October 12

Fun jobs that pay well in Singapore

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I’m a fulltime content creator. And before you think that’s fun, it’s not. Okay, scratch that. Maybe 1% fun.

Really.

In my previous job as a social worker, I once met a youth who told me,

I want to be a YouTuber!

No, you really don’t want to.

My attempt to be a YouTuber, fell flat on my own face - here you see my laundry too - definitely not a good part of YouTube videos
My attempt to be a YouTuber, fell flat on my own face – here you see my laundry too – definitely not a good part of YouTube videos

This article is an attempt to share the life of a content creator, but more importantly, other fun jobs that you can consider.

It’s a deep dive into the heart of supposedly fun jobs that promise good pay, and little commitment. It’s not true.

But we also don’t want you to quit your job tomorrow to join the ones on this list, and suddenly find yourself not having fun. We share:

  1. Principles you can use
  2. Jobs that are fun

Ask, what is enough?

You might earn $10k a month, and still find that it isn’t a good enough pay for you.

Sure, you might want that fancy job that sponsors your world-class accommodation at Singapore’s Changi Airport.

What’s enough for you?

Even though I’m a content creator that earns about $2500 monthly (and this is averaged across 12 months, with some months dropping to numbers as low as $400), it’s a good pay, because it’s enough.

At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut informs writer of Catch-22, Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch-22 over its whole history.

Heller pauses.

He responds,

“Yes, but I have something he will never have — ENOUGH.”

What’s enough for you?

Fun can start with people

Fun often starts with the colleagues around you.

That’s why a good question for your interviewers often is,

What’s the culture like in this team?

If it’s buttoned-up and serious, you’re not going to have too much fun.

Let’s face it.

You build your own fun

As a social work student, I enjoyed the intellectual stimulation from academia. When I moved into fulltime social work, I tried to include these elements of learning by going for conferences and other training.

Build your own fun, slowly.
Build your own fun, slowly.

You can build your own fun, wherever you are in your job.

I’m a content creator (earning around $2500 monthly)

As a content creator, I specialise mainly in long-form, written content delivered through blog posts and articles.

But before you think I’m earning millions of dollars, I’m not. In fact, it’s more like thousands of dollars a month.

FY 2021 earnings
FY 2021 earnings
FY 2022 earnings till May
FY 2022 earnings till May

But let me take you through what a ‘normal’ day looks like.

Waking up can be a struggle. Especially when the alarm rings at 7am. And when you’re not told what to do, you need to determine your own day. That can be scary.

After waking and brushing my teeth (and maybe sometimes not), I then move to the gym to lift weights. It keeps me sane, and allows me to vent my frustration on something, other than the page.

I’ve finally put off writing for long enough. Usually, by 930am, I would be at a coworking space, like Crane. If I have interviews for the day, I would usually find a quiet cafe or a hotel to walk into.

Please don’t tell them, but hotels are the best place to work.

Especially when you have no money. As most hotel staff treat everyone like guests, you can sit there, without buying anything, and quickly find yourself in deep work mode.

At the start of each quarter, I use a tool like Mangools to search for keywords others are searching for, so that I can write things that people are already searching for. To you, this may sound like boring Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Time What I do Why
0700 – 0800 Wake and gym To keep myself sane
0800 – 0900 Travel to a coworking space After working for 6 months at home, I realised that I needed to go out or risk going crazy. Working in my room had resulted in me not having good boundaries between work and home.
0900 – 0930 Settle down, grab water  
0930 – 1000 Look through Google Analytics and Search Console to see how articles are doing (metrics of reader number, how many times people are finding it via search) This helps me to understand how articles are working (or not working) and to see if there’s anything I can do to adjust them.
1000 – 1130 Write first article  
1130 – 1200 Handle email and messages and pitch for new work I put input like emails and messages later so that I can focus on the deep work in my most productive hours.

But after 2 years of writing a blog that only my mum read, you realise,

Write something people will be helped by, not something that helps you.

What’s fun?

Let me tell you what’s fun.

The fun thing is that you get to have interesting experiences. In April, writing a story on the Passover gave me a chance to experience the real Passover, complete with all the (not so tasty) crackers, in Singapore!

You also talk to high-powered people and have intellectual conversations. For example, an article with RICE Media led me to meet Singapore’s Mayor Denise Phua.

What’s not fun

Definitely the idea of being a loan shark. You have to invoice people, and chase clients to pay.

Finding paying work is not easy too. You are the slimy car salesman who’s trying to get everyone to buy what you have.

For everyone who says being a content creator is easy… it’s not.

For those who talk about the viral YouTube video, or Instagram photo they have, that’s not what happens usually. I’ve been writing at least once per week since April 2020, and I still don’t make enough just solely off my sites.

