Posted by: thaishin | February 26, 2009

Waking up to a retrenchment

I recently received an email from a friend of mine telling me he was retrenched and asking me if there are job opportunities in US. I gave him a chicago job website and did not probe further but I presume it is due to the global economic downturn.

He has children and I thought it must be hard on him, so I asked if he has enough savings and he told me that he has enough. Thank God that he is prepared.

All of us in the capitalistic world operate within the economic framework and are not buffered from the effects of any recession. In difficult times, jobs are hard to keep and people fall into hardship. There is nothing an individual can do to to prevent it but he can be prepared for it.

Saving for the rainy day is a good virtue and it may be wise in good times to put aside a percentage of our income for savings. It will be good  to save up enough cash to last for at least a year or more of unemployment.  Six months may not even be enough. Finding a new job may take more than six months and then what happens?

Being aware of your transferable skill sets helps. For example, organisational skills, interpersonal skills, numeric skills etc. This is important especially when you are crossing  to a new job domain.  When times are good, try applying for new jobs, if not to get the job, at least get some interview experience and you will be able to gain an insight of what kind of other jobs you are able to handle.

Often times, being retrenched may mean that you will have to go back to school again, just to get the skillsets that are relevant. That means also saving enough money to retrain when the times are good.

I think the most important asset to an individual is to keep an open mind and be able to unlearn and relearn. Carrying that attitude will enable you to go a  long way.

We should take retrenchment as a form of character training from God if we have not sinned against Him.  Maybe God is trying to steer us to another direction in life or He is trying to focus our attention to other things.

Matthew 10:30

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. – niv

If even our hairs are numbered, how much more it is that  due to chance that we are retrenched. The point is that  things will eventually work out for the good because God is good and He is only training us now. Christians, tune your ears to God’s fine prompting.



  1. Hi ThaiShin,

    Good words of wisdom in this troubled times. Someone said that we are entering into unprecedented times, where there is increasingly awareness that the free market is not that “free” after all, and there is a greater need for central governmental control. Reflecting upon this and stretching our imagination a little bit, we can see how the harsh scenes depicted in the Book of Revelations can be brought to a reality. Indeed, lets all be prepared.

  2. thanks Kong Wah for your comments. This economic downturn has proved to be gigantic.. Let’s see if it turns out as depicted in Revelations. But you are right, we should be prepared regardless

  3. Hi Thai Shin,

    Thanks a lot for a wonderful piece of work. I couldn’t agree you more on your statement that we should take retrenchment as a form of character training from God unless we sinned against Him. That is why it is necessary to look deep into our life whenever we face trials.

  4. Yup, we need to look deep into ourselves sometimes

  5. Be Greedy when others are fearful, Be fearful when others are greedy!

  6. hf,

    I think that comment from warren buffett is refering to investing in the stock market. For me, I once thought that investing in stock market is a way of growing the income and is useful when one has spare cash. I am not so sure now.

  7. Hi TS, back in Singapore, i’m a self-employed Tutor for Chinese language. Now in Tucson, Arizona for a month already, i still didn’t see many job advertisements in the newspaper. I’ll try and look up from the internet. (From self-employed to jobless….that’s an improvements or deprovements??? haha)

  8. Hi TS, speaking from the point of view of an ex-financial advisor, investing in stock market is still a way of growning income. The problem is we have to be very careful nowadays, coz the Prince of earth is the one that’s manipulating it behind the scene. (That’s why i quit few years ago after experiencing all these hahaha )

  9. You will have to start somewhere but I guess it’s the economic slowdown and may have to take longer to find a job

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