Career management

Losing your job due to retrenchment

Losing your job due to company down-sizing can be both dramatizing and depressing. Indeed, with the rise of machine-learning and artificial intelligence, thousands of jobs are being made redundant on a daily basis. What this means is that many skills are becoming obsolete. However, the topic of retrenchment is seldom discussed in Singapore because of the social stigma. Recently, when I touched on the SPH retrenchment exercise, a reader questioned my agenda and even condemned me for being anti-government. I wish to use this article to set the record straight.

Building this blog from zero had been both challenging and at the same time, rewarding on a personal level. I have gained useful knowledge that readers have shared in this blog. Over the years, I have received numerous compliments from readers through emails and Facebook messages. Yet at the same time, this blog had also attracted a fair share of criticisms from detractors and critics questioning my agenda and intentions for sharing my articles.

Perhaps, critics who denounced my blog may not have spent time reading the articles that I have shared freely over the years. If they did, it would be clear to them that this blog is about promoting financial literacy and helping others to make better decisions. This blog is not about fear-mongering nor attacking government policies. Instead, SG Wealth Builder is all about empowering fellow Singaporeans to make sound financial strategies and choices.

I don’t claim to be any sort of guru because I am also a fellow wealth builder struggling to achieve financial freedom. But if given a choice, would you prefer to walk this journey alone or together with people of like-mind? Sometimes, building wealth can be a lonely journey. Sometimes, it can be scary too.

Through raising awareness of the rules and regulations pertaining to financial matters, I hope Singaporeans can avoid common pitfalls. It is not my intention to effect changes to the rules and regulations because I am not a politician. This blog is also political-neutral. Fundamentally, the aim is to share articles that add value and enhance quality of life. In the process, I hope to form solidarity among Singaporeans, and build a community.


Job security is one of my favourite topics because I believe effective career management is part of building wealth too. In the initial stage of our career, we would need to work for money before making money works for us. For many of us, a job is more than a job because it not only enables us to make both ends meet, but it gives us identity and social status. In fact, most of us spend more waking hours at the workplace than at home, so the office is like a second home. Thus, it is understandable that when people got retrenched, they feel a deep sense of betrayal and bitterness.

In my perspective, it is perfectly normal to be [This is a premium article. The rest of the content is blocked and can be accessible by SG Wealth Builder Members only. To read the full content, please sign up as member.]

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10 thoughts on “Losing your job due to retrenchment

  • Being your own boss will prevent you from being retrenched? Think again.

  • A lot of people don’t like to hear the truth and face realities !!!!!
    Please keep on writing your blog
    An Other the Hill fan

  • This is a good reply.

  • Since 2010, I’ve told people that Singaporeans need to have the mindset that they WILL be retrenched by 45 yrs old. Having such a mindset will help to sharpen how they plan & live their lives — something like how a diagnosis of terminal disease will focus somebody’s focus on life & living.

    Majority of people don’t get retrenched due to tech disruption, but mostly due to company / industry not doing well and/or seeking to lower costs & being more “efficient & productive” (basically cutting costs while producing same or better outputs).

    Look at the retrenched SPH journalists …. You think those not retrenched are producing much higher quality work? Most of the journalists not retrenched know nuts about SEO, online marketing, AI, graphic design, etc etc. Even a retired former high-powered SPH deputy editor also had to close shop on a high profile online news platform becoz “no more money”.

    Over the past 2 years I’ve taken Grab / Uber with many young drivers in their 30s (mostly guys) and easily about 40% of them are / were from the O&G or M&O industries. Most of them have degrees in chemical engineering, marine engineering, process engineering, electrical / electronic engineering, computer science, etc etc. It’s not they are not technologically aware or that their jobs taken over by AI or robots.

    In Singapore, once you’re above 35 and you get retrenched …. About the only way to get another job paying at least the same salary is through contacts / networking (about 80% chance). Above 45 & retrenched … it’s basically 99.99% depend on network to get a good paying replacement job.

  • Hi Sinkie,

    Agree that we should always be ready for retrenchment. That is why we must have back-up plans.
    Financially, we should also not stretch ourselves till forties, which is a vulnerable age bracket for many employees.


  • Hi Fred,

    Being an entrepreneur will not prevent you from being retrenched but it gives you an option to explore.
    The conventional thinking is that starting a business is risky. On this, I do not dispute. But in the new age society, can you afford to be so risk averse?
    Everyone is not willing to step out of their comfort zone and only think of working for others for the rest of their lives. How many jobs are there out there for you to grab? Think again.


  • Build up your network. It is important and helps in looking for next job much easier and also faster.

  • Hi Edmund,

    Thank you for the advice and yes, agree with you that network is important indeed!
    But as I am an introvert, I find it difficult to develop my network sometimes. I guess I just have to keep on trying.


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