Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Professionals, Managers, Executives, and Technicians (PMETs)

Quote: "Some say PMET has become the catch-all term to describe the "middle class" of Singapore workers". I suppose PMETs refers to those who are tertiary educated with, say a Poly diploma or a Uni degree.

In the days of Singapore U (SU) and Nanyang U (NU), many NU students opted to start their own businesses as their starting pay were generally lower than SU graduates and promotions opportunities favoured SU graduates.

Another group that was more entrepreneurial were the Poly graduates.

Looking at Singapore's economic dynamics, early efforts were made to provide jobs for the polulation in general in the 60s/70s (low skills, labour intensive). By the 80s/90s, the Unis were churning out graduates to run and manage MNCs, manufacturing outfits and larger local companies (management skills, higher value-added industries) - a generation of managers were moulded and produced.

By late 90s and the turn of the century, Singapore was faced with competition from cheaper and massive labour supply from neighbouring countries including India and China. Coupled with this, globalisation and WTO-centric agreements, make factors of production, namely labour, more mobile and fluid.

Our generation of PMETs has learned to accept monthly wages as a norm and few ventured entrepreneurialy as the comfort of being managers overwhelmed the need to take risks and chances to run their own businesses.

The economic fibres meshed over the years was a comfortable monthly salary; sufficient to pay for a home, a car, two kids, a maid, holidays at year end, a family of four - luckier were those with dual income if both spouses work.

With globalisation and the fluidity of labour (force) flow and the relocating of manufacturing industries overseas to lower cost centres, PMETs were suddenly slap with the reality of job losses. Years of experiences and loyalty was not enough to forestall replacement by cheaper, younger and faster workers as the same job can be done cheaper and learnt faster. PMETs simply did not have a fighting chance against the younger, faster and cheaper replacements.

Apart from this, the mega mergers of industries also decimate jobs. A page back in time reminisced Singapore with ten banks but with megers, we have only three large ones; there used to be about thirty stockbroking companies, now we have under ten.

Besides, the younger are willing to work longer working hours for the same pay, especially if they are foreigners. Not that Singaporeans are any less hard working but if they are foreigners working here, chances are they have lesser friends and relatives around to demand their attention. Work, work and more work also means more (overtime) pay.

The years of comfort and sheltered environment evaporates into thin air - the reality is that if you are 35-45 years old, or older, and if you loss your job, the chances of you finding a same, or fairly similar, job with same salary is almost zero.

Even if you are willing to retrain, upgrade or seek newer and relevant skills, the chances of you finding employment with the same pay is also almost zero. Age is a tall obstacle but not fatal! The permutation of solution is not linear. Think out of the box - challenging times need challenging solutions.

So what can PMETs do? PMETs supposedly consisted of people who are tertiary educated; have they lost all the 'grey matter' above their shoulders and between their ears? I know of afew solutions but lets start with you - solutions lie with the problems. If nobody is willing to come forward with a solution, or is waiting for the next person to suggest, then its a checkmate and PMETs will fade into history as managers of a past era.

Come on, wake up - God help those who help themselves. Even God wants the solutions to start from you. Get organised, get together, find the solution. However difficult and chaotic a/the generation is going through, a leader is born to lead; you could be the one.

In the article, circa August 2010, by Spring Singapore, encouraging PMETs to take up Entrepreneurship Training "Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) have been the hardest hit in the downturn, forming some 40% of total retrenchment between January and March last year". If there are 30,000 unemployed PMETs and each contribute one possibility (solution), you will have 30,000!

I write to motivate and encourage all to see the 'light at the end of the tunnel' and to stop the blame game. More importantly, look on the positive side of life and give yourself a chance to start; if not from where you last stopped, then a new start. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Choice Or No Choice

I Want To Be Free...

