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Dead End. Need advice on career path.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-05-2013, 11:58 PM
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Default Dead End. Need advice on career path.

Hi all,

I see that this forum has many successful individuals and a more mature crowd, so I thought it good to ask here for advice.

I'm trying desperately to find ways to increase my salary dramatically as my parents are retiring soon and the like.

I'm 29 this year. Below is my salary history:

1) When I ORD-ed from army, I got a job as admin asst ($1100). I had only O' levels back then.

2) Later, I switched company and salary went up to $1400.

3) Switched company after some time and salary went up to $1650 at new company (still admin asst).

4) After that, I realized admin job = no future, so I pursued private Diploma in art and now working as commercial artist in local game startup. Salary $2000.
It's well-known that the creative industry has among the lowest payscale. Some of my friends are even earning less than 2k.

I did some research and realized that being a teacher in Singapore can net you $4k - $6k after teaching 5 years. For new teachers, if you've degree and you get into their GEO 1 scale, starting pay is $3000+ according to MOE website. In terms of salary, it's an iron rice bowl and no need to worry.

However, to even stand a chance of getting that, I need to first get a degree from NAFA / Lasaelle, and their course and misc fees is approx $40000+.
Take into consideration the food / transport expenses during these 3 - 4 years of study, I figured I need around $52000+ (living with parents now).

Which means based on my current salary, I need to save up $1000 over 2+ years to get that amount, and that's excluding the NIE assuming I get accepted as teacher.

If I can become a teacher, my financial issues would be gone.

The problem is: if I pay $52000+ for a degree and MOE reject me as a teacher, then I'm totally screwed right?

I know being a teacher = love for teaching, but in this practical world, how is that really true? Teachers are like 90% admin + 10% teaching, based on the forum here (I don't mind stress as long as I get to teach art, which is my passion).

I can't study those management courses (business admin, marketing etc.) because I really can't take it. Tried it in the past but even flipping open the textbooks is a real torture to me. But with art (drawing etc.), I can do it from morning to night non-stop and still want to do more.

Seems that the average salary is like $4.5 - $6k among the hip and young adults here. I feel like a low-caste member of society when compared with these guys. In fact, I definitely belong in the same category as the toilet cleaners and construction workers.

Still single now; the major dating agencies reject me cos' of low salary! LOL
Dating nowadays seems more about comparing financial data and $$$ statistics before couples hook up.

If any kind souls here who has seen the world and experienced life can show me some advice, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!
Rodon

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-05-2013, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodon_Tan View Post
Hi all,

I see that this forum has many successful individuals and a more mature crowd, so I thought it good to ask here for advice.

I'm trying desperately to find ways to increase my salary dramatically as my parents are retiring soon and the like.

I'm 29 this year. Below is my salary history:

1) When I ORD-ed from army, I got a job as admin asst ($1100). I had only O' levels back then.

2) Later, I switched company and salary went up to $1400.

3) Switched company after some time and salary went up to $1650 at new company (still admin asst).

4) After that, I realized admin job = no future, so I pursued private Diploma in art and now working as commercial artist in local game startup. Salary $2000.
It's well-known that the creative industry has among the lowest payscale. Some of my friends are even earning less than 2k.

I did some research and realized that being a teacher in Singapore can net you $4k - $6k after teaching 5 years. For new teachers, if you've degree and you get into their GEO 1 scale, starting pay is $3000+ according to MOE website. In terms of salary, it's an iron rice bowl and no need to worry.

However, to even stand a chance of getting that, I need to first get a degree from NAFA / Lasaelle, and their course and misc fees is approx $40000+.
Take into consideration the food / transport expenses during these 3 - 4 years of study, I figured I need around $52000+ (living with parents now).

Which means based on my current salary, I need to save up $1000 over 2+ years to get that amount, and that's excluding the NIE assuming I get accepted as teacher.

If I can become a teacher, my financial issues would be gone.

The problem is: if I pay $52000+ for a degree and MOE reject me as a teacher, then I'm totally screwed right?

