Why a Blue Collar Job?


Hi,

Currently, i am a secondary school teacher with only a degree. Used to be an auditor and is registered with institute of certified accountant.

Migration to aust is always on my mind. When I read your post, i got so discouraged. It seems that the quality of life would be compromised.... As if sgp is better... No white collar job anymore? No opportunity at all....?

In sgp, toil all day regardless what job I hold. Worked non
Stop as an auditor, as financial analyst, always meeting deadlines and reporting, now always preparing for lessons, exam papers, admin stuffs often doing during weekends.

In Australia, will there be work life balance?
Which is the real
Motivation in you all when you migrate?

Why are u all willing to take blue collar jobs? Isn't quality of life compromised compared to in sgp?

******

Hi Secondary School Teacher with only a degree,


You are the 5th known teacher or ex teacher who reads my blog. The first girl NS, has just landed in Newcastle pursuing furthering her studies and plan apply for a permanent visa after her graduation. The second, E, also a lady, is currently in Melbourne looking for teaching jobs. Alan Heah, a regular commenter in this blog, was an ex-teacher. The last one is my personal friend. For some reason, you reminded me of E because she was as discouraged as you when she wrote to me, albeit on different demotivation.


I have gotten to know a lot of new people since I started writing. Some are well wishers while the rest of them contacted me with a common factor - migration. Most members of this group are Singaporeans. Many of them are living in Perth and other parts of Australia, some are in Singapore but will be migrating to Australia while the rest of them are playing with the thought of migration.


None of the folks in the above mentioned is working as a blue collared worker. I stuck out among them like a sore thumb. For this fact alone, I am not sure if you want to use me as a representation of what generally happen to Singaporeans who made the leap of faith.


I'm not sure how much you have read about my story in this blog. If you have read the last few posts, I would have attended an interview for a white collared supervisory role.  This is my 2nd interview in Australia. Again, if you read the blog you would have noticed I have been hardly active in job searching though I am still looking. There are many opportunities here if one keeps his head up and not giving up easily. For the past week, my new friends Micky and Denise have secured their permanent jobs in the field they relish. With that, all new migrants I know personally in Perth have landed jobs. All except myself are in white collared roles.


I'll like to share with you that I was offered the job that I was interviewed for - and I have rejected it. The job is not bad. Office hours is from 8am - 4.20pm, 5 days week. OT pay is available if I work any additional hour beyond the stated hours. Do you think one can achieve a work/life balance with this set of working hours? I'll leave it to you to decide because everyone has a different definition of work/life balance.


As an unwilling compliant to current societal rules, we work 8 hours, sleep 8 hours and play 8 hours. This trinity is the commonly known so-call work/life balance. Any tilt towards the dis-favour of rest or play when work encroaches into our life such as attending to clients after office hours, answering the boss's call during my shower, having argument with contractors while driving, the quality of life is compromised.


As you can see based on my definition above, I do not agree with your notion of


blue collared job = quality of life compromised


My workplace is a 10 minutes drive away. I encountered not a single traffic jam commuting to work since I started on this jobs 5 months ago. I knock off on time every single day and I get paid for every minute of overtime that I decided to do. None of the overtime is made compulsory or even requested. After work, no calls from work whatsoever. No work to bring home.


So long as I am not under distress from my job so much so that it fails to isolate from my personal time the way it should be, and that it pays the bills; the job fulfills its purpose, whatever the colour of the collar. I do not and have never aspire to use my job to perform any self actualisation purposes.


We Singaporeans have a very skewed impression of blue collar jobs because somebody decided that these people are not worth the salt and suppressed their salary to inhumane levels. Over time, a culture of snobbishness and elitism is built up by the doctrine. The story over here in Australia is not quite the same. Consider a rubbish truck driver potentially earning more than a tax accountant, for example, you get a better picture. 


At the end of the day, it is up to you to choose what you want to work as. If blue collar jobs are really not your kind of thing, you can always overlook them. It's a personal choice.


With that aside, we can finally talk about the quality of life. My idea of quality of life has little to do with work. It is called quality of life not for no reason. It's about the way we live, not the way to work. 


