I think one of the reasons people just throw themselves into a dead-end job is because they do not consider their future earnings, or at least choose not think about it. Think long and hard how much do you want to be earning in the future. Knowing what limit you’ll be satisfied with highly determines what you should be doing right now.
Realistically, a Singapore University graduate on average has a starting pay of $3000 SGD/month. Given you don’t commit career suicide by assaulting a client or stealing coffee from the pantry, in 12 years or less you can probably reach $10,000 /month. Thereupon, it gets tricky, but reaching $15,000- $20,000/month at a senior management position is definitely possible. So the question is, is $20,000 a month enough for you? If the answer is yes, then get a degree, get a corporate job and work your ass off for your goal. You -can- reach it. However, if you want to make more than $20,000 or you want it earlier, you’re going to have to change your ways radically. Truth is, the corporate path has a wage ceiling no matter what you do. High or low, the ceiling is still there. Unless you’re the one that sets the ceiling.
I know entrepreneurs that pay themselves something like $500/month when they just start out. For a year. Hell, I paid myself $200 for the first few months of my business. And people ask: why do you work so hard for so little money? Answer: Because the end payout is worth it. David Karp, the CEO of blogging platform Tumblr, got his company acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion USD. That’s a hell lot of zeros. And I can tell you at the beginning, he was probably coding for free. This is a live example to look beyond your current situation and compare your potential future earnings to it. Of course, the upside is not guaranteed and typically comes with high risks, but as the common adage goes ‘high risks, high returns’. As an entrepreneur, just because we slog like slaves for minimum pay at the present moment, doesn’t mean we fell from the stupid tree. I know even non-entrepreneur friends who are willing to tolerate child-labour salary for years to acquire the skill sets they wanted. Not because they couldn’t find a better job, but they wanted to learn. And it paid off, because after those gruelling years, their pay jump was nothing short of a Michael Jordan slam dunk.
A life coach I once had the displeasure of speaking to believed that as a person, your worth is how much you earn now. I highly disagree, because he fails to take into account what we can earn in the future, -because- of what we are willing to earn at present. And if you ever have a girlfriend that dares ask “why are you working for so little salary?”, dump her. When? Yesterday.