Sunday, September 24, 2006

3rd week into it...

"Life is Great!"
That's the slogan of the insurance company I am currently working with. Great Eastern Life Assurance (M) Berhad. Honestly speaking, Life is indeed Great!! No doubt about it. Just three weeks into my job and I have already encountered all kinds of shit faced by a rookie agent. Friends who make a whole lot of excuses just to avoid you. Did I forget to mention these are my close friends? Forget about them, my university friends too tend to shy away from me and purposely fong-fei-kei (miss the appointment on purpose) at the very last minute without even letting me know. LOL. However, I am so glad these rejections came to me. From the bottom of my heart, I am very grateful to all of you. No doubt it hurts at first but whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger! Obviously, there are faults on my side as well. My eagerness in meeting people can scare people away but hell, it is through this field I have experience amazing things. Close friends or buddies can say all sort of things to discourage you whereas complete strangers are more open to you than those who have known you for three quarters of your life.

I have managed to close two sales within this week from people I barely known! One guy is from my former company whom I have known for about two months whereas the other is a friend of my dad's. Technically speaking, they have yet to pay the premium but they verbally promised to do so in late November and early October respectively. It is true when my fellow agents tell me that it's easier obtaining sales from cold canvassing then approaching those who are close to you. Another former colleague from my previous company even went to the extent of arranging an appointment with his housemate on my behalf! LOL. Thank God for this experience, I love it! To all my friends out there, I truly appreciate the help and lessons you have directly or indirectly taught me. Frankly speaking, I harbour no anger or bitterness towards my friends as you peeps have truly taught me something invaluable. Instead, I am eternally grateful to all of you! Life is Great! Amen to that!

Friday, September 01, 2006

A brand new day...

Today is probably the biggest day of my short 23-years of life. I have set in motion what I planned to do all along; change of career to something I am very sure I want to do. At 1730, I submitted my letter of resignation to my boss and will embark on a new career path; Insurance. Prior to this, I have been uncertain of whether to pursuit a career in insurance full or part time for some time now. Last week while I was on the way back from Singapore, I had a long conversation with my boss which made me make up my mind. The most important part of the conversation was roughly as follows;

(talked about other stuff before reaching to this part...)
Unka: Mr.Koh, I am quite bored with compiling theory... I have been sitting in the office for almost three months...
Mr.Koh: If you think compiling theory is very boring and meaningless, there's nothing I can say... you'd better get another job.

Thanks to that statement, I was certain what I was doing in Kunoh Technocraft is not something I want to pursue as a career. At that point, I was seriously contemplating to quit my job and go ahead as a full time agent in the Insurance field. I asked myself,"What the hell am I waiting for? I know what I want to do but why am I hesitating?". The reason was pretty straightfoward, I lack the 0.1% to complete my 99.9% conviction in quiting and going full time. As a result, I gave it another thought of staying back in Kunoh while I figure out what made me lack that 0.1%. On the following Tuesday, a colleague of mine asked me to accompany him to meet a client and during the journey, he asked me a few questions...

(talked about other stuff before reaching to this part...)
Mr.Colleague: Nick... do you think I should stay in this company? I feel I have learned nothing and I will not be able to learn anything even if I stayed.
Unka: But you were in this company for barely three months! How do you expect to see results in such a short period?
Mr.Colleague: True...but I doubt I can learn what I want to learn even if I stayed. You know that I am not here for the money... it's for experience
Unka: Why don't you just give it for another three months? If you quit now, your resume won't look nice. Even if you decide to quit three months later, you only lost 3 months... who knows, you would probably learn a hell lot more in this three months.
Mr.Colleague: I guess... (and we went on to talk about other stuff)

That night, as usual, I attended my Insurance training classes in Taman Mayang and after the class, I usually meet up with Group Sales Manager (GSM) who had made it to the pinnacle of Insurance corporate ladder. This GSM, Cili (who can afford to drive a brand new 3 series even before he reached 28 and still can afford to send his sister to Australia to further her studies), had a brief chat with me...

