We hear it all the time – people want to change their lives and careers, but there’s always something holding them back. Maybe it’s a lack of momentum or a nudge to push them to get started.
Other times, they’re feeling confused and need an outside opinion or some accountability to move forward.
If you’re feeling ‘meh’ about your career, or feel like opportunities aren’t coming your way, then read how Martini Constance Lim created new opportunities for herself by being inventive and flexible.
Martini was previously looking for career progression as a PMET (professional, managerial, executive, and technical) jobseeker.
With the help of the national jobs portal MyCareersFuture and a career coach who sharpened her resume and prepared her for interviews, she managed to secure a role as an IT Project Manager with a local company.
How has your career journey been so far, and what lessons have you learned?
Martini (M): I studied Computerised Accounting (in Systems Information) at university and began my career in financial accounting.
It was quite a cross-domain career that, similar to information technology (IT) roles, came with a wide range of job opportunities across different industries.
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In the early stages of my career, I thought I was going to settle in a finance role for good. But I was fortunate to meet some mentors and friends who opened new opportunities for tech roles.
This influenced my career path later on, as I moved to a regional business technology role in finance and supply chain.
The tech industry is ever-evolving. What changes have you seen whilst working in it, and what upskilling have you had to do over the years to stay relevant?
M: Technology has improved the way of working, streamlining processes with better automation. Just a simple example: in the past, invoices were printed from a dot matrix printer and printed in three carbon copies, and then you had to put the invoice into an envelope and send it to customers by post mail.
But these days, invoices are automatically generated and emailed to customers without the need for human intervention. How far we’ve come!
Personally, I take courses to learn different tech skills in different functions such as e-commerce and digital marketing. I also read to broaden my mind. My favourite quote is one from a book written by Mike Walsh entitled The Algorithmic Leader: How to be Smart When the Machines are Smarter Than You: “The greatest threat we face is not robots replacing us, but our reluctance to reinvent ourselves.” There’s much truth in this!
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How else have you tried to reinvent yourself professionally, then?
M: I’m actually a certified KonMari consultant, and I’ve been working on a decluttering business! (Certified KonMari Consultants are professional tidying experts trained to help people organise their homes – and transform their lives – using the KonMari method popularised by Japanese organising consultant, author and TV show host Marie Kondo.)
I consider this my slash career. (Also known as a portfolio career, a slash career is one in which a person makes multiple income streams simultaneously from different careers. The phrase was popularised by writer Marci Alboher, in her book One Person/Multiple Careers: The Original Guide to Slash Careers.)
I came across the idea of a slash career and took up a home organising certification course by Marie Kondo. The home organising consultancy work I do, on top of my full-time job on weekdays, is a passion project for weekends, to help my clients organise and transform their homes!
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That’s certainly interesting! Does the KonMari Method have any tips for fellow Singaporeans looking to improve their resumes?
Sure! I think it is really important to have a clutter-free resume. Similar to home organising, the first step is to declutter, then organising what’s left.
To declutter is to remove information that is not relevant to the role you are applying for. Perhaps try to mention achievements more than your previous roles and responsibilities, and keep your resume to a maximum of two to three pages.
In terms of organisation, I’d suggest prioritising your core competencies and key achievements, then follow with a career summary. My personal tip– use the free downloadable resume templates from Canva.com! And of course, check out MyCareersFuture!