Blogger and entrepreneur Helmi Hasan has written a fantastic post about his path towards becoming self-employed after experiencing two layoffs while working as an engineer in the oil & gas industry based in Singapore. Firstly, he described in full detail how the first layoff was brutal (“The Heartless Uncle Sam Lay Off”) while the second layoff (“The Polite Scottish Company Lay Off”) was handled more humanely.
When Hasan came back to Malaysia after the second layoff, he had had enough with the Oil & Gas industry and of being an employee. He also had two mortgages to pay off. That’s when he started an Airbnb business initially to cover his mortgage and then grew to a 10 studio business in Bukit Bintang (Kuala Lumpur). This venture also led to a spin-off personal finance blog.
Hasan ended his post by offering the following key takeaways that every employee, especially expats, should heed:
- If you start getting weird emails like a BCC email from HR, then you know you’re in the hot seat.
- American companies will fire you just like in their movies.
- I personally think the Oil & Gas industry is flawed. Usually, when the Arabs decide to go into a price war, massive layoffs will ensue.
- If you have a very high salary and if anything happens to your job or industry, it’ll be very hard to find another job that can value you and pay you as much. (Feel free to prove my views wrong in the comments though).
- I was lucky to not buy anything ridiculous when I had a job (like a luxury car or a big bike).
- Saving enough money and not spending on useless items saved me twice. Smart personal finance is baked into my consciousness from these 2 events.
- Everything is fine until it isn’t.