We asked 8 workaholics from the non-profit sector what they’re in it for, and this is what they had to say.
In 2016, Singaporeans spent on average 2371.2 hours working, the longest in the world*. And that’s just physical time spent at work – it doesn’t account for the time you spend replying WhatsApp messages from your colleagues, checking your email on weekends or even commuting to work.
Why do we do it? Is it just so that we can bring home a pay check every month? It could be, but we do way more than what we’re asked for – 70% of professionals here work longer than their contracted hours*.
As part of LinkedIn’s “In It Together” campaign, we asked 8 workaholics from the giving space what they’re in it for – their motivations, inspiration and what success means to them. This is what they had to say.
In it to do good and have fun
Hosea Lai, Head of Social Impact, LinkedIn for Good APAC
“Many people ask me why I do what I do? Well, I’ve worked in disaster zones such as Aceh after the Asian Tsunami, Sichuan after the Earthquake, Myanmar after Cyclone Nargis. I’ve worked with child soldiers with much joy and tears. Every encounter breaks me down, and yet, they build me up at the same time. I could have gotten a cushy job, earn a great salary, retire early, enjoy life, but that’s not my definition of success. For me, life MUST have meaning, and doing good for others is where I find meaning, and what drives me. Maybe that’s why I don’t take myself too seriously, I laugh at myself, I laugh with others, I have fun, I give joy. So what is success? Ralph Waldo Emerson defines it best for me: “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of the intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the beauty in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here. This is to have succeeded.”
In It to help parents of children with special needs
Eulisia Er, Psychologist at Metta School
“Be it 5am or 8pm, at the end of the day, there is no job that I love more than what I currently do”.
In it to empower communities
Galvin Tay, International Programmes at Mercy Relief
“The resilience in these survivors inspires me to keep doing what I’m doing”.
In it to help people go places
Jason Chuei, Head of Corporate Social Responsbility, APAC at Expedia
In it because it’s in my blood
Teresa Tan, Operations at Giving.sg
I am part of Giving.sg’s Operations team, and I disburse donations raised for our charities weekly, in a prompt and accurate fashion. It excites and encourages me to see the impact this has on NPOs when they are supported generously by the public. In particular, during the month of December (also known as Giving Month!), we see a spike in donations! We try our best to increase the frequency of the disbursements, so that charities get their donations sooner allowing them to ramp up their year-end efforts. Integrity and commitment is at the forefront of what I do and I take pride in ensuring that charities receive their donations on time.
In it to empower through education
Komala Murugiah, Programme Coordinator APAC at Alpha Development Partnership
“As a firm believer in the value of education and the power of people committed to a common cause, as a result of the awareness we receive when we choose to learn, I am thankful for the 5 month long journey with peers who are now in my tribe!”
In it because I believe everyone has a role to play in this world
Jessica Lim, Associate at NVPC
“I may not see the immediate impact of my work, but it is exciting to know what I am doing helps to foster the giving culture in Singapore”.
In it to help others to live their best
Ng Yong Hao, Medical Social Worker
*Source: Working Hours Survey