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Wednesday November 26th 2014

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10-month jobless IT specialist feeling lost and looking for new direction in life

Hi Gilbert,

By chance, I stumbled upon  your Transitioning website as I was searching for jobless-related articles.

By the way, I hope to receive a copy of your free Ebook.

I have been jobless twice –  the first one lasted  16 months and this time round it has being 10 months already  (still feeling lost and jobless).

The  latest job loss was  due to a company closure which was disappointing as I loved the job and my colleagues.

We were like a small family unit happily working together.

Just to share with you little bit of my story.

After my ORD, due to my passion and interest in IT, I chose  a job in the IT sector and worked  for almost 10 years before I  join another company and worked there for one year and a half.

I resigned from this job and seek for a career change as I was losing interest and feel that  IT  was too routine in nature for me now.

Maybe, my career interest has taken a total shift in direction.

With this bold move, I  joined  a real estate company as part time agent and it was a complete failure and I left due also  to poor support from the team.

After that, I got a job referral from my friend after 16 months in the wilderness.

It was a project engineer position and was a completely  new career path for me.

I started learning on the job and actually  enjoyed  doing it.

I love this job very much as the bosses were really nice to  me and this job offered me the flexibility working from home.

But somehow good things never last…

Due to some reason, the company has to  close down after 18 months and I am back to square one now – jobless.

I feel very lost and don’t kown what to do next.

I try to flip the paper trying to look for job but that only lasted for about a month or so and then I gave up trying.

The frightening thing is  I don’t even know what job to look out for now!

I have somehow lost direction in my life, depressed, stressed up   and losing all my self-confidence.

I understand that lots of people have  been seeking help from you and hope you can give me some  advice on where I should  move on from here.

Best Regards,

Tony

***********

Hi Tony,

Thanks for your mail and sorry to hear of your predicament.

You have experienced two bouts of prolonged unemployment and clearly it has taken a toil on your self-confidence.

I also suspected that you have fallen into a mid life crisis situation and this adds on to your frustration.

Men go through a few rounds of such mid life crisis and though it can be demoralising, they offer time for you to  evaluate your life goals and mission as people tend to be rather reflective during this period.

I remembered facing the same situation as you when I was jobless for 18 months in 2001/02.

I also didn’t know much what to do during that period and took time to look for what that interests me.

I always wanted to go into the social work sector but the low pay and work condition didn’t seem favourable  as I was earning quite a good income then.

With nothing to lose as I was already 18 months into unemployment, I took up a part-time job as a social work assistant with a family service centre earning a paltry $7.50/hour.

That small step literally brought me into what I was all along aspiring to do for my whole life.

Later on, I began to start my own non-profit organisation and transitioning.org was borned five years ago.

Maybe its good to take some time to reflect and find out what  interests you for the next ten years.

Go on a thorough  career search if you must and there are many personality tests that you can take to find out what tickles you.

Many people often think that money is the main deciding factor for a career switch  but often its the low-paying ones that provide us with the most satisfaction.

Personally, I don’t have an income for the past five years and depend on donations to survive.

It can be frightening as you don’t know how much money you will have for the next month!

But I must say that the past five years have being the  most satisfying period of my life as I am doing something I like and my passion drives me on to do more for the community.

Hopefully, over time, you will find something meaningful for yourself.

All the best ahead. Please feel free to write to me if you need further career assistance.

Gilbert Goh

Editor’s Note: We have met up with the writer and will direct him to a career coach when he is ready.

Reader Feedback

13 Responses to “10-month jobless IT specialist feeling lost and looking for new direction in life”

  1. sal says:

    Hi Tony, I’ve known someone from IT background switch to sales person selling PC,laptop,notebook and other IT staff…with your IT knowledge will be a great advantage in doing sales…..Good Luck

  2. Mac says:

    Pls be positive, I have been unemployed for 1.5 years and used to hold a very good position in my field. Recently, I managed to secure a job. At times, its about pesevering and never giving up hope. All the best.

  3. charmer says:

    Hi Tony there is an immediate opening for Customer Service Tech at around 1.5 – 1.8k if you are keen. You can email to bsrpower@yahoo.com.sg

  4. TechEmployer says:

    hi Tony, if you’re still keen in IT and has an attitude to keep learning, do drop me a mail. helo@fosstech.biz

  5. TechEmployer says:

    However, we regret to inform we hire only Singaporean.

