How are you doing?
I have been thinking alot lately whether I should share my jobless experience with you.
Anyway, I think if my sharing can be of help to those who are unemployed, I should.
Previously, I have joined your group for a talk sessions in early 2010 after I left my job to join a start-up.
Of course, the deals we were pursuing did not materialized and after that the whole business fall apart.
I started to rejoin the corporate world again and after 6 months of job hunting, I landed a job with a MNC.
Just a little on my background, I am a software person working with a premium software house and have been successful in my career.
I have been working in Hong Kong since 2004 and later the company assigned me to the USA office.
The condition for me to work in US is really strict and my company has to raise my salary to match the locals in order for me to relocate.
I must say that I enjoyed the well-balanced lifestyle in US.
However in 2009, I have to return to Singapore as my son needs to report for NS. So I have to give up a high paying job and returned to Singapore reluctantly.
The return journey in Singapore has been tough on me.
I was retrenched in March 2012 and later managed to find a contract job in July 2012.
This month I was told that I have been released from the company. I am sure I will survive as long as I don’t give up.
What I have learnt so far have been interesting and I hope to share with your readers.
Both projects I was involved in were multi-million dollar projects in the private sector.
The team size comprised about 15 to 18 consultants.
I am the only Singaporean in the project, somehow the skillsets required for the project implementation were not readily found within our local professional community.
Either there is something wrong with our educational system or the company preferred to hire foreigners for reasons best known to themselves.
I saw that many interviews with our local candidates bore the same result –the local candidates just don’t seem to make the cut for the job.
I can’t help but wonder what happen to our local pool of talent or are there any other reasons why our local executives don’t seem to be able to get the job whereas foreigners could?
Something is wrong here.
I hope I am wrong but if my analysis is correct, the locals will not stand a chance as the huge influx of EP holders clearly outpaces our local talent.
The point I am trying to hit out at is - if you don’t provide the opportunities for one to learn the art of the trade then the local pool of talent will never be developed.
If we can start to make EP a little harder to obtain, then I am sure the organization will have no choice but to hire our local PMETs.
“Several weeks ago, a prominent friend whom I shall not named here said something that stick to my mind ever since. “As Singapore grows to 6.5m people mostly via importing, the positive side effect is Singapore can control the IQ of its overall population.”
Population IQ is a statistic game. The IQ mean is 100. You cannot improve the mean by producing more babies. You can improve it by attracting the best and brightest professionals to your city.
In bigger country like Indonesia, Malaysia or China, their metropolitan cities has the advantage of not just drawing the talent pool from its city but all over the country. For example, most people working in Beijing weren’t born in Beijing.
Unfortunately, Singapore does not have other cities to draw its talent pool from. To remain competitive with the top cities, Singapore must be able to attract talents from the region/world with an open immigration policy. This is why the “Foreign Talent” policy is sacred cow, no debates within the government. Singapore survival in the long term depends on not just grooming its own talent but also attracting talents from other countries.
Yet, I couldn’t get the statement made by my friend out of my mind. Or rather, the implications of it.
What happened when you put 4m people with a mean IQ of 100 together with a carefully selected 2m people with a mean IQ of 130?
While the overall mean IQ of the population will no doubt improve, the original 4m people, ie Singaporeans born in Singapore would generally fall behind.
Most Singaporean would find themselves working for or under Foreign Talents. Only a small percentage of the best Singaporeans would be competitive. Even the once “middle class” may find themselves not so middle-class anymore.
With the progression of this immigration, it is inevitable that Singaporeans will see their colleagues layoff replaced by FT, a promotion they thought they going to have taken over by a imported FT, or their top-in-class child is no longer the top student because of smarter ASEAN scholars.
It is human nature to demonize a group for their incapacity. When the above happens, most people aren’t going to say “I just need to work harder!” but rather to blame foreigners taking their jobs, their woman and overtaking their kids. The knee-jerking reaction is to questioning and then opposing the Foreign Talent policy, and if that don’t work (it won’t under a sensible government), starting to resent these foreigners.
In my last 20+ years in Singapore, I never felt as unwelcome here than these two years.
I am also pretty sure the government is aware of the resentments against the foreigners. But it has consistently reminded Singaporeans that Singapore is not a welfare state and they have to work harder.
Singapore needs Foreign Talents. There is no doubt about it. It is part of the long term progress for Singapore.
But with Foreign Talents policy, the government must do more for Singaporeans as they will fall behind. As much as I agree to cultivating a good work attitude and habit, that no one owes you a living except yourself, no-welfare state policy should be reconsidered. Otherwise, it will breeds more anti-FT sentiments in the long run”
I must agree with the above author that since coming back to Singapore, I never felt so unwelcomed here.
Furthermore, I find myself working under foreign talents. I hate to admit it but my foreign bosses are really not that talented at all.
Sad to say, if this situation continues to persist, I am afraid that even our professional executives will fall through the cracks.