Career coach's advice to job seekers: Stay positive, be flexible

ST assistant news editor Toh Yong Chuan with Ms Christine Gan, a principal career coach at Workforce Singapore, during the askST@NLB session filmed at the Singapore Press Holdings auditorium on Monday.
ST assistant news editor Toh Yong Chuan with Ms Christine Gan, a principal career coach at Workforce Singapore, during the askST@NLB session filmed at the Singapore Press Holdings auditorium on Monday.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

Not losing hope and staying flexible - these are two of the key qualities principal career coach Christine Gan considers vital for dealing with joblessness.

Ms Gan, of government agency Workforce Singapore (WSG), also said it is natural for a retrenched worker to experience negative emotions, such as feeling a lack of self-worth and a sense of uncertainty. But it is important to stay positive as there are still job opportunities, she added.

Ms Gan gave these tips yesterday, when she and The Straits Times assistant news editor Toh Yong Chuan discussed ways workers can cope with joblessness as a result of the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The talk is part of this month's askST@NLB session, which was filmed and streamed on ST's Facebook page. The talks are a collaboration between ST and the National Library Board (NLB).

Some of the main challenges faced by job seekers Ms Gan has coached are having poor skills in searching and applying for jobs.

Job-searching requires a high degree of self-reflection and knowing how to align one's resume with hiring criteria, Ms Gan said.

This includes taking stock of one's expertise before matching it with a relevant role. It is important for job seekers to customise their resumes to each job they apply for instead of adopting a "one size fits all" approach, she added, noting that many job applicants also lack awareness of their shortcomings.

Ms Gan suggested that those who are unable to show confidence during interviews can consider attending career workshops, like those conducted by WSG.

Those who are jobless can also turn to resources on job-seeking and reskilling which are available from ProQuest Central, a database subscribed to by NLB.

Look for these at str.sg/proquest using the keywords "coping with unemployment", "reskilling and upskilling" and "job hunting".

A myLibraryID is needed to access this database.

If you do not have a myLibraryID, you can go to account.nlb.gov.sg and sign up for one using your SingPass or NRIC/FIN.

What to read and where to watch video of event

  • Tips For Job-hunting In A Pandemic: With More Applicants And Fewer Opportunities Than Ever, Job-hunting Looks Very Different Due To Covid-19 (The Globe and Mail, 2020)
  • How To Find A Job Or Use Furlough Time Strategically In The Coronavirus Economy (The Telegraph, 2020)
  • Those who missed the video can find it on str.sg/askstnlb. Past AskST@NLB sessions can be found there as well.

November events There will be two askST@NLB sessions next month.

The first session is on Nov 13, with senior education correspondent Sandra Davie and Ms Leslie Davis, a training consultant at British Council Singapore.

They will discuss why youth have to relearn how to read and what parents can do to develop critical reading skills in their children.

Send your questions to str.sg/askstNOV13 by 7pm on Wednesday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2020, with the headline 'Career coach's advice to job seekers: Stay positive, be flexible'. Print Edition | Subscribe