Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Thursday October 19th 2017

Divorced 38-year-old PMET live in JB, jobless for 8 months and feeling suicidal

Hi Gilbert,

I truly need help I am feeling suicidal at times. My life has been a challenge since the beginning of my life. I try to get pass through by trying to compare myself to the less fortunate. I do not know how much longer I can hold on. I hope we can meet up and talk.

I also hope you can publish the following at your site. Hopefully, there would be some like-minded readers who can provide some insight about my situation. If you can, please edit it for me.

I am just stating facts and grieves of my life, if you want to be critical, please step out of your comfort zone and reply at a logical level. I am a true-blue Singaporean with roots as deep as 3 generations, aged 38.

While in Secondary school, I started my working life sweeping the streets, literally. My single mom couldn’t afford to send me to a computer school after secondary school which was my interest. Thus, I have to work on school nights and weekends as a hotel cleaner from 11pm to 7am but that took a toll on my health and my education. Not to mention I had family issues. Unable to handle it, I dropped out of school, worked my way up slowly. After a few years of local jobs and my own business, I started my career in a multi-national company with rapid rise to management level. However, armed with only a O level cert, I could not get above $4.5k salary even though the role usually gets more, alot more.

When I tried to get a new job, I couldn’t as I was not “educated” enough. I even remember when I went for an interview with a local hiring agency, the director of the company asked me why am I getting paid $4.5k with only a O level education. Moving forward, everyone wants to negotiate my salary dependent on my previously-earned salary.

This would not happen in any other 1st world nation as they would not only look at your education only but your ability and the job role they offering as well. A culture only present in Singapore among developed nations!

To SINGAPORE HR Folks : Does it really matter, what I drew in my previous role? Would you pay me a roadsweeper’s salary if I did 6 months of sweeping the roads as I cannot get employed? Staff remuneration should be based on the fact that what role you are offering, and a competitive remuneration to ensure retention.

I stopped work so I can go after a Masters as a maturde candidate. I have passed my Masters without even taking a degree course. For those who are wondering, how?  I not ashamed to say I am pretty smart (Singapore Mensa tested at 142 IQ) and anyone I know would easily tell you I have pretty high E.Q. as well. I never needed to go to school to learn these stuff, I read or learn through life experiences and pretty much grasp almost anything.

8 months have almost passed since completion of my Masters, and I still don’t have a job. I was even willing to take up non-IT roles as Condo Manager for $3k. Though I was able to impress in the interview, I was not offered a role. Only to find out later, that it was likely they were only willing to offer $2.8k for the position, which is the same they are willing to offer an inexperienced staff with diploma.

I cannot get government jobs or government-related jobs which are advertised everyday, simply because I do not fit the profiled definition of a normal candidate.

I have about $100k in the CPF unusable. I can’t afford a HDB, as I need to be employed and I cannot apply for BTO. Furthermore, I went through a divorce, I cannot get a HDB BTO home without waiting for 3 years after my divorce. I would be 39 by then, and by the time I get a home, I would be 45.

I now sit in J.B. (Malaysia) still applying for jobs in Singapore while trying to figure out if I can start out on my own. Even trying to be an entrepreneur in Singapore is difficult, I cannot afford an office location. I cannot apply for grant for entrepreneurship as I have a previous company when I started my IT business. This is  restricting me from applying for a government grant under the entrepreneurship programme.

All those people who support the current political administration, please tell me what is wrong with the picture? Am I not hardworking? Am I dependent on the government to spoon feed me? Am I too demanding?

I am stressed to the extreme, though I don’t show it to people much. I still put up a fighting front, as no one likes a person who complaints too much. But it is getting to me, I needed an outlet.

I need to know that there are also people like me who seep through the gap so I don’t feel so alone.

Steve

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2 Responses to “Divorced 38-year-old PMET live in JB, jobless for 8 months and feeling suicidal”

  1. Baey Liam Keng says:

    If so hardworking why go computer school after secondary? Why not JC or Poly? In this state because family didn’t work out, marriage didn’t work out, education didn’t work out. If road sweeping also cannot work out, try drain sweeping.

  2. T says:

    Steve,

    First of all, kudos to you for the hard work to achieve your earlier achievements despite the difficulties.

    Being a Singaporean that had grown up and worked in several countries around the world (USA, Switzerland, HK, Indonesia etc), I would like to make an observation that the grass is not always greener on the other side. On the topic of legislation, it is what it is and even assuming a government is willing/able to change the situation, it will take too much time before it impacts the ordinary people like you and me.

    Given your entrepreneurial spirit and background, why not make the most of your situation? JB is a fast growing economy with plenty of opportunities. Why not take the opportunity that you are living there to make your mark? There are many ways to achieve the your goals and it does not always have to start in Singapore.

    T

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