Wednesday 7 July 2021

Pursuing your passion and worrying about job prospects

Fresh Graduates

2020 and 2021 graduates have been hit hard and particularly for those who are pursuing a career which involves large numbers of physical presence eg Theatres, events management, tourism and hospitality. I believe even the existing workforce in these sectors have been badly hit as traineeships and short term job opportunities are created. There are definitely surge in other industries like technology and wealth planning but the other sectors have definitely been hit hard. Even the veterans in the Arts industry asked for people to explore other choices before settling or joining theatres and Adrian Pang said,"Choose to do this only if it's the one and only thing in your life that you see yourself doing because if there's any other thing in your life that you are good at, enjoy doing or can earn a decent living, do that instead."

I guess after this whole pandemic, the conviction to really join an industry that is struggling to recover has to be strong because the recovery period might be long before things will really get back to normal. Seeing this article, it really is painful because beside fresh graduates who have a hard time finding jobs, the existing workforce is also suffering as retrenchments and closure of companies affect them.

One example in the article was Ms Lili Muslihah who graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama at the University of London with a degree in theatre practice in December 2019 and was ready to venture but COVID struck and her plans had to be put on hold.

A lot of new skillsets are now needed in various industries, one particular one is content creation. I think being able to present your skills or anything basically, even your daily life has been a huge thing in almost every industry. I think one huge jump we can see are YouTubers where content creators can garner quite a following and also promote courses or share about their life to not just people in their region but around the world.

I have also seen many of insurance agents as they might be from the airline industry or service and they have also harness the use of content creation to provide bite-sized information to their clients which really brings about a new branding to themselves. More importantly than content creating, I think constantly learning is the way to go.

Selling out

Many individuals who are in the creative industry often use the term selling out. Watched a video recently on Is It Wrong To Pursue Money Over Passion?

In terms of music or art, selling out is associated with attempts to tailor material to a mainstream or commercial audience. For example, a musician who alters their material to encompass a wider audience, and in turn generates greater revenue, may be labeled by fans who pre-date the change as a "sellout"

I don't think there is anything wrong with it and I think using selling out is too extreme of a term. Whether it is for the money or just for a better life, getting another job that pays better and not chasing your passion is no sin but of course, you have to maybe not do what you are passionate about, leading to a short career (depends) and having to maybe adjust to a more structured work.

Current Workforce

The current workforce is also feeling some heat from the pandemic as roles that might have been secure before seem to be able to be outsource remotely. I deeply relate to this as I feel job stability and prospects have greatly reduced but asset prices have been going up and up. From an article released by Straits Time, it was found via a study by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) think-tank that more than half of Singapore's residents are concerned about their job security, employment prospects and children's future, it also found that more than seven in 10 here identify as belonging to the working and lower-middle classes.

I am sure many Singaporeans rely on their income to pay the bills, pay the mortgages or debts and also for the everyday necessities, multiply that with children or aging parents and I can understand the large proportion who identifies as working and lower-middle class. To further enforce that the fresh graduates are really graduating into a wave of uncertainty, the article provides more data.

The unemployed and those who were studying were unsurprisingly the most concerned by far - nearly seven in 10, compared with approximately half of all other groups. The study said this indicated some level of concern about the employment market. Younger respondents also generally expressed more fears. The study said this was to be expected of the most economically active age group. For those aged 21 to 35, 33.2 per cent were very much worried; this figure was slightly higher (34.9 per cent) for the 36- to 50-year-olds.

Of course, for those in the current workforce aged older at 36 to 50 years old, their worries are more of being replaced by the younger generations and being a sandwiched generation mainly due to their children still schooling. This means there are big expenses along the road and they are worried if they can hold on to their job to pay the bills.

In the report, it was observed that respondents who were less affluent were also most likely to report being "very happy" compared with others. Uncertainty has really intensify during this period and I am affected by it as we see rising cost and assets but read articles on how many people became millionaires today or how the rich are moving to SG and at the same time snagging up the properties.

Anxiety arises because we compare and it's never enough. When the job environment is not good, it can really affect your morale especially so if the interviews you have been going for have no replies and every job you apply for seems to not be your ideal job. In times like these, a lot of self-discovery and motivation is needed to tell yourself that you have to get over this time period and it will get better. As I do have a long future ahead of me, I do get demoralised when work doesn't go well or things don't seem good but being positive and having companionship matters. Wishing all the best to everyone!

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