If you are considering a career switch, you may want to read this..

Well I haven’t blog for a long while, as I am very happy and fulfilled in my current job. Nope, I’m not in fashion unlike what my blog started out to be, but I am doing what I enjoyed doing best, which is sales.

Today, while walking home, I was reflecting on what made me passionate about doing in life. And it made me realize that it really was like what I wrote in the past, from reading the book, “So good that others can’t ignore you” that the author has this radical theory of not following your passion and dream, but rather being so good at a certain thing, that it becomes your passion. As you can tell from my blog title, this blog was originally intended to be about my career switch to fashion which lasted a gloriously short period of 6 months in studies and internship and another 5 months in an actual job in the industry. 

A short stint, yet a long journey in terms of self- discovery. At the grand age of 32, I embarked on a some-would-say-courageous while others-will-say-incredibly-silly decision of exchanging my successful career to follow my long time dream and passion. i.e. Fashion. 


Did it work out? Yes and No.

Yes, as in, I live life with no regrets and no what ifs, which I spoke about in my earlier posts. I thoroughly enjoyed studying Fashion, sewing, attending Fashion shows and those 3 months were the happiest period in my life. 

I didn’t go for this show, I will love to! but it’s from my favorite designer


But No, I realized I somehow am not cut out to be in the retail industry. Which is tough since if you want to make it big as a designer in the industry, you have to be involved in retail somehow. Even the couture houses have a pret a porter range, whereas I am more inclined to small bespoke boutique-ish kind of business. 

And No, as my financial commitments are high and I realized I didn’t want to sacrifice my state of lifestyle to follow my passion. I tried, but the salary made me an unhappy person. And even though working in an established renowned company meant my staff discount for high end brands is 40% off, but I couldn’t even afford a brand new Balenciaga classic motorcycle bag that was on staff sale at USD500. (I could, but I see no point in blowing almost 50% of my salary to buy my want rather than my need at that point in time) My colleagues thought I was crazy, and I constantly felt I couldn’t fit in. Of course, that is a very small flavor of what the fashion industry can be like in Singapore.

Ironically, 2 years later I can afford my dream bag, where I no longer felt I had to justify shelling out almost 50% of my salary


Fast forward to 4 years later, where I have been back in my previous industry for almost 3 years, enjoying my career and smashing my sales targets once more. Being an older self at 36, I have to cautioned myself not to get burn out. (because retrospectively, I was burned out back then in 2013, which pushed me to yearn for a break doing something I loved and that disillusioned me left the corporate rat race and embarked on following my fashion dream)

I hope by reading this blog thus far, you won’t get disillusioned and start doubting yourself. Is it wrong to pursue your dreams? No! no! No! I am not saying it’s wrong. YOLO, please do get out there and live life with no regrets. But what I am saying is, before jumping in with 2 feet and 2 eyes shut, please do set a list of contingencies.

1) Set aside at least 6 months to 1 year of salary. I set aside almost 8 mths to a year worth of my salary before I did my career switch

2) Research the industry that you wish to switch to, try to network and talk to as much people as you can. –> well I feel I didn’t do this enough. I did research and speak with some people, and read accounts of people who career switched successfully, but either I lacked that grit or maybe financials to see myself through. 

3) Assess if it’s burn out/disillusionment/disgruntlement with your career/superior/company or really a genuine desire to go follow your dream. –> on hindsight, I could have taken a 3-6 months break, travel, rest and see if I really need to switch to a new industry rather than doing something drastic and final

4) Try out the industry. –> You may have this insatiable desire for fashion, you want to be the next fashionista. There is a reason why they always say fashion is hard work, because it truly is. Before jumping in, intern at as many places as possible. (Sadly in Singapore, age is a discriminating factor, and I do get turned down and ignored at several places even with the offer to intern for free) but don’t give up and somehow you will still be able to find some place, I am sure.

5) Start small–> take on small jobs to help your friends/relatives or random colleagues to alter/sew/make something for them. (They usually won’t reject since it’s free) then actively sought feedback and try to improve. From there you can move on to other free lancing jobs. One common thread I learnt from successful career switchers is that they already have an existing side business before they went in to take it full time. In this way, the transition is less shocking and easier to handle. At least you are not going in with zero income, but with some existing contacts and business which make it less daunting.

6) Have an exit plan- I gave myself a time frame that if by a certain deadline, I have not achieved a certain target I will go back to my previous industry. Some may say it’s not good to set this, you should tell yourself to never look back and go ahead as if you have no roads left (This was actual advice from my previous supervisor) however I am a pragmatic person, if something is not working out or your gut feel tells you otherwise, please trust your gut feel.

I hope above points will help you, since it’s from my own experience. But if all else fails, just follow your heart, you won’t go wrong. My career took a hit because of my career switch, when I return back to my industry. however, within 2 years I am back to my previous pay scale and perhaps even more. Of course there are some drawbacks (life is not always a fairy tale) Just look at my peers who have reached higher career levels compared to me, had I stayed in the same industry. But it’s a choice I made, so live with it. Thus, if you have enough to get by, your career can afford to wait a little while, while you go pursue that dream of yours.

If you never try, you never know.

A cute poster I snapped in Bangkok, I think it’s by Jeremyville. If you know the illustrator, pls let me know and I can credit it properly


And one parting shot. My journal that I picked up during my down period, and the quote which really speaks to me.


Blessings to all who read this long post especially during this Easter season! ^^

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