Someone asked me why I devote myself to community work, despite getting not so positive response on certain activities that we try to implement sometimes. I had always received assistance when I was young due to my disability. In fact, to date, I still do as bus captains who know me through my commutes to work and school always keep a lookout for me when they see me walking towards their bus or boarding the bus. I am thankful for all these, especially the care & concern that my teachers & lecturers showered towards me during my school days.
I had tried my hand to obtain the ACCA qualification. This was a natural progression for me after I completed my diploma studies. In fact, I was forced to start late as my army officer had not granted my request for time off on some days for this. The nasty treatment that I had received during my NS days and my first job have changed my outlook in life. It made me not to trust people so easily. This includes my own family members. Till this day, there are still some relatives who still looks down on me and my family members, just because we had lower qualifications than them & my physical disability. Not that I am bothered by it, as some of them do not enjoy the strong family bonds that I have, or went to relationships where they are not supposed to.
I have been lucky. My current bosses have helped me to obtain my SIATP qualification in 2010. I was disillusioned by my failures at the ACCA Level 3 that prompted me to stop. I had never thought of opening an audit firm or be an auditor in the first place as my physical disability would be an obstacle to this. It seems that I made the right decision as the FRS & auditing standards have been changing day in day out, making it hard to follow. Not that the tax industry did not undergo changes, it changes every year too, but the changes are easier to swallow.
My 1st volunteering experience came about when I was on my 2nd job in 2005. I had started to volunteer as I did not wish to lose my practical experience in personal tax. Till today, although I still do personal tax, but my boss still prefers me to work on corporate tax, which I believe stems from the fact that corporate tax generates more revenue.
Grassroots came about later, after I was asked by some of my fellow volunteer friends to join to contribute more to the community. I was also attracted by the fact that there are interesting courses that I could attend for self-improvement purposes.
So if you were to ask me what I would do if I do not have volunteer work to do, I would say
- More time for family & friends
- More time for travelling
- More time for CPE courses