For nine months, Rebecca Ng had to travel from her workplace in Woodlands to either Paya Lebar or Buona Vista twice a week, to attend night classes on digital marketing.
“It was not easy,” the Bishan-Toa Payoh resident recalls. “Because after work, I had to carry on with my classes from 7 pm to 10 pm. So by the time I get home, I’m dead tired.”
This was even tougher for Ms Ng, as she was learning a completely new skill. She held a secretarial position for over 20 years at the same company, and has never done an inkling of digital marketing in her career.
Unfortunately, the 56-year-old was laid off and for a month, she was unable to find something else.
Until an offer at Business Connectivity, a software development firm, came along for her to double-hat as a secretary and digital marketer.
“I’ve been a secretary for so long so it’s not an issue,” says Ms Ng. “But I don’t know what digital marketing is about. So it was actually quite a big challenge.”
Having no digital marketing background, the company offered to let her tap on Career Trial, a programme by Workforce Singapore that lets individuals gain experience through short work stints.
Shares Fion Phee, HR & Finance Manager, about the initiative, “It’s beneficial to try out whether the person is suitable for the company, as well as the employee to see if the job is suitable.”
It helps too that Ms Ng had the right work attitude.
“If I wanted to do something different and I take it up, then I will have to fulfil it. Even though I have difficulties, I still have to press on and do a complete job,” she says.
Ms Phee agrees, “That’s the correct mindset that we are looking out for.”
So for five weeks, Ms Ng received on-the-job training, where she also began attending courses. With her growing interest in the role, her bosses then agreed to sign her up for a nine-month Diploma course at Lithan Academy.
“I have not gone to school for so long, so I was a bit rusty. It was a challenge, but it was also good to learn new things,” she tells of her experience.
Commitment level was high — 40% of her classmates dropped out eventually because they couldn’t commit — but she knew she wanted to complete what she had set out to do.
Since then, Ms Ng has learnt to use social media and Google AdWords, and run digital campaigns for her company.
Additional to being under Career Trial, Ms Ng was able to try not only a new job role but also a new work environment.
“It’s good because you get to see if this is the right place for you. You can see for yourself whether you want to carry on or not,” she says.
“If you’re willing to learn new things, Career Trial is a good platform.”