Individuals' Stories

“I Was Jobless but Not Hopeless”

“I Was Jobless but Not Hopeless”

Jobless but not hopeless: Louisa found help in a time of need and now opens to share how she overcame her barriers and finally clinched a job with a pay increment, in hope of encouraging others seeking career guidance or a job…   Louisa Koh | 39| Marketing & Communications Opportunity Costs “Being unemployed can be very difficult, and anyone who’s been jobless is usually not spared from feelings of despair, helplessness and sometimes hopelessness, whether you’ve been out of work for two months or a year. I completed a contract job stint at the end of January without the option of a renewal, and realised this was a pivotal point in my career—I was considering either moving up the ranks or making a mid-career switch to a more financially rewarding role. Staying at the same rank had its opportunity costs, as there was stiff competition from entry-level applicants will ...

Andre Foo: How I discovered my career interest

Andre Foo: How I discovered my career interest

There has been a rising trend of professionals in Singapore who leave their corporate jobs in pursuit of more meaningful work that interests them. While their stories often inspire others to think about pursuing their life goals, some of us might wonder, “What are some steps I should take to find my career interest?” Andre Foo, 30, was a corporate banker for two years before he decided to take a step back from his full-time job and make a career switch. Take cues from his story to help steer your towards your career interest. 1. Set aside time to self-reflect Andre worked as a corporate banker for two years, selling financial products to prospective clients. However, he realised that being good in the job is not necessarily an indicator of job satisfaction. “Every day I’d look at numbers and targets, and would ask myself if this is what I really want to do. Even if you move up to the m ...

Jobless for months: 6 Tips & Career Advice Gained

Jobless for months: 6 Tips & Career Advice Gained

In Singapore, it is usually not the norm to leave a job without securing another. However, when Guo Yi felt that his job was not a sustaining path for him, he made up his mind to turn in his resignation letter. This turned out to be a pivotal time in which he found the time and space to re-plan and re-align his career directions. Through challenges faced in a career transition and months without a job, Guo Yi now shares the career advice he received and the steps he took in hope of helping others who face similar situations. “Firstly, I understand that the context of my situation may be different from others. Some may have been made redundant due to businesses changes or other reasons. In my case, I really felt that I needed to take some time away to reflect and rethink my career path because the one I was on was unsuitable,” shared the 33-year-old, after going through a challenging j ...

Retrenched and unemployed for one year: lessons learnt

Retrenched and unemployed for one year: lessons learnt

In 2016, 16,810 permanent employees in Singapore were retrenched. In addition to a bleak world economy, digitalisation became one of the main factors that led to layoffs. Valerie, a senior executive, shared her experience of being retrenched in September of 2016.  “Those who work in the same industry as me would have been aware that there was a decline in the global demand, due to technological advancements. In a way, I would have known that the industry was affected, but I wasn’t aware that the company was carrying out a cost-cutting measure,” she recalled, “it was quite a surprise how it was carried out. We were informed to attend a meeting with HR, and that was when the retrenchment was announced, with immediate effect.” In addition, the retrenchment took place at the end of the year, which is a period where most companies do not hire new staff. “Based on the seasonal hiring tre ...

Getting Back on Track with Some Help

Getting Back on Track with Some Help

NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) Employability Coaches do more than sort out your resumes. We talk to two who have helped clients bounce back from setbacks. If being out of a job and searching for a new one isn’t already emotionally draining, having to do so following retrenchment or dismissal can have devastating effects on a person’s confidence. With a focus on jobseekers in such sensitive predicaments, e2i Employability Coaches Jay Shree Mohan Pohumal Shivnani and Teng Soo Ling share how they recently helped two clients overcome a high profile dismissal to secure new careers. Lending a Listening Ear Describing how she balances being sensitive to the emotional needs of her clients and guiding them towards being proactive about seeking out a new job, Ms Jay Shree said: “I would hear them out and let them share their experiences with me. Such clients usually have ...

Tips for Singaporeans: First steps to helping yourself out of unemployment

Tips for Singaporeans: First steps to helping yourself out of unemployment

Being unemployed for a long period of time can be devastating to a person's sense of self-worth and cause unrest to one’s assurance in supporting oneself or loved ones. Thoughts like: “Am I that bad that nobody wants to employ me?” “How will I pay for my bills and support my family?” “Could I have made a wrong decision in my career path?” tend to plague one’s mind. They can even cripple you with fear to refrain from taking actionable steps and helping yourself. The longer you're out of work, the more anxious, insecure or depressed you will tend to feel. And let’s be real – typical advice like “you have to stay positive” and “don’t lose your confidence” especially coming from those who HAVE a job, start to annoy you more than you actually think it’s helping you. The most important thing you can do for yourself in the midst of unemployment, is to try your best in focusing on ...

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