The disappearence of Skills in jobs.

Met up with an old friend “N” last week.”N” is an impressive breed after graduating in Life Sciences(Biology) in NUS, her love for animals brought her to work in the Singapore zoo. I admire her for choosing what she likes to do, a trait, not common in Singaporeans nowadays. Caring for animals , including shovelling their dung, is admirable for a woman of her small stature.

After taking a break , travelling a whole year across god knows what looks like 30 countries,  She came back last week. We were going back to our normal climbing schedule on thursday when I saw her once again. She is much more tanned than I remembered, looking more hardy than ever. Hair is noticeably longer, eyes still fresh from experiences of her global expedition. Just in case you are wondering , she is not one of those rich family daughters who just inherited a gold mine. She saved up whatever she got from zookeeping and worked her way , sofa-sharing all the way from asia, to middle east, to europe and the USA. Even working in farms to save up some money for the next trip

I asked her casually if she wanted to try being an animator since she was jobless anyway. And being an animator would be well… although kinda eqalivant to jobless but having someone to be jobless with you feels pretty good. She then replied me that after travelling around the world , she realized that, regarding jobs, she thought she really wanted to have a skill. She’s met people who are pursuing degrees in carpentry. Things that she thought are skills and these are skills that are not so easy attainable and to pursue it to perfection would take a lifetime. But It was noble nonetheless. She thought animation was a skill. I laughed… not knowing if it was a joke. But I guess she was serious about it.

I told her , nowadays people just want a job that requires a minimum skill and maximum remuneration. Nobody realize that pursing excellence in a craft will pay off later in life. It is something that is difficult and people are lazy. People give up, do something they are not talented with and try to get on with life. People do not look up to attaining excellence as the only way to bettering their life anymore. Maybe I’m wrong, but as someone once said, a faulty clock is correct at least twice a day. Lets hope I am right more than twice on this issue.

I hope I chose the correct path to be an animator.


2 thoughts on “The disappearence of Skills in jobs.

  1. Hello pang ren it’s been a while! Chanced upon this blog piece as I was randomly updating my connections on linkedin, and am glad I did. Good job with the writing, I appreciate opinion pieces such as these. The timing coincides: just today I caught this great film on the pursuit of perfection in sushi-making – Jiro Dreams of Sushi, where excellence attained is driven by passion for the craft itself and not monetary achievements. Life is too short – don’t be jaded in doing what you love! Catch that film and perhaps keep other documentary types like Helvetica, stuff on music, the arts, and so on. Keep them in a cart should you need the inspiration. There’s this cool book called Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell that touches on the topic of reaching expertise through learning and failing. Read up biographies on those who excelled against odds of mediocre standards set by majority – the biographies of steve jobs and the google guys come mind. Subscribe to brainpickings – there are many articles, quotes and tidbits on contemporary and historical figures who just do what they do cuz they love what they do. There’s a vast library out there to juice you up. Time are changing now, and we are supposedly the generation who prefer authenticity of being, who should be able to keep the noise of societal bitching at bay. Good luck! TT

    • Hey Trin! yea its been awhile how’s things? omg… you know … I just saw the same film and read the same book in the past few months. Yea I think I need to build up the 10 000 hours of work and failure before I can really get to be who I would love to be. Animation is still my thing(for better or worse), its just that burning feeling that there is so much more out there that I need to do and experience. And also lethargy to persist with self-critique day in day out. Arrgh
      How about you? Are you getting closer to the perfect Trina?

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