My views on…

At the rate things are going, I have to rename my blog as it is surely no longer ‘daily’. Even ‘weekly’ would be good. Anyway I tend to be [Twittering]( and [Plurking]( and updating Facebook much more often than once a day so I hope that evens out my blogging GPA 🙂
I have a few things to say about all sorts of issues and will stick them all into this blog post:
**SXSW and other conferences**
Yes, I am forgoing all geek conferences and hoping not to experience withdrawal symptoms this year. Getting Twitter updates from friends at [SXSW]( is painful enough, though I can live through it. Also I was invited by a classmate (Ivy leaguer) to attend a tech conference at his alma mater in a few weeks’ time. Turned it down. No money to spare, and I’d miss classes. ‘Keep telling myself next time when I’m back at work, earning money, maybe I can do it again…
**Expats to blame for joblessness?**
‘Saw a Plurk comment on someone else’s account about how [more Singaporean grads are jobless]( One commentor asked if this was due to foreigners taking the jobs. There was also a similar comment on the ST web page itself. I have to agree with the Government’s stand on encouraging foreign talent, even in difficult times. I believe in meritocracy, and if the foreigner’s truly better for the job, and able to get along with locals despite not being one, then so be it. Remember also that many expats have created new business and jobs for Singaporeans. If you’re anti-expat then I’m afraid I can’t hang out with you, in case all my brilliant and multinational classmates (some of whom are planning to work or start businesses in Singapore) are unwelcome in your presence. And don’t forget, some expats also do jobs that we snooty Singaporeans don’t like to do – like serving other people. [Update: New ST article says most new jobs that went to foreigners were in the [construction sector](]
We act like we deserve to get hired and keep our jobs, but it’s a two-way street. I think we can still improve our own attitudes towards serving other people (the Filipinos beat us hollow at it), our language skills (how many of us can speak English / Mother Tongue fluently without having to throw in words from other languages/dialects?), our general knowledge and our social graces. Of course, sometimes it’s really not the employee’s fault, but perhaps a few things could be mitigated, like being politically aware of one’s situation, establishing good relations with your superiors, making yourself essential, or at least start looking around for a job when you sense things are unstable. I’m of the belief that more things are in your realm of influence than you imagine (but of course ultimately it is still God’s will, to those of us who believe in a God).
**My own job search**
People are asking me what my plans are. Well, assuming that I can indeed hold my own, “meritocratically” 😉 I hope to move into a position where I can actually make use of what I’ve learnt in my MBA, regardless of whether I go back or move on. I still love social media, but I also want more depth and breadth in my outlook. There is no point in returning to the same type of work after graduating from a top business school. If I don’t have the chance to apply anything I’ve learnt, I might as well not have spent 10 months and good money on my degree. I would do better to work in another organisation that appreciates it.
What sort of company would I want to work for? I’ve been in all sorts of environments (small startup, big local monopoly, public sector) except an MNC, so that would be a possibility. However, according to the psych tests I’ve taken, I also desire some degree of control, i.e. knowing that my decisions/actions have made a difference. This doesn’t necessarily happen in large organizations which tend to behave like bureaucracies. There are thus tradeoffs between what I’d like and what I’d have to give up.
Another desire is to lead a team of people. Of course, I want to do a good job, because this affects other people’s lives. My Dean has a name for people with fancy titles who aren’t up to the job – Leaders In Name Only (LINO). It’s a good reminder to myself not to be like that. Also, work culture and good bosses are very important to me. That’s the reason why I stayed on in my last job, and if you ever asked me about my wonderful ex-boss I’d tell you about him, possibly with tears in my eyes. Trust, good guidance and minimal processes let me do my job quickly and it felt like I was still in a dotcom. I had the feeling of ‘flow’. It is so amazing, like getting high doing work, being very innovative and productive, and I’m not sure if many other people have had the privilege of experiencing it. I believe it can be regained with the right environment. The search goes on…