Prestige careers and burnout culture

Been reading quite a bit of writing on this topic primarily because I’ve been speaking to many young people about jobs and careers.

A friend shared this link to a Medium article. He was suggesting that in the context of Singapore, there is this happening and added to the list of the careers would be the sort that is promised to “government scholars”.

Singapore is unique in the sheer number of government-sponsored students in the foreign universities perhaps in proportion to our population. And myself being a beneficiary (though my friend would think, “victim”), I’d say that it has definitely help to develop a rich pool of human resource and talents. Yet as any MNC trying to move into Singapore would attest, talent for those sectors listed in the article is actually hard to come by, primarily because they are hoarded by government.

Through that article, I also found out about Andrew Yang’s book which I started reading. The beginning chapters which share largely about the motivations of high-achieving students aligns well with the true story of “elites” in Singapore. Not just the academic heros but those with lots of co-curricular achievements and even volunteering experiences.

Probably something worthwhile for Singapore government is to consider how to foster more risk-taking communities and to support talents to build things. And also to continue opening its talent pool up to be accessed by the industry- it can be shortening of bonds or just simply doing away with scholarships altogether, creating new forms or institutions that provides education in a manner that works closely with the industry and is primarily led by the industries which generate real value.

The infrastructure industry represents such a place where business focuses on value-generation for long term developments that enable economic growth, and creates new employment opportunities in the emerging economies. Yet risk-capital and human-capital is clearly under-allocated because the world has become increasingly short-term in its thinking and the influx of short-term (to the sense of instantaneous) data is worsening our myopia.

We need talents for these areas of human development. And we lack them partly as a result of the same myopia; lots of talents have poured into technology leading to that same momentum feeding itself. By virtue of its long term character, infrastructure development will find it hard to compete for both talents and resources. There will have to be a sea-change in culture and a shift in our attention towards the common future the world needs to head towards.

The greater the resolution of the big data, the poorer our vision of the big picture.

This is a bit of a seminal piece dealing with draps and bits of ideas mashed together. Hope I find time to think through and put up a few more coherent pieces soon!

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