(talked about other stuff before reaching to this part...)
Cili: Why don't you just try it out as a full time agent?
Unka: My dad won't permit it...he worries I can't make it...
Cili: I understand... but judging from what the conversation we had just now, I see that you have the right mindset and drive to be a successful agent. What have you got to lose?
Unka: It's not easy to convince my dad you know... I have been wanting to be a full time agent quite some time dy...
Cili: Why don't you just tell your dad to give you 6 months to 1 year to try it out? You are not going to rob anyone or do illegal stuff. All you ask is 1 year to be in this industry, if it doesn't work out, you have your degree to fall back on and return to be a regular salary earner, right?
Unka: True...
Cili: Furthermore... you're only 23... what's 1 year to you? Treat it as taking a Masters degree...if you can carve a career out of it, good for you. But if you can't...then you can assume you failed the degree and return to be a regular salary earner. Even if that happens, the exposure you have in this field would have further enhanced your skills and you only loose one year!
(and we went on to talk about other stuff)

I was like...WTF? That's so similar to what I told my colleague earlier that day! What have I got to lose other than time? Time is on my side! Either way, I am cocksure I want to be in a position where I can meet people from all walks of life and be in a position to determine how much salary I want based on my efforts alone... not just some dipshit job that requires me to sit in the office with a fixed meagre salary. Thanks to this conversation, I acquired my final 0.1% of conviction I needed to make the biggest decision of my life. The subsequent day, I told my dad and after a short deliberation, he gave his consent. Thank God!

Now that I have everything set in order, I am going all out to carve a career out of this field and I am very cocksure I will make it big in this industry. Am I being overconfident? Probably. But if I am uncertain then half the battle has already been lost. Am I being naive? I think so! Haha... I know things are not going to be easy. I had never before assumed that earning cash was easy...and I am willing to put every effort and strength I have to ensure I achieve my short and long term goals through this field. It's all down to the work-or-not-income mode and that is the pressure I relish! Those who probably read my blog will now have doubts whenever I try to get in touch with them... Haha, I guess that's something that I have to face.

Ah...I almost forgot to mention that my boss called me up when he saw my email of resignation at around 1820 (He wasn't in...and I attached a softcopy of my letter in the email). The conversation was as follows;

Mr.Koh: Hey Nick... are you messing with me?
Unka: What do you mean I am messing with you?
Mr.Koh: Resigning when I am about to fly off to China and you know I won't be able to see you
Unka: Mr.Koh, I am not trying to mess with you... I wanted to inform you earlier on but you were not in for the whole week.
Mr.Koh: So... There's no turning back?
Unka: Yep
Mr.Koh: You found another job?
Unka: Nope... I am going into the insurance field
Mr.Koh: What?
Unka: I am going into the insurance field
Mr.Koh: Which company?
Unka: Great Eastern
Mr.Koh: I will forever boycott this company...
Unka: ... ...
Mr.Koh: Why? Do you know I see you as the candidate with the most potential? Why did you quit? Is it because I gave you the wrong impression when I assigned the wafer loader to you?
Unka: Mr.Koh... do you remember what you said to me on the way back from Singapore?
Mr.Koh: What? What did I say?
Unka: You said if I was bored with the compilation work and tasks assigned to me...I'd better change my job?
Mr.Koh: You realize I was helping you load your "bullets" before I let you into the field right?
Unka: Yes, it's the same for all industries. I understand... but through that conversation I knew this is not what I want. I want to be able to meet people from all walks of life...Kunoh provides a totally different playing level which I know I don't want.
Mr.Koh: You can go do sales if you wanted to! What is in insurance that made you resign?
Unka: Insurance provides me the opportunity that Kunoh can't. It's like having a blank cheque and whatever figure that is written on it depends on how much effort I put in. You were the one who told me to have a goal. Now that I know what my goals are... I am going all out to do what I think is best to achieve them. I know that hesitation will lead me to no where.
Mr.Koh: You are very naive you know? Do you know how many people failed in this field?
Unka: Yes, but I am very confident I can make it.
Mr.Koh: You surrender too easily... how do you think you can do it in insurance?
Unka: That is my short-coming that I will overcome but it doesn't deter me to try it out.
Mr.Koh: Do you want me to tell you the story of Sean (Acculex, my boss' other company's manager in Malacca) on how he failed and quit the insurance industry? You know he was from Prudential right?
Unka: Yes, I am pretty well aware that there are people who fail but I have also seen a lot of people who made it big. Out of 100% of people who goes into this field, only 20% who are successful and out of that, 1-2% who are very successful. I am cocksure I will be part of the 20% category.
Mr.Koh: ... ... Ok... but I still want to meet up with you when I return from China.
Unka: Sure Mr.Koh... even though I am no longer your staff, we can still be friends, right?
Mr.Koh: Yes yes...
Unka: So I will set a date with you to meet up once you're back?
Mr.Koh: Ok ok...I'll see you then...
Unka: Bye...

That was how the conversation went. Haha... as usual, he tried to dampen my spirit like practically everyone I talked to. This doesn't deter me as all these pessimism gives me the drive to prove to them wrong!