SINGAPORE – Unlike other Singaporeans who strive to achieve the “Singapore Dream” of having a high-paying job, owning a luxury car and living in a private property, Jeffrey Chin took a alternative route in his career, in search for a different form of success.

Having graduated from the National University of Singapore in 1998, Chin secured a highly sought-after position, with Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation (Keppel T&T), a public listed company that provides integrated services for logistic and data center services.

Chin’s role as the executive officer to the managing director put him in daily contact with the top echelon of leadership in Keppel T&T. His position was the envy of his peers as it provided many career development opportunities. However after four years in the position, Chin realized that while this was the dream job for others, it wasn’t what he wanted for his career.

“I recall going to work one morning, sitting at my desk and looking at the senior managers working in their private offices and thinking, that’s not what I want to do,” Chin said.

In 2002, with a desire to find a deeper purpose to his work, Chin made a career transition to the non-profit sector to make an impact in the lives of others. Since then, he has never looked back.

In the last 10 years, Chin has served as a teacher in the public education system, social service planner with the government as well as disability programme manager with a voluntary welfare organisation.

Today, Chin is the senior assistant director with Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) where he supervises the adult rehabilitation, employment and care support programmes.

“SPD offers a continuum of programmes to help people with disabilities at different stages of the rehabilitation reintegrate to society.” Chin said.

SPD’s Rehabilitation Centre provides therapy service for adults as well as children. Individual with more severe disabilities are supported by the Day Activity Centre while those with greater independence can embark on various vocational training programmes based on their skills and work readiness. Those who are ready for employment are job matched and supported by SPD’s Employment Support Programme.

“It is very rewarding to see people with disabilities becoming more independent and being able to achieve more in life,” Chin said.

With a passion to enable more individuals with disabilities to be gainfully employed, Chin hopes to explore partnerships with business to setup supported or social enterprises to create sustainable employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

While a career in the non-profit sector may not be as financially rewarding, for Chin, the reward of seeing lives transformed far exceed the material sacrifices that he has made.