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360 Review - Career

As promised, I will briefly run through the 360 review I did. This will be a series of posts whereby I share my thoughts and views on what I believe are important to achieve my personal financial freedom. Career, Cash, CPF, Properties, Trading, Investments and Travel. Each plan is unique so you will have to devise your own plans that is tailored towards your own circumstances.

I will not blog in any particular sequence but whatever that "inspire" me. Today I will blog about the first topic 360 Review - Career. 


I have shared with you previously two posts on the topic.

Post 1: Your Career is very important
Post 2: Don't treat your career marathon like a sprint

If you are not doing your own business, then this will be the main source of income from which you can utilize wisely to fund your retirement. 

From young, I have been brained washed not to "job hop". My dad and mum both had their one and only job till they retire. Unbelievable but true for their generation. They used to frown very heavily upon job hoppers but have since changed their perception.

Job hopping is no longer a taboo

Job hopping is no longer a taboo and probably the younger ones don't really care anyway. However, you cannot be hoping from one job to another every 6 months. You need to build up some track record and experience and then try to get headhunted to the next role. Each role should give you give you a new experience (if you are changing industry) or higher pay (if you are moving vertically upwards) or better title (if you are moving from one competitor to another). If you can achieve a better pay with a better title in a better company, that will be the most ideal situation. However, make sure you are culturally able to adapt. Having worked through quite a few firms with very different cultures and bosses, i have to say i am pretty adaptable except that as i aged, with all due respect to ladies, i find it more difficult to work for female bosses.

How to get a higher paying job with better prospects?

To achieve a higher pay with a better title and prospects, the best way to do it is through the headhunters. As you progressed upwards, the compensation for headhunters are not aligned with the employers. They are on the same side as you because their final fees depends on a % of the annual package you receive.  A lot of jobs are never advertised in the papers. The job description reached the headhunters, who then run through their databases and then they will start profiling suitable candidates to be shortlisted for interviews. So if you have never send your CVs to headhunters before, start doing so and keep them updated as you gained new experience.  Always make it a point to send the CVs to the reputable headhunters in your industry even when you are not actively searching for a new role so that you are "always in their mind".

Headhunters have different specialization as well. Some are more well connected in the financial industry, others are more proficient in the manufacturing industry, etc. So find out the one that is specialized in your field of competence. 

One good website to hunt for finance-related jobs will be efinancialcareers. I think many headhunting firms in the finance space uses this portal to advertise their roles.

Is there secret formula to a successful career?

If you want a magical formula from me, i can give you one. It's the 3R.  


There is no other formula i can give you. haha. No use being the most talented person in your firm when your boss is blocking your path and has no intention to change job. I have also seen many instances where the bosses left and someone then stepped "up" to be the new head. 

Right place and right time - probably you need some divine guidance but right skillsets, which includes EQ, can be learned. 

360 review on Mr IPO's career

Every now and then, i will take a step back and review my own career. Things i ask myself will be
  • Do i still enjoy what i am doing? Am i learning new things?
  • Am i given new roles and responsibilities or am I already stagnant in my role?
  • What are the pull factors? (pay, work-life balance, meaningful role and responsibilities, etc)
  • What are the push factors? (long hours, lousy bosses, bad culture, no flexibility, etc)
  • Is my pay pegged to the market and whether I have reached the "peak" of my potential. 
In my view, the best time to negotiate a package is when you have no push factors. This is where you will really weigh your options very carefully and not be blinded by the offer on the table.

In my life and line of work, i meet many talented and successful people. I have mentioned in my facebook page to work on your "Emotional Quotient". The people at the top have the right connection, right friends and right aptitude. 

Another area to work on will be your personal network. Treasure the friends, colleagues and acquaintances you make in your field of work. 

EQ + solid working experience + strong personal network = Well sought after professionals

I have been through 4 different jobs with 4 different cultures. I started work in 1997 and my starting pay was $1,850. I was headhunted 3x in my life so far. The first time was in 2000 (pay rise of 81%), second time 2008 (28%), third time 2010 (36%). I had wanted to start my own fund management company back in 2008 but on hindsight that will be probably be derailed by the GFC. 

Just to give you some ball park figures, the increment in pay from each change should range from 25% to 50%. 

How did Mr IPO fare?

I wouldn't say that I have done extremely well but I will say that I manage to grab some of the opportunities that come my way be it in my career or personal investing. The pay has also risen to a decent level where the family can be comfortable.

Although i have been "headhunted" a few times, please don't have the wrong idea that I have done very well. I am still far from it. 

What's next?

I think I have a few more years to go in my current role as there are still things to learn, fun stuff to do and talented people to know better. 

Learn to fish for yourself

While I mentioned that your career is important, I also stress that a skill set outside of work is important too. I would encourage you to pursue something that you are passionate about. Many second career are started from hobbies and passions. If I am retrenched one day, I can trade for a living, I can start my own fund management company, I can start a financial education company. I can start my own business. You will have to find a relevant skillset that you are passionate about. That is also probably the time where I will no longer need to use a stage name or be a Batman and do a Mr. AK from ASSI. Lol.

Happy being hunted

That is all for today. I will cover other 360 topics like Cash, Investing, Trading, Properties and Travel in separate posts.


  1. Luck is very important. However, you must also be at least competent enough to do your work. If not, no amount of luck can save you!

  2. Haha which is why I said right place right time :)

  3. Dear Sir
    For job hop to another company in the same.industry, should the increment be a % of base salary or base salary+allowance? Assuming current pay is $5k with $1k cash allowance, a 15% of base pay of $5k, is less than current all in pay, factors such as job scope ,workinh hours etc remain the same.

    1. Personally, I would compare it on annual package all in. Including bonus. However you should also view it from non monetary terms like the expected working hours etc. sometime more pay also mean extra long working hours ....

    2. Thanks, Mr IPO.. jiltteries to move out of comfort zone but that is one way to have more money to accumulate for war chest :)