Sunday, September 04, 2022

Overemployment as a method to achieve your FIRE ambitions


I lost an interesting bet lately. 

The structure of the bet I made was this : 

Which will be gone first, s377a of the Penal Code or SAP education? 

I offered the bet to some regulars in finance forums and one guy decided to bet on s377a being gone first, so I naturally took the other side of the bet. The forfeit was a meal. 

I was not anticipating the bet going to be resolved within a decade so when s377a was repealed, I made good for my loss and since "losing with grace" is an important value to me, to make it more fun, I decided to give a meal to everybody who witnessed the bet taking place. 

It's always nice to occasionally give a meal to young people because they are often well-informed on things that we might not noticed and one of the major things I learned from the event is the concept of overemployment. 

Overemployment is an important concept because it is the opposite of lying flat, quiet quitting, letting things rot, and all the reactionary movements to the toxic workplaces in the world. 

The concept is simple, for folks who work from home, it is possible to sign up for two jobs at the same time and do both competently. This works better if the work consists of processing IT tickets and choosing a different time-zone. From an employment contract perspective, it's possible contract breach but some folks tell me that the secret is not to get caught doing it. 

As an ENTJ, I'm very attracted to the idea of overemployment because it would allow a smart, young IT professional to rapidly reach FIRE and possibly FATFIRE within a decade because not only are you earning more, you have less time to spend away your money. By the time you FIRE, you would be so young, downgrading to work on one job would already seem like a holiday. 

This allows some folks to get into a situation where they can have money-time-energy all at once at a fairly young age. 

With overemployment, I have managed to arrange all the reactionary movements, the pursuit of FIRE and overemployment into a single framework where you can pick and choose which part of the continuum you wish to park yourself at. 

At a personal level, I want to implement some form of ethical overemployment into my life, I will be seeing whether I can sell my time to a law-firm during normal working hours and still run my training business with my current hours. My variant does not provide me with a base salary though, I prefer a larger share of hourly billings so that I can control my exposure to work to do justice for future students.

I think what is interesting is how folks with more than one formal job can contribute to CPF. I want to know once and for all whether the $37,740 limit can be busted by taking on more jobs. There are folks claiming it can and some saying that it can't. And whether tax deductibility applies if it does bust the limits.    

Overemployment cannot become too common in Singapore. If this happens, employers will force workers to return to the office and returning just 2 days out of a week can make balancing two jobs a much bigger hassle. But in the case of some folks in software, getting 50% of an ace is often better than team of goons. 



  1. The 37.7 annual limit is per employer basis, so yeah, you can exceed this if work for 2 or more companies.

    But I'm not sure if you can do the same if employed under 1 company, and being self-employed at the same time.

  2. If you fail to bust the limit, the limit will bust you 😅

    1. Likely, as there might not be tax deductibility.

    2. Or rather, if your contributions get rejected due to limit, cat is out of bag