Take charge of one's career

Take charge of one's career

It could well have been a Singapore-based company that was shedding thousands of jobs ("MAS sets out plan for 'hard reset', axes 6,000 jobs"; Tuesday). The reality of the business world is this - anything that can potentially happen, may happen.

Some day, for example, the heads of our three local banking institutions may decide to merge their businesses into one.

Reeling from the underperforming property market, some property agencies are reported to be contemplating merging their businesses to capitalise on cost management, synergies, and so on, to have a fighting chance of staying afloat until the market turns around.

Should mergers, or any other organisational restructuring happen, jobs will be cut, and lifestyles and livelihoods will be impacted. In extreme cases, suicides can happen when the sole breadwinner is unable to handle the emotional and practical stress of having to put food on the table.

Other than cost management, there are many reasons why jobs are shed, resulting in workers losing their main source of livelihood.

It is challenging to handle the emotional challenges that typically accompany an involuntary job loss, and most people experience an emotional roller-coaster ride, ranging from denial and anger to accepting the reality, and rebuilding self-esteem and confidence. Some take months to complete this cycle. The memories can linger on for much longer.

Singaporeans must take charge of their own career planning and skills development, and be prepared to lose their jobs involuntarily, not once, but a couple of times throughout the entire duration of their careers.

As long as you draw a salary, there is always the possibility that you may lose your job. Never be complacent, or worse still, be naive enough to think that you are untouchable.

These days, a job can be just an illusion, here today, gone tomorrow. Take charge and plan your career, and your life.

This article was first published on June 4, 2015.
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