I do not enjoy traveling an hour on public transport nor trapped in my car in a traffic jam everyday to-and-fro work. I know most Singapore can live with it but not me. Again, it's a personal thing. I enjoy fresh air and wide open spaces where I can be left alone with my loved ones if I choose to. I appreciate the fact that we can choose to live life in many different ways in a single country. If you are the city dwelling kind you can always move to Sydney. Even in Sydney, you can have a quiet simple style of living by opting to stay in semi-rural regions. You can choose to stay in a much colder place like Tasmania or a warmer place like Perth if weather is your top consideration in choosing your place. 


In short, you have options in Australia. And I equate having options as a better quality of life because I value the freedom of choices. Not everyone values the same thing. You'll be surprised that some people do not value alternatives or do not really want more choices. They just want a better condition on what life they are already living.


One of the most important thing you have to do in the migration decision making is to examine yourself and find out what you truly value. You might see a clearer picture after that. Good luck and hope to hear from you again.

58 comments:

  1. Dear -asingaporeanson-,

    A thrill up my spine jolted me awake as I read your mention of me.
    It's not that I crave mention here, just that it's my nature to question the worth of everything I do.
    It's also my nature to keep at what I'm doing until too tired, working round the clock.
    Yes, that has been my life in Singapore all along, usually without any income to show for all that effort.

    I'm encouraged by your blog, to no longer see a clear artificial distinction between blue collar and white collar.
    Such is the castes system in Singapore, where early on we divide branded versus neighbourhood, Express versus Normal, ITE versus polytechnics versus universities, locals versus foreigners, public versus private, HDB versus condo etc.

    I'm amused with the idea of starting from basics again.
    What if I were meant to be just as good a carpenter as an English teacher?
    What if I were just as capable running an eatery, as I was adequate enough publishing and interacting online?
    What if I earned more than I ever needed, to live the simple life the way I really wanted to, as a night packer rather as some bossy senior manager?

    What if I was a suburb guy forced all my life to be a big-city man?
    How can one talk about quality of life, when one is constantly not loving the work s/he was always meant to do well?

    Before I entered my 30s, after the fulfilment of marriage (finally, someone to share life's ups and downs with!) and children (finally, to see one's own people grow up), I flopped under Singapore's mainstream social engineering.
    Since then, I have grown in experience previously imaginable, simply because I stopped dealing in stereotypes.

    If this little contribution here, to this latest blog post, helps anyone re-think their current lifetime a bit, then I'm grateful it helped.

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  2. Only a degree? I only came with a N level cert studying now at TAFE and working part time as a home delivery for a chinese restaurant for AUD$50 for 4 hours plus 2 meals included everyday.

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    1. That's a bloody good deal you have there.

      It's better than being paid AUD60k IMHO.

      At least you'd have more time to pursue your interest than me.

      Delete
    2. Yea, that's what I found out when I arrived in Melbourne. Part time job pays better than many full time jobs. And the cash comes handy as well. If I work on weekend, I would be able to save up more.

      Delete
  3. Hmmm...

    My opinion about Anonymous's email to you is that it's coming from a very narrow minded viewpoint... and very cautious thinker.. a person who avoids thinking out of box and making decisions on what is necessary... and unwilling to forward think a bit in the foreseeable future.

    What is the USD collapse sometime by next year?

    What is your life is screwed? Your dad/mom/siblings get cancer?

    How do you ensure what you're doing will lead you to where you wanna be? No matter how adverse your current circumstance is.

    Say for me... I'm an auditor too.. I even purposely enroll myself in Chartered Accountants Australia program just to "wayang" to any hiring partners in OZ. If there's ever that chance.

    The acronyms for AUDITORS is very true. It is "[A]ll [U] [D]o [I]s [T]hinking [O]f [R]esigning".

    I'm brainstorming for "exit plans" with my teammates every time at work. I'm thinking of learning bakery so that I can have a cake shop when I retire... or even going for a mining engineering postgrad course at Cutin university if the economy is that bad. (afterall there's a mining boom in Perth right and I have prior interest in EEE )

    I'd see australia as a place with more choices than Singapore.

    If you are perceptive enough, you'd find OZ having more freedom than Singapore.



