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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Conversations About Singaporeans' Career Aspirations

"School is learning things you don't want to know, surrounded by people you wish you didn't know, while working toward a future you don't know will ever come." - Dave Kellett



Hi! We're a multi-disciplinary research unit within the Public Service Division <>. We're embarking on a project to learn more about Singaporeans' career aspirations, and we would love to hear your stories and experiences behind your career journey and life aspirations. Hence we are inviting you for participation and input to our learning journey.

We typically like to spend around 1.5 hours to chat with individuals or couples who fit the profiles listed below. These sessions are face-to-face, there will be about 3-4 people from our team, and preferably at the comfort of your home or office (or anywhere that you prefer and is conducive). Based on past experience, we found that the session would be more comfortable and enjoyable for participants when done in a manner more like casual friendly chat, hence no worries about having to go through a stiff/boring survey interview! Participants will also be compensated with shopping vouchers worth S$80 in appreciation of their time.

Rest assured that all your personal information will guarded with the utmost confidentiality. We will also be recording our conversation and taking a few pictures only for the purposes of note-taking and internal reference, if you're okay with it and with your permission of course. And if you prefer to remain anonymous for the project, we will respect your wishes too. All information will be kept confidential for the purpose of this research, and there will be a confidential agreement to be signed by both you and us before we start the session.

Please take a moment to have a look at the profiles below, and fill the form further below if you fit the bill and would like to participate. Alternatively, pass this on to your friends/family who you think might be interested (and you can badger him/her for 'commission' after that!). CONTACT Upon completion of this short questionaire, we will contact you via phone or email for a quick chat and to coordinate an interview venue and timing. We aim to hold these sessions over the period between 10 to 22 Sept (Mon-Fri). If you have any questions, please contact Jason Leow at or 9229 4308, or Leon Voon at or 9229 4105.

Thank you so much in advance for your interest in participating in this project! We're really looking forward to hearing your stories. :)

Please select which profile fits you best. If you feel none of the profiles fit, please fill in the text box under "Other". The examples stated are meant for illustration purposes only, so variations in degree can be accepted. :)

1. Someone who dropped out of university to pursue their own alternative career path
2. Success story of someone who only went through primary / secondary school.
3. Career hopper (e.g. changed jobs every year for past 10 years)
4. Global careerist (who held jobs in different companies in different continents)
5. Self-employed entrepreneur with successful business
6. Career part-timers / career free-lancers
7. Radical mid-career switcher (e.g. corporate bank CEO to non-profit NGO director)
8. Highly educated but chose not to have no career (e.g. long-term volunteer doctor)
9. Radically alternative career (e.g. professional psychic)
10. PhD holder
11. Stayed in 1 job for almost whole lifetime
12. Singaporean now working in Singapore but was schooled overseas all of his/her childhood
13. Someone who can go university but stop at polytechnic
14. JC student who went to polytechnic instead of university
15. People who pursued careers outside of what they were trained in while in university (e.g. engineers who became teacher)
16. Scholarship holder
17. Working adult who was home-schooled all his childhood
18. Current polytechnic student who owns a business
19. Low-income university student
20. Mid-/Retiring adult who is life-long learner, e.g. had 2 bachelor degrees, a MA and PhD, and still going for certifiable courses
21. Someone who intentionally denied promotion for personal / life / aspirational reasons
22. Someone who is happily (or unhappily) settled for second-best career option (e.g. couldn't to be doctor so went on to be nurse)
23. Career Counsellors / Life coach
24. Recruitment Firm / Head-hunter

(I don't actually know - or know that I know, at any rate - anyone involved in this)
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