S’pore Career Coach Advises What To Do After Being Retrenched

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It’s a tumultuous time for the economy.

The data from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) showed Singapore’s unemployment rate has risen to 2.9 %, from 2.4% in the preceding quarter and total employment has dropped more than fourfold.

Retrenchments have more than doubled, contributed by figures in all three broad sectors – manufacturing, services and construction.

On top of all that, total employment fell by 121,800. The most drastic contractions occurred in food and beverage services, retail trade, arts, entertainment and recreation, and education.

TL;DR – Unemployment rates soar and companies are not hiring.

Well, a career coach decided to dispense some valuable advice for people who makes up these numbers.

How to Cope with Retrenchment

Belinda Boo, the principal career coach of Workforce Singapore acknowledges the discouragement that comes with losing your job or being unable to find a suitable one.

But she reminds people of the opportunities still available and urges them not to lose hope.

Here’s what she recommends.

“Take stock of your skills”

Ascertain what transferable and marketable skill sets you can pitch to your future employers, something that sets you apart from other applicants.

“Be open to opportunities, be flexible”

As always, the fall of certain industries is coupled with the rise of others.

Certainly, many industries took a hit this pandemic, but areas such as e-commerce, manufacturing, information and communications technology, health and social services, and financial services flourished in these tough times.

If your sector is suffering, maybe it’s time to adapt and consider new opportunities in new roles or sectors. Short-term jobs that are on high demand due to Covid-19 may also help to tide you through these trying times.

“Seek professional career guidance”

Ms boo recommends those who are feeling lost or unsure on how to start job searching to reach out to career ambassadors or career coaches at WSG’s Careers Connect centres and SGUnited Jobs and Skills Centres.

According to The Straits Times, “Career coaches provide one-on-one guidance and can advise you on how to tailor your resume to the job you are applying for and prepare for job interviews. They can also lend a listening ear.”


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Visit satellite career centres for basic career advice and guidance on the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package from career ambassadors.

Ms Boo wraps up by saying that it is up to the job seekers to follow through on their career action plan.

Silver Lining

Say you’ve been in your career for a few years now and you’ve always wished that you had made a different decision at the start of your career.

This is probably the best time to do it, no matter how oxymoronic it may sound.

The government is investing heavily in the various schemes to help people to develop skills “for the future” like never before, so what’s to say you can’t ride on this and go into the industry that you really want?

Even traineeships have been extended to mid-careerists when previously, it was only for fresh grads.


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With a scheme where the government co-pays your salary, getting a job is theoretically easier since companies are more open to hiring you (as long as you convince them through interviews).