#trending: 'Increasingly hard to find motivated young people to work' comment by entrepreneur Tjin Lee stirs up netizens
SINGAPORE — Entrepreneur founder Tjin Lee has sparked debate online after posting on Instagram about young Singaporeans being preoccupied with work-life balance during their job interviews, with many Instagrammers disagreeing with her. Online sites AsiaOne and Wokesalaryman have also triggered discussion on Reddit about millennials and work. AsiaOne released survey findings on work-life balance among youth, while Wokesalaryman published an article on hiring and keeping millennials.
SINGAPORE — Public relations firm founder Tjin Lee has drawn flak online after expressing concerns about an increasing number of young Singaporeans who seem to be unmotivated to work hard.
In a Instagram post dated last Sunday (July 3), the 48-year-old entrepreneur mused that there is a “worrying” trend of people expressing on social media that they would “rather be on holiday than in the office” or that they just want to “lie on a bed of moss with my lover and read art and poetry, and not hustle nor work hard”.
Ms Lee, who is the founder and managing director of Mercury Marketing & Communications, lamented that it is “increasingly hard to find motivated young people to work”.
She shared her encounters with Singaporeans in their 20s who had asked about “work-life balance” and “flexi working options” as the first question during their job interviews.
She added in a subsequent comment that while she is not against work-life balance or flexible working arrangements, these should not be the things that interviewees ask.
Ms Lee then ends her post by referring to Singapore’s lack of natural resources and land scarcity to support her message — “our dreams don’t work unless we do”.
The online community did not take kindly to her comments, with some claiming that her thoughts are “old-fashioned” and “boomer”.
The post, which has received 1,416 likes and 227 comments, has generated quite a discussion.
Ms Lee said that even though she does not delete comments from people who disagree with her, she has had to delete comments that were “toxic, personal attacks” and block “those accounts and the accounts of those who liked these toxic comments”.
In response to her post, someone suggested she should update her “perspectives on hiring practices” in line with the attitudes of Gen Zers and millennials who are now joining and part of the workforce, with many echoing that sentiment.
In an “eat the rich” moment, another person compared Ms Lee to American billionaire socialite Kim Kardashian, who had infamously said that “it seems like nobody wants to work these days” in an interview with Variety magazine.
The person noted that Kardashian did not acknowledge “her privilege from growing up in a wealthy well-connected family”, seemingly drawing parallels to Ms Lee.
Not everyone disagreed with Ms Lee, however, as several commenters showed their support for her post.
Former actress Jacelyn Tay commented: "Well said 👍", while former radio deejay Maddy Barber stated that Ms Lee "couldn’t have said it better! 🙌".
The Singaporean socialite, who has 44,700 followers on Instagram as of Thursday (July 7), is a prominent voice in the entrepreneurship scene in Singapore.
In a CNA Luxury interview, the socialite said that she usually spends “half-an-hour to an hour each day supporting relevant local brands in the form of pro bono Instagram stories”.
WANTING WORK-LIFE BALANCE AND MORE
In an Instagram post, financial blog “thewokesalaryman” posted a comic on Tuesday detailing their thoughts on “what some business owners still don’t get about hiring and keeping millennials”.
In the post, “thewokesalaryman” pointed to “depressing salaries” and “bad working environment” as possible reasons for the “disloyal” millennial job-hopping trend.
Online users appeared to be in agreement with the post by "thewokesalaryman", with one noting that most people would prefer not to go through the rigorous process of finding a new job, if their “current company is good enough to stay”.
One asked: “Can you CC my ex HR director on this?”
Another said: “Someone should show this to Tjin Lee.”
Separately, online users responded to a survey by AsiaOne website on the “Attitudes towards work-life balance”, which found that 46.3 per cent of the 1,187 respondents in Singapore were "dissatisfied" with their work-life balance and 32.5 per cent were "satisfied".
Most of the online users agreed on the need for work-life balance, with one on online forum Reddit saying on the r/singapore subreddit: “What kind of life am I living if I can't even find the time for my personal interests (and am) worried to even take days off.”
This is not the first time that Ms Lee has dealt with negative public comments.
Life Beyond Grades, an initiative founded by her with four other parents in 2018, drew some criticism because its message — that there were alternative pathways to success besides scoring well academically — rang hollow for low social economic status students who were unable to afford to score badly.
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