I became 42 years old yesterday and received a lot of well-wishes from social media. This is a good time to summarise the year for me before I talk about what to look forward to in the new year in a week's time.
a) Year started out quite rough.
2016 has been a fairly bad year for me. The year started out rough with my mum's cancer diagnosis which was about the same time my second child was born. Fortunately, things stabilised sometime the first quarter of 2016 and things started to get better for me.
It was also a very ho-hum year for me in school. I probably made my worst academic mistake last semester when I went out of my comfort zone to take subjects I was not completely equipped to deal with and got my ass-kicked for one lone subject.
Nevertheless, you only live once.
While I lacked a career at this time, yesterday was the day I decide to start taking steps to change my career strategy.
While I will continue to pursue a training contract for 2018, I will start looking for jobs based on my previous degree skill-sets. This means that I will have start to seriously consider work outside the legal sector and postpone the bar-exams for a year or two until the over supply of overseas law students winds down.
My first interview for a non-lawyer work will actually be in two days ! Wish me luck !
d) Financial markets
Dividends investors probably had a bad year in 2016. But bad years are never that bad if you are an income investor.
I mark my third year without dipping into my investment reserves and managed to even prepared my bar exam money this month by withholding some reinvestments into the stock market.
My "sense of urgency" to find a job after my final exams in April next year is not so much driven by my expenditure needs but my desperation to catch the downturn in the market for dividend income stocks. As interest rates keep re-adjusting, the time to accumulate income stocks at 8% with every pay-check is now.
e) Maintaining tech skills and leaning new Legal tech ones
The most enriching thing I did in 2016 was to find unpaid internships with start-ups with technology which I an personally interested in. I have been working for a tech startup Attores for the past few weeks and have unlocked some really interesting achievements.
ii) I actually wrote a smart contract to notarise a document and committed it into the test Ethereum network by completing a tutorial on the Solidity programming language. This is my major milestone for the year given that I want to be at least the first law graduate in 2017 to actually code out a smart contract which can potentially disrupt notaries in the industry.
I did it all with minimal supervision downloading my own IDE, employing Github, hosting on Galaxy and setting up a MongoDB on the cloud.
For the rest of the year I will be wrapping up my internship and then I will begin my last semester in SMU.