Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The weak Singapore job market starts to hit me

I work as an analyst for a US multinational corporation. Business conditions have been poor because of the weak commodities market affecting our major clients. Several rounds of layoffs have occured globally, including in Singapore. Thus, it was a great worry two days ago when my senior manager sent out an email at 10pm to attend a conference call held at 11pm the same night. Of course I missed out on the conference call. I was busy catching up on my sleep.

It was definitely not positive news because the next day, I received multiple meeting invites from various managers - I work in a company with a very complicated structure. Turns out that the company was going to freeze promotions as well as pay for the coming year. The upside we were told by the team leader, was that our jobs would remain secure until end-2016 and that the our incentive would still be paid out. The team broke out in laughter.

My senior colleague (mid-30's) was emotionally affected by the news. After all, he just purchased a resale flat and will have to renovate the apartment before moving in. I was indifferent, surprisingly. I was quite distraught a few months back because my nomination for a promotion was not successful "due to market conditions". Then, I told myself that if it happened in the next cycle, I would leave the company.

However, despite hearing the news, I do not find myself wanting to move. Perhaps my intermittent job search exposed me to the reality of how terrible the current market really is. My friend's referral gave me an interview for a position I did not want. A cold caller asked if I considered financial planning as a career. Two years ago, I would have had cold calls from LinkedIn every month for relevant position. Life must go on. That emergency fund must be built up and with greater urgency.

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