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5 minute read

Bouncing Back from Retrenchment: How This Former Director Did it with the Help of WSG’s Career Matching Provider

Losing your job doesn’t mean it’s game over. For Daniel Wee, the professional support of career-matching provider, Maximus, made all the difference for his career bounce back.

Career journeys can be unpredictable, and sometimes even the most successful individuals face setbacks. It’s common for people to experience a period of success in their careers, only to have things suddenly take a turn for the worse. 

Whether it’s a company restructuring, a market downturn, or simply a change in personal circumstances, these unexpected events can lead to job loss or a significant career setback.

This was what happened to Daniel Wee, a former regional HR director who lost his job at the height of his career.

Looking for career guidance? If you are exploring career changes and need professional advice, register for a complimentary session with WSG’s Career Coaching today.

Daniel Wee: A brief background

After several years in the role of regional IT manager for a water pump manufacturing company, Daniel’s good performance saw him promoted to the position of regional HR director in 2003. He held that role for close to two decades until he received the dreaded news in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 – he was made redundant. 

However, that wasn’t the end of Daniel’s career journey. Thanks to his positive mindset and with the help of AKG (formerly known as Maximus), a career-matching provider appointed by Workforce Singapore (WSG), he landed a job as an HR manager with Epitex International Pte Ltd, a company that specialises in bedding products.

Workipedia by MyCareersFuture speaks to Daniel Wee, to find out more about his career bounce back.

Interview with Daniel Wee

What did you do after you lost your job?

I decided to take a one-year career break to recharge myself. During this time, I took the opportunity to visit my daughter who is working in the UK, to spend some quality time with her. As I received a severance package from the company for my retrenchment, I invested some of the money to upskill myself. 

I signed up for some property and financial investment – courses that I have always wanted to sign up for. 

What were some of your concerns about re-joining the workforce after your career break?

After a year of being unemployed, I was starting to get bored of not being productive. I was also worried that I might become out of touch with the working world should I continue to prolong my career break. 

However, getting back into the workforce, I’m worried about the possibility of working with younger colleagues. I’m not sure if I’m able to work well with them and vice-versa. However, I did not let this worry get the better of me. 

I kept an open mind and thankfully, I have no trouble working with younger colleagues where I am now. 

Are you returning to work after a break? Use MyCareersFuture to search for jobs and plan the next step in your career. Start now!

How did you learn about AKG?

I learnt about AKG when I attended a career event by WSG at Westgate Mall. Through the event, I learnt that AKG is a career matching provider appointed by WSG to help job seekers with information, advice and support to gain employment.

Can you share how your career coach helped you with your job search?

Through the career matching programme, I was introduced to hiring companies and assessed my suitability for the positions that they are hiring for. 

AKG also assigned me a career coach to me better prepare for job interviews such as having mock job interviews to help me practice my communication skills. He also followed up with me after every interview to check on how I was doing.

What are some of the challenges you faced while looking for a job?

My main challenge was my natural reluctance to consider new industries while searching for jobs. I tend to look at jobs in the sectors that I’m familiar with. However, when I started to look out for jobs in other industries, I opened up more options for myself.

Read More: Job Search Not Going Well? Tap Into a More Advanced Jobs Portal

It is important that you can work well with your peers and your superiors. Every person has a different work style and not all the time you will find these matches. Try to get a feel of the work style of your potential peers and ask current employees what their views are. 

Are you looking for a change? MyCareersFuture’s search tool allows you to filter mid-career jobs for individuals open to reskilling or changing careers.

What is your advice to people who are looking at taking a career break and rejoining the workforce after the break?

My advice is to only take a short career break because you will lose touch with the working world and would require more time to readjust yourself to working again.

As for those starting work again in a new company after a career break, keep an open mind and learn as much as you can about the company culture. Always ask when in doubt. 

Be confident to face the new work challenges ahead. Forge good working relationships with your colleagues because it will help you to settle in faster and make your job more enjoyable. 

At the age of 63, I’m happy to be working as an HR manager for Epitex International and contributing to the growth of the company!

Read More: Ask a Career Coach: Is it OK to Take a Long Career Break?

Get more insights about taking a career break from this Q&A with a WSG career coach below!

Need support in your job search?

Job searching can be challenging, but you don’t have to go through it alone. If you’re looking for advice on your career journey, register for a complimentary session with WSG’s Career Matching Services and get the support you need.

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