced and ingrained in me due to my previous Compensation & Benefits work experience. Before we make a decision, we have to evaluate the potential Returns of Investment (ROI), determine the costs (risk) and if we were to embark on that decision, the team has to plan to mitigate the risk factors by taking strategic and structured planned steps.
Although this career transition was risky, I would say that the risks were hugely mitigated with extreme strategic planning with step-by-step actions with my Manager before the eventual bold step and also with the support of my family, especially my husband. By knowing that there was a carefully mapped-out action plan, it significantly alleviated much of my anxiety, jittery feelings and the stress levels were managed better.
Some friends say that I’m just an Optimist by nature and therefore I do not think about the worst. On the contrary, I am in fact a realist, someone who over-thinks at times and sometimes too far ahead. I believe this is a strength which has carried me far, even back then in HR career days because I strongly resonate with this quote:
“Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.” ~ Zig Ziglar
If you have the strong urge to make a change in your life, I hope that this article has positively steered you a bit forward to make a choice to take that chance today.
This article was written by Jaslyn, at 5am, 25th April 2018. Author of LinkedIn article “What Happens When I Started to Wake Up at 5am Daily for 3 Months”
14th May 2020