Your alarm rings, signalling another brand new day. You get up, looking
forward for another new day of challenge, another new day to learn.
After washing up, you put on your office outfit, giving you that
professional look, one that you believe many out there envy. Breakfast
follows (perhaps), and you head off to your office. You're one of the
earliest to arrive, ahead of all your superior and when they come in
later, they greet you and you feel all charged up for another productive
day. Plenty to do and learn and hence, you are prepared to stay back
late to do all that is necessary.
If you're currently doing a degree in finance, accounting or law, the
above is probably what you've been waiting for all these years. You work
your ass off (well... most of you) in university because it's your dream
to join one of those big glamorous firms out there in the market.
Lawyers and accountants are the usual suspects for this curse. Once
graduated, all of them will run like headless chicken towards those big
firms. If you're an accounting student... you want to be an auditor in
one of the Big-4 right?
Well, if you do make it, it's like a dream come true. In such firms, you
get a personal computer, maybe a notebook (wow!). All your stationeries
are free, and it's also the first time you step into a 'pantry', where
you can make your own coffee, just like those nice offices in TVB
series. Next, you get an exclusive e-mail, the domain after your name is
not the ordinary @ gmail.com
not, it's email@example.com
that to your friend.
Then comes the feeling of giving a business card with your name on it,
and it's not any other business card, it's one with your name on it,
it's one that signifies you're an employee with
a-big-and-glamorous-firm. And... the word below your name is not a lowly
"accounts executive"... the word below your name is exclusive... the
word below your name is... "Associate". And when your friend gives you
the "Wow, you're an associate with this firm?"... you get into instant
3 or 6 months into your job, you will then be experiencing the euphoria
of saying... I-am-very-busy... I-have-a-lot-work...
it's an euphoria because to you, it's a privilege to be busy, it's very
cool to work late, you're very proud to work in during weekends. When
you utter such words, a sense of arrogance and pride radiates from you.
You feel great because working so hard means you learnt a lot of things,
those not in the professional industry somehow looks lowly to you. You
feel big, you feel you're a level smarter than them .Reality will tend
to sink in within 2 years or so, though the duration seems to be getting
shorter and shorter now with the younger generation.
First, you will probably ask yourself, how come a graduate like you must
do all sorts of donkey jobs such as photocopying, checking invoices,
going through pile and pile of documents and filing. You will also be
wondering how come your superior whom you once looked up to have to suck
up to clients. Oh yeah... most all clients are unreasonable.
If you're an accountant, you will probably realise that there is no such
thing called a 'balance' sheet. It's balanced because you did the
balancing act so that your big boss can sign on it and certify it as
'true and fair'.
Yeah... signing on accounts, the job that you once dreamed of... isn't
exactly all a bed of roses. You then realise that you will probably
never reach that "just-need-to-sign-only stage" but hey... it's ok, you
probably hate that job by now. When you tell your client something,
chances are you are just as blur and confuse as them. But you have to
act as though you're an expert because you're the con-sul-tant. This is
just a glimpse of it.
Now, all the late nights and irregular meals will probably caused you to
age 8 years in 2 years. Those I-am-very-busy... I-have-a-lot-work...
take its toll on your body and it will show. You will probably look very
skinny... or very far... you will certainly look old and worn out.
Working late and spending weekends in the office is no longer a cool
thing but absolute stupidity. But hey... you will still have to do it,
because there's still much work to be done.
By now, all your friends who ended up as salesmen or doing other thing
except being a professional, those whom you felt superior to are driving
anything but a proton. But for you, it's time to think whether you
should buy a proton cause your perodua is beginning to give you problem.
Of course, if your father is well-connected fella, things can be
But if you're not, tough luck. You'll be wondering how come you're
generally under-paid. Those exposure and learning curve that you once
craved are no longer relevant. You want to make more money. But unless
you're a partner of the glamorous firm, money can be a lil tough to come
At this point of time, probably after 3, 4 or 5 years, you finally
realised that document you signed when you first joined the glamorous
firm was nothing but lies. Then, you decide to ply your trade in the
commercial world, you leave those glamorous firm. You think joining a
commercial firm will bring about a good change, not knowing that such
move means you switched from being a 'profit centre' to a 'cost centre'.
One of the main effect of the switch is that you will be working doubly
hard compared to the profit centre, which probably includes a lot of
late nights too... but your salary and bonus is much lower compared to
profit centre. What does this mean... a story for another time.
One thing for sure... your morning will now be something like...
Your alarm rings, signalling another day... another weekday. You get up,
after snoozing the alarm a million and one times. You hope today is
Friday, but it's not, and you feel like shit. You think of a million and
one reasons to take MC, but you realised you have to go to office
because you failed to finish the report due today though you stayed till
10pm last night. You tell yourself you need to change job, just like how
you have been telling yourself in the last 1 year. Once in office,
you're in a dilemma cause you want time to go slower so that you can
finish your work but yet, you want time to go faster so that you can
leave the office and go for lunch.
During lunch, you will b**** with your colleagues about work and
probably the bosses. You will all talk about so many people who seem to
be doing so well except for you. You realised you should have done
something else while in university. You realised you may have made a
mistake in life... a mistake in being a professional... you have made...
a professional mistake.