    And oh, I'm still waiting for my IELTS test results... :/

    Hoping to start on my 176 after my skills assessment :/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What you said reminded me of a Chinese saying I learnt during my half year stay in China, 计划没有变化快.

      Delete
  4. I have a Bachelor as elementary school teacher and as PE teacher and I have now a job as executive secretary, I'm now happy with my job, and Switzerland needs (young) academics for enigneering and IT.

    Warm regards

    ~Orianne~

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  5. Hi Orianne, it's been a while since your last comment. How are you doing? I'm just curious, what nationality are you?

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    Replies
    1. Hi singaporeanson:

      I am a Swisswoman with the French nationality too, but I live in Sitzerland.

      ~Orianne~

      Delete
    2. That makes you the first Swiss I know. Glad to know you. How do you get to know about my blog all the way from the other side of the world?

      Delete
    3. I can't remember - But the blog is great, and I like Australia, Singapore and New Zealand.

      ~Orianne~

      Delete
  6. I can't answer for the writer (Anonymous@Mar 24, 2012 09:46 PM)if it's better to migrate or to stay in Singapore.

    Like all the previous comments said,He/She has to sit down, evaluate his/her life and ask: "What is it that I want from life? What do I enjoy doing?"

    There's one thing I can answer as a migrant to Oz. It's not a bed of roses here. (Neither is life in Singapore)

    Many migrants think that by coming over to Oz, they will immediately get a very high pay, be placed in a very high position in a MNC/big company, achieve everything they can only dream of achieving in Singapore. (Even things beyond their capability)

    I'm not saying it's bad to have aspirations/drive. It just pays to be a bit level headed and practical. You are after all moving to another country/environment.

    Personally, I seen/heard some Singaporeans moving here and having to move back to Singapore. (Even if it means giving up the coveted pr) These are usually the ones that cannot get off their high horses and do something practical with their life/job search.

    As asingaporeanson said, most of the migrants here are not blue collar. The vast majority are firmly white collar. (Although I fail to see how this point is relevant to Anonymous@Mar 24, 2012 09:46 PM decision to migrate or not)

    The thing I personally find refreshing is that everyone here is treated with dignity. (Yes even blue collar workers) No one is supposed to be made to feel like a slave just because you have to work in the job. (I can tell you personally, that is the major reason I left my civil service job)

    For Anonymous@Mar 24, 2012 09:46 PM other comments on quality of life, I think asingaporeanson and all the comments has covered the topic well enough.

    To Anonymous@Mar 24, 2012 09:46 PM, do YOU want your dignity back? Do YOU want your freedom back? Do YOU think these can be traded away for a paying job? (May even be a low paying one. That's the offer from the Papies)

    A side note to asingaporeanson, the hours offered in the job you specified are too long, labor laws here states a 38 hour week. (7.6 hours per day) Unless the lunch time is officially 50 minutes, they are breaking the law by specifying 8hrs 20 mins per day. (41.5 hours per week)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To add in... I hope people are not misled to think that EVERY job in Australia is a 38 hour week job. (of course government jobs adhere to that - unlike that in Singapore). The australia labour law may state 38 hours, but i dont believe it is illegal to expect employees to work more than that.

      "An employer must not request or require an employee to work more than the following hours of work in a week, unless the additional hours are reasonable"

      Now, define reasonable. I know a large number of people who work more than 38 hours a week. In fact, My contract states that I shall work 42.5 hours a week. If i put in less than 42.5 hours a week, the shortfall has to be made up for with my personal leave.

      Lets look at the law's definition of reasonable:
      Reasonable additional hours

      An employee may refuse to work additional hours, if they are unreasonable. For additional hours to be 'reasonable', all relevant factors must be considered.

      These factors include:

      any risk to the employee's health and safety
      the employee's personal circumstances, including family responsibilities
      the needs of the workplace or enterprise
      whether the employee is entitled to receive overtime payments, penalty rates or other compensation for, or a level of remuneration, that reflects an expectation of, working additional hours
      any notice given by the employer to work the additional hours
      any notice given by the employee that they intend to refuse to work the additional hours
      the usual patterns of work in the industry
      the nature of the employee’s role, and the employee’s level of responsibility
      whether the additional hours are in accordance with agreed averaging arrangements
      any other relevant matter.


