Saturday, February 20, 2010

Why get a job?

Although I'm employed with a job.... sometimes I wonder... why do we get a job? Why do we need a job? Income? Stability? Experience?

Getting a job is like... you trade your time for money. You are paid for the time you are working. Sounds good?


You are paid only when you are working! Schools have been brainwashing us since young that it is reasonable and intelligent to succeed only when we are studying, which is true in a sense. However, we brought this to society thinking that it is too reasonable and intelligent to earn an income only when we are working! How untrue this is! Isn't it better to be paid as well when you are not working???

Wouldn't you think life will be much easier if you are paid while you eat, sleep, watch movie, go dating, spend time with your family, socialise with your friends? Why not get paid 24/7? Your fishes grow, your plants grow, all without you looking at them all the time... so why not your wallet too?

When you read this blog post, do you really think you care how long I spent writing this blog post? Or when you read blogs like SgMusicWhiz, do you think you bothered how long he spent to come out with all the analysis? I have come to realise that what most people look for is quality content, is value. It's not so much about getting unlimited useless content out, but more of the value and quality of each content. I mean, would you 'pay' me more if you know I spent twice the amount of time on this post than I should? I don't think so.

The key word is value. Trading value for money, not time for money. Then you may ask. I don't know how to trade value for money instead of time for money. How?!

With the advent of the internet, it is much easier than ever before. You could go the traditional way of building a business, and employing others to trade their time for you. You could also write a book, and leverage on bookstores to sell it for you. Or you could leverage on the powers of the internet and
(i) Start a website.
(ii) Expand your business
(iii) Study equities well and become an investor!

In short, you have to create a system! An income generating system, that once it is started in motion, it can run with minimal intervention from you. And from then on, your time is spent on increasing the income by improving the system or creating new systems, instead of maintaining your income. Treat it like a sort of 'compounding' --> this I shall touch another day in another post.

Some of my systems include this website, of which I still need tweaking. ExamWorld, of which more content is required. These two websites are on 24/7 for the benefit of readers and users, and still serves you even when I'm not at my computer. Another example is my dividends and investing portfolio; the dividends come without me needing to spend 12 hours a day looking at them.

Of course, it takes time at the initial stages to create and design your own system. Lots of it. But you don't need to reinvent the wheel and start from scratch. There are so many people who are doing it, that you can just model their success. There are also already systems well built that you just need to use them for your benefit. This website is hosted by blogger, and I don't need to maintain the content management system at blogger at all. And each article, each blog post I write, I only need to write it once (fixed time investment), and it will just roll on and on for years to come. The key, however, is to write timeless articles, such that years down the road, the content in the article can still help others.

Once your systems get going, you could work less hours to support yourself, and eventually spend most of your time with your family. Sounds good? Probably, but most people fail before reaching here; they can't get over the initial stage of needing to work hard, can't get over failures, can't get over disappointments when something don't work. No one is born knowing how to generate such systems, and road blocks will definitely be along the way. But how long you spent figuring how to tweak and improve your system is immaterial, because sooner or later, the time is going to fly away anyway. And when you succeed eventually, you will no longer be slave to any pay cheques! Even if your system is generating just a few USD a month (like my websites), it is still a step in the correct direction (or so I believe)!

But I wouldn't get job experience if I don't work

Huh? A job gives you experience, well, in that job. If that job ever goes obsolete, poof! Your 'experience' is also useless.

Basically, even if we just bum around whole day, we get experienced as a bummer. If we sleep on different beds everyday, we get experienced as a mattress tester. If we watch TV the whole day, we get experienced as a TV Critic, as a TV watcher, whatever. I mean, you get experience doing anything, which includes creating an income generating system. So why worry about job experience?

Next, job experience acts like a sort of barrier to exit; you can't easily change to a different job role because you don't have experience in that area. So you stick to the same job, and gain experience over and over again in the same field. A job experience that is limited in scope I would say. That's the reason why some people job hop into different areas.

Consider between experience in doing a job really well (trading time for money), and experience in creating and maintaining income generating systems. I would rather the latter in the near future. Not that I'm well established at the moment or anything, but that is my goal, my path, my direction, at the moment.

Is such a system stable? Isn't working as an employee a much more stable alternative?

Amazing brainwashing. As Robert Kiyosaki would say, being employed is extremely risky, not stable. You are subjected to company downsizing/optimisation, economic fluctuations and company performance, shareholders' demands, etc. You can also be fired any time just by an letter/email with some words. Basically, you aren't in control of the factors relating to your income. How can that be stable when you do not have the control over your income source, especially if it's your only income source?

Look at SPH's annual report, and there's one section where it mentions the average value contributed by each employee and the amount paid. The disparity is obvious; you are paid less than the value you create. Basically, the value you created that is 'unpaid' to you goes to the company's banks and to dividends paid out to their shareholders (like me). How generous you are! Oh ya, and being still employed, how generous I am too, to see my company's CEO have his own private plane and helicopter! :)

Ok too long a post, just jump straight to conclusion. There are many other reasons not to get a job, some more insulting than others, but I think I shall stop here. Insulting myself too right, since I'm still employed? However, I believe the correct step to take is to move towards creating and designing our very own income generating systems, and diversifying our income source. In this new economy, a job is no longer stable; you are not paid pension, and most companies wouldn't want your lifelong commitments anyway ==> it's too expensive for them to do so.


  1. hey... quite impressed by your journey.. realised that youare quite hardworking during your uni as well as getting a scholarship while at the same time being able to go over seas...

    quite envious of you yah.. $100k i grad Jul-08 and i don have that much


  2. Hi Singapore Stock Picker,

    thanks for your visit and encouragement!

    I was just lucky so far. Let's work hard towards our goals :)


  3. I like reading your blog.
    Chanced upon it when I was doing some research on housing.
    Will be visiting it time to time. Cheers!

  4. Hi Feliza,

    thanks for visiting and leaving a comment! I appreciate it.

  5. Hey long time since we last met hehe. Nice blog !


Please Comment >>