July 27, 2021

22 thoughts on “Retrench during Oil Crisis! Why?

    1. Hi Yeh – definitely, different pple have diff sets of problems. To me, u r always more than blessed and will continue to be. 🙂 Happy CNY.

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  1. Rolf,

    What does not kill us will make us stronger.

    My first brush with retrenchment was with Montgomery Ward.

    This 100 year plus retailer first went into Chapter 11 and then bankruptcy… I survived 2 rounds of retrenchments. It was surreal as Singapore economy was booming then. Jumped ship to IKEA before they finally closed down the Singapore office 1 year after I left…

    Then at IKEA, when the regional head office was relocated from Singapore to Shanghai, I lost many colleagues. Its a strategic move that I saw coming and positioned for it. I was already in Shanghai for 1.5 years when the news broke.

    Now Maersk is also relocating their regional head office from Singapore to Hong Kong…

    Life is never static. Adapt and roll with the punches.

    1. Hi Jared,

      You are a weathered veteran in the corporate, you sure know. I totally agree with you that what does not kill us make us stronger!

      Corporate is unpredictable. Survival and political skill is part of the must learn other than the work itself. Many just do not understand.

      Crisis is the best time to learn. The most worrying is not crisis, but the inability to see it coming at all, without any counter action and mental preparation!

      It is already a known fact that HQs are relocating away from SG. Just within last year, many major O&G companies such as Mcdermott, Technip and Subsea 7 already announced relocation to KL. And other companies in other sectors are also relocating APAC HQ to Shanghai or HK.

      Fret and cry? Not quite the correct stance! Adapt like u say or do something early so that when the day comes, is the day u activate ur path B!

      Happy CNY.

  2. That's the reason we try very hard not to get into debt and live within our means.
    I retrenched myself at the age of 53.
    My wife faced retrenchment more then 4 or 5 times in her office.
    Thank GOD when she finally got retrenched, when she was already 60.
    She got 2 years retrenchment benefits just coincidence timing for her retirement at 62 – No need to work till 62 where she most probably will be retired by company.

    We can never tell when we will be retrenched.
    You may be the most valuable worker for your company but if the company doesn't make enough money…….
    That's life.

    1. Hi temperament,

      From ur situation, retrenchments not always bad! Ur living within means already set a backup foundation always.

      If after retrenchment, u feel confused n loss, then my suggestion is STOP LOOKING for a job that urgently, if u can afford for awhile.

      I have an ex-colleague who in is late 50s I heard sold his house or take on more debts to start a biz after retrenchment. He feel the need of the comeback and "bu fu!"

      Not that it is wrong to start ur own, but if u r confused n not calm in a crisis, it is often the time u will commit the biggest wrong decision in life!

      Sometimes down period is also a good time to reflect and not rush into a wrong decision.

    2. Ha! Ha!
      Ya! i stopped completely at 53 after some very hard thinking.
      i mean i dared to stop earning a living except my stock investing.
      i had come to conclusion my family can survive quite nicely.
      My family could still afford a car at that time till now.
      Shalom, Amen.

    3. It takes lot of guts to stop, in order to go even further. It's better to stop urself than others force u to stop.
      猴年大吉,身体安康,万事如意,新年快乐!!!

    1. Hey Richard,

      Yes, and do something about it! Like what Jared says, what does not kill u makes u stronger!

  3. Rolf,

    Nice article. I can agree with the part about "value adding" so that we are not easily on the to go list.

    But even a captain have to bail
    In a sinking ship

    For people who are seemingly in an "iron rice" bowl job, they seem to forget about pay cut. Many are thinking the worst is no
    Bonus …

    1. Hi SI,

      Thanks. Yes, bottom of the list, but not entirely spared! Ok… over-pessimism is distasteful also! 🙂

      I have dual views on the iron rice bowl job who many of my friends are in. The good is u are so-called shield, the bad is if u start to hate ur job or boss n u r so specialized, u will have tough time gg to work. And often, exposure is reserve for higher management who need to be "older"!

      This I get feedback from many of my Frds. But Teacher is different. The focus should be doing good to the next generation. And that is the only govt job I will consider!

  4. Hi Rolf

    Seems like your colleagues all aiming for early retirement. They don't seem to be bothered much.

    Wisdom, wisdom…

    The way you wrote has made the manager who bought a new car like an evil person. haha. personal temptation…i reserved my comment

    Seems like this is the most major O&G hit in the past 50 years or more?

    1. Hi FD,

      Happy CNY. Early retirement, I do not know, but they are definitely top in the retrenchment list, which is not so good!

      U n other people say this is the worst Oil Crisis ever, n I tend to agree. Even all the veterans in their 60s seem to be caught unaware and hit hard!

      The manager who bought a new car, on the contrary, is a very kind hearted person. But sometimes the lack of wisdom can lead to decisions being no different from evil!

  5. Hi Rolf, hopefully you also have a back-up plan e.g. work on self-employed basis etc, because depending on a company to stay employed especially in your industry is quite difficult. Even if you do add value, you try your best, sometimes things just end with retrenchment. Time to think what else you can do on your own and start building the credentials for that too. My 2 cents' worth :).

    1. Hi YP,

      Thanks for ur two cents. Appreciate it.

      Thankfully, I am not unaffected and in fact never been so busy in the last 3 years. I m quite lucky I m now in the frontline and any value or potential value added is more visible. That said, I am still cautiously optimistic.

      I agree with u that back-up plan is impt. And even more impt is the plan must be made during the good times, not when crisis is nearing.

      Having additional taps of income is also impt. Knowing more people/bosses in the industry also provides other back up plans.

      After this job, I do not think (hopefully) I will ever work for someone else again, even if I do, I will want to be a major shareholder. Pray! haha…

  6. And yes, thank you to all of you who drop by. I wish all of a Happy and Prosperous Monkey year ahead.

  7. I don't generally commentary on blogs but as I see this blog I completely motivated to make one praise that I understand that not enough for the significant context on your writing as one that could understand easily.

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