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The imperfect dream job

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Do justice to your jobs by not settling for one.

It is graduation season once again. Most youths in their early twenties are now at a crossroad, considering which path to take next.

As a fresh polytechnic graduate myself, I feel both anticipation and anxiety for what lies ahead.

I have chosen to study English literature in university, and yet, I am still unsure of the career I wish to pursue.

In a recent speech at Temasek Polytechnic's graduation ceremony, Minister Chan Chun Sing said that it is more important to "do justice" to the jobs that we do, instead of searching for the perfect job.

Was he discouraging us from chasing our dreams? I really don't think so.

In fact, I think he has made a valid point in a world that chases perfection to no end.

The notion of not chasing "perfection" does not mean that we cannot chase our dreams. We can still chase our dreams, but we have to be careful not to have overly unrealistic expectations of our ideal job.

Since young, I've always wanted to write for a living. Many have told me that is unrealistic, unconventional, and difficult to succeed in. This is especially true in Singapore, where "practical" jobs are valued much more.

I wavered, and I even considered giving up on my childhood ambition. I felt lost about what I should do next.

Despite the uncertainty, I still pushed myself to work slowly towards my goal of writing for a living. Even if I don't succeed in the end, at least I have given it my all.


Nobody can tell you what you cannot do in life.
POSED PHOTO: YOUTH.SG/ROSALIND ANG

In life, we may not always get what we want.

Our expectations of the perfect job often include a great working environment, a good work-life balance, and a high salary.

Instead of lamenting over not being able to achieve our ideal jobs, perhaps we should focus on working on our attitude instead. A good attitude will always take us far in any job we choose, but a bad attitude in a perfect job means nothing.

During my polytechnic internship last year, I was posted to a company that involved sitting in front of a computer from 5.30AM to 2.30PM. I repeated the same tasks over and over again, for nine hours every day.

It was far from what I had envisioned my internship to be, but I never gave up on doing the job well – as it was the job I had been given.

I wasn't "settling" either. I just tend to take pride in everything I do.

My internship has made me more meticulous in my work. It has also made me realise that the media industry is extremely fast-paced, which has helped to prepare me for the real working world.


Difficulties are part and parcel of life.
PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/ROSALIND ANG

That said, we should not let any setbacks deter us from going after what we want. Never settle for jobs, just to avoid the potential failures that we may face while chasing our dreams.

Even if it takes a longer time to secure that "perfect" job, we should continue giving our best to any job we are given at the moment, no matter how difficult it may be. If we keep avoiding hardships and only did what is easy, we would never grow out of our comfort zones.

After all, feeling happy and fulfilled with the decisions you've made is one of the most important things in life.

TEASER AND BANNER PHOTO CREDITS: YOUTH.SG/ROSALIND ANG