Back from retirement, with career coach's help

Ms Jeyathavy Thanabalasingam, an assistant manager with the People's Association, has just had her contract extended for another year.
Ms Jeyathavy Thanabalasingam, an assistant manager with the People's Association, has just had her contract extended for another year. ST PHOTO: SHINTARO TAY

At the age of 63 last year, Ms Jeyathavy Thanabalasingam faced her first serious job search in decades.

The last time she had to look for a job was in 1974; she was hired as a clerk by telco Singtel, where she worked for 43 years.

She retired as an administrative executive two years ago. But after three months of travelling, watching dramas and taking courses, she began to feel depressed and missed the financial independence of working.

Trying to start a second career, she sent out almost 200 applications in two months, but received just two responses, both of which she found unsuitable.

"I had a phobia that I might be too old to find another job. But I decided to press on," she said.

After seeking help from Workforce Singapore, she was assigned a career coach from career-matching service provider Ingeus, who helped her improve her interview skills and LinkedIn profile, and add keywords to her resume so that it would be easily searchable by recruitment software.

She landed a job as an assistant manager with the People's Association in June last year, and has just had her contract extended for another year.

Her advice to others: "Be confident and positive, so that employers see that you're able to get things done."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 28, 2019, with the headline Back from retirement, with career coach's help. Subscribe