Saturday, February 18, 2023

The Fork on the Road

For something to be defined as failure, it must humble the person who failed. If failure is just a precursor to success, then the person has imbibed a lot of shit from success gurus. 

For the past three months, I have attempted to balance a legal career while conducting an investment course, and I have realised this is unsustainable. 

An investment trainer's job is powered by optimism. We invest because we see a better future. 

A lawyer's outlook is generally very pessimistic, as we need to look out for risks and dangers when we think about what kind of advice we want to give. I find that there's very little room to see any good in others in this line of work. 

I was trying to place two large stones into my jar, but the jar was too small. And while I was chugging along, I couldn't help that I might need to discard the option before the year was over.

The question I've been asking myself is, what would the future of my career look like if I'm forced to make a choice. Perhaps I should talk about this on my blog before pulling the plug.

a) Investment training

If I stay on investment training, I cannot sustain myself with one program like ERM. Based on my projection, I will only earn between 15% of my peak this year, given the high-interest rates and low interest amongst retail investors. An 85% dip in earnings is quite hard to swallow, but I can wait for market recovery.

One way to carry on is that I have to launch a new course. I've been coding a few investment techniques and already have four Jupyter notebooks to launch a new quantitative investing course. But this is just 5% of the work, as there are lecture notes and previews to prepare. But now, I know I can launch it.

If I take this route, my legal work will be pushed to the background if I don't end it. I'm reluctant to give up the practice but may go to the office to do just pro bono work. My legal work will generate negative earnings in 2023 as I have to pay for insurance. 

b) Push on with my lawyer transformation

I can choose to push on with legal work. This means looking for a salaried associate position. This is because I've not been successful in looking for files, and a profit-sharing arrangement has not worked out. My attempts to replicate a payout like investment training does not translate to my legal career.

The upside is that the industry is hungry for associates again, and I can move on with a new career which is stable and will come with good increments. I've spent the last 3-4 months familiarising myself and am now ready to dip into a new position, but I have to choose a family-friendly path, which can mean a career in conveyancing. 

I've lined up interviews next week, and if successful, it can mean a short break from my investment training career. 

This also comes with great reluctance because I've been conducting training for four years and enjoy doing it. I may attempt to negotiate my way to keep training on weekends and use my leave to run my business, but this will not likely succeed. 

(Also, I will continue to build ERM portfolios with my community with 600+ members rather than just letting it go. I have a solid plan to do this.)

So this summarises my angst regarding my career at the moment. I suspect I don't have enough information to choose at the moment because I am still missing information on what my time is worth. 

I would like to delay pulling the plug on one of my careers, but as my practice license needs renewal on 1st April 2023, I have to start making a decision soon.  

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I read your blog quite regularly. And we are around the same age so your blog helps me put things in some perspective for folks around our ages. I am also considering some late life career changes so i will say i can appreciate the struggles you are going through. Eg seeing income drops and not keeping par like previous years but i am certain as a someone reading your blog, i am certain you have planned enough for family and everthing.

    Having said that, i noted this recent blog post and fork in road. What i will say is that you dont have to think everything is something you cannot go back to. Eg leaving ERM now doesnt mean you dont come back again. Same for your practice but maybe a bit more difficult to come back if the license expires but still possible.

    One thing is also certain - i think maybe to remember that you are blessed to have such wonderful choices that you can choose. One key advantage with financial freedom is to be endowed with ability to choose more freely than "forced" to deal with a certainity with less options.

    Wishing you well