Flexible working hours in Singapore: Diana Ser reveals her one big REGRET!
Flexible working hours in Singapore: Diana Ser shares, "Looking back, I do have one regret."
On the face of it, former news presenter and host Diana Ser seems to have a perfect life. She is a successful career woman, mummy to 3 adorable kids and married to Singapore actor-turned-banker James Lye.
So it comes as a bit of a surprise when she reveals that she has ONE big regret about her career.
Flexible working hours in Singapore: Diana Ser’s regret
She writes on Instagram, “When I was expecting my son 11 years ago, I was conflicted about whether to continue working, quit my job or go part time.”
“Looking back, I do have one regret.”
She reveals more in her blog, “I decided to quit my job at Channel NewsAsia. I wanted to be sure my son – the first male of his generation, phew – had my full attention.”
Diana Ser decided to quit working at the peak of her career, “I left the company and a job I loved.”
Her boss did offer her flexible wok options , but Diana was skeptical, “There was my employer, optimistic and happy to share his staff with her family, undeterred that he might not get 110 per cent commitment from me.”
Back then, flexible working hours in Singapore was still quite an alien concept, “You see, as a first-time mother to be, I had no idea what kind of flexibility I wanted, or could have, for that matter.”
To her it meant not giving 100 % to both motherhood and her career, “In fact, I saw “flexibility” as “compromise”. That is, me not giving all of myself to my newborn baby or my job.”
She was also worried that she wouldn’t end up getting severely underpaid.
So, looking back, what does she feel about the decision she made? Are there regrets?
Diana admits, “As with most things in life, the answer is: Yes and no.”
“No, because I have had more time to nurture my kids and witness every step of their development. Technology and experience have also enabled me to continue working, albeit in a different arrangement”, says Diana, who is also the founder of Crazy About Chinese, an online Chinese learning portal.
But in many ways, she also wishes she had given flexi work options a try back then, as there were so many missed opportunities, “I was not exactly doing badly at the news station, and there were still many stories to tell and personalities to interview.”
She now realises that kids can actually benefit from a working mum, “Over the years, I have met many accomplished and interesting women who combine careers with care-giving, and whose children thrive in studies and work.”
“Stay at home moms do not have a monopoly on happy and fulfilled children.”
She hopes that work-life ambassadors or flexi-work champions can help today’s mums make better or more informed decisions.
Looks like, Singapore is already seeing positive development in this regard.
Last month, a new scheme was launched through which Singapore workers will be offered more flexi-work options, like choosing when to start and finish work.
The new agreement will help make all flexible work arrangements that a company offers, transparent and easy to access to employees. The agreement, which is voluntary, has already seen over 250 companies signing up.