When Mr Mohd Nasir Ja'apar, 47, was retrenched from an oil and gas company in April, the former senior quality engineer, who used to be headhunted during pre-Covid times, felt confident that he would be able to find another job.
Within two weeks of being laid off from his job of 5½ years, he was approached by a headhunter for a job opportunity, but was rejected after two interviews.
"I thought to myself that it's okay, another opportunity will come. But it was not like that," he told The Straits Times yesterday. After four months and 60 applications, he made no headway in his job search.
It was only after career coaches from Workforce Singapore's (WSG) Careers Connect helped him to improve his resume that he was offered a job as a senior quality engineer at 3D Metalforge, a small to medium-sized enterprise specialising in additive manufacturing and 3D printed services and products.
"To be honest, it was my first time using career coaches and job-matching services, because in the past, I got jobs through applying directly to a company, or by being headhunted. So that's why during the initial period of my unemployment, I was a little bit lost," he said.
"So when I went to WSG's website and saw the opportunities and assistance, I just jumped into it without having much expectations."
Now, he is undergoing a six-month professional conversion programme for advanced manufacturing engineers, which started last month, to ease into his new role.
The programme comprises both learning in a classroom and on the job, and helps mid-career individuals like him bridge the gaps in his skills from his previous job. "The programme is built into your work itself... it's not going to disrupt your job, and at the same time, you gain knowledge and can apply it straightaway," said Mr Nasir, who is single.
Despite having to take a 20 per cent pay cut, he is grateful for the job and credits it to WSG's assistance. "To those who are retrenched... don't give up hope. Some opportunities that knock on your door might be outside your comfort zone, but be open-minded, it would be a waste to let them go," he said.