Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Thursday February 15th 2018

Young local PMET struggling in our fast-paced stressful work environment

Hi Gilbert,

I came across your site while surfing last night and I would first like to thank you for your bravery and passion towards helping the unemployed in Singapore. Indeed, as compared to other countries we don’t get much resources and are often frowned upon.

I’ve been to family service center for counseling but it doesn’t help much. I went for career coaching but same,  felt like no one could actually relate.

My friends are probably sick of hearing my pathetic story and I felt like like they were only around during my glorious day like when I was doing well.

Now I know who are the fair-weather friends.

I do have a very supportive boyfriend and dad though. They have been my greatest pillar of support all these while and I can’t be thankful enough.

Anyway, I think I might need some professional guidance and help, I know I’m not entirely depressed or dejected.

I’ve always been a positive bubbly individual and I’ve high self-esteem but that was until my previous job.

Just a brief, I was very lucky to be offered a contract role as a researcher with ABC in the recruitment industry last May.

The only downside is everyone there was way more experienced than me and I had difficulties finding someone to click with but help was abundance.

My immediate superior is a really awesome leader as with the rest of the management.

However I was afraid they would not be renewing my contract after 3 months was up and honestly my job scope was pretty boring.

I wanted abit more challenge. So I told my boss I’d leave when my 3 months is up and he was very understanding. We parted on good terms.

I managed to get my foot into the events industry as conference producer.

It was way more challenging than my previous work and I was genuinely happy for the first 3 months, at least.

I even had travel opportunity and I felt happy after completing the first event, you know like a sense of achievement.

Then things begin to change when the new management came in, everything went downhill, I see people being let go and people quitting.

Turnover rate was high. There was no clear directions and strategic goals set in place.

Things weren’t transparent. And during meetings if the new managing director says no, no one is to say yes.

Words simply can’t express how terrible and miserable I felt each day.

To make things worse, everyone seems to be looking out for themselves esp the producer that was working alongside me.

We were supposed to be partners but it felt more like she treated me as her “junior” and leave me out of things I should be aware of until the last minute or so.

To make things worse, my immediate supervisor wasn’t around – she was on maternity leave.

I didn’t honestly put much thoughts into it at first – not even when the new MD extended our probation period for no reasons, she just wanted to “assess” us but that was ridiculous because she was still based in UK and she didn’t even have much interaction with us to assess us.

But then again I tell myself this is perhaps a bad transitionary phase and it will pass.

I didn’t know that place was clearly toxic and in hindsight, if I could do it all over again, I would leave before my probation period was up.

But anyway things apparently didn’t get better. I felt myself dragging my feet to work every single day, it was living torture.

It doesn’t help that the management has nothing but criticisms, it’s like your best is never enough.

I wanted to leave again in early Jan this year but managed to convince myself to stay till my boss is back in end jan, hoping things will be better.

Well, of course it didn’t happen. Our only HR was let go due to budget issues, ridiculous excuse.

Yes the company is making losses and downsizing (and yes technically a company can function without the HR) but letting our only HR go speaks volume about her management style.

I think pressure starts to mount as the event date draws near (Apr).

And finally in Mar I snapped, I couldn’t take it anymore.

I told my boss I needed to go citing family reasons (it was quite a big drama) and then I felt bad and guilty for leaving everyone in the lurch so I promise to stay till the event is over.

But as days and weeks go by, I was breaking down. It hurts my boyfriend and dad to see me cry everyone and it was affecting my life, my daily life.

I was no longer happy, productive or jovial. I figured I had to go before I lose my sanity so I went back to her and tell her I need to leave when my notice period is up.

I just couldn’t trust anyone else in the company, it’s like everyone for himself.

She reluctantly let me go, I know I ruined all relationship and bridges.

I did whatever I could before I leave, tried my best to wrap up my outstanding work and did the handover shit.

You’ve no idea what a relief it was to get out of the toxicity.

I was tired of having to deal with bullshit from the people in the company, bullshit from upper management who presses you for updates every day.

I thought I would be happy when I leave but figured I was not – my new challenge is in finding the next job. I’m definitely not gonna get a good reference from my previous employer and I was only there for about 8 months plus.

I am now worried I might be seen as a job hopper.

My first contract job was 3 months.

I have no idea what to do and where I want to go. Honestly although I love the events industry, I began to resent it after coming into this company. I was tired of dealing with people and all that nonsense.

I kind of miss the comfort, peace and stability I get at my first job.

It was boring yes, but it was a good starting pay and I liked the location. Though I’m not particularly close with anyone, my team is lovely and the support is there.

Of course I won’t forget the reason for wanting to leave (the jobscope) but it makes me wonder now should I just stay in a boring job but a conductive environment or be challenged and stuck with an incompetent management?

I guess I have experienced best of both worlds and perhaps it would be impossible to have the best of both worlds.

It’s been a year since my first job and now I’m back at the crossroads.

I’m on the lookout for jobs but not very active cos I want to make sure my third job is one where I would stay for long. I certainly would not want to make the same mistakes I made again.

I know I know what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. But honestly, it’s eating me up from inside especially when I see my aging dad.

I’m the only child and I feel the need to support him and he deserves his early retirement.

I’m sorry for the long rant and thank you for reading till the end. I hope there will be light at the end of the tunnel and there will be clarity at the end of everything.


Editor’s note: the writer has since found a new job and saw our career coach.

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2 Responses to “Young local PMET struggling in our fast-paced stressful work environment”

  1. Duboki says:

    Hang in there, Irene. Take it as learning experience which will come in handy in the future. Reflect on how you could have handled it better. It’s a harsh world out there, this experience has toughened you up a bit.

    You sound like someone who is up for a challenge and at the same time want harmony among people around you. Nothing wrong with that, in fact it is a strength, a quiet kind of strength that a strong leader will have. See these as constructive elements towards the trajectory of your career and life.

    Here’s a blog for your reading pleasure:

    It talks about many work place issues and how to deal with it. It’s not mine but I follow it regularly and have found it to be very useful and even entertaining.

    All the best in your job search!

  2. sal says:

    The younger and future generations will be more stressful compare to their parents and grandparents. The cost of living in Spore havr make them more stressful especially with their finances and work condition, competing with FWs. Hope future party that govern the city will make good policies that will help this group of people.

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