From 1996 to 2001, Eng Kiat was a Combat Officer in the Singapore Air Force. Being passionate about having a military career, he signed on as a regular even before he was enlisted for his national service. The first 3 years there was a great time for Eng Kiat as he enjoyed what he was doing. His hard work and good work ethics won him several promotions and he was managing people in no time. The years of hard work and passion did pay off as he was recognised and well compensated.
But Eng Kiat was looking to upgrade his diploma to a degree and applied countless times for scholarship that was given out by the Air Force. Being at the wrong place at the wrong time, he felt that he was bypassed on many occasions and was never awarded the scholarship he desired. Slowly his juniors who could study well and had good public relation skills moved ahead of him.
He continued in his military career due to his passion but was slowly becoming disillusioned. He felt what he was doing was no longer a career but becoming just another job. This was when he decided he had to move on. By the end of 2001, he was looking for a way out when his friend introduced him to the financial industry.
Though he did not enjoy doing sales, he felt that being a financial consultant enabled him to set up his own business. Within 2 weeks of being introduced to this job, he tendered from his military job and started working hard at a financial services company. After 3 years, he was promoted to a managerial position. He was a keen learner, learning the various ropes of being a manager and got involved in many management projects. In the course of his management role, he tried to introduce changes into the work system that he felt could improve work processes. But those efforts were futile. The company was more concerned about pushing for sales than doing advisory work and Eng Kiat felt that this was the time where he had to decide again if he should move on or stay. At this point, he was already drawing 70 to 80 thousand a year.
After he met the Director of AAG, he left all that he had built at the other company to join AAG. That meant starting from scratch but Eng Kiat knew this was the right move. “Here in AAG, the leaders worked together and listened to one another. The people here shared similar values and principles. Even when other firms offered me better positions in their companies, I decided to stay on.
As a manager at AAG, Eng Kiat continues to focus on developing people as emerging leaders. With good work processes and leaders in place, the organisation can continue to see growth.
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