They Dared To Be Different

wwc unconventional jobs

WHAT motivates someone to buck the trend and strike out on their own path?

While many join the predictable industries that used to guarantee fortune and stability — at least until technology kicked in and COVID-19 bit deep — there are a few brave souls who have decided to wander down the path less trodden.

Spotting an opportunity that would allow them to train the spotlight on their own space, these intrepid few have enjoyed degrees of success. They do not have the safety net of a company to fall back on. They are pushed to wear many hats to find their way through uncharted territory.

But as captains of their own career, they know where they stand and what lies ahead.

This week’s WED WEB CHAT — Unconventional Jobs brings together four mavericks who have defined their own careers.

Debra Teng was destined for great things. As Dumex Baby of the Year, in the not so distant past, she was already used to hogging the spotlight. After a spell as an architect, she trained in theatre before working in film, television and theatre in New York, China, Hungary Germany, India and Southeast Asia.

“I’ve always lived life on my own terms and that means asking myself some hard questions, and taking the road less travelled,” Debra reckons.

“There were sacrifices along the way for sure…not gonna lie…. But, would I do it all over again? Absolutely.”

Juria Banding graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and did what was expected of her. She worked in art and design.

But, in 1999, she was bitten by the show bug. With concerts on the rise, she boldly set forth to promote concerts. Together with a group of friends, they tried their hand in organising a concert in Fort Canning Park. She needed a headliner, so she went straight to the top, securing local rock star Ramli Sarip as her main act, and subsequently her key client.

Her advice: “Enjoy your job! Free yourself. Be creative and remain unconventional!”

Helen Ong likes to find the gold in energy and spaces. As an Environmental Alchemist, this Chinese Metaphysics practitioner combines traditional feng shui with the principles and techniques of BioGeometry.

Her company, Senses.Live applies these Eastern and Western practices to rejuvenate and revitalise body, mind and soul, in tandem with our living surroundings.

A postgraduate in Strategic Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Management, and a BA Graduate in Buddhist Studies from the Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka, Helen is passionate in spreading the message of compassion.

Hence, her sense of contentment: “I am absolutely satisfied and fulfilled from results of my work.”

Tamagoh marches to the beat of a different drummer, when it comes to careers.

He was about to follow many of his peers, heading down the engineering road in a polytechnic until he drummed up the courage to strike out on his own.

It’s been a steady rhythm of jazz and creativity as he’s performed regularly with Jeremy Monteiro around the world at concerts and festivals. Tamagoh plays a variety of styles and genres depending on the ensemble he’s with.

He has worked with Sarah Brightman, Ronan Keating, Frances Yip, Laura Fygi, Carmen Bradford, among others.

Tamagoh is well pleased with his decision to drum up his own fate.

“I followed my heart and dreamed of making music for the rest of my life. Today, I’m living my dream.”

Catch these four talented individuals who struck out on their own personal journeys during the WED WEB CHAT — Unconventional Jobs, on 28 October 2020, from 12:45-1:30pm.

Register for this webinar using this link:

This is part of the JOBS20XX – Work In Progress series of discussions, sponsored by OUE.

You can watch previous WED WEB CHAT discussions on

See also  Ramli Sarip And His Creative Process