askST Jobs: I am thinking of switching careers. Is it a daunting process?

Do your research on sunrise industries and scan the job market for suitable opportunities, experts suggest. PHOTO: PEXELS

In this series, manpower correspondent Calvin Yang offers practical answers to candid questions on navigating workplace challenges and getting ahead in your career.

Q: I am thinking of switching careers. Is it a daunting process?

A: Switching careers can sometimes feel like you are giving up on everything you have learnt or done, and starting again from scratch.

However, making a career switch need not be daunting.

It can be seen as acquiring future-ready skills of adaptability and flexibility, says Singapore Human Resources Institute president Low Peck Kem.

Do your research on sunrise industries and scan the job market for suitable opportunities, experts suggest.

You can also leverage career advisory resources and funding support available to you.

There are various avenues to help mid-career workers, including career conversion programmes by statutory board Workforce Singapore which have structured training and may lead to permanent roles.

Also, try job rotations within the same organisation or take up short courses to prepare for the big move.

Mr Sean Lim, chief human resource officer at continuing education and training provider NTUC LearningHub, suggests starting with micro-learning - short courses for one to learn at his own pace and convenience - which will help one grasp key concepts in the new role or industry of interest.

"Eventually, you can delve deeper, sharpen your skills, and level up in areas where you want to specialise through full-fledged training programmes that come with certification or accreditation," he says.

You may encounter setbacks along the way or feel like you are going nowhere, but do not give up.

Dr Timothy Chan, vice-provost at private education institution SIM Global Education, says it is helpful to identify skills that are transferable, as well as new skills that are required.

"Talk to people who have done a career switch similar to yours, or meet a career coach to gain better clarity on your goals," he adds. "Assess the learning curve, taking into consideration the time and effort required.

"The process can be daunting or exciting, depending on your motivation and desired career destination."

Have a question? Send it to askst@sph.com.sg

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