When you negotiate benefit package as you find employment in China, you ask if the benefits include “Five Insurances & one fund,” meaning:
- The Endowment Insurance;
- The Maternity Insurance;
- The Medical Insurance;
- The Employment Injury Insurance;
- The Unemployment Insurance;
- And the Housing fund.
Before I left for the US in 2015, I was well-compensated in my old job at the ad agency. I used my Housing Fund and my Supplementary Provident Fund to elevate my parents burden when we bought the new apartment.
You see, before I was a screenwriter, I functioned on the basis of what kind of benefits I could get down to “I’m not gonna pay for my Uni-ball pens or my 3M scotch tapes and stickers.”
It’s been five weeks since I moved back. I’ve not been looking for another 9-to-6 job that would put me back on the “Five Insurances & one fund” track.
- I like that my stomach won’t feel tight every Sunday evening.
- I like that I don’t have to pretend I’m busy when I’ve finished the tasks at hand.
- I like that I won’t feel guilty when I browse websites that are not work related.
- I like that I don’t waste time on commute, getting crushed into a tube of man-sardines in the rush-hour metro.
Most of all, I love taking an afternoon stroll with dad in the new neighborhood park. I love giving mum fashion and beauty tips for her reunion parties. I love the occasional distractions from my cat when he scratches against my door trying to get in. I love being able to have all three meals with my folks and just hear them bicker and complain about each other.
I love taking control of my time. Knowing that those benefits, insurances, funds, staplers we get “for free” are never free. It’s our time, our experience that they are paying.
Some are better off with a job. Some are not. Knowing which one you are is the key.
A decade and six jobs later, I got the answer. True, right now, it seems that I’m sacrificing pay cuts. But in the long run, it would pay off as my own brand grows. But it can never happen if a) I don’t start nurturing it; or b) I stop nurturing it.
And lastly, just how many people around you are doing what they love and get paid to do it?
I’m proud to say that I am. It’s still at the early stage before the dawn of my hopefully future glory days. It’s hard right now, just like any new operation, and any new business. But it’s worth it. Like a proud new mother seeing her baby wobbling the first steps. You know she would fall, and fail. You’ve heard about the Terrible Two, the Horrible Teen, But you won’t put her to adoption right here right now because of those obstacles, would you?