"Under-employment among older PMETs is seeing an uptrend in Singapore - Channel NewsAsia Posted: 30 December 2009 2107 hrs
SINGAPORE: Singapore's labour movement said tackling the issue of under-employed workers will be a big challenge in the coming year.
It said under-employment is becoming more pertinent among older Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians also known as (PMETs)."
This is an unavoidable trend as these PMETs are victims of structural unemployment where the industries where they used to work can no longer be competitive to be based in Singapore. Anyone with a bit of brain and willingness to see the truth will know what mass manufacturing jobs in the electronics industry in Singapore are losing out to cheaper and bigger markets like China. The middle level folks always get it bad as they are the meat between the 2 slices of bread in a sandwich!!
Lessons for me are:
1. you cannot choose your job after you passed certain age as the potential employers will discriminate, not intentionally but out of choices between the 'older and more expensive' vs. the 'younger and less expensive' candidates who probably can do the job required. It is a fact of life that we have to live with if we believe in a capitalistic system in Singapore!!;
2. staying relevant is not easy and the 1st step is the self-recognition that the world is no longer the same one we inhibited. That no one owes us a living. That we will have to lower our expectations when looking for jobs. That we have to change our mindset that working for a living is a privilege. If we can make that mindset switch, we will be able to accept lower pay, less challenging jobs, and less frustration and depression!!;
3. there are many transferable skills we bring from one industry to another. Most of them are the soft skills like interpersonal relationship building, productive and effective communication, etc. It is therefore paramount that we recognized soft skills as essential and work on them whenever and wherever we can besides acquiring hard skills like critical thinking, creative problems solving, etc.
4. making sure that you DO NOT have big financial obligation in the 'normal' time will definitely help you to cushion the impact of under-employment better. So, be prudent in your financial spending and saving!!
It will be a long road to get rid of under-employment when you lost your jobs at middle age and with the macro environment relatively bleak. So, be ready for it by doing what I suggested above!!
Good luck! And stay healthy - physically and mentally, and even spiritually if you have spirituality to lean on!!