Dreams are like rainbows; see it, feel it, enjoy it but you can never have it the way it was dreamt... that does not prevent nor stop us from dreaming
I have seen double rainbows
I have tried continuing dreaming when the dream was sweet, rewarding and consuming
But, like the rainbows, I can never chase, continue nor capture it with my awakening

Fantasy, pretension, illusion... like dreams are temporary reprieve for our soiled and toiled Soul
Its the inner self that need escape... Indulge and enjoy a lightness feeling
Fear not that you look weak when you break away from your routine
Its the smart and the bluffs that win the race; ask the hyenas
The Vietnamese sent the French and the Americans packing
The Afgans sent the British and Russians home while the Americans are still looking for a face-saving way out, if no victory is in sight
Table tennis is the only game where the Chinese are playing against fellow Chinese donning different flags; its a choice
"You can't make someone else's choices. You shouldn't let someone else make yours." - General Colin Powell

Set yourself free
Free from bondage and others' expectations
Move swiftly and flow like a fire dancing in the breeze
Do not trade the freedom that you are born with for the material wealth which comes with a price;
...And where thou now exact'st the penalty... a pound of this poor merchant's flesh - Merchant of Venice
Make the right choice
To be healthy, happy and free from bondage
Lord over your choices...or you will be slave unto yourself 
There is a price for everything but I am priceless
The Lightness Of Being

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Winning Or Losing 道

It Starts With The Mind ...

When the Japanese soldiers marched into Nanjing in WWII, the Chinese soldiers surrendered inspite of  superiority in numbers?

How, and Why, did the 33 Chilean miners kept their spirits alive, alert and sane for 69days, half-a-mile beneath the surface?

If Genghis Khan and Napoleon Bonaparte were born in the same generation, both shall reign? Or will both reign?

Mind and attitude win the day
He who conquers others is strong; He who conquers himself is mighty. . . Lao Tzu

It is no coincidence that when someone succeeds beyond imagination; his beliefs and perseverance out-lived & out-shone himself

The Way of Life (Dao - 道) is formless

Live healthily, happily and wholesomely before the last breathe
Live with the knowledge that life & death is destined and ALL else is a 'Choice'
Look around you, and asked "why everyone around you seem to be in a hurry?"

If you are at the top, the next choice is down
If you are already the best, you can't better your 'best'

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt... Lao Tzu 

The modern day pressures come from trying to be perfect
Perfection is an abstract which fools chase
The smart treats perfection as a flow; like ideals they change over time

Hallucinations, anxieties, frustrations, stresses... are ill-effects of being perfectly perfect
The Dao of Perfection is a flow

Winning or losing is a subset of the flow - 孔明借东风
What goes around comes around
Fret not...

From the flow comes the flow - as formless as always

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Time Flies

When time is lost ...

When I was young, I spend alot, alot of time fighting for survival
I helped and worked as hawker selling noodles, vegetables, eggs, bread... to eke a living
I was poorer than church mouse
Working is not a choice 手停口就停 but a necessity

In between work, I study
Tuition is non-existent and coaching is rare
Either I passed or the cane awaited me; pass the examinations or face the caning
The choice is clear

Childhood and teen were cycles of work, survival, study or punishment
I am probably the last batch of the "kok-ki-kok" noodle-man
Free time, if any, was spent playing marbles, flying kites, playing spiders, rearing fighting fishes
I grew up in the innocent age and entered young adolescent like a dodo

Before I knew, I entered adult age
My poor financial/family background did not allow me to continue higher education
That did not break my will to succeed neither did it decimate my climb up the social ladder; and in order to break out of the poverty cycle, I created opportunities

Through hard work and study, I empowered myself with knowledge and (academic) papers
Through sweat and toil and a sincere heart and soul, I carved a niche and succeeded careerwise
Like a deck of cards, my career collapsed along the way to the top
The defeat was as deadly as the bombing of pearl harbour

I limped in despair
I lived my life worse than a beggar
I walked away from my defeat, reformed, re-evaluate my choices and returned with a vengence
The positively charged will and upright character saw me through hell and back

But, the moment of darkness seemed forever in the trough
The dark alleys of defeat meandered like a maze
Walking away and giving up was the best choice then

It is sunshine and blue sky now
Some days it is like a desert
Some forsaken days are colder than the Arctic

I am Faith driven
I am Positively centric
I surf the up and down of my life cycle like an Olympian

Time really flies...I lost my youth to ignorance and lack of choice
My teen ticked by and adulthood reared its head
I have lost plentiful; I lost TIME

I never jump in triumphs and tribulations
Neither do I wallow in defeats 
I only manage Time

Time; my best friend
Time lost can never be found... I am living in the wilderness of the wild
With each passing time, I am furthest from the start & nearer the end...

