She used to crunch numbers as an auditor in a Big Four accounting firm, but without much enthusiasm.
Now the numbers add up for Ms Goh Hui Wen, 28, in terms of job satisfaction at her new job. She is in her third month as a trainee teacher at childcare group Learning Vision, having taken a 50 per cent pay cut.
'I've always enjoyed being around children because I grew up in a big family with many young cousins,' she said.
Of her job as an auditor, she noted: 'I was literally dragging my feet to work in the last five years.
'But now, I look forward to going to school every morning.'
As a trainee teacher, she helps out in a class of 12 three-year-old kids. Besides teaching them their ABCs and numbers, she also engages them in nursery rhymes and interactive games. Cleaning their bottoms is part of her job but she does not mind it.
Three afternoons a week, she attends classes at Learning Vision's training arm, Learning Capital, for a diploma course in early childhood care and education accredited by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Education. Her fees are paid by her employer. After her graduation in March next year, Ms Goh plans to further her studies.
Ultimately, she hopes to get a master's degree in early childhood education and become a curriculum specialist. Her advice to those reluctant to the industry because of pay: 'Salary will always increase with time and experience. What is more important is your interest and passion for the job.'
This article was first published in The Straits Times.