The Big Read: For youths, will pragmatism or passion rule as COVID-19 gives pause to rethink life’s priorities?

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While Ms Loh has taken a leap of religion career-wise, 29-year-old Anthea (not her actual identify) prefers to play it secure regardless that she just isn’t completely happy together with her work state of affairs.
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Anthea had largely loved her work within the advertising division of a public relations agency, till it started to tackle more initiatives amid the raging pandemic final 12 months. While she usually ended work at about 8pm pre-COVID-19, she discovered herself staying up to the wee hours working to meet challenge deadlines, as working from dwelling had blurred the strains between workplace and relaxation hours.

“After a while of working overnight, I just felt burnt out and that it was no longer worth it,” stated Anthea.

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However, she caught it out for greater than a 12 months – earlier than leaving the corporate in July this 12 months – for very pragmatic causes: She wanted the cash to pay her payments and didn’t need to dip into her financial savings.

Anthea is presently working in a contract advertising function at one other agency that pays about the identical wage however has higher working hours. But she now not enjoys working within the business, and feels “stuck” in her present function.

“After a while, I feel no purpose in what I am doing,” she stated.

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For yet one more millennial, 25-year-old Terence, the pandemic has led him to embrace the “Fire” motion, whose mantra is “financial independence, retire early”. Proponents consider that this may be achieved by saving arduous, investing nicely and residing frugally from younger.

Having graduated from college final 12 months, the awful financial outlook at the moment – as COVID-19 decimated one key business after one other in Singapore and elsewhere – nudged Terence into subscribing to the motion significantly, beginning with saving his cash.

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“There wasn’t a major impetus to spend on anything … we couldn’t travel, and any plans I had such as graduation trips were out of the window,” stated Terence, who wished to be recognized solely by his first identify.

His tough job search after commencement made him more decided to be frugal together with his spending, even after he lastly landed a place with a consultancy agency in August final 12 months.  For occasion, he would maintain off upgrades, such as getting a brand new laptop computer, preferring to use his present mannequin.

When the inventory market bottomed out on the top of the pandemic final 12 months, Terence, in keeping with a key “Fire” tenet, took the chance to make investments, and has made wholesome good points as the economic system recovered.

“I think even before COVID I always knew I would try my best … to climb the corporate ladder,” he stated. “While the motivation is still there, a big part of it is now to achieve ‘Fire’ as soon as possible.” 

While Ms Loh, Anthea and Terence have responded in another way to the pandemic on the profession entrance, they do have one thing in frequent: This once-in-a-generation disaster has pressured them to re-evaluate or reshuffle their priorities in life, maybe a lot sooner than folks of their age had been wont to do had COVID-19 not modified the world, actually, as we knew it.

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And their respective selections –  take a threat to pursue one’s passion; stick to a job even should you don’t prefer it for the sake of monetary stability; or discover methods to improve one’s wealth shortly to make early retirement potential – largely mirror that of different younger adults, aged between 20 and 30 years outdated, interviewed by TODAY just lately.

Indeed, primarily based on findings of the inaugural annual TODAY Youth Survey, youths have a special tackle what success in life means. No longer is it outlined by the 5Cs – money, automobile, bank card, condominium and nation membership membership – that had been as soon as deemed as the final word Singapore dream by an earlier technology.

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