It is IMPOSSIBLE to walk back!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My World Is Collapsing

Some days my world within seems collapsing... or near collapsed

Sometimes I have this helpless feeling that the world around me moves ahead of me and I am totally lost
Sometimes I feel that I have not done enough, within my capability, to stretch my ability and to reach out
At times, I feel like a sitting duck and a lost soul in a compass-less boat, floating in the high seas

Have the world at large walked out on me? Probably not
Have I lost my head and loss my way that I feel like a stranger in the land? Maybe
Or did I get lost in the wilderness in my determination to trudge ahead? Probably

My knowledge is too shallow compared to the learned
My wealth, if any, is too little to sit back and relax
I am definitely not a fish in a pond; just a fry trying to survive the muddy water - more mud than water

The environment is hostile and unforgiving
The pressure is intense and fanning
I am like a frog in boiling water. If I jump, I may jump into the fire but to remain is certain death  

When friends walked away and the challenges look insurmountable
When fire rages beneath the feet and floodwater is rising
 Apocalypse? Armageddon? Death in seconds? Maybe or maybe not

From time to time I walked into the wall
A wall of silence, rejection, isolation, 'no-return', hopelessness...when the only, and best release, is death or to depart from this humanly world
I found HOPE... and survived

But, maybe...
With my Will shattered and my Soul almost defeated, I breathe in new life
I am born again ... my pretense and deception at death's corridors allow a new lease of life with old baggages

Many a times, I have been tested and pushed to the extremes aka cliffhangers
By my own doing or forces beyond my control, I do not know
In my/any collapsed world, being smart is useless; nobody can outsmart the unknown

I can only summarise my return to one word "LUCK" 

I have to be Lucky, now and always, to survive every trying moments; the unknowns
The great escapes, the near death challenges, the successes, the deft hands...
It boils down to "LUCK"

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Life - My Rainbow Connection

E = MC2 ... Energy(E) equals Mass (M) multiplied by the Speed of light (E) squared 

Have you seen how an animal react when it is cornered
Have you heard of how a weakling fights back when he is pushed to extreme
Surely, you have heard how a mother pluck her babies out of harms way

Miracles? No

This is the compacted cumulative energy release at that moment of 'necessity'/action
The intensity and the power is at its epitome
The reactive prowess is unmatched, unseen and non-premeditated

Is this source of energy available to any ordinary person? Yes
We flow with the cosmic forces in the Universe and reaction is dictated by the 'Chi' - the cosmic electrons that gives the ordinary forces added impetus ; the Tsunamic effect of the manifestation of energy thrown forward

An action will cause a reaction
Cause and effects
Simply put 'human beings are able to built up the tempo, create the environment and manage the outcome' though not necessarily in perfection

So, instead of wallowing in self pity, defeats, questioning the/your self-worth and negative thoughts, sink your Soul and energy into your intent, desire and wants and crystalize it through Positive powers

Positive reinforcement begets positive results

Instead of worrying about failures, do your best and let the results do the talking
Chase your dreams and follow your heart

Failures are those who concentrate on worrying even before starting
Failures are those who think they can't even before the game begin

I determine my Fate and Providence is my broad guideline明天由我定,天涯由我选

Like a successful artist, i paint the colors of my life, my way
my rainbow................

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Island, My Dream

Amidst The Garden City ... from fishing village to a metropolitan city aka international city

F1 - Formula 1 Grand Prix

IR - Integrated Resorts & Casinos

Esplanade - Marina Bay : Theatres On The Bay

Private Banking @Financial Centre

Shopping @Vivocity & Orchard Road

The Heartland

From the well-heeled to the clogs-heeled, Singapore has it all
We are not exactly Monte Carlo nor Switzerland
Definitely not Somalia, Zimbabwe nor Sierra Leone
There is enough to go round for everyone; willing and able

Opportunities - seek and you shall find
Like everywhere else the social ladder is fluid and game
Within a guided path - Who dares win
Like all laissez-faire, nobody is perpetually or permanently poor nor rich

