Dear Gilbert

Just managed to learn of your name and  ”transitioning” website yesterday.

Enclosed are my  resume and  a testimonial for your perusal.

I’m 47 years old,  graduated from NUS with BSc (Maths) in 91 and  went on to work  in the then Ministry of Community Development (MCD) dealing with grassroots work.

In 1993 we are absorbed into People’s Association (PA) umbrella through a restructuring of GROs.

I rose up the rank from Community Development Officer to eventually head the constituency secretariat as Senior Manager (equivalent to the current Constituency Director).

I also got a chance to do my Master in Accounting from Monash University (Australia) under PA’s scholarship for staff.

However, I couldn’t find any openings of Accounting/Finance in PA and  after serving the 3-year bond after my study, I left in end of 2000 to join a small audit firm in auditing for less than a year before I moved on to the stockbroking industry as dealer and  remisier for slightly more than a decade.

I went through the ups and downs of the stockbroking business – took a severe downturn from 2010 onward and  I’ve no choice but to leave the industry in April this year.

I took a short break and went on to look for jobs but it’s very discouraging and disheartening as I hardly get any interviews let alone an offer – I even apply for entry level jobs in both government and the  private sectors.

I bring with me wealth of experience in my grassroots and volunteers work in GROs, CDAC, Alumni, Clubs, Association, etc.

I attended workshops and career networking sessions at e2i, caliberlink, WDA, etc but all to no avail.

Saw my Grassroots Adviser (PAP MP) from my serving constituency and my WP MP from my residing constituency but the outcome is still futile.

I don’t even have a chance to go back to serve in PA even in an entry level position as Constituency Manager, let alone as Constituency Director (which I used to be in the 90s).

After more than 2 decades of both working in volunteer grassroots experiences, I can’t even be eligible for an entry level position but almost 2 decades ago (though much younger and less experienced) I still have a chance, what rationale is this?

Isn’t that age discrimination or something else?

I’m very perturbed and  frustrated by the process and the end result that I’m going through.

The only job offer, after 7 months of joblessness, is a temp staff position earning $6 an hour – barely enough for my own 3 meals and  daily expenses.

This work out to less than $1,000 a month (less than starting pay of a town council cleaner of $1,200).

Even for this temp job,  I have to  wait for few months after registering through a job hub under North East CDC.

Is this what PMETs in the 40s with postgraduate qualification and wealth of experience have to end up as in this first world city state of ours?

I also came across many almost similar cases like me in those workshops I attended. Am I  just one of the many silent victims or by-products of this “elite system of meritocracy”?

I can go on to write endlessly for hours but this is just some of my thoughts and frustrations –  other than that what else can I do in Singapore?

Feel like emailing to Manpower Minister or even PM but was told by some that usually you won’t get any reply or worst still it may even jeopardise your already difficult job search.

I really don’t know what to do as to when can I land myself a proper perm job so that I can pay my bills and  expenses and at least go back to the mainstream  society.

Hope you can advise.

Thank you so much.

Best Rgds,


Editor’s Note: We have assigned the writer a career coach to guide him along.


Transitioning.org - unemployment support services is a non-government organisation which provides coaching and counselling support to Singaporeans in employment transition. All our services are offered free of charge and operated solely by volunteers. Our core mission is to ensure that Singaporeans are hired first in our own country and accorded proper labour rights.