I know being a teacher = love for teaching, but in this practical world, how is that really true? Teachers are like 90% admin + 10% teaching, based on the forum here (I don't mind stress as long as I get to teach art, which is my passion).

I can't study those management courses (business admin, marketing etc.) because I really can't take it. Tried it in the past but even flipping open the textbooks is a real torture to me. But with art (drawing etc.), I can do it from morning to night non-stop and still want to do more.

Seems that the average salary is like $4.5 - $6k among the hip and young adults here. I feel like a low-caste member of society when compared with these guys. In fact, I definitely belong in the same category as the toilet cleaners and construction workers.

Still single now; the major dating agencies reject me cos' of low salary! LOL
Dating nowadays seems more about comparing financial data and $$$ statistics before couples hook up.

If any kind souls here who has seen the world and experienced life can show me some advice, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!
Rodon
Well Rodon, while I sympathise with you, you are equally to blame as the government. I feel that many young people nowadays are told to pursue their passion, to do and study what they like, instead of what the economy (read it as what the customers) like and need. You see, who will pay you for what you like to do? People pay you to do what they want not what you want!

I really feel sorry for the many students who went to study life sciences and other non main stream subjects, thinking that there are well paying jobs in those areas waiting for them. Hell no, many of them ended up working in a field not related to their "passion". And if they are lucky enough to land a job, they are paid low. Those who "woke up" early went on to take another degree more in line with what the economy needs.

I really hoped that some of this "misguided" individuals will speak up especially in their alma maters to warn young students not to follow their footspteps.

Get your priorities right. Earn the big bucks first, establish your career and then pursue your passion be it in the arts, acting or some other things that only a few people are interested in. One former CEO of SIA is a good example. After establishing himself in his main career, he took up part time acting roles - his passion. I doubt if he went into acting first, he would be as successful.

Of course, there will be rich kids who can afford to fully pursue their passions, can take a few misstep every now and then. The rest of us?

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Old 12-05-2013, 10:27 AM
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Tks Unregistered! Appreciate your advice.

But from a logical standpoint, if I quit my job now (either that, or take a part-time "safe" management degree with SIM), will companies still hire me?

Cos' by the time I graduate, I will be approx 32 - 33, and when employers see this 32 year old guy with a mish-mash of career background, won't they think twice? Especially nowadays there's so much up-and-coming young people who are having degrees in managements and whatnow.

On the other hand, I'm still doing research to see if MOE has some schemes that can allow me to study at NAFA / Lasaelle and let me serve a long bond or something.

Thanks for any advice!
Rodon

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Old 12-05-2013, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodon_Tan View Post
many successful individuals and a more mature crowd

LOL LOL qtf
b/s + bootlick skills lvl 99 you can look for sales job
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodon_Tan View Post
Tks Unregistered! Appreciate your advice.

But from a logical standpoint, if I quit my job now (either that, or take a part-time "safe" management degree with SIM), will companies still hire me?

Cos' by the time I graduate, I will be approx 32 - 33, and when employers see this 32 year old guy with a mish-mash of career background, won't they think twice? Especially nowadays there's so much up-and-coming young people who are having degrees in managements and whatnow.

On the other hand, I'm still doing research to see if MOE has some schemes that can allow me to study at NAFA / Lasaelle and let me serve a long bond or something.

Thanks for any advice!
Rodon
Its good to see you are pursuing your passion, but as unfortunately in a society as pragmatic as Singapore the nature of things make it extremely tough for individuals pursuing work outside of mainstream society to make an equivalent of many others in the areas more relevant to mainstream work.

In your situation at the moment its a really tough call, given your age you really need to think carefully and have the determination to see it thru.

Thinking a little out of the box, are you doing any freelance work with your artistic talents? If you could find a way to marry up your passion and mainstream work it might be a good way for you to pursue? I.e Logi designs for company, Website designing, designing marketing campaigns and stuff.

All this will not fall in your lap of course, if you are good in what you do creativity should be able to marry up the consumer needs and your talents, however you will need to go out and find consumers to actually know/trust you and build a namesake for yourself.

