Wednesday, April 13, 2005

SG Sitrep 04.

It has been a week since the last entry, so I suppose I should update on progress.

The short version: No progress.

The long version:

The job hunt situation is still as bad. Been sending out resumes mechanically. Read job advertisement. Look for email address. Type in email address. Attach the appropriate variant of the resume details. Copy and paste appropriate template email cover. Press send button. Repeat ad nauseam.

Was offered an interview at a local company in an industrial zone at the far end on the other side of the island. Looking at 1.5 to 2 hours commute each way. 8am to 6pm Mondays to Fridays. 8am to 12pm Saturdays. All for the grand monthly renumeration of S$2200 as a lab-bound test engineer.

Am I being too fussy here? Or are employers taking to heart our beloved government's positioning of Singapore as a low labour-cost technology manufacturing hub? That is even less money than when I first started working as a fresh graduate with no experience in the 90s!


Have notified my family that I may have to move out of Singapore if I continue to not be able to find decent-paying work here. At least the financial situation at home is stable for the moment with two steady incomes. So I just have to worry about feeding myself and paying my own bills for the moment.

My sister is making good money working crazy inhuman shift cycles at the factory. She seems to have taken her work hours in stride, but I wonder how long she can keep doing this before burning out. Doing the income tax for last year, found out she cleared even more money than I did for 2004.

My brother is bringing his work frustrations back home. However I have little sympathy for him. Have warned him vehemently years ago about being bonded (for his education) when he wanted me to sign as guarantor for his bond. I was dead set against him taking up the scholarship bond - when the combined income of the siblings could probably squeeze out enough to help pay for his education. But as he has made his bed, now he has to lie in it. The family cannot afford to buy out his bond - not in our current financial situation.


There is
one good reason why I am am desperately trying to find work here and remain in Singapore. And since she realistically will not be ready to relocate till at least middle of next year - assuming we can even get her a PR visa - it looks like I am currently stuck in between a rock and a hard place indeed.



Blogger peiyis said...

Have you tried reading 'What colour is your parachute?'. There are some (very aggressive, in my opinion) tips for job hunting.

Well, I'm not looking forward to going back either. Just recieved some news that Singaporean labs prefer to hire local grads. I guess that I might have to end up lying about what I have been doing for the last 2 years and fall back on my diploma.

April 14, 2005 1:00 AM  
Blogger KnightofPentacles said...

Thank you for the tip. I remember reading that book way back when I first graduated. My impression was that it seemed focused more for an American marketplace where an aggressive approach would convey ambition. Unfortunately employers (and interviewers) seem to perfer a more submissive style in our local context.

My thoughts on your returning to Singapore to job-hunt:

For employee preferences of the Singapore-based employers, my nagging suspicion is that it all comes down to cost. Foreign-trained could be perceived as more expensive.

A secondary concern could be the fear that the more outspoken / aggressive styles of the foreign-trained may not blend well in an environment of shut up and do as you are told. Especially more so if you happen to be an outspoken female.

Then again, I have no exposure to the research industry, so my views are probably totally off-the-mark.

April 14, 2005 2:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been in your situation before. Was retrenched at the height of the SARS crisis in 2003. I spent more than a year surviving on what scraps of contract programming jobs I could find. Finally threw in the towel when I got my BN 136 in June last year. I hopped on to the first available flight to Sydney and landed a full-time job less than 2 months of arriving. I've never looked back since. You're lucky to at least have the option of trying to get a job in another country. Most unemployed Singaporeans don't. So, from someone who's been there and done that, I'd say "Just do it" and leave the stinking rat hole called Singapore behind.

April 14, 2005 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Jin Hian said...

hey there,

You don't know me, but I'm an occasional reader of your blog, and I'm looking for passionate coders to work on something (that I think is) cool.

Drop me a note at j h l e e at s t a n f o r d a l u m n i . o r g if you wanna find out more.

April 20, 2005 10:28 PM  

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