HR & EDUCATION | Contributed Content, Singapore
Ronald Lee

How to lose your job to a foreigner


Singaporeans have been crying foul over employers favouring foreigners, which account for one-third of the country’s workforce today. The effect of the recent influx of foreigners (increasingly crowded public transportation systems, rising housing prices, etc) has also caused some discomfort to the local populace.

So the government has responded by introducing employment legislation to curb the hiring of foreigners. Now companies are up in arms insisting they can’t find enough Singaporeans willing to do certain jobs. Clearly, as there is no quick-fix solution to satisfy all parties.

We have no answer either, except to offer some advice on how Singaporeans can continue to lose their jobs to foreigners, which employers can technically still hire, though in fewer numbers.

1. Be complacent

It is a tight labour market with less than 2% unemployment after all. With the government making it harder for companies to employ foreigners through lower quotas and higher levies, Singaporeans are in high demand, right?

2. Don’t take the initiative

Make sure you don’t take the initiative and volunteer to take on projects that are outside your official job scope. As long as you hit your KPIs, that’s good enough. And if your supervisor volunteers your services on your behalf, be quick to decline and say you’ve already got enough on your plate.

3. Underperform

Worse still, don’t even bother hitting your KPIs. You’ll get by if you just curry favour your boss.

4. Leave the office at 6-sharp

Your boss is only paying you for eight hours of work a day so why should you stay any later than your official knock-off time? It’s not like you’re going to be paid any overtime anyway.

5. Be rigid

When your supervisor asks you to take on an additional portfolio, just say: “That’s not listed in my contract”.

6. Pass the buck

If a problem crops up on a project you were spearheading, don’t take responsibility – find a scapegoat to blame instead.

7. Don’t bother networking

Company functions like the annual Dinner & Dance or bowling tournament are a complete waste of time so don’t bother attending them.

8. Network too much

Your boss said it’s important to network so he shouldn’t make a fuss if you’re on Facebook all day.

9. Share your discontent online

Openly complain about your company, boss, co-workers and clients on Facebook.

10.Expose yourself on Facebook

No, we don’t mean posting pictures of yourself in your birthday suit, but getting tagged in photos of you clearly sloshed the night before and then taking MC the next day, forgetting that you’ve got colleagues in your Friend List.

11. Date Mary from Marketing

Go ahead and break company rules by having a secret office romance. In this age of social media, it’s not likely the cat will get let out of the bag.

12. Participate in office gossip

Succumb to the temptation to badmouth colleagues, in front of your boss especially – making them look bad makes you look good.

13. ‘Eat snake’

Go MIA every afternoon because you’re slacking off having coffee with your buddy two buildings away. It’s easy to get away with it if you’re in a sales position because if anyone questions you, you can just say you had a meeting with a potential client.

14.Take MC on Mondays and Fridays

You’ve worked hard all week; you deserve a self-proclaimed long weekend.

15.Take personal time off – too often

It seems like your grandparent has a medical appointment every week – and you’re the only one in the family who can ever take them.

16. Be late for work – everyday

Even when there are meetings with the boss scheduled first thing in the morning – and you’re not even apologetic about it.

17. Make your boss look bad

Disagree or argue with your boss openly in the presence of colleagues. Or correct your boss for taking credit for your idea – in front of a client.

18. Insist on a raise/promotion

And threaten to leave your employer in the lurch if they do not give in to your demand. Because employers enjoy being held hostage like that.

19. Get tipsy at work

Return from lunch red as a tomato and reeking of alcohol.

20. Get caught photocopying your resume

While you’re at it, use the internal email system to send out your resumes too.

*Disclaimer: The author is aware that such behaviour and attitude will jeopardize ANYONE's job, not just Singaporeans'. The author is also aware that foreign talents are not incapable of such risky conduct.

The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Singapore Business Review. The author was not remunerated for this article.

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Ronald Lee

Ronald Lee

Ronald Lee is the Managing Director of PrimeStaff Management Services.

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