      So... this 38 hour thing is only a guideline at best. A friend who is a chef, works on shift and 10 hours above the 38 hour (38th to 48th hour) is NOT paid. Meaning, you are only paid OT if you work above 48 hours. Not surprisingly, most people work 45-48 hours a week in that kitchen. Not just any kitchen, but a very prominent 5 star hotel in Sydney CBD. Yes, thats normal for chefs, but the point here is that the 38 hour "rule" is nothing but a guideline.

      Delete
    2. You used the word 'misled' twice in this post alone. I'm wondering if you would like to clarify other items that I have posted.

      No really.

      You could start this one in another post where I talked about my rental. "Don't be misled that everyone rents a room for $150 in Australia."

      or

      "Don't be misled that an avocado cost A$0.22 per fruit everywhere in Australia." (yep I blogged this and I have pictures to show but of course that is misleading too.)

      or perhaps even

      "Don't be misled that the skies in Perth is always blue and cloudless."

      or

      Come on dude. Relax. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the blog and read the third last sentence. Everyone knows that and no one is taking me and my blog seriously here.

      Apart from that, it's very good information there. Deserved to be pin up somewhere for people who needs it. Just kidding with you there.

      Delete
    3. JW,

      38 hours per week is the law. It's not subject to negotiation. Why/How to solve your/your friend's problems is not for me to say.

      Refer to the following link:

      http://www.fairwork.gov.au/employment/conditions-of-employment/Pages/hours-of-work.aspx

      For the flyer, refer to the following link:

      http://www.fairwork.gov.au/employment/conditions-of-employment/Pages/hours-of-work.aspx

      If you are still not convinced. You can always call the fairwork ombudsman.

      Delete
    4. E, Reread my original post. I pasted a chuck of text from the link that you pasted. Funny leh you - why did you ask me to go read a link which i quoted?

      Yes it states 38 hours clearly. But read the following carefully. I've done work (as an external consultant) for the FWO (Fairwork ombudsman) so i've somewhat reviewed this before.

      An employer must not request or require an employee to work more than the following hours of work in a week, unless the additional hours are ___reasonable___:
      for a full-time employee - 38 hours;

      Again, I respect all thats here and I'm not trying to disprove anyone here. I'm sharing my personal experience and the other truth.

      anyway, singapore also has minimum hours, but really, who really adheres to that. I have to admit though, that cultural differences in Australia makes far shorter working hours a norm.

      Delete
    5. JW,

      Hmmm, done work as an external consultant and have somewhat reviewed before. (Can't say I understand that statement.)

      From your comments,I somehow feel you can't be working in oz. (just my personal views)

      Somehow, you still feel being exploited in the workplace is normal and nobody actually follows the labor laws here. (Congrats, very Singaporean)

      Maybe to you, employers breaking the labor laws are normal and to be expected. Can't help you there.

      I have never come across a normal company that claims that labor laws are suggestions. I really don't know how to say this politely. Breaking labor laws here are not normal. You are in a abnormal situation. So please refrain from making sweeping statements like:

      "To add in... I hope people are not misled to think that EVERY job in Australia is a 38 hour week job. (of course government jobs adhere to that - unlike that in Singapore). The australia labour law may state 38 hours, but i dont believe it is illegal to expect employees to work more than that."

      Also, since you claimed to have worked for fairwork australia before, oz gov employees work 36 hours per week.

      The labor laws states very clearly that the maximum hours of work per week is 38 per week. Anything above that is subject to penalty rates. (So yes, in that case they can ask you to work above 38 hours)

      Telling a employee his normal hours of work per week is 42.5 and not paying him penalty rate when the employee works above 38 hours per week, this is breaking the law. Sinapore's offical working hours are 44 per week. Your hours are not far off.

      Singapore does not have minimum hours of work. You are confusing maximum and minimum. (You really worked as a external consultant to fairwork australia?)

      Delete
    6. Hi E,

      Thanks for your reply again.

      Might be helpful if you re-read my previous reply. I think i have been misquoted in your reply.

      Again, as stated, it is not illegal (not breaking the labour law)for an employer to request that the employee works above 38h.
      Quote from your links again:
      "An employer must not request or require an employee to work more than the following hours of work in a week, unless the additional hours are reasonable:"
      The relevant links your provided also provide the definition of "reasonable". One of which includes the "usual hours of work in that industry."

