Job experiences (Ben)

8:56:00 PM

Although I've never submitted my CV to apply for a job since I graduated, it wouldn't be accurate to say that I've not had any job experience. 


Because in the course of my academic life, I've held many jobs. I first worked when I was 14 by working as a banquet waiter, earning $6/hour. 


Then at 17 I started giving tuition to primary and secondary school kids. I also acted as a "Care-leh-Fare" in mediacorp for $30 for one whole day of filming. At 18 I started freelance modeling (yea..this fatboy was a model..don't pui pui pui please..give chance) for jobs that paid $120-250 per assignment. 


At age 19 I was roped into MLM, yes the infamous Sunshine Empire as the lure of money blinded my ability to reason. Moreover, how much "reason" and "sense" can a 19 year old have? What ability could I have in calculating the feasibility of a multi-million dollar industry? But let's not dwell into the reasons and excuses. 


At 21 I went back to giving tuition and doing adhoc jobs like being an usher in a bank conference and also being a warehouse worker in Guardian. Yes, a warehouse worker, I carried cartons of drinks, had to report at 7am and OT till 11pm for $6.50/hour. 


Yes, I've never held a 8-5 desk job, but it is these part time jobs that I held that shaped my perspective of my career. 


All these jobs taught me important life lessons. Giving tuition showed me how much I loved teaching and impacting the young. I wasn't just teaching mathematics, I was giving life lessons. 


Being in the MLM industry made me

A little materialistic during that period, but it taught me a lot about salesmanship and facing rejection. The failure in that industry also taught me about humility and forgiveness. I have accidentally caused friends to lose money, but I spoke to them 2 years after the collapse of Sunshine Empire, 2 years of hiding from them and eventually sought their forgiveness. And they graciously accepted my apology.


It was this fall from grace that made me accept the job of being a warehouse worker because I was dead broke. 


While working at the warehouse, I learnt the most. I met many co-workers who come from Malaysia and they travel to and fro JB just to work. An indian friend I met there, speaks fluent mandarin and fluent hokkien even better than me, reaches home at 1.30am and sleeps for 2 hours before traveling back to work. 


I worked there only for a week but yet I could feel the toll on my health and morale. Yet my "suffering" was nothing compared to many of my co-workers there. 


My experience working in the warehouse was the most fulfilling because it taught me to be humble, to be hardworking and to value money again. 


All these experiences helped me to be a better leader, partner and employer. Don't just look at the money, instead look at the important life lessons these jobs bestow unto you. 



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