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The superstitious work beliefs of Singaporeans

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We may be living and working in one of the most developed cities in Asia, but that doesn’t mean we’ve lost touch with our traditional and propitious practices.

A report released by JobsCentral in the lead up to Chinese New Year this Friday has found 46% of 1,009 local respondents carry or display a religious item at their workspace, while 40% keep a personal charm in the office – all in the hopes of boosting their careers.

Other auspicious practices include avoiding displaying an item linked to bad luck (32%), practicing Feng Shui at their workstation (29%), wearing prosperous colours to work (26%), and sitting facing a certain direction (23%).

The survey also found those most likely to be superstitious in the office were male Gen X employees in a managerial or directorial role, with an average monthly income of S$5,000.

However, with regards to job satisfaction levels, the report found very little difference between people who practiced auspicious rituals in the office (56% satisfaction level) and those who didn’t (54% satisfaction).

But the lack of correlation has stopped some Singaporean employees from carrying out interesting auspicious practices.

Here are 10 of the most interesting beliefs held by local employees:

1. “I have a ring on my little finger to ward off xiao ren (malicious and petty people).”

2. “I make it a point to keep all mirrors away from my workstation to prevent work duplication.”

3. “If I’m required to relocate from my work station, I would only do so during a selected auspicious date and time.”

4. “I go on a pilgrimage once a year in the hopes of improving my work life.”

5. “I would not work on the thirteenth of Friday of any month.”

6. “I wear clothes with auspicious animals.”

7. “I practice Pranic healing and read positive quotes.”

8. “I follow a certain pattern of actions which have previously helped me be successful.”

9. “I would take leave on inauspicious dates.”

10. “I would cut my hair short.”

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Sabrina Zolkifi
Deputy editor
Human Resources Magazine Singapore

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