It’s been days of radio silence since you tried following up on the outcome of your last interview. On LinkedIn, you notice that the position had over 200 other applicants. If this resonates with you, understand that you are not alone. Many Singaporeans are finding themselves in an uphill job search battle. Here’s how you can arm yourself with these tips to acquire that position.
1. Devote time to upgrade yourself
Use this downtime to identify any gaps in your technical knowledge. Set these against the in-demand skills employers are seeking today. To bridge skill gaps, the SGUnited Skills programme offers full-time, certifiable courses by accredited partners over a period of six to 12 months with a monthly training allowance of $1,200. You can utilise your SkillsFuture credits to sign up for a subsidised course of your choice.
Alternatively, the Professional Conversion Programme is ideal for those seeking a career reset. You will be attached to a suitable employer, and then hired before undergoing training to take on the new role. Seek out a career coach via WSG’s Career Connect as you navigate the job market.
IT professional Tarcisius Wong sought out one of WSG’s career centres for advice on a mid-career change. Given his skillsets and previous work experience as a hiring manager, he was advised on his suitability as a career coach. “I committed myself to a series of training sessions that included basic counselling and learning profile assessment methods and methodologies. I also spent three months shadowing senior career coaches and learning on-the-job,” he shared.
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2. Manage your expectations
Budgeting for a lifestyle change and accepting job offers with reduced perks are realities you will face in a tighter labour market.
For example, chief finance officer Iris Ang looked beyond the pay cut when accepting a job offer from commercial finance services company IFS Capital. “Even though there was a gap between what I was asking for and what was offered, the job scope and responsibilities in IFS Capital are less demanding compared to my previous roles. The work-life balance and positive work environment also make a difference. So it’s really about staying in the workforce and having job satisfaction,” she says.
3. Keep an open mind
In addition to adjusting your expectations, keep an open mind to effectively navigate the uncertainties that come with a job hunt.
Consider fresh opportunities such as temporary jobs to help offset your bills during this period, or work attachments that could open new career pathways you never considered. Signing up for a short online course also aids in future-proofing your employability.
Cultivating open-mindedness will prove crucial in helping you identify novel opportunities to get ahead of the competitive job market.
4. Find a support system that works for you
Taking the occasional break from job hunting — whether it’s going for a daily walk or picking up a new hobby — is essential to preventing burnout. Reach out to your family, friends and close colleagues when you are feeling demoralised or demotivated. The WSG career centres are also an additional sounding board and source of advice to help you forge ahead.
Career centre service ambassador Noralizah Binte Azizi shared, “I feel that being sincere and having a genuine heart to listen are very important. I usually spend around 15 to 20 minutes with each client to find out their needs before I refer them to the necessary channels or to a career coach.”