Why I left my glamorous job

Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain   

Call it the 7-year itch because in a month’s time, I will be saying goodbye to my 7-year old career as corporate training officer for a public corporation.  I may have what most people would consider an enviable job given the perks that goes with it– generous paycheck, quarterly bonuses, car plan, housing plan, a dedicated parking slot, clothing allowance, top-of-line healthcare plan, and bonuses of up to 1xth month pay.  It was no surprise then that when I told some people about my jumping ship, they considered me a fool.  Who in his right mind would want to give up a life in Utopia?

What are you willing to give up to go up?

I was never your Average Joe.  I hate being average or normal or pedestrian for that matter.  I am always stubborn and arrogant.  I am restless. I am ambitious.  I know that I am destined to be great, and that I can never personify or achieve such greatness while trapped in my own Utopia, comfortably sitting on my executive chair in an air-conditioned office facing my flat screen monitor inside my well-appointed cubicle.  These are my faults and I am proud to have these virtues running in my veins.  To go up, to achieve greatness, I must give up the things that although provides for my own instant gratification, would in the long run become the very hindrance to my own self actualization.

sail

Life is a cycle.  If I will not leave now, I will miss the next one.

And if I do not leave now, I am afraid that I would not have the capacity to find any reason or courage in the future to leave.  I will rot and I will die.  If I am no longer learning any thing  new, or does not push myself to the wall with exciting, challenging, never-done-before endeavors, then I am not growing anymore.  Life is too short, I shall not waste it.

I am giving up stability over uncertainty.  I am giving up security over my own freedom.  Freedom to chart my own destiny, freedom to allow myself the full benefits of the mysteries that surround life in general.  Freedom to learn and to unlearn.  Freedom to become what I wanted to be.  Security on the other hand, and quite paradoxically is constricting, suffocating and stymying.  It secures your body but imprisons your spirit.  It kills your ability to dream big dreams.  It annihilates the greatness in us.

APTOPIX Germany Athletics Worlds

I am a big fish in a small pond, not anymore.  I’m taking one step backward only to gain a momentum for the big jump into the big pond.

Taxed!

I paid the government P116,065.00 in personal income tax last year.

That’s a hold-up amounting to at least two or three months salary, and it goes puff! like a burst bubble.  I didn’t even had the chance to get hold of the money I paid, just so I can say, “dumaan lang sa palad ko“.

Income taxes are withheld from source.  In my case, as in the case of many other employees, my employer deducts a portion of my salary each pay day as my tax due to the government. 

Robert Kiyosaki was right when he said that people in the E (employment) quadrant pays first the government before they pay themselves.  In contrast to the rich people, or those who are in the B (Big Business) quadrant, who pays themselves first before they pay the government.

Our tax structure is very much skewed in favor of corporations.  Business owners can charge their lunch, dinner, recreation, vacations, gadgets and whatnots to their company’s expenses.  The more they spend, the less corporate income tax they pay.  The formula for computing corporate income tax, in its simplest form is: revenue less expenses equals net profit.  Thirty one percent of the net profit goes to the government as tax.

Did you get my point then?  Business owners are taxed after they have paid themselves with all the luxuries they can afford.  They can even declare a net loss just by spending every penny they earn so they wouldn’t have to pay taxes. 

Meanwhile, salaried workers are taxed even before they get their monthly paycheck.  And it does not stop there.  We are also taxed every time we buy clothes, eat out,  fill up our gas tank, watch a movie, ride an airplane, etc. 

Terrible, you might say but that is just the way it is.  The middleclass runs our economy because most middleclass are employees and it is from employees that taxes are collected almost sweat-free.

We are in a rat race.  We work our butt like there is no more tomorrow, drain our body and mind, beat deadlines like hell all in the name of what– a promotion that comes seldom and sporadically?  a raise just to be taxed some more?  an illustrious career?  Is it worth it?

The solution I believe, is to find a way out of the rat race.  To do that, we must change our mindset and learn to think like a rich man.  The first step is to ensure that we are financially literate.

More about financial literacy on my next post.