Sunday, 21 November 2021

Will there still be a job for me after the age of 40? | Job security and uncertainty

What do you think of your current job security? For me, job security is really just something that applies maybe to certain positions or certain levels in a company, I haven't really experienced any job security since graduating from University. This is because I have been in a contract job after I graduated and ever since then have only held contract roles.

Jobs are no longer as secure as skill sets and job scopes changes as per the company's needs. Downsizing and cutting cost seems to be the norm in the ever-changing pandemic situation. I have to admit the job I am holding is not directly impacted by the pandemic but the effects of the pandemic is far-reaching.

PMEs - Professionals, Managers, Executives

I came across this article the other day on CNA and it wrote about examples of how very qualified and willing to work individuals who are older (PMEs - Professionals, Managers, Executives) are finding it hard to get a job even with retraining from government support. It wrote about how a former managing director, Siva has been looking for a job for seven years ever since he was retrenched at age 52. If you think about it, that's a tough situation he has been facing, looking for a job for 7 years is long. He was let go in 2014 due to plummeting oil prices and was earning about $10,000 and have about 30 years experience in the industry, earning $10,000 I have to say is a pretty comfortable amount if you do not have huge commitments.

He has taken up IT courses and project management but have been told that he does not have the relevant experiences and that he might be too highly qualified for the role which is one of the main reasons he received. WSG mentioned that Mr Siva shared at the time that he had expected remuneration on par with his last drawn salary. He’s since lowered his salary expectations but still wants to be in work that can utilise his skills and qualifications with him doing freelance QA-related work but he still is looking out for a full-time role.

Another individual, Mr Helmy Osman, 50, who set up his own events planning company after leaving his job in 2019 unfortunately had to close his business due to the pandemic. He got a contract job although it was a quarter of what he earned and he got it after numerous submissions and interview sessions. He has a TikTok account and have gone for digital course but was told he was not digitally savvy enough.

Sandwiched generation

Many PMEs are also having to deal with being the sandwiched generation, with children and parents to take care of. This poses huge pressure on them to ensure that they have their job especially so if their parents depend on them for allowances or necessities. Employers also worry about the commitments that PMEs have especially so for individuals who have taken a break due to their kids which was also explained by Ms Jayasree Balakrishnan Pillai, 40 years old who took a 2 years break to care for her 3 children. She explained that many companies asked her personal questions on her family commitments and some expected her to take a pay cut but eventually she managed to find a job that gave her an increment from her previous job.

What I think

I do feel that every job has the possibility of being replaced considering the rapid pace of innovation and automation. Companies are restructuring to face the changing situations and employees are made to adapt or leave if they are unable to keep pace. I do feel that in my current company and I think it has also instil a huge drive in me to take charge of my finances as I do not know how long I will be employed and whether will there be a job for me when I reach my 40s.

Thinking about the future is good in a certain sense as it prepares you for things and makes your goals more concrete as you prepare yourself. But of course overthinking can cause anxiety and I do try my best not to think too much about it. I heard this online, "Thinking about the past produces pain, thinking about the future produces anxiety, learn to be in the present and live now."

I do not have a solution to ensure job security but I believe financial planning is the way to go. I have noticed a rise in financial planning information in our local news scene from TODAY to CNA and even Straits Times. I think Singaporeans are seeing the need for investing as a buffer for retirement and having just a main income from work or trading your time for money is not the only way to grow your money. Here are 2 videos (Part 1 & Part 2) I came across on CNA and I think definitely we can see a lot of advocating of financial planning and retirement fund (CPF was heavily mentioned in the part 2 video haha) in the past year since the pandemic. Hope you guys enjoy the content. Do like my pages to stay informed every time I release new content. Stay safe and happy that Covid-19 curbs are easing up from 22 Nov 2021!

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