Transitioning: Hi Irene, thanks for taking time to answer our online questionaire, being someone from the Generation Y age group, do you feel that opportunities are now somewhat muted as both the babyboomers and Gen X have already gained a strong foothold in senior positions in the public and private sectors?
Irene: Actually I think it is fair as the babyboomers and Gen X already have gained solid working experience and networking as some senior management positions in the corporate sector requires the above.
My aim is to achieve financial freedom instead of climbing the corporate ladder as you are just a number on the payroll regardless of the position in the company.
Transitioning: I have heard from the Gen Y graduates that life is getting tougher here as they have to compete not only with their peers but also foreign talents, do you agreed with their views? Why so?
Irene: In a way, I do agree. Some foreign talent are just as well-qualified as the locals but their pay is lower than locals. If not for the quota for employment locals being implemented recently, I think more companies prefer to hire foreign talents. But at the same time, I tried to view it on a more positive note as some foreign talent also bring in skills which locals are lacking.
Transitioning: After seeing so many record breaking divorces in our country for the past few years, does this statistic frighten you from tying the knot with someone?
Irene: Other than the statistics, I am actually more affected by my parents’ divorce. I do admit in the beginning years after parents’ divorce, I am scared of marriage. However as I grow older, I do really wish to share my joy and sorrows with someone. So just keeping my option open.
Transitioning: What do you think is the greatest obstacles facing marriages right now?
Irene: I think it is financial woes. The cost of education for children is really high and the property prices has escalated recently.
Transitioning: Many Gen Y have also told me that the work culture here is rather stifling, you work from day to night and during weekend you try to rest and prepare for the next week of onslaught – do you agree with them?
Irene: Yes. Our working hours are quite long as compared to some countries like Australia. Furthermore, our country is quite small and there is nowhere for us to go during weekends to retreat and recharge.
Transitioning: We have read of binge drinking among the young people here, what is your opinion on this and is this a growing trend among people that you know of?
Irene: I am sorry that I can’t answer this question as I have passed the stage of clubbing and drinking.
Transitioning: There is also this growing feeling that the Gen Y population here belongs to the strawberry generation and that they are not as tough as the babyboomers and Gen X, do you think so?
Irene: In a way, yes. Most of the Gen Y population are university graduates and they have the expectation they are entitled to certain rewards from their jobs. Thus they lack the fighting spirit to set up their own business and make it work.
Transitioning: What do you think has really change after watching how your parents have toiled and brought you up – do you think this spirit of familial blissness may be missing in the younger set of families right now?
Irene: During my growing up stage, my mum actually work part time to take care of the family and took up the parenting duties on her own. From the current trend, I observe that most of the parenting duties had been left to the grandparents or to the maid as both the parents are working. I guess this contributes to the lack of familial blissness.
Transitioning: Many young people I met dream of emigration as a way out of this stressful environment, do you have the same thoughts?
Irene: Not really as my family and friends are here. However, I may try to gain PR in other countries as a back-up plan.
End of interview and thank you.
Editor’s note: Irene is looking for work now and has a accounting degree.