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When Adele Chia returned home to Singapore in March this year from Ho Chi Minh City, where she had been based for work, she didn’t expect her short “holiday” stay to become permanent.

The Singaporean, 46, had moved to Vietnam in 2019 to take up a job as the CEO of an education company there. “I came back on the day Singapore was locked down thinking it would be my last home holiday. But Vietnam locked down three days later, so I was working remotely from Singapore for a few months,” she tells 8days.sg.

Then in May, she suddenly lost her job when her company’s owners decided to sell off their business. “My contract was terminated as a result,” says Adele, who couldn’t return to Vietnam to pack her belongings due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. “My Singaporean friend helped me pack and ship back my stuff. I was blessed to have a wonderful landlord who waived my rental.” 

Feeling “a bit scared”, she immediately tried to look for another job. “I did so for the first month, but I realised it was extremely tough. I knew it was almost impossible to find another job in a short time, so I decided to take a break and do what I had always wanted to do.”

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