Let your conscience guide you and when you are dealt a deft hands, spare some for the less fortunate

Work hard & smart

Fortune smiles at those willing, able and capable
Follow your heart and the trophy is yours to keep

Nobody can force the cow to drink from the pit
Build your own dream as all dreams are made differently

Saturday, October 2, 2010

To Die Or Not To Die 命运自我手天涯由我选

Health Is Wealth... 健康不是人生的目的,而是最基本的条件

From Rwanda to Ethiopia, from Greece to Belarus, from Kashgar to Ordos, from Changi to Jurong
There are some pockets of poverty and misery; the difference is in the degree

Man's worries can fill the ocean and his problems can pile higher than Himalayan Ranges
From famine to survival, from having a meal to luxurious meals; there will still be 'not enough' to go round as the needs differ but the insatiable wants remain
Setbacks are like the blandness and bitterness of food before salt and/or sugar is added; otherwise how would you know what's saltish and/or sweet
I read of suicides or suicidal attempts when relationship breaks, when school grades tank, when one losses his job, when attention given was supposedly scarce...omigosh

When everyday's a sunshine, you get a desert
Too much of anything is always negative

We work for a living and not live to work
Relationship comes and goes if it is mismatched
Not everyone is academically incline and the World needs diverse skills, skillsets and craftsman
Popularity is for the vain

The next time you thought of wasting away a healthy body and to take your own life; "STOP" for a moment
Go visit the hospice and see how everyone is fighting to live another day; happily and 'healthily'
Go see what is a mortuary and feel the stillness and coldness when death comes a-calling

If you need to die - die for a reason; for the nation, for your loved ones - not to cowardly steals from yourself your life

Only a living being can make his mark and his presence felt
A healthy person can do anything to better his quality of life
Without health, even the richest man, can do nothing - lying on your sickbed with tonnes of dollars pile up to ceiling height has NO meaning 活生生的

A healthy mind and a healthy body can move mountains and join streams

With health I can find happiness and money
With only money (and without health), I may not find happiness but I certainly CANNOT buy health

The World is yours to keep; be the roving swordsman or the hermit in the cave, climb the highest mountain or swim the deepest ocean...
And the shortest route to Heaven is definitely NOT suicide

I cannot find you happiness but I certainly can point the route towards healthiness, happiness and wholesome living 命运自我手天涯由我选

A Happier Earthling

Human Migration ...

Planet Gliese 581g, an Earth-like planet, is 195 trillion km away; maybe someday we will move to Gliese.

Today, countries are demarcated by political boundaries where each claims sovereignty (sovereign rights to rule).
Why can't we just share everything and every resources found on earth?
Why can't we be called Earthlings or Globeans instead of Americans, Europeans, Africans, Chinese... ?

Humans claim superiority over other humans and the Rule of Law will never be equal as the Rule of Gun is still, and shall remain, dominant.
The negotiation table will never be level.
The 'gentleman-ness' of human creed has never existed in substance but in form.
Each shows respect to the other because the next major war will end all wars; humans will be decimated by MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction).

There are some who claim to be elite, superior, God-like or with God-given authority to rule but a class of elite cannot overrun nor control a mass of commoners.
A hungry man is an angry man; the rich can never live in peace if surrounded by mass/massively poor.
The days of slavery are over; the days of equality are beyond us.

But, for Earthlings to live peacefully and in harmony, the unequal advantage enjoyed by few must be shaved or willingly shared with the less abled and less endowed.
Money can buy something, most things but not everything.

Fortunately the material well being is unable to match the emotional comfort that religions or Faiths offer; you may be rich but not necessarily happy.
The earlier Earthlings realized the need to care for one another, the better and more harmonious the surroundings will be!
The earlier we reform, rehabilitate and renew the equation, the lesser the sufferings.

With newfound satisfaction and happiness, more space is made available and Earthlings tension shall ease.
The human race can live as long as we do not self-detruct via MAD.

The distance between Earth and Gliese is too far to even dream. 

Whatever philosophy you subscribe to, help your fellow beings.
Make living easier and the heart will be lighter, the environment more cheerful and you make Heaven out of Earth!

Spare a thought for the less fortunate; it is your fortune to be able to give and share.