Time for Generation Y to shape up or be prepared for a life of mediocrity
Posted by temasektimes on June 24, 2012
As a Singaporean employer manager a SME of over 200 staff, I can attest to the fact that young Singaporeans nowadays are plagued with all kinds of attitude problems and have taken for granted the good life that their parents have bestowed on them by virtue of their hard work.
Just to give a few examples:
1. My company put up a job ad recently hiring full-time administrative staff at $1,800 monthly (office hours, five day work week, no shift work) looking specifically for Singaporeans. We received a number of inquiries over the phone, but most just want to bargain for higher pay first without making the effort to make a trip down for the interview to discuss the details. We eventually hired two fresh polytechnic graduates. One did not turn up for the on-the-job training without giving a valid reason and another left after two weeks citing a better offer elsewhere.
2. One staff who has been working for over a year tried to hold me to ransom for a higher salary via SMS in spite just being given a pay rise of $200 three months earlier. She rejected my offer to negotiate in person and ‘MIA’ the next day without giving a month’s notice.
3. Spending time on Facebook, surfing the internet, using the company’s PCs to watch Korean dramas during working hours are commonly observed among some Singaporean workers. Sometimes, they even act blur when I walked into the office as if nothing has happened. Despite repeated warnings by the HR, they persist in their ‘activities’. When one was threatened with the sack, she simply threw all her work aside and walked off without saying the word, disrupting the company’s operations and causing it to make a loss.
4. Taking MCs and leaves in the last minute without passing their work and responsibilities to fellow colleagues. There were times when they left office early to ‘see’ a doctor only to come back hours later without a valid MC.
5. Job-hopping: reading the classified ads during working hours, using the company’s phones to call for prospective employers and arranging interviews and giving short notices when leaving the company.
I could go on and go and I am not stereotyping young Singaporean workers. While there are some good, motivated and responsible ones around, such workers are the exception rather than the norm.
We are a home-grown company which employs more than 90 percent Singaporeans. As far as possible, we will try to employ Singaporeans first before foreigners, but with so many difficulties faced in hiring Singaporeans and retaining them for a number of years, we may have no choice to turn to foreigners.
For those of you in the SME sector, you will know the many constraints we face – many of us struggling to keep afloat in the face of intense competition from the giant GLCs for the same pool of clients in the small Singapore market. We would love to offer higher pay for Singaporeans provided they are able to contribute to the company, but if they come with the mindset of just earning quick and easy cash, why should we invest in them?
Young Singaporeans seriously need to wake up their bloody idea that they are guaranteed an iron rice-bowl upon stepping into the workforce. When I graduated twenty years ago, I worked seven days a week, 12 – 18 hours each day for five years to earn enough to start my own company. My wife and I saved every single cent we have for our family. We had no car, no paid holidays and no luxurious pursuits or products. Just plain, honest and solid hard work to get to where we are today.
If you refuse to plant your feet solidly on the ground and work your socks off, then don’t expect money to drop from the sky. If you do not have the earning capability, then spend less and don’t splurge on expensive holidays and branded stuff to show off in front of your girlfriends and relatives. And if you do not have the will, hunger and desire to succeed in life, then be prepared to live in mediocrity for the rest of your life.
I know I will get flamed for this article, but this is the HARD TRUTH for young Singaporeans – your diploma or degree is only a stepping stone in life, not a fast-track ticket to success. Nobody is going to give you a car, a career and a flat for free. You have to fight hard for them yourselves and you have nobody to blame but yourselves if you fail to make the mark. I am sorry, this is how the real world works outside and you folks seriously need to shape up or get ship out! Lastly, but not the least, please get out of your mama’s shadow, stop whining and start behaving like adults!
LAM C K