The hardest thing is finding money. Don’t listen to those YouTube gurus that tell you how easy it is to earn money. It’s not.

Entrepreneurship is problem-solving, in super hard mood.

You’re having to solve problems everyday.

  • Where to find paying clients
  • How to grow your reach
  • How to come up with good content
  • How to work with partners

If you are not able to stick with content making for a long time, and making content that may not even be what you like, you would find it difficult to do this for a long time.

Armed forces

Jump out of a plane! Shoot guns! Why not?

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) offers one of the best pays out there.

Fun jobs that pay well Singapore
Just look at the amount of money you can earn as an officer!

As a 20-year-old who was enlisted as part of my compulsory national service, it was ridiculous hearing the money that was thrown at the feet of regulars. For all the work they do, and all the fun they have, there’s a lot of money.

That’s if you’re an officer though. Being an officer will probably necessitate you to stay in the office and do high-level planning, rather than the ‘fun’ stuff like jumping out of planes.

That won’t be that fun.

Singer

For those who want to be singers, forget Billie Eilish. Billie was singing from 4 years old.

Want to sing? You won't be like Billie Eilish from the get go
Want to sing? You won’t be like Billie Eilish from the get go

If you want to build something from scratch, and enjoy the idea of performing, you can start with busking.

It’s something that Guo Tong, a busker in Singapore started with. She still has a full-time job. But busking gives her the chance to build her skills.

The fun part about singing is the sheer adrenaline that comes from being in a crowd of people, and serenading them with your best songs. But there are many times when there are tough times.

Not too fun to find gigs

One singer, who also has a full-time job, shared that one of the difficult things was finding enough gigs. There are many people who can sing, and who can undercut you.

You may find yourself struggling to prove your value to a potential venue.

She’s a vet

For all the cuddly pets you love, Singaporeans are crazy about their pets.

This is good, because that means there’s lots of nice pets for you to play with.

It can be fun, especially when you have pets to cuddle with and to bring healing to.

But this means that being a vet, is as much a customer service job as it is about healing the animal.

Be prepared for shift work, long hours, and being shouted at

And as another vet once told me, who’s the client here? Is it the owner or the pet?

The pet is clearly the patient. And sometimes it’s better to let the pet go. But there are times when owners are unwilling to let go, and subject the pet to more painful procedures.

Your vet also sits in the clinic, for long hours. There are many pets in Singapore, but only 500 vets in Singapore.

This means that there’s a oversubscription for vet services. This can result in long hours that eventually result in you having to work longer hours than you need to.

Air stewardess

Who doesn’t want to fly around the world?

It can be fun to see new places every week.

After a while, it also gets boring

Flights are paid when there are passengers. You, the flight steward, are there to serve the passengers.

There may not be long layovers for you to rest, or to tour a new place.

Who loves listening to those flight demonstrations too?

Pretend to be a palaeontologist in a theme park

Until I met Shaiful, I never thought there were pretend palaeontologists. But pretending to be a palaeontologist, and pleasing (and scaring) children can be somewhat fun.

It also pays well. Pays start at $4000.

Maybe you should avoid

Civil servants (in some ministries and stat boards)

The public service of Singapore has done greatly in moving us from third world backwater, to first-world nation.

Want to push more papers? Try the civil service.
Want to push more papers? Try the civil service.

There are some caveats though.

There are the better ranked ministries, and those that are not as well-regarded.

Speak to a current public servant to understand more.

When I was previously an intern in a ministry, I got to see how difficult it was for me to work within bureaucracies, with many things determined via papers and eventually, whether your boss liked it.

That wasn’t fun for me. You have to determine yourself whether that’s fun.

Fun jobs, with high pay, is really about getting better everyday

Getting a fun job, can start wherever you are. What matters is that you’re intentional about not taking things too seriously, and slowly building your expertise.

Build space for your dreams
Build space for your dreams

I will close with this story.

Lately, I’ve been interviewing people for an article I’m doing. Recently, I was nearly late. Worse still, it was raining.

But as I ran in the rain, with the rain gently sliding down my cheeks, and making me a mess, I laughed.

For the first time, I was having fun. It had been a long time getting here.

But I got there because I tried.

You can too, if you try.

Imagine this. You’re

whats the best bank to open a savings account with

I think there are times when you come to this point and you think,

am I just another content farm that’s throwing out content over and over again? What’s the value of what I’m writing? Am I just stupidly chasing eyeballs without thinking more deeply about the value of the eyeballs I get?

Okay I guess there are days when you can write to the SEO and other days when you just need to write what you want to write


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