Last week was the last ERM session for 2022; as the training business faces one of the biggest challenges ever in 2023, I've begun making some moves in my career, at least to stave off irrelevance, if not to pay the bills.
Starting 1 December 2022, I should have restored my practising certificate to resume legal work in a firm as an Associate. My area of work is community law, and for a start, I will take on any case my supervisor will be working on. Over time, I expect to find an area I'm comfortable with.
That's not all; starting tomorrow, I will be tagging along to attend the trial in the State Courts as an intern to get back into the swing of things. For folks who are my long-term customers and friends who do look forward to working with me in my new role, please be patient as I will only share details of my workplace on Thursday after I clear my communication with my firm; lawyers have a strict no touting policy. For future updates on my new venture as a rookie lawyer, I expect to use LinkedIn as my major form of communication.
( Facebook is where I go Goblin mode, and my career will be very short if I talk about the law there. )
For folks who have been following me on this blog because of investment training, don't worry. I negotiated to be a lawyer and an investment trainer at the same time. If anything, I may even become more useful to my clients and friends. The next ERM course will be in February 2023. I will need to see what kind of time pressure my new role entails, and I might get back to the deeper articles on Dr Wealth if I do not have the bandwidth to make new videos.
Some changes in my life may include :
- This blog may reduce its update frequency; we'll likely see maybe two weekly articles.
- I probably can't read as fast as before since I still have to process my Business Times, The Edge and Economist weekly.
- Probably limit my Netflix and Disney+ watching to a minimum.
- My volunteer work in schools will have to be scaled down to almost zero, but I do suspect that I will spend more time with disadvantaged citizens once I get into the swing of pro-bono legal work under CLAS. Given my lack of revenue pressure, I will likely ramp up on this to sharpen my career skills.
- My gaming life has been dead for over a year. It's part of growing old and seeing D&D turn more woke than I can handle. I still hope to visit conventions and look forward to Comic-Con this year.
Some readers might want to know how my finances work at the back end.
So even though I now have a hyphenated career as a lawyer-investment trainer, to maintain my flexibility, I do not draw a monthly income (how else can a middle-aged Singaporean man get employed ? . Everything is based on effort/results, so if no payment is made by clients, I get nothing. To sustain this for at least a year, I've already set aside a full year of household expenses and mortgage payments in my savings account.
The only risk to me is my mortgage payments which are still floating rates loans. My dividends in 2023 can likely take care of that. As I am still developing my basic skills in my new role, I am likely to continue to rely on passive dividend income to make this career transition successful.
Of late, I have been feeling quite conflicted about this career decision. Even though I was cleared of all my medical issues two days ago, a younger and fitter good friend had a mild stroke, and I can't help but feel that all this is just vanity and a desire to maintain my relevance in middle age. My only solace is through giving legal representation to those who cannot afford it to build up my reputation and skills in the meantime.
The biggest question at the end of the day is whether there will be an interesting story to tell my students next year. I'm likely the busiest man who has completed the FI of FIRE. But the idea of dividends powering a hyphenated career is an interesting one, and maybe I can author a series of new articles in mainstream media about this. I won't just talk about retirement; I'll talk about transcending it.
Now the question is whether I can teach, code, draft and counsel out of this period of rising interest rates?
I'll blog again in the middle of the week.