      That said, its common knowledge that many auditors in Big 4s in Australia dont work 38h weeks. Professions such as Legal, finance, etc. pull more than 38h week in most places around the world.

      I dont think I'm being exploited for pulling above 38h in Australia. For what I do, 80h week is common in Singapore. In Australia, its no where near that so I'm not complaining. Its simply part of the job.

      I have never been under the payroll of any gov agencies, as mentioned - external consultant/contractor/whatever you want to call the 2nd oldest profession in the world, and hence have never had the benefits of the 36h policy. It would certainly be one i'd look out for later down in life. :)

      E, before i sign off, I'd like you to know that I'm dont expect you to be convinced by anything I say. My views are my personal experience and observations that I thought were worth sharing. I also respect your views and appreciate our constructive discussion.

      Lastly, my apologies on my typo on Minimum hours. I mean Maximum hours. I hope I'm not judged based on my typos.

      Cheers.

      p.s.: yes, i work in oz. I'm in Sydney, and we have a small group of singaporeans who meet up once in a while. It'd be nice to catch up with you in person as I'm quite intrigued by some of your views and would be interesting to talk more.

      Delete
  7. lol'd but i worked 12 hrs aday recently.

    Gud luck to u STB. are u looking at other states for work? when jen is ready for work, let me know, i hv more lobangs for accoutnant related work than urs. apps me

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    Replies
    1. if you can get her an auditor/accounting job, we'll move interstate. Lol.

      For me it's no big deal. I can take on any jobs that is willing to consider me. My options are wide.

      I shd get her to talk to you perhaps

      Delete
    2. anytime..

      did u remove some of the comments? i think some of the commets disappeared. The one who say u dun hv a degree

      Delete
    3. I got access to one of the Fours in Brisbane... My contact is working as an AM.

      It's BRISBANE to the extreme WEST btw.

      From east to west.

      You sure can take it or not?

      Delete
    4. Opps wrong direction.

      It's to the extreme EAST!

      Hahhahaha.

      Delete
    5. @ I.S: No i don't remove any comments, unless they are deleted by the poster himself. I don't remember saying that I don't have a degree. Is it important in some way?

      Delete
    6. Hey bro, Brisbane is not that bad. Not too hot or too cold like Perth or the south eastern major capital cities.

      I was from Perth, doing my uni studies, before I got work in Brisbane.

      Although I still miss Perth, but I feel for better opportunities, the eastern states are the way to go.

      Only down side is when going back to Singapore for a visit. Longer distance and more ex! :(

      Jeff Lim

      Delete
    7. I meant to say "Not too hot or too cold unlike Perth", my bad! :P

      Jeff Lim

      Delete
  8. I strongly urge you to stop using Singapore terminology like Blue collar(or PMET and what not). You are in Australia now. When in Rome, do as the Romans. While it is good to maintain the Singapore link, you must not allow the link to become a chain and inhibit your moving forward.

    Here in Oz, they are respectfully known as "tradies". We respect them for their skills or their willingness to make good use of their hands and we recognize their right to make a decent living and they too have a place in society.That's why they are paid equitable wages.

    So please start referring to yourself as a trady. You may be working with your hands, but that does not reduce your self worth to any less than an engineer or manager.

    Unfortunately, the Singapore society has a disdain for tradies(blue collar) and inevitably marginalize them due to the absence of equitable wages.

    I agree with your response and all the other responses to Anonymous although it sometimes sounded more like justifying. There is really no need to justify to Anonymous because you are happy here in Australia, aren't you? - That's what matters most.

    While E cannot answer if Anonymous should migrate or not, I can. Anonymous should not migrate. With an entrenched Singapore mentality, he can only be happy in Singapore,and I hope he never lose his job or fall sick.

    Oh wait a minute, he's a teacher. Yeah right, he can continue to perpetuate LKY's doctrine and imbue in future young Singaporean that "Blue collar = poor quality of life", and to avoid that, kids need plenty of private tuition and score good grades as if good grades = quality of life.

