I think I'm doomed

I tend to ramble on and on, so I guess I just stick to bullet points here.

  • I am graduating soon
  • I am supporting myself 100% (rent, transport, food etc.)
  • I don’t have much savings
  • I still have outstanding military service of 3 months, which means I’ll be
    • underpaid
    • have to tap into my savings just for rent, transport and food (military allowance just cover rental, I guess.)
  • Which boils down I need a job ASAP when I get out from the military
  • And job hunting is not easy thanks to the economy.
  • And nope, my parents are in dire straits themselves. I have no safety net.

Therefore, if I don’t get a job, I’m doomed. My savings probably would only last me about a month or two, and I’m sure the landlord is ready to increase the rent any time soon (electricity bill has sky-rocketed, for instance).

PS. I’m from that tiny small island nation which banned chewing gum (i.e, Singapore) and it is badly, badly hit by the current economy down-turn (not as bad as Japan, I reckon).

As a stark contrast to US culture, getting a place to live in is difficult. Private housing costs monstrously. The public housing projects which offer “affordable” housing is only open to those who are married, or above 30, and you must hold down a job for some years.

And nope, it’s not a handouts state. No social welfare or anything. No job? It’s your fault.

What’s worse is that I have to share this one a message-board. I can’t find anyone (or haven’t find anyone) who understand what’s happening. They are all staying with their parents till they are married (it’s the norm here. Unless you can afford about USD500 to USD1000 on rent every month). Everything I said I just get the usual typical wave of responses of “Think positively!” A friend of mine took 3 months to find a job after his graduation, and that was before the economic downturn. I can’t even last a single month without a job after being in the red of 3 months thanks to compulsory military service. (For the record, military pay for me is about uSD 250, while rent is USD 200. Then there’s issues of transport, food, aagrhh!)

Thanks for reading

Well, that sucks. Sorry to hear it.

What is your degree in?

Is further graduate study an option (do student loans exist)?

Is joining the military full time (beyond your compulsory service) an option where you could get, say, free room and board?

I agree that thinking positive is a necessary, but not always sufficient, tactic in your situation.

I don’t think you’re doomed; I just think you have some hard rows to how ahead of you. Instead of adding up all your problems and laying them out in front of you, just take it one problem at a time. I’ve been (kind of) where you are - young, poor, unemployed, and while I chose to pay rent instead of eat sometimes, I got through it, and you will, too.

Can you start looking for a job now, and during your military service?

Hang in there, CrazyChop. You can get through all of this. Like featherlou said, just tackle things one at a time.

Do you belong to a church or a similar organization? I am fortunate that I have a lot of family and friends I could turn to if things got really rough, and my church would also be there for me if I needed help with necessities of life. That could be a big help for you.

Computer Science; however, down here in Singapore, they are not really highly paid (I have heard about programmers/technical people in US getting paid USD 3000 or so…I probably only be getting about USD 2000, and the government is taking 40% of it as a form of ‘savings for retirement’)

My results aren’t good enough for Masters or research.

One thing which I have left out is that the fees of my university studies is paid by a loan from private bank - I have already chalked up about USD 20K worth of debts even before I begin to work :smack:

The contract is for 5 years, and unfortunately, I am just a clerk by vocation (and just a CPL) and if I do go full time, my pay won’t exceed 1.2K USD. If I am in a combat vocation and is of higher rank, I would consider it. Alas, there are also news of the armed forces being leery of taking in clerks. They don’t need too much of those.

I know that running around like a headless chicken does not help; but it feels like a storm cloud charging up some nasty electrons over my head all the time.

I still have 2 last papers to tackle, then after which I would begin to job-hunt. The catch is that since I will be in full-time service for 3 months, I have to take leave to go for job interviews.

Of course, I have other worries too; like would I be able to hold down a job? Or would the employers freak out upon hearing that I need to go for therapy to manage my anxiety disorder once every month?

Right now, I am just concentrating on passing my exams. However, those unknowns tend to keep me awake at nights. For long hours.

I have turned in my membership card to organised religion long time ago. And nope, Singaporean churches don’t provide aid or relief either. There was one I talked to and they have a policy of “no cash aid”, but they gladly provide food for you. Everyone is afraid of being taken advantage here. It’s the culture.

And I actually managed to lost a close friend because of my neediness during the past year while I was still adjusting to living alone, and relationship with others soured just because I wasn’t able to handle living and falling sick by myself positively.

I have been trying to convince myself “It’s not that bad; it’s not that bad. Others have been through worst” – but when I am reminded that I don’t really have a home to return to or something or someone solid to rely on, it’s kind of scary.

And Singapore is a really practical society. I mean, friends may promise things, but when the shit hits the fan, it’s all by yourself.

It also means that if I tell any prospective employer that I have anxiety disorder, I can kiss the job goodbye. But stopping therapy now sounds like a supremely bad idea

Sorry to hear your news. Sending supporting thoughts your way.

I’ve been where you are, but was lucky enough to have family support. All I can say is to take one day at a time. Do your best for today, and then try to let it go.

I know it’s easy for me to say that but not so easy to do. I have had anxiety too and I know how awful it can be - especially at night when you’re trying to sleep. It seems like that’s when doubt and worry are the worst.

How much money do you think you will need to have each month to pay for rent, food, and transportation?

Having interviewed when I did, and when I didn’t, have a job, I can tell you the confidence factor is real. The trick then is to project as much confidence unemployed, as you would, employed, if you’re lucky to get an interview.

Stupidly basic, I know, and easy for me to say, but if I lost my job today, I think I could “fake it to make it” as far as projecting confidence out of basically nowhere better than I was when I wasn’t aware of just how important this was. My tactic would be to sort of play-act to myself that I basically owned the business and I was interviewing them to see if we were a fit (yes, you can do this without coming off as an arrogant jerk; what it really does, if done ideally, is suggest a conversation among peers, not supplication).

I have an anxiety disorder too. The worrying about things you can’t control is very draining, completely useless, and (here’s the good news) controllable. I know lying in bed trying to sleep is the usual time for running everything in your head over and over; what you need to do is tell yourself, “I can’t do anything about this now, so I’m not going to worry about this now. Now is time for sleeping.” Your therapist should be giving you concrete, useful ideas like this, not just holding your hand and asking about your childhood. Anxiety responds very well to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (what I just told you is an example of CBT).

I switch to SGD here (I think the current rate is 1.4 SGD to 1 USD)

Rent: 350
Utility: 100
Transport: 100
Food: 170 (minimal)
Tuition Loan Repayment: 100 (minimal, but I owe the bank about 40K >.<)

Food-wise, I should be able to settle it at the cook-house while in the military. As I am a clerk, and not a combat vocation, I don’t have a bunk (at any rate, even if there is, I need somewhere to stow my stuff). Service allowance is only 400. I think by the end of the three months I be pretty much near the red.

Today I am freaking out about how much to repay for my bank loan. Assuming 2% interest, the amount per annual could be 800 (or 1500, if it is 5%, and I can’t remember). I am not sure how much to pay per month

And I still have to pay taxes if I do get a job. And would you believe it, you get tax rebate for staying with your parents and hence I got none. I feel screwed all over (and I am not eligible for any welfare scheme in school because they insist that you put down your guardian’s income even if you are staying outside. Grr…)

My only,probably unhelpful,advice is to never stop fighting,never give up and I know thats easier said then done.

That said I hope things get better for you and I wish you all the luck in the world.