  6. Sian says:

    I notice this note quite a lot in my job search, “Only Singaporean need apply”. I thought companies are hiring from PRC, India, and Philippines? Why are these companies ONLY hiring from Singapore? Which is good for me, but curious.

    • xyz says:

      Hard Truth:
      It’s just a camouflage for the advertisement to look good to MOM. Many times, it’s also companies needing to increase s’porean headcount in order to hire more foreigners.

      Thousands of foreigners (many even still overseas) will still apply for the jobs. Foreigners are thick skin and have no shame — they will ask for what they want, and behave like how they behave back in their countries.

      Companies all know this, and take advantage of it.

      Companies nowadays will often go direct to foreign HR agencies for staffing such as IT, call centre, clerical, customer service. They don’t bother to advertise unless they need to increase s’porean headcount.

    • Dico says:

      Yeah, it is a camouflage. The advertisement is for show so that nobody can report them to MOM.

      As recently quite a number of high profile cases of discrimination job advertisements had been exposed, they do that to avoid trouble.

      First they can easily circumvent the system by going to HR agencies who will get them foreigners. Secondly foreigners will still apply for the jobs even it is stated ‘Singaporeans only’.

      In the foreigners communities, they already informed their own people to apply for such job advertisements because they knew that the ‘Singapore only’ is for show only.

      One thing that we should learn from foreigners are they are more united than us. They will inform their own people the latest update about the job market happenings. They also want more of their own people in the company so that they can control the company. Imagine you just joined a company and realized that all your colleagues were foreigners! You had to better shut up and take all the shit from them or get ready for them to gang up against you and get you out of the company!

    • Dico says:

      To be fair there is one thing that I would like to point out.

      IT skills of local sucks is also because of our teaching method. I am in the IT sector too and I always puzzled why some of my foreign colleagues are so good despite working for only a few years. Well there are also a lot of rotten foreign colleagues too.

      I realized the problem after watching a video. The video is about a lecturer teaching in his class in US on Comptia A+ subject. Anybody in IT knows that Comptia A+ is primary school level in IT terms. But the lecturer trains his students in understanding the topics very clearly in relation to real life work! He explanation is clear and easy to understand by using many examples and demonstrations to relate the students to the topics. I was very impressed!

      If my lecturers had taught us in that manner, I think I would have become an even better now which did not need to take such a long learning curve on the job.

      In another word, they train people to do a job! In Singapore, it is the opposite, they train people to pass exams!

      It seems to me Singapore lecturers are not motivated. They teach text book style which is dry and boring and at many times I am confused at the end of the lesson. All we need to do is memorize, memorize, memorize!

      As the Singapore education standard is to pass exams, I think lecturers are under pressure to quickly pass the knowledge wholesale textbook style to students. As long as the students memorize and pass exams, his job ends there. There is no encouragement for lecturers to impart skills to students. On the contrary, if they cannot finish the syllabus or passing rate is low, they get penalized.

      I must admit that when I leave IT school, I was still very confused about a lot of basic theory because the lecturers only covers what is in the books and never discuss much about real life scenario. Many of us passed quite well in exams but become clueless when come to work. It took us many years on the job to finally figure out many stuffs.

      It needs a lot of passion, determination and a long learning curve on the job to finally figure out many skills and become proficient.

      I think that is why our MERITOCRACY system failed so badly. Scholars can memorize topics very well but when come to work, they are just clueless. Worst, scholars are so protected in the system that they are not battle hardened at all, all of them frail and egotistical.

  7. Sian says:

    One problem with this site is the lack of connection between posts and replies. I may post a comment on one story, but no way of knowing if my post received a response. I can’t even find the story again or see which stories I have made comments.

    I want to know those who are suffering from depression, have they go the help from Gilbert and recovered? For those who are jobless for 6 months to 2 years, have they got the job from Gilbert and now employed? Or we are still back on our own after posting our stories? Still helpless and hopeless?

  8. singaporean employer says:

    Hi. Just to clarify, my company hires and prefer Singaporeans because we believe in supporting our countrymen (laugh if you want). We don’t have any FT around.

    I came from 3 MNCs and seen all those. I know I can tap on cheaper resources (resumes from them so often) but still, that won’t sway us

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