My Taiwanese best friend/cum sister has changed her mind again, and it’s driving me nuts.

She saw how life has changed for me after I transfered to Hong Kong, and wanted the same for her. She feels that it’s easier to get a boyfriend in Hong Kong and that her career will take off. Instead of being a project manager at a technology company, she can do more. More opportunities await her in Hong Kong.

I agree with all these points.

It’s no secret that beautiful women in Taiwan are a dime a dozen, and there’s far more competition in terms of dating in Taipei. Local men don’t like aggressive, competent women and expats would prefer the sexier, skinnier local women who can be found donning bikinis at Room 18.

As Hong Kong is also located conveniently next to Greater China, there are so many opportunities here not just in the technology industry but also in other high-paying industries like banking or law. People appreciate someone competent who can speak both Mandarin and English.

However, the devil is in the details.

She off-handedly tried applying through the career websites, without too much success. “It’s just too hard,” she said. “People are not hiring.”

This, I disagree. I know for a fact that the hiring spiggot has been turned on again, and it’s not that difficult to get jobs. In the end, job hunting is like dating. You apply to as many companies as you can until you get lucky. It’s a numbers game.

Personally, I won’t be too picky. In fact, if I was her, I would make it a discipline to apply to at least a job or two a day. If I can get my story straight and continue being persistent, there is less risk of me not getting an interview. It’s really about not giving up after receiving a few no replies or decline.

It’s the same as dating. If a girl doesn’t go out with you, do you quit dating for life?

Of course not!

When that happens, there’s only one word for it… NEXT! 🙂

And continue asking girls out in every way possible, and everyplace. Hey, you’ll never know unless you try, right?

Later on, after I quit my job and did my MBA, she realized that it may be better for her to do her MBA as well. I warned her that it’s really a personal choice and it must be something she really, really wants.

The costs of an MBA is high: HKUST for example charges HK$420,000 for the program + living expenses + opportunity cost of not having a salary x 18 months at least. For some people, including myself, being unemployed is painful. And I have to constantly remind myself that I’m doing the right decision.

However, she believes that an MBA is the way to go and she submits her letter of resignation and vows to take her GMAT as soon as possible.

A month and a half later, we talk again.

She’s going back to her company.

She’s put her GMAT and MBA plans on hold.

She’s changed her mind again.

Bonita, I can be restless, I know,” she sheepishly told me. “But I realized the folly of quitting my job unless I can afford my MBA. My uncle’s business (Plan B) is looking tough right now, and it’s hard for him to get me a visa. So for the meantime, I’m going back to work for XX.”

I shook my head. If she wanted her MBA, the time to do it is now. She’s already 31/32 so the time she finishes her MBA, she’s already eligible for an EMBA! Taking an MBA is then useless at that later stage.

What’s more, I do firmly believe that those who get ahead in life are those with conviction.

It concerns me that she lacks conviction and wants to do this and that. If she was still in her mid-20s, then it’s okay to be complacent. However, as she’s reaching her mid-30s, the clock has already ticking. Not just her biological clock but also her career clock. I’m afraid that she’ll come to the point where her career stagnates and she’s stuck in that salary range which I know for a fact is not at all significant.

I know her salary, she can give up. In a way, she’s working for peanuts and the future facing her after MBA is so bright. If only she takes the leap…

I realize then that this is everyone’s sickness. Even I have this from time to time: the sickness of self-doubt, the lack of belief in one’s capabilities, the risk-averseness of not reaching high in case we fail.

What are we so afraid of, people?

So what if we fail? We can still find another job. If we take this chance, and nothing changes, at least, we know that we’ve given it our all. However, if we don’t make that switch and we’re stuck in our conundrums, then we have no one to blame but ourselves if our life remains as mediocre as it is.

Look, don’t get me wrong. I love my best friend/sister to no end, but I think if she doesn’t make a change now, then I doubt that anything life changing will happen to her. In the next 5-10 years, she’ll probably still be working in the same company with a shitty salary.

At least, with an MBA, she may still have a chance.

But I shake my head. She is not me. I am not her. I cannot make decisions for her.

However, if you’re reading this, please, make your life sigificant. Move forward to the future. Don’t let fear let you stay in the status quo.

Have a great week ahead!

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