I am writing to you because i think I need help.
I graduated from NUS engineering, and back while in school, I thought that I would be highly employable with people rushing to give me job offers.
However, I could not be more wrong.
When I graduated, we were facing the aftermath of the 2007-2009 financial crisis.
It was hard to get employed and the future wasn’t even in sight.
This was when my woes started. I also began to feel more depressed and irritable.
Things got so bad that I refused to speak to anyone close to me.
Finally, I have to sign a bond with the government where I was paid peanuts – a pay so low that I could even laugh just thinking back.
Just when I thought my woes were over, the harsh reality of working life took over.
My boss was a huge bully but I didn’t dare quit because it meant that I would be breaking a bond of which the penalty would be severe.
I presevered for a year and after that, I wasn’t offered a place in the company, so I have to leave.
Imagine the humiliation and loss of self esteem…
That was when I got depressed again.
To make matters worse, I fell sick and have to be hospitalised.
After hospitalisation, I mustered all the hope I have and began to look for work again.
My efforts finally paid off and I was offered a job.
However, I didnt last long in my new workplace due to some relationship problem in the office.
It was then that a senior manager told me that many youngsters don’t last long in the company because of relationship problems there.
I dont want to elaborate too much on this.
After leaving, I fell into depression again and lost much hope again.
I decided that I needed a long break to think over my problems and where to move on from here.
However, I might have taken a little too long to think over my problems and career options.
I thought about it for roughly 9 months, and now I am worried that no one would want to employ me again.
What do you think is my best course of option? I hope I can hear from you soon.
Sad Depressed NUS graduate
Dear Sad Depressed NUS graduate
Thanks for your mail and sorry to hear about your predicament.
Not being able to get a permanent job may have dampen your morale somewhat.
Nevertheless, lying low after that may make matters worse as I guess you have heard of the saying “Its important to pick up everytime we fall.”
Life is tough, let me say, but those who could press on despite life’s obstacles are the ones who will make it.
Every time they face a adversity, they press on and never give up.
Each time they press on after a failing, they became stronger and able to pick themselves up faster.
Over time, they became very strong mentally and emotionally.
Unemployment is a very stressful event for the emotions as it bites at our psyche and self esteem.
Moreover, unemployment has no dead line and we don’t know when we will be able to land a job.
The uncertainty and fear are real and many people emerged from prolonged unemployment a better person.
However, you must really learn to guard your mind and emotions – do not let depressions gets the better of us.
If we let one incident causes us to slip away into our cocoon, we will sure to face many other life’s adversities in future and that won’t help us in our adversity quotienth.
One way to increase our adversity quotienth is to stretch ourselves in endurance sports.
I remembered training for my marathon many years ago and I have to follow a training schedule.
It was tough but I tried my best to adhere to the schedule by training hard for the event.
There were speed training twice a week and weekly those long distance running.
We have to chalk up a certain mileage and it was hard work but rewarding.
I could feel my stamina picking up gradually.
That was ten years ago and I have being running 2-3 half marathons annually since then.
The running regime not only train up my physique but also toughen me up mentally.
You must have heard that many people while running in marathons ran with their mind sometimes as their bodies are tired and have long given up.
The mind has taken over when the body has given up after a certain distance.
If you wish to toughen up your mind and emotions, try long distance running.
It has helped me alot both mentally and physically all this while when I train for my half marathon runs annually.
When the mind is tough, nothing else can shake us easily.
Anyway, I wish to see you at my office if possible next week for a chat.
I have also attach my ebook How to survive unemployment for your reading pleasure.
Meanwhile, keep the chin up and try to stay positive by reading up, exercising and talking to positive people.
All this will help one to stay on top of the situation as I feel that yours is more of a motivational issue.
Hope to see you soon.
We are here for you.
Editor’s Note: We will be seeing the writer soon for a session. Permission was also granted to post this mail on the site.