CEO Series

These 3 S’poreans Took A Leap Of Faith To Switch Careers And Are Now Successful

Changing careers, especially when you dive into an entirely new industry, is never easy. 

But if you are feeling burnt out, bored, or simply feel like you can excel in a different field, switching careers might be a good idea. 

When you ditch the conventional career rules, you’ll radically increase your chances of finding something you love. 

Here are 3 Singaporeans who did exactly just that, proving that pursuing passion over paycheck was a good call: 

From Tech To Skincare: Sabrina Tan

Sabrina Tan, co-founder of SkinInc / Image Credit: Image Credit: HuffPost

Sabrina Tan worked in the tech industry for 11 long years — she marketed computers at IBM and Hewlett-Packard, software at Symantec, and data storage at EMC Corp. 

She has since bid goodbye to the IT industry and the six-figure annual salary she was drawing then to start her own skincare label, Skin Inc. 

As a time-starved working mother, Ms Tan wanted a fuss-free skincare routine so she married her IT expertise with research and technology from Japan to work on developing effective, multipurpose products. 

“It’s just natural for (people from the tech industry) to problem-solve and look for solutions,” said Ms Tan. 

Her skincare line consist a range of customisable serums, each of which contains a main active ingredient. This ingredient is stored in seaweed globules to keep them fresh and effective. 

“The idea for this came from my experience working in IT and data security — if an email is precious and has good data or is classified, you want to encrypt it. That gave me the idea of ‘encrypting’ the ingredients,” she told The Straits Times

From a single store in 2007, Skin Inc has grown to have a presence in over 100 cities in Asia, Europe, and the United States. It is also the first Singapore skincare brand to be stocked internationally at beauty retailer Sephora in 2013. 

From Banking To F&B: John Chen, Lee Yue Xian, Paladin Hsu and Selene Ong

Co-founders of Aloha Poke / Image Credit: Aloha Poke

These two married couples are bankers, who also ran successful poké bowl chain Aloha Poké on the sidelines. 

The couples tried out their first poké in a supermarket in Hawaii and fell in love with it at first taste that they spent the rest of their vacation seeking out the best poké joints in and around Oahu. 

They went on to experiment with poké flavours in their own kitchen back home, which later inspired them to start up their own restaurant. Their first outlet along Amoy Street in 2015 has since grown to a chain of eight outlets in Singapore. 

In an interview with Vulcan Post, the founders revealed that each outlet generates between S$60,000 to S$100,000 a month. This is no mean feat, considering that the founders are holding full-time jobs of their own. 

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