The Value In You and Me

I don’t know if we’re on the verge of recession. We can’t ever predict such things to happen. Just when the stock market is doing rather well this year (at time of writing, STI ETF time-weighted returns are at 8.32%!), I have also received a few pieces of bad news from a bunch of friends and colleagues.

If you’re in a similar industry with me, then you’ll know about the ongoing retrenchments around a few MNCs in Singapore. So far, I’ve personally known 3 friends who are affected by this this year, and they are only in their early 30s and 40s.

The idea of job security is very different from my father’s days. I don’t believe that job security exists today anymore. Anyone is replaceable in their company, much less a junior engineer like me. If you think that you are indispensable in any way, the value that you see yourself in your organization may be an oversight and arrogance on your part . There are so many people in the world, there will definitely be someone better than you, and most probably, cheaper.

After hearing all these news, it made me ponder even more about how long more I need to reach financial freedom. The urgency has just been turned up a tiny notch and I have became a little more grateful for what I have. The new company that I am in now is still moving forward with new project bookings and I feel glad that I can integrate well with my new colleagues. You never know what will happen the next day, the next month or the next year, but one thing that is within my control is how I improve myself.

Be it technically, or financially.

Well of course, Miss Niao prefers very much the latter.

Author: Miss Niao

Hello! I blog about financial matters and things that average people can do to have a better retirement. I want to inspire people to take control of their money and have a better understanding about it. If you are interested to know more, follow me @! :)

5 thoughts on “The Value In You and Me”

  1. That’s why since 2009, more & more people are entering (or trying to) the public service. Traditionally is more females, many of whom have worked couple of years in private sector, and trying to come in for the comparable pay, better working hours, and the ability to take 5 months paid leave (4 months maternity + 1 month annual leave) without jeopardising their jobs. But for the past 7-8 years have been seeing more guys switching from private to public sector.

    Becoz of the perceived “iron rice bowl”, I see many younger workers in public sector spending almost all their salaries each month, maybe only saving a small portion of their bonuses. Hence monthly spending of $5K to $10K are not uncommon. I suppose if they pump a big portion into property(ies) then maybe still OK (debatable depending on price paid & how they’re monetising the properties). But many are simply spending on lifestyle consumption e.g. travel & holidays (a big deal for them), lavish weddings, dining, shopping, “experiences”, cars etc.


    1. I guess then, I can count myself pretty lucky. I have been working in the private sector since graduation 6.5 years ago and every company that I went to had all the said benefits above. I have tried to go for interviews in the public sector but I can’t really gel well with the interviewers during those interviews. There may be many reasons why but I am counting it on the varied job scope that entails.

      I have a friend that is working in the public sector too, ever since we graduated together. He describes his work to me but it sounds so mundane – definitely perfect if you don’t like hands-on. I can’t do that anymore, I like the challenges that I face in my job on a daily basis. It’s what makes my brain moving constantly. The only problem that the public sector still faces I believe, is career progression. The scholars get a fast track and higher salaries above everyone else, it is still the reality.

      Ever since those interviews, and a rather bad impression of the interviewers, I never wanted to try to go to the public sector again.

      To be able to have a spending of $5K to $10K per month would mean that you have to be at least earning that amount of money, or you will incur huge amounts of debt. So far, nobody I know has been earning $10K from engineering, be it private or public sector. The closest I know, probably draws a gross salary of $9k (bonuses included, without employer CPF contribution). You must have some really rich friends!


      1. Haha! No lah … but in the public sector, there are the more “prestigious” organisations and those less so. E.g. MAS, MOF, EDB … you get the drift.

        Yeah, regarding scholars & doing “boh liao” things in general … quite true!!

        E.g. I have a friend in Tourism Board that is on 3-year posting to New York, on fat living allowances (plus allowance for spouse & kids too!). Renting multi-million dollar apartment in nice part of NY (of course) and international schooling for kids (but of course!!). LOL. Allowances are more than enough for upper income lifestyle without touching salaries & bonuses. And all these for some admin & a bit of marketing to Amerians to promote tourism & biz to S’pore.

        Those other civil servants (EDB, MTI, MFA) in NY, SF, Houston, London, Frankfurt, Beijing, Shanghai, Mumbai, Tokyo also similar sweet deals man!!


  2. Hey haven’t heard from you for quite a while!

    Yea i can totally relate to that. I am also in an industry in which job displacement and retrenchment are fairly common affairs and we are not talking about people in their 40s or 50s. No one is ever indispensable.

    Seems like it has become increasingly important to keep ourselves upgraded and updated with new information and skills.


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