With regards to teaching, if you don't have the passion might want to think twice. Teaching is pretty demanding job. I know of teachers given so must stuff to do (arrange ciriculam, mark test papers, rowdy classroom, unreasonable parents, organize after school activities etc etc). I'm not interested in teaching but I already know this, so if you are even considering this path you should know alot more than I do. If you don't then better go find out.
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Old 12-05-2013, 03:57 PM
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Rodo, you took a gamble pursuing your passion and basically screwed yourself over and in a sad predicament now.

Are you sure you still want to wager another 52k + 4 years of your life on a useless cert from NAFA? You are 29 now, you waste 2 years to raise the money, 4 years to study by the time you finish everything already 35, armed with nothing except a useless cert, MOE reject you means game over for life.

I suggest you stop fantasizing about making money in arts in Singapore. Go grab a pte business / commerce degree from the many vendors out there. It is much cheaper, can be done part time, and graduate much faster. Most important, this kind of degree worth much more than NAFA/Lasalle...

At least you can make it to some sort of executive level job in your early 30s (already very slow btw) which should be able to bump up your pay to 2.5k. You must be able to feed yourself and your parents first, otherwise what's the use of having passion. 99% people out there are doing jobs nothing to do with passion, but they recognize even if no passion at least the basic need for food, water and shelter can be met.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodon_Tan View Post
Hi all,

I see that this forum has many successful individuals and a more mature crowd, so I thought it good to ask here for advice.

I'm trying desperately to find ways to increase my salary dramatically as my parents are retiring soon and the like.

I'm 29 this year. Below is my salary history:

1) When I ORD-ed from army, I got a job as admin asst ($1100). I had only O' levels back then.

2) Later, I switched company and salary went up to $1400.

3) Switched company after some time and salary went up to $1650 at new company (still admin asst).

4) After that, I realized admin job = no future, so I pursued private Diploma in art and now working as commercial artist in local game startup. Salary $2000.
It's well-known that the creative industry has among the lowest payscale. Some of my friends are even earning less than 2k.

I did some research and realized that being a teacher in Singapore can net you $4k - $6k after teaching 5 years. For new teachers, if you've degree and you get into their GEO 1 scale, starting pay is $3000+ according to MOE website. In terms of salary, it's an iron rice bowl and no need to worry.

However, to even stand a chance of getting that, I need to first get a degree from NAFA / Lasaelle, and their course and misc fees is approx $40000+.
Take into consideration the food / transport expenses during these 3 - 4 years of study, I figured I need around $52000+ (living with parents now).

Which means based on my current salary, I need to save up $1000 over 2+ years to get that amount, and that's excluding the NIE assuming I get accepted as teacher.

If I can become a teacher, my financial issues would be gone.

The problem is: if I pay $52000+ for a degree and MOE reject me as a teacher, then I'm totally screwed right?

I know being a teacher = love for teaching, but in this practical world, how is that really true? Teachers are like 90% admin + 10% teaching, based on the forum here (I don't mind stress as long as I get to teach art, which is my passion).

I can't study those management courses (business admin, marketing etc.) because I really can't take it. Tried it in the past but even flipping open the textbooks is a real torture to me. But with art (drawing etc.), I can do it from morning to night non-stop and still want to do more.

Seems that the average salary is like $4.5 - $6k among the hip and young adults here. I feel like a low-caste member of society when compared with these guys. In fact, I definitely belong in the same category as the toilet cleaners and construction workers.

Still single now; the major dating agencies reject me cos' of low salary! LOL
Dating nowadays seems more about comparing financial data and $$$ statistics before couples hook up.

If any kind souls here who has seen the world and experienced life can show me some advice, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!
Rodon
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 12-05-2013, 06:33 PM
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Posts: 9
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Hi guys,

Much much thanks for the honest advice here, really grateful.

