Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Tuesday January 15th 2019

40-year-old jobless PMET feeling discouraged and suffer from low self esteem

Dear Gilbert,

Came across your website while surfing. I’m a 40 years old female jobless since July.

I started as a sales coordinator in my previous company and am an Assistant Sales Manager when I left the company after 11 years. I was been invited by my ex-MD to join his newly setup company as Sales Operation Manager.

My pay increase from $1800 to $4600 after many years of hardworking and experience. However, after 2.5 years into my new job, my MD retrenched me by terminating my contract giving me 3 months of notice period as per my contract. As the business is not doing well, the HQ decided not to invest in more funds and people have to go.

I felt bitter as afterall I left a comfortable and stable job to join him. And I did not get any retrenchment benefit.

I negotiate with him and manage to serve 2 months instead of 3 months and got a 1 month pay as compensation. Still, I felt bitter.

My ex-company of 11 years wanted me back but due to some personal reason, I turned it down.

I have been jobless since July. Went for 9 interviews after nearly 180 applications sent.

I got an offer for $3800 and started work in October. However, I quit afer 3 weeks as I felt the company is not being honest during the interview. The turnover rate in my department is very high but the HR kept it from me. The company has no time to give me proper training and expect me to do my work.

I was very unhappy and stress with the job.

I have been sending out applications almost everyday but it’s really disheartened to receive no reply. Although I am willing to accept a more junior position and lower pay, I got no reply. I attend workshop on how to write resume and search online how to deal with interviews.

Every time after an interview, I thought I did well but I never have any reply.

My financial status is still ok and I can still survive for another few months. However, all these are affecting my self-esteem. Making me feel worthless. I am sure my years of working experience can qualify for a lot of jobs. And since I am willing to lower my pay, why am I still facing rejection.

Is it because of my age?

Everyday I look at JobsBank, JobStreet etc. but I see same jobs repeat again and again. I also registered with employment agencies.

Please advise what I should do. I’m feeling depress. Although I want to go out, I stop myself as it will mean spending money. For a person who go vacations few times a year, this is making me hard to accept the fact.

Best Regards,


Editor’s note: We have scheduled to see the writer soon.

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5 Responses to “40-year-old jobless PMET feeling discouraged and suffer from low self esteem”

  1. Josh says:

    Hi Veronica,

    I am facing almost the same situation as you and could totally understand the difficult time you are going through now. I was part of an unfair retrenchment exercise which included 2 pregnant colleagues due to giving birth in 2-3 months.

    I have sent job applications to almost all those openings I think I have at least 50%, some I was quite certain it is a 90% fit. I am open to almost 30% pay cut for the same role or a more junior role but no luck. And like you correctly observed, the same jobs kept popping up on those jobs sites for months which left me wondering if they have hired someone and trained him/her, surely someone would have filled the role. To make things worse, the openings for my area have literally came to a halt. No more new openings since November.

    I know how you feel about being helpless.

    Just have to soldier on and take it on a day to day basis. Think too far ahead will make it hard to even sleep at night.

    I will be glad to share more with you. I believe getting support is very important during this tough time.



  2. Melbourne says:

    Would seriously consider your ex-company as you know everyone there. Would also consider govt sector jobs such as WDA or MFS with you tons of sales experience, would make you a people person. You can also volunteer during your free time in which may lead to a job via networking. I used to volunteer at AWWA in Ang Mo Kio, and I have ex-CEOs volunteering besides me and my conversation with the social workers, lead to me getting a job in the Govt Sector which I left after 3 years of service due to me migrating overseas. All remember to make the most of your days, and never give up. All the best.

  3. xyz says:

    You should just go back to your previous company especially if they are willing to take you back. Otherwise chances are you’ll only be getting SME-type jobs with low pay and lousy work environment.

    The main reasons for your difficulty in securing a reasonable job is (1) age and (2) lack of senior-level contacts/network.

    Once you’re over 35, most good jobs are secured via professional industry contacts, friends and acquaintances. Unless you’re so damn good that everyone in your industry knows about you.

    You also don’t have pedigree to back you up. By pedigree I mean having many years of solid experience with large tangible results in big MNCs, large banks, top 5 law firms, big 3 accounting/consultancy firms, etc etc. And having high-level people in these firms to provide strong reference / testimonials. You know what I mean…

    The tactic of asking for lower job & lower salary doesn’t work anymore. With millions of young, cheap foreigners companies will prefer to hire them instead of you, even if you have many years experience. Afterall these positions don’t require extensive experience, and there’s no evidence that you can do better anyway. Most employers and HR will in fact look at you with suspicion & problem case if you lower your responsibility level as compared to your previous jobscopes and experience.

  4. Apple Jooze says:

    I agree with xyz that the strategy of going for lower jobs and salary do not work anymore due to the huge ready supply of younger, cheaper non-Singaporean workers. They are not just your whites and Malaysians anymore but also the Chinese, Indians, Indonesians, Filipinos, Thais, Vietnamese etc. Got to be strategic in the job search now. Sell yourself hard. And hope that the government is really sincere in taking steps to build this Singaporean core

  5. iluvbakkua says:

    [quote] Is it because of my age?

    Everyday I look at JobsBank, JobStreet etc. but I see same jobs repeat again and again. I also registered with employment agencies.

    Actually I feel the same thing too. I guess I’ve been right all along It’s really about our age, once we hit 40+ employers don’t seem interested in hiring us for some reason. You look at the people that come to this site most are in the 40′s.

    I’m also in my 40′s been retrenched since 2015. Unlike most people I actually prepared for this mentally for about 10 years, back then I saw friends or relatives get laid off in their 40s not able to get a job even though many of them were highly qualified.

    Myself I am not qualified so I’ve been preparing long time for this, I have remained single, only have 2 parents to support not tied down to any major financial burdens so I guess I have a less stressful situation. Since my retrenchment I have further slashed all unnecessary expenses.

    Depending how much you already put into it, If you need money your insurance policies can be worth a small mint you can do a partial cash-out or surrender and there are some companies willing to buy your policies at slightly above surrender value.

    The best way and costs the least is to find someone to give you a job so I’ll probably wait another 2 months if I still don’t have a job by then my plan is to switch line or try looking for work overseas. It will be hard but one needs to be realistic just think that if the FT that come here can do it leaving their families behind, I don’t see why we can’t go overseas.

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