Transitioning continues to receive emails from the local workforce complaining about unfair dismissal.
To date, over the past years, we have received close to a hundred emails on such work place injustice which no government agency can really help.
Moreover, many local PMETs who approached government agencies such as MOM, TAFEP and their unions, were often told to co-operate with the employers to resolve workplace dispute or simply to seek for legal redress on their own.
Errant employers who knew about such loophole have hire and fire our PMETs fearing no repercussion.
Today, we featured an online interview with a young female jobless PMET who was fired indiscriminately by her employer.
She approached MOM about the matter and was told that they could not help her as she is an executive staff.
Celine – i have a degree and dip in marketing. worked for 9-10 years now, out of which 5.5 years was in marketing.
Transitioning What was your last occupation and you have told me that you were unemployed for a few months, can you tell us more about this and also your job search experience?
Celine – My last job was a marketing manager with a small local distributor in Apple accessories.
I was hired immediately after the interview as the MD/ business found me very suitable for the role. I worked, planned and delivered all the activities according to the business objectives set by the MD..
He had always been supportive of low cost sales activities and even suggested to buy some ads from Mediacorp. However when the sales did not come in after he committed the ads, he blamed me for not doing my job well when there were 2 sales managers whose responsibility was to bring in sales.
One fine day after a successful event planned and executed by me, he sent his HR and Ops manager to talk to me and told me that I was terminated because I did not know how to communicate with their customers and that I have no management skills.
I was really offended because it came as a big surprise and insult to someone who had been dealing with local and regional customers for 5 years. And the very fact that there were no warnings of poor performance by me. Furthermore, the news came right after I finished planning the marketing budget and calendar from May to Dec 2012 and shared my relevant contacts with my MD upon request.
It just proved to show that this company had bad planning because they interviewed me and know my background well. Therefore how can they use my background against me when they decided to terminate me.
A month later, I heard my executive from this same company was also asked to leave, reason being external business consultant advised MD to cut down on cost of Marketing team as business was not as good as planned.
After hearing my executive’s story, I was even more convinced that this company has poor planning and they were not honest. They terminated me just by saying I am not suitable and put me down but in actual fact, they cannot cope with the salaries committed for the whole marketing team.
I had spoken to MOM on this, but they were in no position to help me because I was at managerial level.
Transitioning:You have told me that you are currently jobless for more than six months, what did you do in order to survive? Did you also approach the CDC for assistance?
Celine: Since I left that small local distributor, I had not been working for 4.5 months. I took up temp jobs, did networking business and survived on my savings.
I did not approach CDC and chanced upon transitional.org while reading the papers.
Transitioning. Did you attend any interviews during the past few months and why do you think you are unsuccessful so far?
Celine: I had attended over 20 interviews with agencies and companies directly. I think my main obstacle was my short stint with the last 2 companies.
Transitioning:Tell us abit more about what you have learnt from your jobless experience and how it has impacted your family.
Celine: I had learnt to be less trusting with people you work with, and to think a bit more especially with companies that paint a good picture during interviews to attract you into their company.
Recently, I heard from a CEO that some companies do that because they are desperate for staff, and if you think deeper, how will a good company end up being desperate for staff?
Transitioning: What do you think you could have done to shorten the unemployment period?
Celine: Lower expectations as competition is steep in my line of work. But I never believe in lowering myself too much because potential employers may also think I have a big problem or I am not so good that’s why I lower myself. This is always a struggle when you have been unfairly dismissed and when you are in transition.
Most employers also do not believe how people can take breaks which is weird. For example, I went to an established firm for interview, the Project Director’s first question to me was: “Why are you jobless at the age of 29?”
You cannot be too open during interviews to let them know about your plight, but if you do not tell them, they will judge you anyway.
Transitioning: Do you think that Singapore is now a more difficult place to make a living?
Celine: There are plenty of jobs out there frankly especially in my line of work. Most companies need sales/ marketing staff. It’s just whether one can find a suitable one.
Transitioning: What do you think the government can do to alleviate the current employment situation?
Celine: No comment on this.
Transitioning: Many people have blame foreigners for competing jobs with us, what is your view on this?
Celine: Actually I do not blame foreigners, many Singaporeans also choose to go overseas and compete with others. That’s a fact. And from business point of view, if you can spend less to hire better attitude and more hardworking staff, why not?
The people to be blamed should be unethical business owners with no integrity. Especially those who loves to hire and fire!
Transitioning: Lastly, whats your advice for those who are still jobless and feeling down?
Celine: Change your mindset, be open and never give up!
Thanks and end of interview