Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Monday August 19th 2019

38-year-old local graduate struggling wih unemployment, depression and marital problem

Dear Gilbert,

I am a 38-years-old male. I started working late in my life at 28.

I developed depression when I was studying at NTU and dropped out after almost 2 years.

Nevertheless I subsequently went on to get a degree at SIM, before landing my first job in a finance company.

I worked for slightly more than 2 years at my job before been fired for chronically late for work.

I started looking for another job and was lucky enough to be hired at another  company.

Here, I stayed for only 7 months because they refused to confirm me after the probation period.

Due to insomnia and depression,  I was still going to work late very often and my work performance suffered.

During this time my marriage was also on the rocks.

After 6 months of joblessness, I got a job as a high school teacher overseas. Here I stayed for 15 months, before leaving to start a small bar business with a partner.

Two years passed. All this while, my depression stayed with me and my marriage remained on the rocks.

Being away from my wife helped.

Then earlier this year, my relationship with my partner broke down. We sold the business at a profit nonetheless, and I returned to Singapore.

I stayed at home, jobless.

My marriage was still on the rocks. Then I met a young woman, and started a relationship with her.

To cut a long story short, my wife found out some 4 months later, then the woman and I moved out together. My wife started filing for divorce.

We found out that she is pregnant 2 weeks ago.

She is due for an abortion on Monday, because there is no way she would keep the baby when I am not yet divorced and without a job.

She is Indonesian. If her company found out she was pregnant she would lose her job too.

The abortion, sadly, has to happen.

But apart from that, I am in desperate need of a job.

My many applications have been met with no reply so far.

The way I see it, I have been out of the Singapore workforce for too long, with an embarassing employment history of been fired from my jobs, and being 38 years old.

My savings are running dry and we are renting a room. I desperately need to be employed.

And I am still suffering from severe depression.

I hope you can offer help. I have attached my résumé for your reference.

Thank you


Editor’s note: We have assigned the writer with a counsellor to assist him during this difficult journey and will look out suitable jobs for him.

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3 Responses to “38-year-old local graduate struggling wih unemployment, depression and marital problem”

  1. sal says:

    Hi James, to make matter short….maybe its wise you move to Indonesia. Who knows, you’ll be happier there and your skills are in need there. Low cost of living and only 1 hour flight from Singapore. Good luck and hope you’ll have a better future.

  2. YS Low says:

    Unfortunately, your depression has cost you almost everything in life. I will say firstly, treat your depression first. I find meditation the most useful to treat depression. Secondly, if u cant get a full time job, get some part time jobs. Part time jobs can get you some income while u actively search for full time jobs. Generally, u are running away from your problems.

  3. Tryagain says:

    I m not counsellor but do sympathise that you have a medical condition.

    I m not sure you will be in right frame of mind for the harsh working world esp given your patchy experience/mood swings maybe unless you are thinking about clerical positions rather than white collar jobs which is sure to come with high stress if the monies offered is higher.

    You can contemplate driving a cab as a living and you are your own boss as well as you can manage your own time.

    Given you have been in small business you can always go back to small business eg fruit drinks stalls which do not require much skill.

    There are lots of depressed people in Singapore and voicing their inner feelings here in transitioning. Perhaps going to church will help with the healing process as a dose of spirituality could provide a compass for life.

    People still place too much on their self worth on basis of having a degree or not. Its time for Singapore to change this mentality of grad = success. I know a lot of business people can battle hardships better and become richer and confident of failure compared with graduates whom are rigid in their thinking and kiasi. That is for another column not here. For your info I have been in employment as well as out and in business as well.

    Go get professional help as soon as possible. Getting a job is not end all and be all.

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