Putting Family First Before Returning to the Workforce

Is it possible to re-enter the workforce after taking time out? Find out how Faizah Hirayama, 33, a full-time Administrative Executive and mother of one managed to do so.

“I recently rejoined the workforce after a 6-year break. In December 2016, I moved back to Singapore from Tokyo with my husband and three-year-old son. I always knew I would go back to work after my son started school, and with our growing living expenses, my husband encouraged me to go back to work so we could both support the family.

When I was unemployed, I really missed being financially independent and the opportunities to socialise with co-workers. At home, I only interacted with my child, as well as other mothers. All we would talk about was our children.

At the start of my job search, I sent out several resumes every day, but barely got any replies. I was very discouraged, and started to feel that I was not valued by employers because I had been absent from the workforce for quite some time.

My mother told me to go for a career fair organised by Workforce Singapore after she saw an ad for it in the newspapers, and an on-site career coach advised me to visit Workforce Singapore’s Careers Connect, which was where I met my career coach, Shawn Moi.

Before talking to Shawn, I always thought that as a former air stewardess, my strength would be in service-oriented roles.

Shawn guided me through a series of personality tests and profiling quizzes that helped me discover a strength I didn’t know I had — administrative work. To make myself more employable, he advised me to take up a Microsoft Excel course. I took his advice, and went for the course.

A friend who knew I was looking for a job directed me to my previous job as a part-time admin officer in an art gallery soon after. After some time, a relative heard I was looking for a full-time administrative job and offered me my current position, thanks to Shawn’s advice to upskill myself.

I am now a full-time admin executive at a dance school. At first, my son was reluctant to see me go to work. But since he started school this year, he has adjusted and I can go to work without worry. Since time with him is limited now, it’s more meaningful when we get to spend time together. I really enjoy being back at work, because it allows me to interact with people outside of family and friends.

For others like me who are looking to transit back into the workforce, networking and asking around is definitely important when searching for a job. I also realised that employers look out for relevant skills you possess, and in order to re-enter the workforce, one must remain relevant in the changing employment landscape.”

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