Home > Life, Me, Reflection, Work > My journey to be an IFA with God

My journey to be an IFA with God

When I left my previous job, I knew I want to do something that can fully utilized my strengths. I spoken to several individuals about my strengths and weaknesses. They concluded the followings:

I am a people orientated, servanthood, helpful, resourceful, compassion, eager to learn, hardworking, friendly, etc…

During my exploring stages, I was headhunted by two insurance companies… I think God kind of orchestrated the events. My previous church friend bumped into and spoken to me and found out that I was actually looking for a job. Hence he told me that I should meet his boss and have a casual chit chat session to see if I am suitable for the job.

I went to his office the following week and realized that I was at Prud’s agency office, my friend told me to wait in the conference room and hand me a questionnaire. He told me to fill my answers with the 1st impression that reflect on what suit my reaction or behavior when I encounter a certain situations. It was done with 15mins with 150 questions asked. My friend came in shortly and asked if I had finished it, I hand the questionnaire back. He gave me a cup of water and told me that his boss will see me in 10mins time. I wondered what was the questionnaire all about.

10mins past I was called in to his boss’ room… let’s call him, Mr. F. He congratulated me that I did well for the test and I was very suitable for the job because of my strengths(they were listed earlier). He told me I needed to take note of certain key areas of my life and work if I want to improve myself. He asked me if I was ready to start with the job… I was like HUH??? I haven’t even quit my job and you want me to join you immediately to be a insurance agent.

I told him my concerns and I am involved in the student christian ministry thus certain days I might not be able to work on Sat.

He told me one thing that changed my life. My ministry is not only students. My ministry is my work as well. When I am working my fellow colleagues are also my ministry. Whenever they are stressed at work, I can be there to encourage them. If they are pre-believers, I can be there to witness to them about God. If I work with him, he expected me to give 100% of my time to work and be committed because my work matters to God. I am glorifying God thru my work.

It blew my mind away during that time coz to me work was only a means that I receive income and focus should be my student ministry. I separate my work with ministry. I was a Sat & Sun Christian… the rest of the week, I am merely a worker earning my dough.

I thanked him for his insights and told him I will go back and consider. He strongly encouraged me to rethink and get back to him in a week time.

I went off and thought thru… I told myself if I want to join the financial industry I want to have a whole range of products that I market. I did not wish to be tied down by a single company. I know each company his the best and worst products, I want to be able to recommend those products without being biased.

I called before 1wk was over… I thanked Mr. F for the opportunity and told him I will give his offer amiss. Though I could sense disappointment in his voice but he was very kind to wish me all the best for my future endeavors.

Few months later, I met up with this ex student ministry volunteer, SB whom impacted my life while I was still a student. We had a lengthy conversation and told him my plans of quit my job to do something else. He invited me to have non obligation interview with is partner. Since I am exploring, why not take a chance to understand what is IFA all about.

SB arranged with his partner WK for a casual session face to face interview. When I was there, I realized that WK was also an ex student ministry volunteer that means he understands my ministry and the lvl of commitment I am involved in.

He related me what is IFA all about… almost straightaway my heart resonate my belief about going into a platform that I will have the ability to market variety of product that will suit the needs of my future clients. WK understood that there will be days where I needed to be involved in the annual training camp and laborers retreat. He had no qualm about me taking leave to attend such events. The only thing I need to take note is that I should fulfill my min requirements and reschedule certain trainings. He encouraged me to give my best in ministry involvement, once I am back at work to give my best so that I honor God.

I thanked him for his kind advises and left…

It didn’t took me very long to decide to quit my job and told them I decided not to continue for another yr. Yes, I left the job without any backups… Many of my friends thought that I was crazy. It was so unusual of me to do that. Some of my closer friends told me that I am not suitable to be a financial adviser because they know I work best with system. Going into that industry means I will have to create my own system and with the flexible of time I will probably be ill disciplined. They told me that some of my friends who eventually run away when they know that I am a financial adviser. I assured them that I believed that I will break thru and be a successful one. Nevertheless, they still doubted… I was discouraged that they didn’t lend me their support. The only two person that stood by my decision was my dad and Jac. Dad told me that so long as I am able to feed myself and it is a decent job dun worry about others and just do it. Jac though at that point of time was pretty concern cos I left without a job and she wasn’t sure if God is leading me in that direction. Nevertheless, she gave me her support and pray alongside with me. God eventually convinced her in His own way that He is seeing me through all these.

I called WK that I want to be an Independent Financial Advisor and I had left my job to pursuit it… what is my next steps to acquired my license to be an independent financial adviser. He listed out several requirements like passing my M5, M9, HI & M8 exams in order to market the insurance and investment products. I needed to attend several company trainings so that I will align with the company’s direction, core values and culture.

It took me almost a yr to got my license because that same yr, Jac decided to quit her NTU studies. It wasn’t easy for me because I have no prior training in the financial industry. Alot of the financial jargons I wasn’t familiar with, there were alot of things I needed to memorize and calculations that I required my understandings.

It didn’t help when Jac’s pocket money was reduced too… I was in apartment training and I had to pay for certain maintenance. My savings of 5 figures dripped exponentially… due to exam fees, study materials, living expenses, paying for Jac’s meal when she used up her pocket money.

In between I took up part time jobs and photography assignments to make ends meet… God was tremendously gracious to us… we didn’t have to go without food for a single days. We had 3 meals a day even. Lol. Some days, we even have nice meal(slightly better than food court food) to celebrate our monthly anniversaries… Little that we had, we were still contented.

Months later, my apartment training leader was gracious to me too… somehow he knew that I wasn’t doing very well financially so he offered me to stay at his place free till I was able to have income then return him back the money… It took a load off my financial burdens though I still struggle with my expenses. I was even more determined to obtain my license and start earning to repay his kindness.

Due to the nature of MAS strict requirements, I need to clear at least 75% in order to pass my exams… for several times I was obtaining slightly below 75%… 3 of my 4 papers I didn’t managed cleared one time, hence more $$$ watered down the drain. 😦 Each time, when I was out of the exam room… I would text WK, he never fail to encourage me to press on… When I passed my papers, he would call and congratulate me… This encouraged me to press on to study hard to score.

The day came when I finally passed my last papers, I took the result certificate and called WK to let him know that I got thru my final papers. He was super excited about it… I could sense his excitement over the phone. I think he was much more thrilled than me. I went for a mini celebration with Jac.

I applied for my license the next day and waited eagerly for it… however it will take a few weeks for MAS to approve.

Those few weeks I worked extremely hard to gain product knowledge and acquire necessary skills for my work.

During that period, I was really grateful to those who didn’t quite understand why I chose that route but prayed for me. God for providing again and again my daily necessaries, food, money and His word. Jac for supporting me through those difficult times. In her own quiet ways, she prayed and encouraged me. Friends who threw wet buckets at me, Yes, they are still my friends because I know they dun understand and will not understand what convinced me. I believed God used them to make me stronger and more determine to achieve my goals. I ought to thank them too. 🙂 Hee…

In a few months time, I will be into my 5th yr working in the industry… this calls for a mini celebration… 🙂 Hee.

Categories: Life, Me, Reflection, Work
  1. Wendy Ang
    July 24, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Congrats on your 5th year!

    • raytbk
      July 24, 2010 at 11:37 pm

      Thanks Wendy 🙂

  2. circepalace
    July 28, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Indeed, work can b used to glorify God & fulfil your purpose. I’ve met this unseemly ordinary family guy who’s actually a spiritual giant in my CG, he really glorify God in his work & has greatly encouraged Alvin & I with his little ways.

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