Anxiety and uncertainty about one’s career happens to us all. For some, it can come early in their career. A survey done by lifestyle website Happi found that 32.5% of young Singaporeans had some uncertainty over their chosen education path, with another 22.2% of the 640 respondents questioning why they had chosen their current career path.
On the other hand, such pangs can also strike us later in our careers. Recruitment company Monster.com revealed survey results showing that while 60% of Singaporeans would look for a job in their chosen career path, nearly 80% would also consider an entirely new industry.
So clearly, the path to career stability and success doesn’t always run smoothly.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get to the end of the tunnel. Vivekadarsini Chandra is a desktop engineer at the multinational information technology and communications engineering company NCS.
She managed to secure the role via the national jobs portal MyCareersFuture, with the help of a career coach who helped to sharpen her resume and work on interview preparation.
The 29-year-old shares with Workipedia by MyCareersFuture how her career journey ultimately led to this job.
What has your career journey been like so far?
Vivekadarsini (V): I’ve worked in multiple industries. I have done admin, worked in sports-related jobs, tried being an insurance agent and a security officer, to name some of my varied roles over the years.
Frankly, I’ve had my share of ups and downs in my career journey, but I am thankful for them.
Although some were good and some were not, I have gained so many insights, experiences, and perspectives that I would not have learned in just one industry or job!
If you could speak to yourself as a fresh graduate, what career advice would you give?
V: Money can be earned at any point in time. It is temporary, but knowledge is permanent. No one can take that away.
Gain knowledge and experience in the workforce, start networking, read anything and everything, always have a learning mindset, and leave room to keep growing rather than think you know it all.
What got you into the tech industry?
V: The first course I ever attended related to technology was when I did my Nitec in Electronics (Computer & Networking).
After that, I decided to do a Diploma in Information Technology (IT), and slowly my interest in the tech industry grew.
It made sense, given IT jobs have always been in demand in Singapore. This was a very good opportunity for me to dive right in – and so I did.
Thankfully, I am surrounded by family and friends who are technology-savvy and always kept me up to date on the latest tech trends. In addition, I also used my SkillsFuture credits to attend courses to stay relevant.
Previously, I worked in schools with students and teachers to become better in my communication with different age groups, and understand their needs and dynamics.
This also gave me more hands-on experience, in terms of knowing how technology is being incorporated into today’s school system, education, and the workforce as a whole.
These experiences have helped me at NCS, as my current role is to service Singapore’s Ministry of Education (MOE) as a desktop engineer.
What challenges have you had to surmount in your current role?
V: As much as it is exciting to be in the tech industry, it does come with its own challenges. Technology is advancing at a greater speed now than ever, and there is always a need to be updated on what is going on in the tech world.
Problems will arise and you must be quick-witted. I used to only follow new technology at my own pace, but ever since I got into the tech industry, it became a job requirement to be constantly updated! Of course, kudos also to my NCS colleagues who helped me so much at the start of my career here.
What advice do you have for fellow Singaporean jobseekers who want to join the tech industry?
V: More jobs will be automated together with artificial intelligence being the next big thing. It is slowly coming to fruition. This creates more job opportunities.
To my fellow Singaporean jobseekers, never give up on your career journey. If you intend to join the tech industry, you will not be disappointed by what it can offer you.
Read up on the latest technologies, find out what piques your interest, and what skills you need to kickstart your journey into the industry.
If I can do it, so can you. All the best!