Work-Life Imbalance

Almost three months — that’s the time I’ve been in Hongkong. Seems that I’ve survived the first quarter of write-downs, lay-offs and workaholic tendencies.

And am so darn miserable and lonely.

Enough is enough.

Where was that fun woman who would always get gazillions of invites to parties in Taipei in the weekend? Or the person who loved her job with a passion no matter how much negative energy surrounded her? The person who had a thousand friends and naturally networked the crowd?

Where the hell is this woman?! Let’s get her back.

You look tired,” Sharon, my friend commented last Friday. “You look tired and exhausted.”

“It’s the pressure,” I answered. “Hongkong is a competitive country that I feel that if I didn’t work my ass off, I’d be left behind, and it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there.”

However, her words made me think.

She’s right—why does it take a stranger to make me see what I’ve become?

Look, I am no longer happy.

Gone was that carefree woman who did what she loved with people that she liked.

Instead, my weekdays were full of me staying till around 10am when the trading floor is practically empty, trying to finish her latest projects. Meanwhile, weekends were more about staying at home resting because I’m so tired OR staring at multiple regression concepts in preparation for the CFA Level 2, which I’m not even sure I can pass given the tight timeline!

It’s going to be a lot easier,” my friends consoled me. “It took you six years to build such an extensive network as you’ve had in Taiwan. Why are you so impatient? You’re an extrovert so it should happen in time.”

Guys, it’s not helping. 🙁

The fact is, I built up my Taiwan network because I was proactive in getting to know more people. I wasn’t satisfied with just staying in the sidelines. I wanted to grab my life with both hands and live hard.

And my network grew.

In Hongkong however, I was either at work slaving away, at home recuperating or at my table studying for the CFA! As there was really no time to explore the Island or meet new friends, I was away from my element and I was becoming more and more miserable!

What did you do this weekend?” my colleagues would politely ask on a Monday as if they were really that interested.

Nothing,” I said to their disbelief. “Why not?” they’d ask.

Because no one invited me out,” I’d answer.

And it’s the absolute truth.

Nonetheless, I refuse to be the victim!

I don’t want to leave Hongkong with my tail hanging between my legs.

In the Philippines, I conquered Ateneo.

In Taiwan, I did well given that I started off with zero friends and couldn’t even speak the language!

Now in Hongkong, it’s starting out all over again. And if it’s at the cost of the Level 2 CFA which I’m not even sure I can pass given 3 months of reviewing, then so be it.

Coming into this strange land, I needed to explore Hongkong. Isn’t it uncanny that this travel-addict couldn’t even be adventurous enough to explore where she’s aboding? There’s the New Territories, Lantau Island among others and once I’m through with Hong Kong, there’s always Shenzhen and Guangzhou for the weekend.

There are people to meet and greet. We can start with the newly arrived and friendlier Expats. I don’t really need to force my colleagues to accept me. I’d just make my own friends separate from work and diversify my network.

Lastly, I can take a longer view and concentrate on getting into a good school. With the recession lasting for the next 2 years, this is a good time more than any to improve your skillsets and take further studies.

From today, I’ll be less focused in work, and spend more time in balancing myself.

Think I can succeed? We’ll just see.

But I am sure, I’ll be way happier for it.

Wish me luck, and have a great week to you guys too!

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6 thoughts on “Work-Life Imbalance

  1. You’re adapting to the bigger pond that you wrote about. Perhaps thought like these are a part of it. And…good luck! 🙂

    I’d write more but I have an exam tomorrow for which failure is not an option— ok, ok, it is, but I’ll do my best to avoid it.

  2. Luck. Luck. Luck.

    And a proactive attitude!

    But you have just met one reason I left HK. I loved the work, but hated the life.

    Tough times for all, and having a life does help!

    Again, luck.

  3. I am now studying for the Level 2 CFA exam and wondering if I will have enough time to finish studying in time, even though I am halfway through the curriculum already. I must be dumber than you are… I wish you good luck and will read your posts on networking, which is the missing link of my career path right now.

  4. Good luck with everything and indeed, (referring to another post)~ it’s not about quantity, but quality :).

    Ow yeah, before I forget.. I think you like deserts.. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in Hong Kong, but somewhere in the women markets, there is a delicious dessert store :DDD.
    If you have time besides work, exam and staying at home recuperating~ go find that dessertstore!!! :D”‘

  5. Always in Taiwan, what did you mean about luck? Did you mean make your luck? Work’s not that bad but given that we’re not really getting paid, it’s tough to have people accompany you overtiming! 🙂

    Jean-Victor, you’re way ahead of me. If you’re halfway through Book 3, then you’re fine. Good luck and don’t be miserable. Remember why you’re doing it and give it your best shot!

    Jxu, missed you girlie. Are you talking about the mango dessert thingy? I am seriously missing Taiwan deserts! They sure beat HK’s but glad that you’re posting once again!

    DS, how was the exam? Did well? Good luck!

  6. I am more than halfway through volume 4 and feeling pressed by time, especially since I found out that I badly needed to review “Financial Reporting and Analysis” in spite of the fact that I already have an accounting designation. There are many people out there who started out at the end of January. It would be far too much pressure for me. In fact, I took time off last year after the December Level I exam and registered for the next Level II exam instead for this reason. I studied Financial Econometrics in the mean time, so that the waiting time was not entirely lost. The best of luck to you and all others in the same predicament, so that your life goes on smoothly until the exam date…

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