After a company restructuring in March 2020, Fadhillah Johari, 31, lost her job as a Support Specialist with a telecommunications start-up. She was the first point of contact for customers – providing onboarding, payments, and customer support on global travel data plans.

Losing her job was difficult but finding a new one proved to be even tougher, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Suitable roles were scarce, and the few job offers she received were rescinded. It was a stressful and anxious time for Fadhillah. 

The support of friends and family was very encouraging. They offered to provide referrals within their companies, review my CVs, and checked in with me regularly on how we can support each other during that time.
Fadhillah Johari, on her experience of finding a job during the pandemic

After searching through various job portals for suitable positions, Fadhillah noticed that the ICT industry was still hiring, as businesses accelerated their adoption of digital technologies during the pandemic. But there was a gap between her current skillsets and the jobs she was keen on - most required experience in data analytics and data marketing.

Determined to remain relevant, she enrolled in free Massive Open Online Courses, such as those from and SGUnited Skills Programme, to pick up skills in coding, data analytics and e-commerce. Many of these courses were free or at discounted rates, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 Fadhillah, who spent most of circuit breaker seeking new opportunities 

Rising above adversity

Fadhillah also took the opportunity to expand her network. She participated in a career support group organised by Workforce Singapore (WSG) and SGTech, with support from Growthbeans, a career coaching company, where she learnt about Inspire-Tech, a Singapore-based software development company which started a new product team to provide digital marketing services to businesses that wanted to embark on digitalisation.

Impressed by her passion, willingness to learn and positive attitude, Inspire-Tech offered Fadhillah a company attachment in October 2020. Since joining the company, Fadhillah has been putting her newly-learnt skills to good use, such as creating content for campaigns and assisting customers to digitalise their brick-and-mortar businesses with web storefront strategies and tools. 

Currently 5 months into her new role at Inspire-Tech, Fadhillah is putting her newly found skills to good use.  

"It was COVID-19 which accelerated the transitioning and upskilling of professional skillsets, not a Chief Marketing Officer or Chief Executive Officer. What I thought I would do in 6 years; I did in 6 months."  – Fadhillah  


Getting ahead

I don’t want to live with regrets. This has motivated me to keep trying and to push through my anxieties. I do not want to be 80 and look back in my life and realise that I could have done something effective with my life.
Fadhillah, on the motivation behind her never-give-up attitude
Be passionate and display your passion in all your interactions with any potential company. I shared about how I started my home-based business during my job interview, as I wanted to show them that I applied what I had learned from my time upskilling. I think it showed that I’m a keen, enthusiastic learner and gave me an edge over other job-seekers. Everything about you – your resume, your connection and the moment when you connect with your interviewers will have to show what spark you emit in order to get that attention.
Fadhillah, on how jobseekers can attract the attention of employers
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