Transitioning (T): First of all, thanks Amy for allowing us to interview you online and can you provide us with some background information about yourself?
Amy: A single female in her late 30s. I have a private secretarial certificate.
T: What was your last occupation and you have told me that you were unemployed for more than 1 month, you tell us more about this and also your job search experience?
Amy: I am in Administration with more than 15 years of experience. Unfortunately, I was let off when my department head has to return to his country due to some family reason.
T: You have told me that you are currently jobless for more than 1 month, what did you do in order to survive? Did you also approach the CDC for assistance?
Amy: I have sufficient savings for now. I have sent numerous resumes to many job placement agencies and even stats board to widen my opportunities for job search.
T: Did you attend any interviews during the past 2 months and why do you think you are unsuccessful so far?
Amy: I have attended nine interviews so far. Companies I applied directly to and those that I attended interviews with do not even bother to reply you to inform whether you are being shortlisted or not. They could at least send you an email to inform you of the outcome. Some companies would asked you about your salary at the end of the interview and thus you are able to gauge that they are not keen to pay that amount. I used to earn around the high end of $2000 but is coming to terms that my pay will be reduced further going forward.
T: Tell us abit more about what you have learnt from your jobless experience and how it has impacted your family.
Amy: As I am single, my family does not worry so much about me being jobless. I also learn to move forward with each single day and not to procrastinate. I know that each little step I take is important for me to attain my goal of getting a job! You can’t take a day of rest when you are jobless.
T: What do you think you could have done to shorten the unemployment period?
Amy: Reduce my pay. However, this will affect my self-esteem and self-worth in the long run. Also, my savings could also be depleted. Morever some companies do not give an increment even after the probation period. Many companies have also done away with AWS and replaced it with variable bonus instead. Is this legal by the way?
T: Do you think that Singapore is now a more difficult place to make a living?
Amy: I have a lot of acquaintances who are married without children even if some of them have a combined salary of a higher 4-figure sum. Many people are already jobless only in their 30s so you can imagine what will happen when you reach your 40s or 50s. We are only able to draw out our CPF at age 65 years and if the person cannot find a stable or full time job in their 40s, how are they going to survive?
T: What do you think the government can do to alleviate the current employment situation?
Amy: Set a minimum wage for local employees and restrict the percentage of foreigners in a company. e.g. 75 percent locals, 25 percent foreigners for all categories.
T: Many people have blame foreigners for competing jobs with us, what is your view on this?
Amy: The foreigners play a huge part in affecting the pay range and the job opportunities for us locals. e.g. I went for an interview with a company and one of the boss is an Indian. An Indian lady was eventually chosen over me. If all foreign bosses start hiring their own, then what kind of jobs are left for us locals?
T: Lastly, whats your advice for those who are still jobless and depressed?
Amy: Be open to contract work and stay healthy. Get out more often even if you are not working and meet up with friends. Most of all stay positive!
Thank you and end of interview