Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Saturday January 13th 2018

42-year-old jobless PMET feeling frustrated that he is unable to gain access to banking sector

Dear Gilbert,

I need your help as age is not on my side.

I will turn 42 this year.

I have work hard to upgrade myself over the years and have obtained a university degree.

It is very demoralising that I can’t even get a job despite the enthusiasm and upgrade.

I am interested in getting an entry level bank officer position.

I have working experience in the bank sector but only in the supporting clerical role as I have not obtained my degree then.

I have since upgraded myself and have been awarded a Bachelor of Commerce Degree.

However, specialised roles (for example) such as a credit analyst or trade finance requires some years of hands on experience, which I lack.

I am willing to get into an entry level job.

At the very least, I have a decent starting point to kick start my career.

Unfortunately, I obtained my degree at the age of 39 in 2012.

I have sent many resumes and only get few interviews.

One of the recruitment consultant told me that my age can be a barrier for me, even though employers won’t make it too explicit.

After many months of job search, I settled for a call-centre job.

This is the kind of job that many recruitment agents recommend me as it is shun by many Singaporeans.

As it turns out, there are many foreigners in the call centre as it is difficult to recruit locals.

I didn’t continue with the contract as it is a 24-hour, 3-shift duty job.

But this isn’t the main reason.

The problem is this job is not going to add value to my portfolio.

This job doesn’t even require a degree and I am under-employed.

I believe that I possess the essential attributes such as dedication, qualification and some experience, which combine to serve as an impetus for me to excel at the job.

I can be contacted at 911xxxxx and will be glad to answer any queries you may have.

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you and have a nice day.

Yours Truly,


Editor’s note: We will extend our career counselling service to the writer soon.

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10 Responses to “42-year-old jobless PMET feeling frustrated that he is unable to gain access to banking sector”

  1. sal says:

    Hi Dan, its good you have the passion to excel in the career you like. But at the end of the day, who going to give you that opportunity? If its a level entry job for a degree holder, comparing you n a 23 years old ….who do you think the hiring manager will employ. So its either you start at junior position n show your capability and move up the ladder or through recommendation. Good luck and all the best.

  2. xyz says:

    You’ve been conned by the pappies & the private uni company selling “upgrading”, “upskilling”, “reskilling”. The only jokers who benefit are those selling worthless degrees, and pappies who collect taxes from the private school and reward themselves with the increased GDP contributed by your hard-earned money.

    At your age of 42, banks are expecting Director level or President level. NOT entry-level. Singapore (and most Asian countries) do not take in degree entry-level positions over 30 yrs old.


    In the first place, your degree is useless — not even worth the paper it’s printed on. Secondly is your age. If you go this route, you better get 1st class honours and your age better be below 30 yrs old. Most companies (including civil service) treat part-time 1st class honours as just normal pass degrees.

    At 40+ the only useful degree is a medical degree from SMC-recognised universities. At least worse case, you can still be MO in hospital (for initial experience) and later a chao GP.

  3. Name says:

    Working in a bank Call Centre is the best place to get Banking job experience and know peoples.

    Transaction Banking, Trade trade facility, Structure trade, Credit Card, loan etc….

  4. Johnson says:

    Daniel, you need to wake up from dreamland and understand the job market in the banking industry. Every year, there are thousands of young graduates from NUS/NTU/SMU/Overseas Ivies in their 20s eagerly applying for these banking mid-office analyst type jobs you want. Less than 10% of them get it in the end.

    You already 42 years old with a private degree bought off the shelf and actually think you have a chance of getting in? Not going to happen. Why would a bank give up finance Masters/Honors SMU young grad to hire a middle age man with a private commerce degree and clerical experience? Not being elitist, but that’s the reality.

    The more important thing is to ask yourself why must get so hung up in joining a bank? Other than you used to work as a bank clerk / teleoperator, I don’t see any strong reason not to consider other places.

