You would have heard of this before: “Alamak, this kind of job, no Singaporeans would do one lah!” Usually in the construction or service line, these jobs are usually shunned by locals, but have you ever wondered why?
If you think it’s due to the hardship and long working hours, then you’re like most Singaporeans who think that they cannot handle labour work. Well, nothing could be further than the truth.
After all, think about it: being in NS means we’ll have to go through even tougher environment. Standing for eight hours in a restaurant is definitely not as tough as spending days in the jungle with no toilet, bathroom or shampoo, right?
So, if Singaporeans are still tough, then why not? Is it because of the pay?
Well, if you think about it, it’s not the pay as well. Some jobs pay higher, especially jobs with shift hours. So, what exactly is this invisible factor that is making Singaporeans shunning labour job?
Here’s the answer: options.
Let’s look at it objectively: imagine you’re a Singaporean, and you’re looking for a job. Chances are, you’ll go to any job portal and see thousands of job listings—most, if not all, catered to just Singaporeans. Despite what others say, it’s a fact that there’s a quota for the number of foreign workers, and since numbers don’t lie but people do, it’s almost a certainty that a Singaporean can find a job easily if he’s not picky.
So, if you’ve ten options of working office hours in a comfortable office for $2,000 per month, and one option of doing shift work in a restaurant for $2,000, which would you choose?
It’s common sense, isn’t it?
Now, if you’ve got no other options except the shift work in a restaurant for $2,000, would you take it? Yes, of course you will.
The thing is, we Singaporeans are faced with so many options that we’ve forgotten why we shunned labour job. Labour job wasn’t even in any of our options, just because we’re privileged, not entitled, to be blessed with so many options.
In fact, the recent Skillsfuture credits could even add more skills to us, providing us with even more options as we become more skillful.
But what have we done to our society? We become xenophobia instead of appreciating. Maybe one of the days, when we finally run out of options, we’ll realize what we’re really capable of: not complaining, but working.
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