Monday, October 30, 2017

Random thoughts on various subjects

It has been quite some time since I've last blogged. My life has been a flurry of activities since my third specialist diploma programme commenced around two weeks back. So far, lessons are interesting and challenging. But this time round, there is more internal turmoil within me. Intrinsic motivation is somehow quite diminished and it takes considerable effort to muster my energy level. I guess I must be quite burnt out.

I have been accumulating blog topics in my mind. As I am not able to expand on each individual idea to a full-length blog post, I will be using this blog post as a cathartic tool, so don't mind the hodgepodge-ness of the topics.

1). I have always thought that investing in a private company (be it equity or debt) is quite cool. Before learning about investing, I wonder how people are able to source out such lobangs and participate in them. These opportunities seem to be more arcane and alluring, more so than their publicly-listed counterparts. Is it alluring because such opportunities are rare for ordinary folks like me? I guess so.

You could create a brokerage account and plonk in some money on publicly-listed entities. However, you can't do that for private companies. You need to know the right individuals before doing so.

A couple of weeks back, I was given this opportunity to invest in a private company's debt. Nope, I did not invest.

Looking back, I am quite surprised at my nonchalance. I would have expected myself to be quite eager for such opportunities. Former yield-pig me would surely have been tempted by the 18% per annum yield. Now? I know such yield is fraught with potential dangers. Further, it will eat up 40% of my war chest. Plus, I do not know much of the industry.

2). Opportunities come to those who are prepared. My team at work has expanded significantly. One of my new colleagues shared that a friend from another research cluster is looking for a freelance IT guy. As I am the "residential IT guy" (am I? data analyst/researcher = IT guy?), I was offered this opportunity. Well, the remuneration is worth salivating (1.5 years my salary), but I know I am not up for the task.

My existing colleagues were quick to hop on the bandwagon once they heard about the remuneration package. They thought I was up for the task and wanted to freeload on my effort. Visibly disappointed after learning the truth, they commented that the IT industry is highly lucrative and is something worth learning. Oh really?

I started learning R programming approximately 3 months before starting to learn about investing. That's like exactly 3 years of hard-knocks, frustrations, and banging my head against the metaphorical wall. And I barely scratch the most superficial surface of statistical programming.

Well, some people think they can suka suka learn IT and earn millions. Not easy bro/sis.

3). Compared to other industries, I find that the social science sector is quite forgiving and familial. Yes, there are still subterfuge and covert operations, but, generally, the environment is quite benign. I have seen my fair share of workplace shenanigans from fellow millennials. In other sectors, these shenanigans would get them either blacklisted or fired.

Hence, it came as a surprise that an individual from my previous company was terminated from her job. Her misdeed? She and another colleague was caught sleeping at their desks during lunch hour by the guy who sits at the top of the organization chart.

Meanwhile........other millennials such as my existing colleagues remain utterly in the dark as to what could potentially happen with just a single misstep at work........

4). The silver lining is that said lady who was terminated was saved by my boss. There was an opening in my current organization and my boss roped her into our project and assigned her under me.

I do not know what to make of this. In a way, this is also an indication that I am progressing in my career, right? An added responsibility (first time for me, in fact) to learn how to manage people that is under me.

Then and again, aiyo, I'd rather much do my own work and mind my own business. But I'll rise up to the challenge and take it in my stride.

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