I first knew of transitioning.org when I attended the NSP rally in May 2011 in Tampines, when you were introduced as the founder of the website.
I later went to the website to take a look and saw that there are many people who are out of jobs and read about their woes.
I knew exactly how they felt as I myself was jobless for five months in 2006 and nearly four months in 2008.
If you do not mind, I would like to chare with you what I went through during those awful period.
I quit my job in Jan 2006 as I did not enjoy my work and I was having work problem with my boss.
I was looking at the job market then and thought that the market was quite okay for my kind of work experience.
Moreover, I am prepared to accept a lower pay, thus I think that my chance of getting a job should be quite good.
However, I was in for a rude shock…
I went for many interviews and somehow, nobody seems to be interested in employing me despite the fact that I had quite good experience in my field of work.
As time went by, I got more and more desperate.
My morale was very low and I also felt very bad. Everyday when I woke up, I do not know what to do.
My wife was still working then, so I was fine financially.
However, after sending my wife to work, felt lost. I will go to the temple in Waterloo street and prayed, but that did not help.
I went to the beach alone and sit there for hours – just staring at the sea.
I am afraid to be at home as I could not bear to face the four walls alone.
My wife was very supportive, and though she did not complained, I felt very bad as I have to depend on her for household expenses.
I also did not tell anybody that I am jobless, not even my own parents.
I still gave my parents a monthly allowance as I used to do, but increasingly, I felt that it is getting more difficult as money is tight with no income coming in.
After five tough months of job search, I got a big break as one of my ex-colleagues asked me to contact her customer as she knew that the customer was looking for someone with my kind of work experience.
I did so and after a few weeks, the employer made me a job offer and ended my desperate jobless state!
I felt so relieved then and I told myself I will never quit my job before finding another one.
Unfortunately, in 2008 Aug, two weeks after my wife gave birth to our first child, I was fired from my job!
My boss employed a FT from India (who obtained his PR just six months after coming to Singapore).
I was very angry, not only because my job was taken over by a foreigner, but also the bad timing.
I asked myself – how am I going to find another job at the age of 40 and with the financial crisis looming?
What will happen to my new born son?
My wife was very unhappy when she knew about it and she was also stressed up that time as she was still adjusting to her new role as a mother.
Needless to say, I have many sleepless nights.
I was telling myself that probably I will not get another job so soon.
I even entertained thoughts of committing suicide.
Still, I told myself that life will have to go on.
I went to a talk by some government agency on career switching course.
However, I was not very keen as I am not sure f I will get a job even after the training.
Just like the previous time, I felt lost and afraid to stay at home alone to face the four walls again.
I ended up either in the library or at the beach staring at the sea.
I try to save as much as possible, many times eating instant noodles for lunch and drinking tap water.
The only “luxury” I have was to have a cup of coffee from the coffee shop.
After about three months, one of the private schools called me up and offered me a lecturer position.
The pay is only 40% of my last drawn pay of $8,000, but I still accept it even though I am not very keen.
But then, things took a turn for the better.
Another company which I went for interview called me up and wanted me to start work immediately (I later found out that the job was actually offered to another person, but that person turned down the offer last minute and they therefore asked me to go in instead, but who cares?).
Though the job offered was a lesser pay at $6,800, but it was something I preferred and honestly, I would have taken it up even if the pay is lowered to $5-6k.
I am now gainfully employed and I thank God for his kindness.
Now, I live a frugal life (I have always live a frugal life but the two bouts of unemployment made me determined to save even more).
I also start to do some option trading on the side so that I can have another stream of income.
My aim is to make my trading income to equal my day job income so that I don’t have to worry about job security anymore.
Currently, my trading income is about 35% of my day job, and I feel more confident now as that will take care of my monthly expenses.
While there is no guarantee that I can achieve such return consistently on a monthly basis, but still I hope that on average, I can achieve that kind of return.
After going through unemployment myself, I understood very well how the jobless feel.
When I saw your website, I am moved as I know that there is some kind soul out there like yourself who will lend a helping hand to those who are jobless.
I am also thinking how I can help here.