I graduated from NUS from the faculty of Building and Real Estate in 2005. Since then, I had embarked on this career with AIA. This is my first career and I never considered switching job. However, I now have a second career as a mother to an adorable boy. I love both careers of mine.
Before I took on this second career as a hands-on mother, I make the effort to hit the gym at least three times a week. Yes! I am a health freak but that is not surprising as I used to be the vice-president of the Health and Fitness Club during JC days. In fact, I have to diligently work out and watch what I eat, in order not to grow sideways since I am vertically challenged 😛 However, ever since becoming a mother, I have not had time to do so but I have no complaints. I take console that carrying my boy who weighs more than 8 kg may be as good a workout for me, and I look forward to running after him as he grows up and doing outdoor activities together with him and my husband.
And yes! If it is not obvious enough, I love kids! They are the tiniest people who can occupy a big portion of your heart, so much so you are willing to make many sacrifices for them.
I also love to stretch myself and test my endurance, proving to myself that mind can indeed overcome our body. That is the reason why I am still aiming to finish my goal of 10 marathons (I have completed 6 so far. Remaining 4 may have to be completed only after my kids are grown up. Maybe I can even run together with my kids!)
I was exposed to this profession at a career fair in NUS during my final year. All this while, I never liked a job that is desk-bound as it bores me. I love being able to travel around during the course of my work and meet people. I never like politics of any form (especially office politics) as well, neither do I like to climb corporate ladder, and hence, joining a corporation is not the most ideal option for me.
I was supposed to help take over my mum’s real estate business but I was not very interested after following her for a couple of appointments as I feel that there is no room for knowledge development. This profession is different, when I was introduced to it, it gave me a different perspective. Apart from being able to help people when they need it most (financially), I can continue to pursue many certifications to further upgrade myself so that I can value-add to my clients and friends.
Having worked for more than seven years, I never look back and neither do I have any regrets. Each time I am able to deliver cheques to my clients for a claim they had filed (regardless whether it is a big or small sum), it was a great sense of satisfaction for me. The sense of being able to help one relieve financial burden when they need it most, this is what keeps me going.
To me, in our industry, no matter which company one joins is not that important as everyone (who is a good financial advisor) has our client’s interest at heart, but all said, the leader who is training and grooming you is of utmost importance. In Strategic Alliance, apart from us having a good leader who ensures that we are guided on the right track and constantly inspires us, the team is young and dynamic as well. The team members give each other encouragement and healthy competition so that we can grow over the years.
I work primarily with companies (handling their employee benefits), SME owners and family with kids.
Having worked with multiple companies, I am able to advise HRs on employee benefits and help them set up a system to run their employee benefits scheme, so that the HR will be freed up time to handle other important tasks they have.
With a detailed understanding of the potential goals and risks they face as a SME owner, I am able to help ensure they are well prepared for the “what ifs” in life, especially to protect the business they had worked so hard to build up.
I always love kids and am even happier whenever I see a happy family. What hurts most is when unfortunate event strikes and destroys a happy family. My role is to ensure that I am able to ease this unfortunate event as much as I can, by making sure that the parents do leave behind a gift of love, be it for their surviving spouse or their children or both.
Though not a particularly memorable (in a good sense) experience, the one incident that will be etched in my memory for a long while to come, is receiving a SMS late one night from my very good friend, informing me that her mum had suddenly collapsed whilst overseas and in coma. My first reaction then was “Oh dear! Does Aunty have travel insurance?” I do not know that she is traveling then, neither do I make a conscious effort to remind my friends and their family to get travel insurance whenever they are traveling. Thankfully, as my very good friend’s mum works in a travel agency, she did get travel insurance each time she travels from their tied-up partner. So, I stepped in to assist the distressed family with the travel claims and repatriation (yes, sadly, my good friend’s mum passed away) as that is the only way I can assist my good friend whilst the family settles all other matters. This incident serves to remind me that anything can happen to anyone (even to a healthy person) and I have to love and treasure everyone whom I love and care whenever I can. Also, from then onwards, I will make a conscious effort to remind friends and clients to get travel insurance whenever I know they are traveling.
There are definitely many changes in terms of finances but as a person, I feel that I have grown up mentally. Apart from the usual mental changes like more confident, even more resilient, even more optimistic and learning to be humble despite my achievements, the one BIG change is to be APPRECIATIVE. I used to be always chasing after titles, awards, etc. Nothing seems to be ever enough. Then, after going through some major setback, I learnt to give thanks and be appreciative for what I have. Up till today, I will practise giving thanks for three things I am thankful for happening in the day. This makes me feel very happy every day as it is magically very therapeutic.