    Anonymous will be happier living in a pigeon hole with PMET's as neighbor rather than living in a spacious house with plumber, electrician,boiler maker,janitors as neighbors.

    I hope I have help made up his mind, - stay in Singapore

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. process of natural selection applies...

      Delete
    2. yes,SG could have our own "tradies" too if not for the army of motocycle riding or driving those not quite right vehicle "white collar" workers who are more than happy to come over each day to at least double their income....

      Delete
    3. @Alvin

      Yeah I'm a tradie. You see, I'm conversing with a Singaporean. If I start using terms like garbo, sparky knowing that they will be most unlikely to understand, it defeats the purpose.

      My reply is justifying. In fact right from the start this blog is created to justify. I may have been more convinced since the beginning but we have to be very honest with ourselves here. We are always constantly justifying and we don't need to stop ourselves. When it goes away, it goes away.

      Delete
    4. Like I said, good to have a link but don't let the link becomes a chain that inhibit your moving forward. Ergo you can use the word tradie(and explain what that is).

      I still don't believe you need to justify to anyone. As long as you and your wife are happy,all other different and disagreeing opinions are immaterial.

      Are we constantly justifying? Really?? I don't. Many times, I am asked, why do I retire so early at 49 yrs and compromising on luxury. I never felt the need to justify that. My answer is always simply "I can and I like"

      Whatever you chose to do, you don't look back to explain why, you look forward and look at what you want to do next.

      Remember you drive looking through the windscreen and not looking at the rear view mirror.

      Just an advice from an old man....

      Delete
    5. I like your style Alvin! 2 thumbs up! :D

      Jeff Lim

      Delete
  9. What's wrong with Blue Collar Job? I remember those day when my Singapore teacher, parent and relatives will speak with a stench of sting if one perform badly in school. "Be careful and work hard lest u end up as a road sweeper or a hawker." Those were the days of the 80s.

    In a speech by a top man in Singapore, a few years ago, he praise a China man for setting "Cha Chai Fan" Mixed Rice Stall in various place. He was called an Entrepreneur.

    Hence, the society view of things always changes especially in Singapore. I always joke with my wife about our elite party propaganda. Frankly, people of all level is capable of contributing to the building of society, not just the thinker. If all are thinkers and there is no doers, I don't think anything can come to pass. Imagine waking with no blangdesh worker to clear the HDB rubbish chute. The thinker can think all he want, ultimately someone need to roll up the sleeve. Therefore instead of segregating the jobs, why not learn to give thanks and appreciate each man contribution to the society.

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  10. "Consider a rubbish truck driver potentially earning more than a tax accountant."

    I respectfully question that. Yes, it seems like payscale.com shows the upper limit of the rubbish truck driver significant higher, but is this true? I can definitely agree that rubbish truck drive gets paid more than double of what the same profession would be paid in singapore. But more than an accountant in Australia? Seriously? Do we really know what that data is collected.

    Even some figures from the ABS is known to be skewed and twisted to some people's advantage. Take those figures with a pinch of salt. I'd end off with arguing that an average Refuse truck driver does not earn more than an average accountant, assuming both with 40 hours of work a week and with 3 years experience.

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    Replies
    1. If a trade assistant, the lowest of tradies, like me rejects a factory supervisor, a mid level white collar job for remuneration reasons, what's there to question?

      I am on the ground and I know what I am talking about.

      Delete
    2. Do you get superannuation from your current employer?

      What are your working hours currently?

      Delete
    3. Are you a refuse truck driver?

      You are quite contradictory arnt you? Did I just hear you say that you are the lowest of all trades?
      1) As what you have written above, a Tradie isnt anywhere near the lowest. And you've been arguing that point, havent you?
      2) Whatever you are doing, I dont think you are near a refuse truck driver.

      If a trade assistant like you rejects a factory supervisor job, im not sure i know what it means. To me, I know that the "mid level white collar" job you were talking about isn't paying what a "mid level white collar job" should be paying. One would expect a "mid level white collar job" (e.g. A consultant that leads a small team, assistant manager in an accounting firm, etc.) is one that pays 6 figures a year and above. One thing I know for sure too is that a Factory supervisor is not an accountant nor a Refuse truck driver, so I'm not sure why we are suddenly talking about a "mid-level white collar" Factory supervisor. Also, lets stop with the definition of blue, white, red, black collar? You have a job, I have a job. Who cares what colour your collar is, mine is anything but white, because I dont wear white shirts!