Just wondering, but if I take a part-time degree, what are the chances of people hiring me when they see I'm 30+ and no relevant experience in those corporate jobs? Need to get more rational feedback on this issue, otherwise if I pay so much for a part-time SIM degree and can't find job afterwards, I'm still screwed.

Also, in terms of overall future prospects, does anyone have any recommendation for which part-time degrees to take up (except those finance and accounting-related courses).
Basically, any discipline is ok with me since all of them are the same to me (equally boring and robotic LOL).

I really need to get my salary higher, to around $3500+ before 35 if possible.

Much thanks!
Rodon
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 12-05-2013, 07:51 PM
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Rodon

See if you can get a job at a creative industry. Lots of work out there- design , layout etc. You have a talent. Don't let others say its not a pragmatic choice, you are screwed etc.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:27 PM
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Hi Rodon,

You have to be more specific on the type of Corporate jobs you are seeking, I can tell you from a Banking perspective you might think about joining Ops but to be brutally honest at 33 with no experience chances of getting something proper is very (and I mean very) slim, I'm not going to sugarcoat because you're career and future is on the line. But I've seen people in their 30's join Banking ops and literally just stay there for 5 - 8 years at a junior level (salary about 5K) and later get replaced by an FT. You can imagine 40's plus with no job and lots of obligation. And that was many years ago when Bank's were quite liberal in hiring, these days I have many people in their 20's with relevant experience still under contract status and have been for the last 3 years.

Ultimately its not just about salary but also about job prospect, my question to you is once you join the sector do you have what it takes to catch up with the rest, because if you join in and stay at the same level till your 40 plus and get retrenched its gonna be tough on you later on if you get married have children etc.

Since you have some time have a serious think about the path you already decided and how you can best salvage your current experience and your passion. If you still want to jump unfortunately you do not have the luxury of time, you have to know what area / industry you want and check front to back if that's what you really want. And you might have to network to get someone to bring you in as you will have little relevant experience. Then you have to work harder then the guys 5 - 8 years younger then yourself to prove you have what it takes.

Next 5 years will decide how your next 40 years will be led, choose wisely. Very wisely




Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodon_Tan View Post
Hi guys,

Much much thanks for the honest advice here, really grateful.

Just wondering, but if I take a part-time degree, what are the chances of people hiring me when they see I'm 30+ and no relevant experience in those corporate jobs? Need to get more rational feedback on this issue, otherwise if I pay so much for a part-time SIM degree and can't find job afterwards, I'm still screwed.

Also, in terms of overall future prospects, does anyone have any recommendation for which part-time degrees to take up (except those finance and accounting-related courses).
Basically, any discipline is ok with me since all of them are the same to me (equally boring and robotic LOL).

I really need to get my salary higher, to around $3500+ before 35 if possible.

Much thanks!
Rodon
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Hi Rodon,

You have to be more specific on the type of Corporate jobs you are seeking, I can tell you from a Banking perspective you might think about joining Ops but to be brutally honest at 33 with no experience chances of getting something proper is very (and I mean very) slim, I'm not going to sugarcoat because you're career and future is on the line. But I've seen people in their 30's join Banking ops and literally just stay there for 5 - 8 years at a junior level (salary about 5K) and later get replaced by an FT. You can imagine 40's plus with no job and lots of obligation. And that was many years ago when Bank's were quite liberal in hiring, these days I have many people in their 20's with relevant experience still under contract status and have been for the last 3 years.

Ultimately its not just about salary but also about job prospect, my question to you is once you join the sector do you have what it takes to catch up with the rest, because if you join in and stay at the same level till your 40 plus and get retrenched its gonna be tough on you later on if you get married have children etc.

Since you have some time have a serious think about the path you already decided and how you can best salvage your current experience and your passion. If you still want to jump unfortunately you do not have the luxury of time, you have to know what area / industry you want and check front to back if that's what you really want. And you might have to network to get someone to bring you in as you will have little relevant experience. Then you have to work harder then the guys 5 - 8 years younger then yourself to prove you have what it takes.

Next 5 years will decide how your next 40 years will be led, choose wisely. Very wisely
Opps thats me
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