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Casey Wong: My reflection on the first half of 2020


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This is the story of Casey Wong about his experience of the first half of 2020.

For more stories like this, check out #SGStories.

Apart from finally tying the knot, 2020 has been a great challenge thus far.

Here’s a quick recap:

Jan to Feb 2020, I joined a Rocket Internet venture (Tinvio).

At Tinvio, I was under great leadership and had a chance to experience what an aggressive and fast-paced startup felt like!

I was then approached by an HR startup in Feb and what they offered me, in terms of the knowledge and progression I could potentially gain, was an opportunity I felt I could not reject.

March 2020, I left Tinvio and joined the HR startup, and I got married too!

I thought my year could not have gotten any better!

But, here is how things went south –

After joining the startup for 3 weeks, I was informed by the company that due to the pandemic, investments are not coming in and with the company’s cash flow, there would be a salary pay cut.

I thought to myself, “Times are hard, but at least I still have a job secured.”

However, a week later I was being informed that I had to be let go due to insufficient funds.

April 2020, I got retrenched.

I was retrenched a month after I got married. With a racked up credit card bill, I spent the whole of April desperately looking for a job. As most of us already know, with the pandemic going on, most companies are on hiring freeze hence the job search was to no avail.

May 2020, self-reflection of ‘what have I done?’ and struggles kicked in.

I joined RedMart as a packer and FoodPanda as a delivery rider just to make ends meet.


#LINKEDINSTORIES My reflection on the first half of 2020, by Casey Wong

Despite this misfortune, I learned a couple of things.

What Casey Wong Learnt

  1. Understanding a company is important – It is interesting to work for startups- the flexibility and the carefree culture. However, working for any startup comes with a risk. 9 out of 10 startups tend to fail, hence it is vital to know the status of the company. Rely on sources like Crunchbase to see when and how much their last investment was, read up any news about the company from platforms such as VulcanPost or TechInAsia. For companies that are heavily invested by angel investors and not being backed by any VCs, it is really tricky. (ie. during a recession like this, angel investors are probably struggling to keep themselves afloat and they would not be keen to invest.)
  2. Never be greedy – As much as opportunities might come your way, it is highly advisable to spend an adequate amount of time with a company before leaving (perhaps a year?). Unless you are confident that the next company is sustainable and you are able to further excel with them. Also, if you have been with the company for only a couple of months, trust the company and perhaps they might have something bigger planned for you (in my case, Tinvio had a plan for me but I was being greedy and I will always blame myself for that).
  3. Every occupation matters – Having to join RedMart and FoodPanda, I understood the amount of work they have to put in. These people do not have fanciful titles, but they work hard and when I say hard, I mean long working long hours, standing most of the time with limited breaks just to ensure groceries and foods get to your doorstep. One should not be undermining another just because of their education or the nature of their occupation. In a situation like this, we clearly need them more than they need us because it seems like it is an occupation not many Singaporeans are willing to do.
  4. Murphy’s Law – Anything that can go wrong will go wrong – Do not change a job when you’re close to getting married!

Unfortunately, this is not an article of how I came back from this mess, I am still in the mess and I do hope things get better.

That said, it has been indeed a tough couple of months, but I believe it is not the end of the world and things will get better. Anyway, if you are reading this thank you and now that the circuit breaker has ended, I hope that everyone will continue to stay safe!

On a lighter note, I am still actively looking for sales or account managing positions preferably in the SaaS industry, if anyone happens to know someone who is hiring, it would be great if you could link me up.

Thank you!

This article originally appear at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/my-reflection-first-half-2020-casey-wong/, authored by Casey Wong.

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