      Back to the point. NO. Just because some website shows "truck driver - refuse" earning $98k a year - you cant go telling people that a refuse truck driver earns more than an accountant , assuming same number of hours worked. (well, a refuse truck driver out in the mines with a 3 weeks on, 1 week off. Maybe. But we are talking average here - not outliners. You seem to be a qualified mid lever white collar candidate, so I know, you know what I'm talking about). As a prominent public blogger, I believe a bit more responsibility should be practiced.

      I'm not sure what you are trying to prove. I'm on the ground too, and I'm not sure I know you know what you are talking about.

      Delete
    4. By the way, I just thought I should be reiterating that I'm not implying that a tradie is looked down upon. Never. I've worked with electricians and they are brilliant people. I also respect those who clear our refuse everyday (or once a week in most parts) - without them, the city stops. I respect you asingaporeanson for doing what you do and your sprit. You work for your dollar and you work hard for it.

      If it makes it any more diplomatic, I'll rephrase. Its not a colour of collar comparison. A receptionist (or a refuse truck driver) doesn't earn more than an Accountant.

      Delete
    5. Going by your theory, I'll need to be a doctor to know what is paracetamol.

      Well, if you cannot take the fact that some refuse drivers can out-earn some tax accountants in this country, it's a problem I cannot fix for you.

      Bear in mind, I mentioned potentially. If you don't quote me out of context, you would have seen I highlighted this point to tell a Singaporean who never worked in Australia that this scenario can happen. In Singapore, no chance.

      That's how simple it is. I am in no way misleading anybody.

      Delete
    6. Well, I'm pretty sure a refuse truck driver can _potentially_ earn more than an accountant in Singapore as well. But of course thats obviously not a fair comparison I'm making.

      I did mentioned that in an hour for hour comparison, there is no way thats gonna happen.

      Delete
    7. Quote from what JW said: "If it makes it any more diplomatic, I'll rephrase. Its not a colour of collar comparison. A receptionist (or a refuse truck driver) doesn't earn more than an Accountant."
      You can't compare between receptionist and refuse truck driver. The scale of salary depends on the risk/hazard of the job, the level of difficulty (skill required) and the "attractiveness", i.e how many ppl want to do the job. You might wonder, why are the mining jobs (e.g truck driver)giving $130K a year? Reason being, there aren't many ppl who wants to live in that location.
      Believe me, some accountants aren't as well paid as garbage truck drivers....

      Delete
  11. Hi asingaporeanson

    It's been a while and I hope you're well. Just my two cents worth - I think this whole labelling of "Blue Collar" has got to stop. Just because someone's skilled with their hands does not mean that they are of "lower class". In saying that, I don't understand why people are looking to pay the lowest they can get away with to workers here.

    Yes, you have the thinkers and those who, quote my grandmother, "Use their mouth to earn money." But people(especially those who go, "BUT YOU HAVE A DEGREE!!!") don't realise that without them, many basic things cannot be done.

    I have a degree but can I fix my own fan when it makes noise? I cannot. When the pipe is clogged or leaking, can my college education help? The last I checked, we weren't taught. The only time I managed to do all these things was when my father (an electrician), taught me to do so.

    Everyone is meant to do something that they are skilled at and like to do at their own respect. It's very narrow-minded to reject someone or talk down at them just because their job "doesn't require a degree" or "doesn't earn $100K a year".

    At the end of the day it's also about what people want. Do you want to be rich but dread every work day or comfortable (not vastly wealthy, but earning enough) and waking up happy every day?

    That being said, I guess I'll be kicking my own butt and putting what I say to practice soon.

    ~ Joelyn Alexandra

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    1. It's strange that I am the only blue collared worker in blog and others are offended by the way I call myself.

      I have never associated class with type of jobs. Blue collar is simply a term to identify a group of occupations. It's like calling red wine, red and white wine, white. Come on people, the problem is in your own minds.

      Yeah, I have a degree and I can fix fans. What am I supposed to be called ah?

