From CSE to Accountancy…

I met an old friend from NTU for lunch today. Mr. Softball was my “subcommer” (NTU lingo for a member of my subcommittee) in NTU. Being one of the more responsible subcommers, poor Mr. Softball got tasked to do more stuff than the rest by me. Hehe… but i was fair… and i do remember giving him as many bonus points as i could.

Over time, we became rather good friends… not the kind that i meet up often with, but the kind that i trust and know that should i run into any problems, i could surely approach him for help. Mr. Softball, named thus not only ‘cos he was a fantastic softball player, but ‘cos he is also a big softie at heart, is a really nice guy that you can trust. He was there for me & gave me a lot of encouragement when i broke up with my bf during NTU days.

After graduating from NTU, we didn’t really keep in touch much. We did meet up once during my birthday and Mookie was his gift to me. But over the years, we both got busy with work and hardly kept in touch. I did meet him at a mutual friend’s church wedding but that was about it.

A couple of months ago, i ran into Mr. Softball during lunch. I was surprised to see him at Clifford Pier but i was on the phone so i didn’t get to talk to him. A couple of days ago, my hp beeped a birthday reminder… ah… it was Mr. Softball’s birthday. I asked him out for lunch and thank goodness i did ‘cos he’s going to be posted to Jurong East for a few months after this week.

Now comes the punch… i found out during lunch today that Mr. Softball is working as an auditor for KPMG. HUH? Auditor?? Mr. Softball studied Civil & Structural Engineering in NTU! At first, i dead refused to believe him when he said that he did a self-study degree with Curtin University (i think) and got a job as an auditor. He said it with such a smile on his face that made me think he was pulling my leg.

I demanded to see his namecard before i would believe him and again, he had that silly smile on his face & said he used the last one in his wallet yesterday. Sounds too coincidental right? I was convinced an engineer could never be an auditor. Not even when he scanned his namecard after we went back to our respective offices, and emailed it to me, did i believe him. I called another friend who doesn’t really know Mr. Softball, but is working in KPMG, to verify the information and by golly! My friend confirmed that Mr. Softball is now an auditor!

Eeeks! Can someone really make such a drastic change in career? Mr. Softball shared with me his reasons for the switch and i can understand it…. sigh… i admire him for striving to achieve his goals. Reminded me of how i chickened out of doing a law degree 2 years ago. Is it ever too late to switch careers? Not accordingly to some reports in the newspaper lately. But i guess i’m pretty much stuck where i am now.

I did ask myself 2 questions recently:
1) Should i change jobs?
2) Should i stay in the same industry?

It’s a matter of time before i changed jobs i guess. No one stays in the same job for a couple of decades anymore (like my mom… same job for 35+ years). But should i stay in the same industry? That would definitely be crucial to when and whether or not i should look for a new job.

I thought about what my options were… shucks… turns out they’re pretty limited. I can’t go into marketing ‘cos no one will employ someone with no prior experience… and if i go back to insurance underwriting, i’ll probably be taking a bigger than i can afford paycut. No experience in HR, finance, compliance, research either! Damn! Looks like i better stay in the property industry. But even the property industry has its different arms – investment, retail, commercial, industry, residential. Should i then stay in residential?

Sigh… i really don’t know. I guess i’ll hang around for a bit more to see what happens… but if things don’t improve after this year… then maybe it’s time for a switch.

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March 2006