14th May 2020
What Happened in the Last 365 Days After I Quit My Corporate Life
Today commemorates the One Year Anniversary of me leaving my corporate life. Ask me how I’m feeling? I would tell you the standard response I always give with my widest grin and that is “I’m SO SO SO much Happier now and I really feel liberated.”
Just a little background of myself – I was a Compensation & Benefits professional in the Corporate HR for 11 years before taking that HUGE leap of faith towards self-employment to bid farewell to all potential future bosses. I moved from HR which in many others’ eyes was an esteemed profession to Sales, in particular a profession which many others are not fond of – as a Financial Consultant, or rather sometimes known as “Insurance Agents”.
In fact I was once told in jest by a potential client who was a Senior VP (and later became my client) , “Jaslyn, you are too smart to be a Financial Consultant!” And my response to him “Thank you for your compliments! That is why you should trust me and let me handle your financial planning!”
If you have been following my LinkedIn articles, you would understand why I made the switch and my strategic road-map of transition. And I am constantly in pursuit of this ONE AND ONLY/ ONE GOAL – Optimal balance of my life which spans out in the following 5 Pillars.
And in order for me to do that, it has become a modus operandi for me to constantly evaluate myself using these 5 Life Pillars (KPIs) of how I lead my life and spend my time.
Here’s what I have achieved so far based on the past 365 days:
School Events/Performance. I have been able to attend all of my children’s weekday school events and performances for the past year without having to think about applying for leave in the midst of strategic project meetings or I had to forgo due to business travels.
Spelling quizzes. For my elder daughter who is now 6, she has weekly English and Chinese spelling quizzes which she had consistently gotten all correct. This was a vast improvement compared to the past when I had inadvertently neglected the spelling quizzes because my mind was completely stressed up with work.
Weekend Quality time. Most importantly, the new job allows me to schedule my time flexibly and
in terms of compressed work week. I can schedule my appointments around my kids and weekends are usually quality time with family!
Paradoxically, the past 1 year was a career highlight year for me in which I truly unleashed my potential in a new environment, new job, new industry after switching from HR to sales.
Protected more than 100 lives of my clients.
2 Million-Dollar Round Tables (MDRTs) in 10 months. As I made the career switch in July last year, I had only 6 months left in the calendar year and somehow I managed to achieve 2018 Million-Dollar Round Table (MDRT) by December 2017. I attained 2019 MDRT by April 2018. I was also ranked Top 10 Financial Consultants (Rookie) in Year 2017.
Toastmasters Come Alive. Perhaps my unusual career transition and my performance drew some traction among my Prudential corporate colleagues. So I had been given many opportunities to speak at various events such as Mega-Recruitment talks, Client Seminar and Fellow Financial Consultants’ sharing sessions. And all these sharing events enabled me to draw out my past Toastmasters’ experience and to enhance my public speaking skills.
Health & Fitness.
Asthma-Free for 2 Years. I suffered an asthma relapse after 20 years due to the hectic business travels and work stress and had to take life-long medication according to my respiratory specialist. However today I am so happy to announce that I have been asthma-free for 2 years and I have stopped taking medication since 1 year ago.
300KM Running Mileage Clocked. I am not an avid runner by nature but I had to start running under the advice of my asthma doctor in order to prevent constriction of my airway passage. I have since clocked exactly 300KM of running mileage since 1 year ago. Running has not only enabled me to keep my health and fitness level at an optimal level, but also helped me to manage stress and think better in the process.
Made more than 200 new friends. Out of which, 100 are my Assets Prestige Alliance agency friends and colleagues. The other half are friends and colleagues from Prudential corporate.
Fostered stronger relationships with Friends who subsequently turned into my clients. In the past, catching with my fellow working mothers friends was a tough feat as we were being called upon our motherly duties to rush home on weekday evenings to tend to kids; weekends are even more precious for us to spend with the kids’ grandparents. But in the past 1 year, I was able to catch up with more friends to meet them at their convenience during lunch times due to my flexible working nature.
Read 52 books. I have the GoodReads app in which I documented the good reads.
Written 12 LinkedIn articles. This was a feat which I am particularly proud of it is never easy to pen an article from scratch with good content and structure. I am still learning along the way as more articles are being published.
IHRP National HR Certification Examination. I will be taking the IHRP Senior Professional certification exam in order to keep myself abreast of the legislations of Singapore labour laws and best practices so that I can be a good mentor to future mentees and also provide value-added advice to business owners.
All in all, the past 365 days shaped me into a better person in various aspects. I have become significantly more efficient and effective. There is a stark difference between being efficient and effective. The former means that we are doing things the right ways to enhance productivity; whereas the latter means that we are doing the right things.
Not only that, I have become especially mindful of time-stealers such as TV dramas or games and more importantly, procrastination. I began to allocate my time based on priorities in two parameters: Urgency vs Importance. Activities are being measured in terms of Returns on Investment (ROI) and my ROI does not equate to money but rather I quantify my ROI based on the above 5 Pillars. Being time structured also made me clearer and more disciplined in what I need to do.
These LinkedIn articles serves to be a good reflection journals not only for me, but rather more importantly for my kids who are now 6 and 4 respectively. I hope this will instill great strength, resilience and grit in them in future and let them know that Mummy has indeed gone through that period of uneasiness when we are growing out of our comfort zone.
Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” ~Brian Tracy
14th May 2020