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    2. Actually, a person is a person, you remember people by name or face, not necessarily by what they do or who they know at the first instance. *but that's me, so yeah*

      It's like CNY, I seriously don't get it when people go, "Jo! This is A, your cousin, he's a banker!" with this smug look on their face.

      A person is a person is a person, I'd like to remember and respect people by who they are instead of what they do. =)

      ~ Joelyn Alexandra

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  12. From my observation, the blokes who are towing the high power pleasure crafts and driving V8 utes are tradies.

    I just want to quote what was said by my kids vice-principal on the first day of school early this year: "If you have a job, a car and a house, then you are considered successful in life."

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    Replies
    1. brother,

      do you agree with the VP? I don't. but since that is so mainstream, let's just agree with him - and I supposed he meant any job, a paid up car and a paid up house.

      Delete
    2. I actually do... yes, a paid up car and perhaps a mortgage that is managable as if you are paying rent, realistically speaking. Any job, as long as you don't drag yourself out of bed to get to work, should be alright. Cheers!

      Delete
    3. I think it depends on where you are and your lifestyle. Imagine living in a quiet peaceful small town with a home base business and a bicycle. Everyone knows each other you can support a family, I would not say that life is a failure.

      Delete
    4. Mark, that's also the kind of life I believe I'll love!



      In another matter, I've been searching for your comment to -asingaporeanson- about some of your earlier ones gone missing.

      Now it seems GA's reply comment to me on another post, about NZ work conditions, has been received at Gmail, but not appeared here publicly.

      I overcame the similar problem by doing the following:
      - Subscribe to the comment thread
      - Save my completed comment by selecting and copying text, just in case

      Then when I click Publish and clear through the captcha (typing those strange strings of letters shown), at least a copy is sent to Gmail, and so far, all my comments have since appeared.

      Delete
  13. I always remember my late mother's saying in Hokkien"行行出狀元"

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  14. The most important aspect of migration is 'CHOICE'. In Singapore we are very accustomed to choice less way of life and tend of follow what the group at large think is right or wrong.
    Even if you quit your professional job in singapore and make your living as a hawker or tradies, you can earn as much as you get previously if you are really good and what you are doing. But due to group thinking people are reluctant to think outside of the box.
    Migration to Australia gives me a whole different perspective in life after working in Singapore for more than 7 years. I totally agree to the above post that life is not a bed of roses once you emigrate. But once you shift your mindset from settlement to migration, your perspective in life and your attitude would have grown up exponentially. That is the biggest bonus of migration for me and my family. Now even if I decided to go back to Singapore in a few years time, I am very sure it would not be a step backward and enjoy my life much better than before I come here.
    So to sum up, quality of life can be good or bad in any location on earth depending on your personal/ family/financial situation. Migration is not to have a better quality of life but to have a 'CHOICE' to do what you think is right so that you could have a better quality of life.

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    Replies
    1. That's right mate.

      You're indeed "perceptive" enough :>

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    2. How lucky are we to have the "choice" instead of arriving here in a boat. I can't imagine otherwise.

      Delete
  15. huh huh ... there are some many comments and arguments here.
    is it important what job you have, how much you earn? what material possessions you have???
    I think if the reason for migration is to earn more money, then it defeats the point.. at least for me

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  16. Why I still apply for Aust PR? It's about buying an insurance for myself and my family so that we can have a peace of mind.
    I have a good pay job, a mid size car, a mass market condo and a maid in S'pore...
    After GE and PE in 2011, and how S'pore has been run by new PM and his team since 2006, I see no future in S'pore for my children and my retirement.
    S'pore is nice from outside but it's hollow inside, it's too small too crowded and anything can happen to S'pore.
    S'pore like to compare and compete with HK but HK has mainland China to fall back, S'pore has none to fall back unless M'sia is willing to take S'pore in? May be in the not too far future, S'pore may have to merge back with M'sia in order to survive?

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    Replies
    1. Interesting comment. I am Malaysian or ex Malaysian. We still have very similar thinking of not having faith to the government of the day. I agreed that migrating to Australia is not a rosy story. Not only today but start from the first day that the European migrants coming in. They have turned a hostile environment into the food bowls and most liveable place in the world. Being an Australian, you need to have preserverance.

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