From Finance Manager to Funeral Director, Jia Jia Ang Embraces a Family Legacy at Ang Yew Seng

Whenever someone mentions a mid-career switch, transitioning from corporate finances to funerals is probably not at the top of your mind. 

But Jia Jia Ang, currently the Executive Director at Ang Yew Seng Funeral Parlour, took the road less travelled by shifting her office from a prominent local publishing house to her family-owned funeral business. 

Keep reading to find out why she did so. 

A Corporate Start As the Foundation of a Fulfilling Career 

Mr. Ang Yew Seng, Jia Jia’s father, was a celebrated pioneer in Singapore’s funeral sector before he passed on in 2004. His eldest daughter recalls how the mere mention of her father’s name instantly commands recognition and respect among the industry’s peers. 

But unlike most family-owned businesses, Jia Jia was never groomed for the funeral profession from birth. 

That’s because her parents had witnessed firsthand how unwelcoming it could be towards women, which led Jia Jia to steer clear of it during her younger days. 

As a result, she spared no effort to achieve a Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy from Nanyang Technological University — her future success hinged on her academic achievements. 

And her relentless work ethic paid off, culminating in her appointment as a seasoned Senior Finance Manager at a high-profile local publication. 

Making the Career Switch to Her Family’s Legacy  

Jia Jia Ang working in her office at Ang Yew Seng Funerals 

However, after spending 15 years in the corporate realm, Jia Jia realised just how much of a toll it was taking on her personal life. Due to the nature of her profession, Jia Jia had to endure tight deadlines and long working hours into the night. 

“I started to reminisce about missed family connections,” mused the Executive Director. “And that made me reflect on my priorities. That’s when I decided that it was time to take a step back and give more time and attention to the people who meant the most to me.” 

In November 2019, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jia Jia decided to step away from her corporate job in pursuit of roles that offer greater time flexibility and fewer lifestyle restrictions. 

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” admitted Jia Jia. “But deep down, I knew I needed a change.” 

Taking On the Reins at Ang Yew Seng Funeral Parlour 

At first, Jia Jia took a career break and helped out at her family’s funeral parlour. It wasn’t exactly what she had planned, but it gave her the time and space to think about what she wanted. 

Little did she know that the temporary break would become permanent. 

Jia Jia found herself helping out frequently to ease her mother’s workload and realised that it deepened her sense of loyalty and connection to her parents. 

Recognising the significant role she could do at her family’s business, Jia Jia made the brave decision to change her career path by becoming the Executive Director at Ang Yew Seng Funeral Parlour. 

In doing so, she has found her true calling in life and is now proud to continue her family’s legacy. 

Revitalising a Decades-Old Business With a New Facelift 

Jia Jia Ang conducts a meeting at Ang Yew Seng Funeral Parlour

When Jia Jia began assisting her mother at Ang Yew Seng Funerals, she quickly saw ways in which the family business could be enhanced. 

While her youngest sister, Sarah Ang, focused on the embalming aspect of the business, Jia Jia took on the role of handling client calls and serving as a coordinator. With her written plans for a renovation, she helped the parlour embark on a transformative journey. 

Thanks to the Angs’ efforts and vision, Ang Yew Seng Funerals became the first business in the district to renovate, offering customers a brand-new, improved experience. 

But it wasn’t a smooth-sailing journey. Jia Jia remembered facing a lot of scepticism and resistance from others, especially her mother who had to bear the brunt of these remarks. 

However, the Executive Director remained undeterred, driven by the inspiration she gained during a Hong Kong trip to a funeral expo with her second sister, Angjolie Mei. The grand architecture displayed by the funeral parlours they visited fueled her determination to bring positive change to her family business. 

Despite the naysayers’ comments, Jia Jia remained focused on implementing new improvements for the parlour. 

Today, she is content with her decision for renovations, proving that sometimes all it takes is a little bit of faith and inspiration to make a lasting impact.

Honouring Her Father’s Vision and Legacy 

Jia Jia Ang poses with her father’s portrait, a powerful reminder of her family’s legacy

Despite the inherent challenges that come with working in this sector, Jia Jia is driven by the heart-warming appreciation she receives from bereaved families. 

And her caring and protective father’s ground-up journey to establish a lasting legacy in the funeral industry has served as a powerful motivator for Jia Jia every day. 

“The funeral industry is not for the faint of heart, but for those who feel drawn to it.” reflects Jia Jia. “If you ever need a reminder, remember why you were initially drawn to this field.” For anyone who feels compelled to enter the funeral sector, Jia Jia’s words of wisdom can help guide you towards a career of meaningful success.

Partner with liveful

Help us help others find strength in numbers.

Contact Us

We'd love to talk to you

Contact Us

We'd love to talk to you.