In response to a Gov.sg Instagram poll we did recently, 65 per cent of 2,500 respondents clicked “Yes” to the question – Are you worried about your job and career?

Many of you also shared with us your top job search or career concerns in this climate. We got career coaches from Workforce Singapore (WSG) to respond:

 

Is it advisable to switch professions now during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Deciding whether you should find a new job now depends on your career needs and aspirations.

But the key advice for jobseekers and workers now is to keep your eyes peeled for pockets of resilience and stay adaptable to different job opportunities.

While COVID-19 has negatively impacted certain industries, it has opened up pathways and immense growth opportunities in others - such as e-Commerce, Manufacturing, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and Health & Social Services.

3 ways you can stay alert to job opportunities:

 

How can I change my career path after many years of working in the same job?

It is never too late to transit into a new job role or industry, as long as you are willing to learn new skills, demonstrate to potential employers that you possess transferable skills that can be applied in your new role, and adapt to new working environments.

But you must have a clear and well-informed game plan.

  • Ask yourself: Why do you want to make a switch? Get a better understanding of your career Values, Interests, Personality and Skills (VIPs) to gauge whether the job role you are thinking of is truly suitable for you.
  • Are you open to taking on a more junior role? Be prepared to give up your higher paying job, as you may be asked to start from a lower position.
  • Do you really know about the industry and job you want to switch to? Do your research, find out if it is a growing sector and what the job requirements are.

You can sign up for WSG’s Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs). These programmes shorten the time for you to learn new skills which would allow you to assume the new job quickly. Employers are signing up for the PCPs to hire and reskill mid-career switchers like you. PCPs typically last 3 to 24 months, and your employer also get wage and training subsidies of up to 90 percent.

You can also approach WSG’s Careers Connect for guidance by calling at 6883-5885 or by filling up a simple Employment Assistance Request Form.

 

Help! I have been looking for jobs since March 2020 with no success.

Try MyCareersFuture.sg/careercoaching to access career resources that help guide your job search, regardless of whether you are stuck in your search, looking for a career switch, or considering to rejoin the workforce.

You should also consider alternatives such as the Career Trial which you can sign up for to assess your fit for the role. It’ll equip you with industry experience and offer you a smoother and less obstructed pathway into your desired career. This opportunity could be developed into a full-time role at the end of the short-term trial if the host employer finds you suitable. Visit Career Trial to apply or find out more about this programme.

Other alternatives also include taking up part-time work, volunteer opportunities or freelance work while you search for a job, as these add immense value to your resume.

You can also seek professional career advice and talk to our colleagues at Careers Connect by calling us at 6883-5885 or by filling up a simple Employment Assistance Request Form.

 

I feel lost in my career path. I feel that I studied for a degree that has little career potential.

Don’t give in to such negative thoughts!

Every study course comes with transferable skills that prepare you for roles outside of your specialisation, like interpersonal skills, research and analytical skills, written/verbal communication, leadership, and others. 

You do not have to restrict yourself to jobs directly related to your specialisation.

If you are taking some time to look for your first full-time job, you could take up interim/transitional jobs or traineeships.

You can visit MyCareersFuture.sg and search for #SGUnitedJobs opportunities.

With up to 21,000 traineeship opportunities for fresh graduates under the SGUnited Traineeships Programme, trainees will be able to build industry-relevant skills while receiving an allowance. Such traineeships also allow you to meet and network with people who can open doors to potential new careers.

 

I am graduating this year. Will my salary progression be affected?

During this climate, there have been many accounts of fresh graduates receiving salary offers below their expectations.

You should not be unduly worried about accepting a low salary at your first job, as it is not likely to affect your pay throughout the rest of your career.

Furthermore, apart from the salary, you also need to consider your career Values, Interests, Personality and Skills (VIPS) in deciding if the offered job will be suitable for you in the long-term.

If the job doesn’t suit both your salary expectation and VIPs, you may want to consider alternative options such as the SGUnited Traineeships Programme or even volunteering, part-time or freelance opportunities! Experience gained from these stints and attachments will add to your resume and allow you to build meaningful experience and useful networks.

For more comprehensive resources specifically designed for fresh graduates, check out this informative comic strip on graduating during Covid-19 and the Career Starter Pack programme.

 

I am 45. What would compel employers to hire me over someone who is 25?

If you believe that your age is hindering you from getting a job, think twice!

Self-limiting beliefs – like perceiving yourself to be less competitive and in-demand compared to younger counterparts - can have a negative impact on your job search, which isn’t easy regardless of age.

Always remember that there are employers who value mature workers with a wealth of life experiences.

It is also important for you to be aware of your own skills and differentiating experiences that give you leverage in that playing field.

Your resume must answer two important questions: What you can contribute to the company? Why should the company hire you?

You should also keep yourself updated on industry trends by attending industry sharing sessions. This will help prepare you for interviews and allow you to form effective networks with those who can aid in your career pursuits.

While younger job seekers are often more familiar with in-demand skills such as social media, data analytics and digital marketing, there are plenty of courses on SkillsFuture that you can take with SkillsFuture Credits, and be equipped with the skills to comfortably and confidently navigate digital platforms and programmes.

Do check out Government support measures for mid-career job seekers:

  • Career Support Programme: This helps local Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) who are made redundant or are unemployed and have been actively looking for jobs for six months or more.
  • Career Trial: This is designed for jobseekers to gain experience and assess job fit through a short-term trial.

 

How can I enhance my CV to make it more attractive to recruiters?

On average, employers spend only six seconds reading your CV or resume.

They often use software like the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to filter out resumes with high keyword matches to the job requirements in terms of knowledge, skills and abilities.

Hence, it is important for you to tailor your resume to the job you applied to ensure that your resume gets noticed.

Some tips include:

  • Career summary - This should not be your entire life story. Highlight parts that show how you can add value to the organization.
  • Skills – Include soft skills and technical skills that are relevant to the job role. Use specific keywords that employers use in the job description.
  • Achievements – Highlight key achievements that show your potential to excel.
  • Work experience – This can be chronological (beginning with the most recent) or functional (organised according to your skill sets and talents). Get access to various resume templates here.
  • Education & training – List down educational qualifications and training courses you attended which are related to the job you’re applying for.
For more tips on resumes, read ‘How to Tailor Your resume to Fit the job Description