Ep100: I Quit My $200,000 9-5 Corporate Job after Learning THIS.

about mei phing career break


In this episode, Mei Phing shares her decision to quit her high-paying corporate job after receiving a text message about her mother’s cancer relapse and how this personal event eventually led her to become a career coach.



[0:00] ๐ŸŽฌ Mei Phing quits her corporate job after receiving a text message about her mother’s cancer relapse.

[1:40] ๐Ÿข Mei Phing reflects on her successful career, managing a multimillion-dollar portfolio at a global bank.

[3:26] ๐ŸŒŸ Mei Phing shares her close relationship with their mother and the support she provided throughout their career.

[5:08] ๐Ÿ’” The devastating news of her mother’s relapse prompts Mei Phing to prioritize family and quit her job.

[9:45] ๐Ÿ’ฐ The importance of saving money and living a simple life allows Mei Phing to spend quality time with her mother.

[12:15] ๐Ÿ“š The accidental career coaching journey begins as people seek advice from Mei Phing's corporate experiences.

[15:30] โค๏ธ The message to always choose love and prioritize family over material possessions is emphasized.


Key Insights

๐Ÿ’ก The story highlights the importance of family and the need to prioritize loved ones, even over successful careers and financial stability.

๐Ÿ’ก Personal finances play a crucial role in making important life decisions, as having savings and managing expenses provide the flexibility to choose what matters most.

๐Ÿ’ก The unexpected role of becoming a career coach during a challenging time showcases how valuable personal experiences can be in helping others navigate their professional journeys.

๐Ÿ’ก The narrator’s minimalist lifestyle and financial discipline enable them to focus on what truly matters and be present for their family.

๐Ÿ’ก The story emphasizes the irreplaceable value of time spent with loved ones and the regret that can come from missing important moments.

๐Ÿ’ก The narrator’s experience shows the need to balance career aspirations with personal priorities and the potential for a fulfilling career outside of the corporate world.

๐Ÿ’ก Choosing love and prioritizing family ultimately leads to a decision that brings deep fulfillment and a life without regrets.





I quit my $200,000 corporate job because of these 10 words:

“I was at the hospital today, my cancer is back”.

And these were the 10 words, I received over text messaging that made me decide to quit my corporate job immediately.

At the time, I was a senior director working at an international bank, it was one of the biggest banks in the world. And I was managing a multimillion-dollar portfolio, working with people from 43 countries. But it was really the 10 words I received via text message that made me leave the corporate world behind.

And 18 months after this significant event in my life, I feel ready to share. I feel ready to talk about it. And I hope that this story also serves as an inspiration, or maybe a lesson that you can resonate with, as you also go on your corporate career journey or even your life journey.

Growing up, I was very close with my mom. She was the one who prepared all my breakfast, lunch and dinner. And when I graduated from high school, and I didn't know what I wanted to do, my mom sat down with me. And we explored multiple options on what I should be doing in my career and what I really enjoyed.

My mom has really been there for me since day one.

In my career, my mom has always been my cheerleader.

She has been there for me, for my ups, and more importantly for my downs. And I even recall at the beginning of my career, when I decided that I wanted to work overseas, she would be the one who would pay for my flight ticket, encouraged me to go for the interview and really encouraged me to take the opportunity to live abroad and gain as much exposure as possible.


Even though I was really afraid at that time. I was still so young; I wasn't really sure what I was doing at all. But I really appreciate my mom's encouragement. And that was something that was really important to me.

And throughout my career when I graduated as a chartered certified accountant and eventually joined one of the biggest global accounting firms in the world. It was called the Big Four. And it was the dream of any accounting student out there.


So, I made it, I joined the Big Four, it was a glamorous job. Great pay, great brand, great position. It was awesome. A couple of years after that I was headhunted to join a global international bank, managing a multimillion-dollar portfolio and working with people from across 43 countries. It was truly an amazing opportunity. And I was one of the youngest people to be in those leadership positions. I was only in my 20s at that time. But having the great opportunity to be in leadership and management positions was something that I was extremely proud of.

And throughout my career, I did many of what people would consider stupid decisions or rather ridiculous decisions. But I felt that every time I went home, every time I went and spoke to my mom, I always got support.


Not just mental support, but emotional support as well. And that's probably something that I appreciated the most. Because in my corporate career journey, I rose up to leadership positions when I was really young.


This story is a very personal one for me.

And honestly, it took me more than 18 months to decide that I'm ready to share it with the world.

So, if you're watching, listening or reading this right now, it means that I have finally taken that 10 seconds of courage to share this story and tell you what really fueled my decision to leave the corporate world with zero regrets because it was the best decisions that I made in my life.

The thing is my mom has been battling cancer for over a decade.

And during that time, even though I was working overseas, I consistently travelled back and forth every single month to spend time with her.

And when I received that message, that 10-word message, it was the second serious major relapse.

And after that initial message, I also received another message where she told me that the doctor said maybe this is the end she doesn't know.

There are a slew of other messages at that time, which honestly, I don't really remember much because I was so emotional.


But definitely, the point was I knew immediately that I had to return home, I had to quit, and I had to take the right decision I have to make the right decision for my family because if I miss this time, I may not get a second chance again.

If I miss this time, this is not something that I can rewind is not something that money can buy back the time.

It's not something that money can buy back.

Even the presence, the presence of being there. I think that was something that was way more important to me than this multimillion-dollar portfolio, this fancy job, this fancy company, this fancy, whatever.

