I am a middle-aged IT professional and have been jobless for about a year.
Let me share about my frustrating job search experience during this period.
Due to the myriad of tasks I had to undertake for my former company, I have gone completely jaded with the IT industry and quit last year.
Moreover, when I had issues with my former company I sought help from MOM.
However, because of my pay and job title, I fall under the category of PMET and they were unable to help me further.
I later sought help from WDA for job assistance after resigning from my job.
After going through its website and thinking that I was a PMET, I went to its premises but was informed that I did not fall under the definition of a PMET (because of my educational level) and would not be eligible for most of their programmes. I have a full GCE A level certificate plus other work certification.
I was instead told to seek help from E2I.
A month later, after many futile attempts at getting a job, I went to E2I and got myself registered and was informed that someone will contact me.
But no one called after a month. I made another trip to E2I and they claimed that I may have misunderstood them and they also couldn’t find a record of me ever being there. I had to re-register and they told me to wait for a reply from them. After a week, I started to receive SMS messages of a Job Fair and I was hopeful [that I'll] finally able to get a job. My savings was also starting to get low.
Unfortunately, I was not eligible as most of the jobs offered were for the F&B and Retail industries that required Chinese-speaking staff. I was most disappointed and left the job fair discouraged..
I was later informed that there was another job fair in the security industry. I also could not clear the hurdle here as I had a stroke/brain hemorrhage in the past.
It was the final job fair, where a manufacturing company was seeking ‘bilingual staff’, that I lost my cool and started to question them angrily. Why did they not first check my credentials [and whether I could speak] the language or if I am eligible for the jobs offered by them? It was another frustrating futile trip again.
A nice young man finally took a look at my resume and informed me that E2I is not the place for me as I am a PMET! I would not be eligible for the courses offered by E2I except for an “Executive Workshop” – it’s about resume writing and how to conduct ourselves during interviews.
Out of desperation, I also sought help from my MP - whom I didn’t really get to see at all. I only saw his volunteer helper at the Meet-The-People session (MPS). The nice volunteer wrote down my problems and informed me that someone will contact me in about 2 weeks’ time.
And sure enough, someone from the CDC called and informed me to go down with all the necessary documents and they will process my request for financial and job assistance.
So, finally, with high hopes I went to the CDC hoping to receive some financial assistance. However, I was informed the letter they received from the MP was an appeal for job assistance only and not for both job and financial assistance!
Fortunately, the counselor I met was nice enough to hear my woes. And she told me she will arrange some courses for me to upgrade my skills and to pass her my resume.
To my surprise, she signed me up for tests and courses for which I am overqualified and already have experience in. The numeracy test looked like it’s for those who have not cleared their primary school education.
I have come to realize that these people will not be able to help me if they don’t even bother to do some fact-checking.
The whole job searching process has left me totally devastated and depressed and I am starting to question my self-worth. Is it so difficult to get a job nowadays?
I do not wish to return to the IT industry as the job requirement is literally 24/7 and there is no job security. The pay is no longer stable as I can be easily replaced by cheaper foreign workers.
I know I have not much marketable skills and I am at the age and educational level whereby job opportunities are severely limited.
I also recognise that I am choosy with jobs from the Sales and Call Centres as I know these kind of jobs will not offer me any job satisfaction.
I just do not know what to do anymore and felt lost and weary.
All I am wishing for now is to:
1. Find a stable job with stable hours (working hours can be night or shift, as long as its not 24/7).
2. Save enough to re-learn my first love – drawing and design (I had an accident which severed the ligaments in my right thumb).
3. Publish an online monthly graphic novel series as a hobby and maybe for some extra income.
I have attached my resume for your perusal. Any advice you can give me is very important to me. I am also open to any constructive criticism from you.
And I thank you for being patient to read my rant.
Yusof (name changed)
Thanks for your long mail – frankly your story have put tears in my eyes and I am sorry about the frustration that you went through with the different aid agencies.
Job searching can be frustrating and over time does get on one’s nerve and patience.
I encourage you to guard your mind well by reading motivational books or mixing with positive people so that emotionally you are stable and exercise regularly to stay physically fit. Job searching can be draining and very taxing on the emotion.
One also needs to approach job searching with confidence or else we will give up after a while feeling hopeless and negative. Our body language is also very revealing and when we go for an interview feeling down, the interviewer will pick it up immediately.
As Singapore does not have any unemployment welfare scheme yet, the jobseeker has to endure much financial distress while out job hunting.
Do let me know if you are in financial duress so that I can try to arrange a small amount of cash assistance for you to tide over the interim period. As we are a small non-profit organisation, I am unable to promise that the amount will be sufficient to last a long period.
I also request for your permission to post this mail on my blog. Rest assured that I will left out your name and email to protect your identity.
I have also attach my ebook “How to survive unemployment” for your reading pleasure.
I will forward this mail to my volunteer career coach, Jenny (name changedl), who will see you so that she can better understand your career need and suggest some possible solutions for you.
I apologise that I am unable to meet up with you currently as I am abroad.
Please continue to stay in touch with me and many thanks for your mail.
Never give up.