Fascinating Findings from a Survey of Children Living in Singapore

Survey reveals that being a lawyer is the most popular career choice and that spending time with family is far more important than earning money

Jan 11, 2010, 03:06 ET from Adecco

SINGAPORE, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- An annual survey of children living in Singapore, conducted by Adecco Singapore, a subsidiary of the world's leading human resource and staffing services company, reveals that 93% of the children surveyed believe that it is more important to spend time with family than to make lots of money.

The survey of children, aged between 7-14 years, asks just five simple questions:

    1. What do you want to be when you grow up? Why have you chosen this and
       how much do you expect to earn?
    2. What is the best/coolest job that you can think of?
    3. If you became Prime Minister of Singapore, what are the first three
       things you would do?
    4. What is more important: to make lots of money or to spend time with you
    5. What are you looking forward to doing in 2010?

In the same survey from last year (released in January 2009), 88% of those surveyed stated that they would choose to spend more time with family than in making money. This year that percentage rose to 93%.

The most popular career choices for those surveyed are for becoming a Lawyer, Doctor, Teacher or joining the Singapore Police Force. Those wanting to become a doctor nearly all want to help people - however their monthly salary expectations range from S$2000 right up to S$60,000! Other children surveyed have slightly different career aspirations that include wanting to be a Weapons Engineer, F1 Driver, Game Critic or an Entertainer (as being an Entertainer is a 'lot of fun').

One of the children surveyed is hoping to earn S$10 per month as a Dancer, with another wanting to become a Food Critic as they will receive 'free food'. Another is hoping to become a Model so that they can wear pretty clothes in front of a camera and earn enough money to 'buy toys'.

When asked about the best/coolest job that they can image, being a lawyer came out tops for the second year running. Others thought that being The President, a vet or a scientist would be very cool too. Some of the more intriguing choices included a job where you 'could play at the water park each day', as well as 'taking care of a remote nature resource on an island in the US'. One child thought that being a Deep Space Researcher would be the best job - the reason being that 'space has no boundaries'.

The children surveyed had little hesitation in suggesting what the first 'three things they would do' were if they were fortunate enough to become the Prime Minister of Singapore. Many children wanted to help others and to maintain a safe Singapore for all to enjoy. Ensuring that all Singaporeans could enjoy a solid education was also a popular choice. A selection of the first things the respondents would do if they got this 'top job' are:

    - Give a 'thank you' speech
    - Upgrade computers in schools
    - Build more theme parks
    - Ensure that everyone has a job
    - Make more peanut butter factories
    - Use my money to help those in need
    - Ensure that each child is given a game console
    - Save our coral reefs
    - Kill all insects
    - Find more way to reduce global warming
    - Ban exams
    - Buy a super big white house!

The most moving answers to the survey came from the question "What is more important - to make lots of money or to spend time with your family?" As many children see their parents' lives becoming more hectic, some wise answers make it very clear that children value family time over money earning opportunities. Some of the responses include:

    - Without our family, we are nothing
    - My family cares for me and loves me. Money has no heart
    - Money is not important to me. I am happy as long as I have my family
      with me
    - Family comes first

For the first time the survey also asked the question "What are you looking forward to doing in 2010?" A fascinating selection of academic & lifestyle responses were received and that include:

    - Watching the Youth Olympic Games
    - Getting better results in school
    - Canoeing on a cyber lake (if there are any)
    - Keeping my family united and together
    - Living my life

This is the fourth year that Adecco has conducted this survey - a survey that allows us a peek at what our children and those around us think about their future and how they would like it to look.

Lynne Ng, Regional Director for Adecco South East Asia, commented "2009 was clearly a challenging year for many families in Singapore and this has been demonstrated in many of the answers provided by the children in the survey. Those surveyed are from diverse family backgrounds, yet nearly all show signs of being very much in touch with their hopes and aspirations for the future. Children in Singapore sometimes get criticized for being too materialistic, although we're pleased to say that again our survey has shown otherwise."

About Adecco

Adecco S.A. is a Fortune Global 500 company and the global leader in HR services. Established in Singapore in 1985 and celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2010, Adecco Singapore offers a comprehensive range of services that includes temporary & contract staffing, permanent recruitment, outsourcing, executive search, leadership development, career management and outplacement. Services are delivered through a network of 18 offices and specialist divisions.


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