Another transition

I left my job at CRPP on the 28 of March 2011, exactly 1 year after my official contract started and 2 months of working part-time.

I can describe how making the decision to leave and actually leaving felt. It felt like I was walking dangerously along the edge and I jumped.

For 3 weeks or so after I decided in my heart to leave, I was extremely depressed. I was worried whether I made the right decision, what my bosses and colleagues thought of me, what kind of future I had.

It’s generally a wise move to first look for your next job, before you quit, so you have the constant source of income and you don’t have so long a break. Knowing how long I took to find my first job, you might think I would have been wiser with my moves, but I decided to end exactly 1 year from where I started.

Why did I leave? This is the first time I’m saying so in blogosphere.

1. I couldn’t find meaning in my job.
Initially it was very clear. I was here to learn. I had a lot of role models and a lot of seminars/courses/classes, even a library! And initially I was still internalizing the vision of my company and my project. I played a back-end role in the education industry, but I still want to believe what I did will ultimately make a positive impact in the schools, in the lives of the teachers and students.

Besides putting my heart into the research, I was also very deliberate in my other efforts. I prayed for the teachers I met, I even brought chocolates for some of them and one interesting thing I did was to place encouraging quotations in my email signature, hoping some discouraged teachers would see them and have their spirits lifted.

β€œEvery artist was first an amateur.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
When I first started, I knew how much I struggled, so I wanted to let myself and also teachers know that even the most disappointing student can one day become an expert.

“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” (Charles Spurgeon)
During the exam period, I knew teachers were extremely stressed. So I changed my quote, hoping to alleviate some of their anxiety by changing their perspective about it.

“A teacher is like a candle who uses up itself to light the path for others.”

Finally, towards the end of my job, there was just one message I wanted teachers to know – what they are doing is very meaningful and I want to show my appreciation.

Slowly, I could no longer hold on to that vision and my objective at my job morphed into a more practical function. I want to help uphold others’ vision. I knew my place in my team and that it was important. So I want to do my best so that my boss and teammates can achieve their vision.

Naturally, I lost steam over time… I’m a very vision driven person. I cannot serve a vision I do not believe in. (It sounds pretty abstract. I wonder if you know what I mean!)

2. Where could I find real job satisfaction?

As I pondered about my age and my future plans, I knew instinctively, I cannot stay any longer in a job I knew was not the right fit for me. I told myself 2011 will be the year of exploration. I am 25 years old. I still have no idea what kind of job/jobs I want to do, what kind of career I want to pursue. I am responsible for myself to find out what I like to do, what I’m good at doing and what I’m passionate about! Based on what I know of myself, these are the few possible tracks:

a) Biology track. Try to get into NParks. Or do a Masters.
b) Teaching track. Do I really have a heart for children and teenagers?
c) Service track. I’ve always wanted to learn how to make a good cup of latte. Starbucks anyone? I’m also a book-lover. Working in a bookshop, setting up an online bookstore, blogshop?
d) Further studies track. I also have a desire to work in the publishing line or deal with architecture or history (museum related types of job)… Or picking up a useful diploma like CELTA or TEFL that enables me to teach English to second language learners? Maybe I can study more to open more doors for myself.

So my plan is to explore these tracks in 2011. I am currently relief teaching, I hope to work in a cafe during the holidays, find time to get a CELTA or some other useful certification (training) along the way.

The time was just right and I plunged. It was the most unnerving experience but exciting at the same time. You really feel like you’re falling, but I’m glad Someone was there to catch me. πŸ™‚

This video is for you. I wonder how many of you out there are like me, searching for a Place In This World. I want to encourage you by telling you that I understand how you feel. It’s not uncommon to be searching for your place in this world. Some find their place early, others take longer, but those who seek, shall find. Don’t be afraid, see this process as a journey you have to take in life and enjoy the process! πŸ™‚



  1. Lionheart said,

    April 9, 2011 at 3:59 am

    I didn’t know you were in CRPP. We were neighbours then. I was a trainee in NIE, but I left a few days ago. The funny thing is that I received one of those mass email from CRPP after I left. I’m searching for new openings too. All the Best to both of us.


    • chuashuyi said,

      July 28, 2011 at 9:02 am

      All the best Lionheart! πŸ™‚ What a nice name you have, a very big and courageous heart. Traits that would definitely help you go far. πŸ™‚

  2. lyn berggren said,

    April 11, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    I do hope you find your ‘bliss’ – good to venture out and travel while you’re young – time enough to do a masters and go with biology later – if that’s what you eventually decide.

    ISLANDS OF SINGAPORE is how I came upon your site. My uncle worked as a ‘slave’ POW on Jeep Island after surviving the Burma Railway. After Jeep Island he was being transported back to work in the coalmines of Japan when the ship was sunk by an american sub. I am happy that he had almost of year enjoying Malacca and Mersing before the horrors of war and death.

    I’m planning to visit Malaya and Singapore (then Burma Thailand etc) and explore the places he was stationed and imprisoned. The last place I would expect to find the info on Jeep Island was a ‘job site’ but I see I’m not the only one following the lives of those forced to work on Jeep Is (Ingrid).

    I’m impressed by the way you’ve balanced biology with english lit and history. Good luck and don’t get too stuck too early in your life. Lyn from Australia.

    • chuashuyi said,

      July 28, 2011 at 9:11 am

      Dear Lyn,

      Thanks for dropping by and your kind words! πŸ™‚

      Hope you will enjoy your visit to Asia. You might be interested to visit the Kranji War Memorial in Singapore, which I used to enjoy visiting, to appreciate the many who lost their lives during the war.


  3. yeu@nn said,

    April 13, 2011 at 3:02 am

    Jiayou sis! Thanks for sharing. Hmm, one thing that struck me: you wrote that you are a very vision-driven person, and I agree. Which is a good thing. πŸ™‚ same for me too.

    Just wondering: what is the personal vision that drives you, and how does it fit into the vision of God?

    secondly, is it really necessary to have to internalize the company vision? instead, why not think about what are the ways you can express the vision of God whichever job you are in, especially those that are compatible with the company vision?

    for we are a peculiar, not-of-this-world, people, and our hearts were made for Him and His purposes, not man-made purposes.

    • chuashuyi said,

      July 28, 2011 at 9:01 am

      Good point Yeu Ann…

      I still do not know a personal vision that clicks with the vision of God… I hope I will know better as I seek God for it.

      And you are right! I think I thought I needed to internalize the company vision because I find it very hard to do my best when I cannot see the point of what I am doing. When I internalized someone else’s vision, it helps me see the job as meaningful.

      But what you say is even better. Express God’s vision in any job that I do. Being faithful with the vision of God in everything I do, irregardless of whether I like the job or not.

      Thanks Yeu Ann, it’s really something I need to master.

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