    Banking is the 2nd most highly paid and competitive industry after oil & gas sector in Singapore, you need to be realistic and be more open to other jobs in other industries. Already the going is tough for you because of your age and weak qualification; the worse thing to do is to bang head against the wall by insisting on competing in a place that is totally out of your league.

    My advice is to keep an open mind and apply for any entry level executive position that comes along and slowly build up the relevant experience, network and competency. I think you still have a decent chance in a small stat board, GLC or local SME. This may not make you big money, but it is better than daydreaming about banks.

  5. volax says:

    The recruiter is being polite by telling you your problem is age. The hard truth is you are totally out of your depth here. Banks hire analysts with the intent to groom them into future SVP/EVP or even MD level leaders, you only got a pte degree and your previous work exp is admin and call centre.

    I am surprise you work in a bank so many years and still so naive don’t even know what is going on in your own industry. Time to get real, eat humble pie and start looking for jobs that are at your level.

  6. ss48 says:

    Sound like a deluded uncle… so many jobless PME this age cannot even get a job and end up driving taxi, sell insurance or give tuition. This guy still got mood to insist only want to work in banking finance???

  7. flip_flop says:

    The finance sector is all about networking and clientele, just wayang for a cert no use one.

    Even your cert is the wrong type, a cfa cpa or msc finance is more relevant than commerce degree in this case.

  8. Life's tough says:

    Uncle Dan (if I may given anyone above 40 is ‘uncle’ to the young rookies in the banking industry.

    I will be surprised if you don t know what the industry, having worked as a clerk. Hiring managers don t have time to train analysts esp they are in their middle age, a middle age starter also look awkward going to the juniors for coaching and advice and the industry is very fast moving and competitive.

    The fault lies with yourself having been conned to do a degree in late thirties. The govt did ask people to upgrade their skills and do degree but problem is society do in sync with what the govt asked hence good in theory to upgrade with a degree but realistically its too late to start from scratch ..perhaps the best advice any one can give you is to apply for govt job eg in the aging well being sector age demographics means more aged care to be provided. This may require retraining. Alternative consider becoming teacher or tutor. Just forget about banking career which is in decline and the people they hire will be likely below 30 and dynamic

  9. Get real says:

    It seemed to me many singaporeans are so naïve to think that having a degree is passport to a professional job, well may be true if you are in your 20s but if you are one of those whom did not qualified after A level or Poly and went on to work and believe in the bullshit/proganda your are conned as these days a degree holder is a dime a dozen. Those whom do part time and long distance and think their degrees are as good as those enrol in good universities well you get a dose of reality when you apply for a real professional job. HR knows a mickey mouse degree from those doing distance learning or part time uni which do not give you interactive training in a real university.

    The govt has realised its folly and may have reservation of everyone getting a degree even if it is a mickey mouse degree as it becomes big society problem with rebellious or suicidal unemployeable graduates.

    To any one thinking of getting a degree later think twice before you part with your or father s hard earned monies.. getting a degree and become unemployable is not a healthy investment.

    If you have to have a degree get an accounting degree or a nursing degree as these are bread and butter degree. Getting a commerce or business degree means nothing esp these days if you pay large enough fees they will give you a degree anyhow as esp foreign universities are money printing machines.

    Unlike Malaysia, Singapore is a small red dot and there is no much business ventures you can start with small monies.

    If you have money to spend go learn skill like culinary arts (cooking) . with luck and perseverance you will earn more money than going to a university esp a foreign 2nd tier one and end up with a useless piece of paper which will get you nowhere as there are a dime a dozen of foreign pmet with degrees although from india, phlippines that will rank ahead of you as their holders is willing to take less than you

  10. Joe says:

    well, I agreed with what get real said…!

    The GLC all practiced the same… Damn why we r believing what the gov said to upgrade ourselves as we work… They don’t treasured our experiences and qualifications as we worked n upgrade ourselves thinking that we can provide better life for our family.. The best is let us think of what we have to do rather than listening to those PM bullshits

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