Individuals' Stories

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 ...

“How I regained my courage and confidence in finding a job”

“How I regained my courage and confidence in finding a job”

Meilan, Assistant Librarian at National Library Board (NLB) “Since I got married, I took on the role of a full-time housewife to care for my family and so had not been employed for the past 12 years. My last job before marriage was as a staff administrator and at that time my salary was just enough for me to sustain myself. Although I did delight in my duties as a housewife and in taking care of the household, I started feeling anxious and upset when expenses and costs of taking care of the children started increasing. It was then that I decided to look for a job – but despite trying I did not manage to get hired. After several years of looking for a job I soon lost confidence in ever getting hired. It was then that I approached e2i and met my employability coach, Susan Loo. She helped me through my doubts, and encouraged me to go for continuous learning. With Susan’s help, ...

“9 months of being unemployed, but I did not give up”

“9 months of being unemployed, but I did not give up”

SUSAN TAN Programme Analyst in a renowned bank I have been working as a secretary in various industries for over 20 years. Unexpectedly last year, my company faced a downsizing and a restructuring and as a result I lost my job. As I was only in this company for a little more than a year, I did not qualify for its retrenchment benefits, so I knew I had to find a next job fast. Shortly after losing my job, matters got even more complicated. My mother was diagnosed with cancer and I was distraught. With both my mother and father being in their 70s, they also heavily depended on me, so tying through the next few months were harder than expected, battling emotional and financial burdens. I desperately scoured through job portals and job sites, hoping to still find jobs that would match my previous salary. Responses from several employment agencies also led me to believe that being a ...

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