After the initial shock, I calmed down and really made my decision then that I was definitely going to quit my job and return to spend time with my mom because I didn't know how much time she had.

Because the thing was, it was a relapse. And it was a second-time relapse. Because back in 2008, it was when, as a family, we discovered that my mom was not well. But it was a long journey. And we have always been there for her. And she gradually recovered.

The moment I quit my job, I returned to Malaysia to spend time with my mom. I accompanied her to her hospital visits, I just spend time with her, talk to her took care of her for many months.

And unfortunately, in 2020, she passed away.

By that time I had already quit my job for almost a year.


But I think that the 365 days that I managed to spend with my mom taking care of her, spending time with her, and doing things together with her, were truly the most important memories that I have, even though she's no longer with me.


But I felt that those were the most important moments that I managed to spend with her.

Nowadays, we are so busy in our lives.

And I feel like a lot of people tend to focus on the busyness of everyday life, the day-to-day tasks, the urgent things, the important things. But sometimes I feel like people forget that the most important thing of all is the people closest to you.

I mean, just remember why you're working so hard for.


And I feel very thankful because this is something that I have never forgotten. I have always remembered that my family matters the most, particularly my mom, because growing up, I was very close to my mom, we spent a lot of time together, and we did a lot of things together.


And I have really, really amazing memories. So, knowing that something could potentially happen, I plan forward as much as I could.

But it still couldn't replace receiving that 10 that text message with 10 words, because truly, it was a very devastating moment.

I do feel very grateful. Maybe it's because I'm a chartered certified accountant, I learned about money, personal finance and budgeting very early on in my life, maybe as a teenager even. And therefore, even from the first day, the day one a decade ago when my mom was informed that she wasn't well, I made it a priority for me to save, because I just didn't know when or if something big like this would happen.


And I just wanted to make sure that during this pivotal time during this critical time, I wasn't confined by the lack of money, or I couldn't make a certain decision, or I couldn't quit my job because I didn't have any savings. So that was really the thought process I had very, very early on in my career.

And because this thing happened, I was very thankful that I made the right decision to start saving money, start saving money early on.

As children, we should be there for our parents until their last day.


Because our parents have been there for us since day one. My mom treated me like gold, I was probably her princess. And I felt that it was my duty. It was the most important thing even more important thing than my job or anything else to really be there for her during her last days.


And that was something that I was really grateful I was able to do. And the reason why I was able to do that was that I had been saving money for years to be able to do that.

So overall, I'm still extremely thankful that I spent her last days with her and those were those are the memories that will stay with me for a long, long, long time and for the rest of my life.

And I think one of the biggest reasons why I could really go home and spend time with my mom was because I had I've been saving for years. And I've also lived a very simple life. I'm personally a minimalist.


So that really allowed me to have a lot of savings that I could last multiple years without really thinking about returning to the corporate world and really having the flexibility to choose when I wanted to return to the corporate role.


Interestingly, during my time as a caregiver taking care of my mom, there were a few people who reached out to me asking me if I could help them give with some career advice and wanting to learn from my corporate experiences.

I am a corporate junkie at heart, and I vibe the best with other corporate professionals.

And what happened was, after leaving my corporate job for a few months, I started getting questions from people who really wanted to get career advice from me and learn from my corporate experiences.


Because I used to be a corporate leader managing multimillion-dollar projects, I was working with people from 43 countries, I also had my own team, and I had team members that I coach, mentored, and guided through all aspects of their careers.

And that was how I ended up as an accidental career coach, I still say that I'm an accidental career coach, even today, because I never really plan to be a career coach or anything like that.

The main goal definitely was just to return home, spend time with my mom, take care of her and really spend the last days with her which were the most important and meaningful things. But I'm also very thankful to have the opportunity to help somebody else to survive and thrive in the corporate world, with a lot of my corporate experiences.

So that was an added bonus, during a very tough time in not just my life, but my family's life.

If you're watching, listening or reading this right now, my message to you is to always choose love.

Always choose the people who you truly love you really care about and choose your family. Because at the end of the day, it is the people who are closest to you that matter the most.

But before you can truly do that and be there for your family, remember to take care of your personal finances, and actively manage your money, and your lifestyle, so that you can make the right choices at the right time, when the time comes for it, if it ever comes and makes those decisions without any regret.


Because, honestly, the decision for me to quit my corporate job and return to take care of my mom and spend time with her until her last days were the best decision of my life. And I will never ever, ever regret that.


It really doesn't matter how much money you have. It doesn't matter what kind of position that you hold. It doesn't matter how big the company you work in, or it doesn't matter what kind of fancy clothes or car or watches you wear if you're not there for the people that you care about at the most important moments of their life.

And you may even miss those important moments of their life is not something that you can get back.

Because time is something that if it's gone, it's gone. And for some people, particularly the people closest to us. If you miss that chance, then you really miss the chance.

If you ever face this situation just like I have, I hope that you will never make a decision that you will regret for the rest of your life.


— Mei Phing

ex-Corporate Leader

Career Coach & Mentor



๐Ÿ‘‹ Welcome to the Corporate Survivor with Mei Phing — ex-Global Head of Department turned Career Coach & Founder of The Corporate Survivor™. On this podcast, Mei Phing shares her corporate world insights and experiences so you can survive, navigate and grow your career with clarity, confidence, competence and opportunities.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Click here to checkout the Corporate Survivor Podcast library and archive.


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