When confronted with a decision whether to stay in a high-paying job or to spend more time with his family, Patrick chose what was more precious to him.
by Patrick Koh
Being an accountant by training, I naturally entered into finance work upon graduation and stayed in this industry for nine years.
For the next five years, I settled in comfortably as a regional corporate sales head. I had a personal office, a good 5-figure monthly income, entertainment perks, a car allowance and I travelled on business class for overseas work trips.
In 2016, due to a corporate restructuring, I was assigned a new work portfolio which would require me to travel extensively overseas. After much consideration, I chose to leave this comfortable career with a stable income, rather than compromise my family time by being away. I ditched the corporate ladder, the title and its accompanying perks and benefits by starting out as a realtor from ground zero.
Despite the challenges of transiting to a 100% commission-based work (zero base pay), being a realtor allows me to have flexible working hours where I get to plan my work schedule around my primary school-going children. I am able to look after them at home, whereas previously they were enrolled in a childcare/after-school care centre.
By simply being there for my children, I get to invest precious time on them and play a more active role in their lives; be it in the logistics of ferrying them to and from school, taking them to their afterschool enrichment activities or participating in their school’s Parent Support Group. When my wife Joy comes back from her work in the evenings, I will then head out for my appointments with my clients.
I never know where my next deal will come from, but I’ve learnt to walk by faith and not by sight. God is indeed faithful. He has provided sufficiently every month and that strengthens my faith. Every month I get to testify of His goodness and I’m amazed by His blessings.
Nowadays, I choose wisely. Staying focused, without overloading myself, striking a balance so that I don’t get buried in busyness and compromising the objectives of why I moved into this field in the first place. There is indeed more to gain in investing time on my children and leaving an intangible legacy in them.
Patrick enjoys outdoor sports and likes to sit in a cafe reading a book while enjoying a cup of latte. He worships at Saturday Praise Service with his wife Joy and three daughters, Isabelle, Megan and Kayla.
This article first appeared in Issue 18, July 2018 CHORUS Magazine.