I didn’t expect to learn this much from a chat with an e2i career coach when Jacklyn first greeted me with a beaming smile. She has a knack at putting people at ease and felt more like an old friend.
Jacklyn Lim, an e2i career coach since 2016, boasts an incredible track record of helping a myriad of Singaporeans. She has worked with fresh grads, mid-career switches and those in their 50-60s to help them land jobs.
Singapore’s employment landscape
One key gem she shared was that Singaporeans often had no idea about the employment landscape. Oftentimes, Students are not exposed to career development early. They learn respective subjects in school without being introduced to prospective careers that they could pursue based on their interests. Hence, students often fail to plan their career paths ahead and may find themselves at a loss upon graduation.
I can personally attest to that narrative, being a Language student who was often told that I could only become an English teacher (spoiler alert: I didn’t!). I definitely wish I had met Jacklyn earlier and heard all this advice though!
Jacklyn said, “We should begin with the end in mind. This would empower our students, help them gain a greater awareness of work and reinforce what they learn in school.”
Jacklyn hopes to initiate more collaboration between e2i and MOE so that Singapore can better tailor the courses offered in schools to fulfill the jobs and skills needed in future.
Covid and its effects on jobs
When asked about the Covid situation and how that changed the work landscape for Singapore, she was optimistic.
“With the pandemic, we realise that we can work anywhere. This creates a global working environment and makes us realise that we are very connected. A Singaporean employed by a Swedish company can still be based in Singapore. It’s not a problem because global companies are embracing technology and allowing employees to work fully from home, even as they are spread across the countries.”
“Actually, Singapore is prepared all the time. We may fall down but we get back up quickly. Even though Covid has an effect on our economy and jobs, our tripartite framework and unions keep us agile. When the unions hear of impending retrenchments, they notify e2i of the situation. By understanding their profile and needs, we are able to help them swiftly, leading to successful job matching. So, it’s all rather seamless, the process…and it helps ensure that these workers don’t stay retrenched for long.”
The importance of staying adaptive
When asked about how Singaporeans could improve their chances when job searching, Jacklyn replied, “Do not be afraid of change and take courses to pick up new skills. Be adaptive.”
“Singaporeans are sometimes not open to trying jobs outside of their previous job scope. They want to find the same job that pays the same as their previous job without them having to attend training. However, we are switching to a different era and mindsets have to change to meet the needs of the Future of Work. For example, someone with a Diploma and previous salary of 6k can’t compete in the current workplace without expecting to upskill and attend courses to improve themselves.”
Nevertheless, she was encouraging about the situation.
“Covid can be both good and bad. You can give yourself opportunities during the pandemic by having a renewed mindset.”
Lastly, she summed up the session with these words.
“It’s about planting yourself against a career and managing the different points and stages in your life. It’s always changing and we should also adapt accordingly.”
Very wise indeed. I don’t know about you but I definitely know where to seek assistance when I require it.