Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Friday January 25th 2019

Prolonged Jobless Graduate Lowering Her Expectations To No Avail

Hi Gilbert ,

I have been jobless for more than half a year and finding it difficult  to get back to the workforce.

One of the problems I am having  is that I am not as technical as I had wanted to be in the field of programming  and hence I am probably not outstanding among the IT talents available for hire.

 I also did not manage to stay in one job for long (unfortunately due to the chaotic nature of  foreign work visa based employment) and hence  did not get promoted up the ranks.

I am trying to go back to my first field of interest  which is in the area of PR/Corp comms/Editing/Writing. However, employment agents  and friends have perceive me  to be much better suited in the IT field due to my working experience.
 
Even though I am now ready to accept entry level positions and salary expectations, I am not getting any luck  in getting an interview from potential employers. I feel  that my  experience and  age are working against me.

I think ¬†I was “well-connected” during my time in Singapore, but after being away for this long, I think the connections more or less disappeared. I have casually asked them for help or information about openings in their companies ¬†but the usual response is that they¬† believe¬† I’m “above” their help (or that might be the polite way to say no).

¬†I have been trying to get feedback as to why I fail to get a call or land the interviews ¬†and many a times the answers can be vague -¬† “I’m not a good fit”, ¬†”I’m not qualified enough” or¬† “Competition is keen”.

In fact for the first few months I have concentrated on government jobs  as I perceived there is less foreign competition there. However, I have received many rejections (without interview)  and have in fact only managed to get interviewed once.

I have also tried major IT set ups like NCS and Singtel, all to no avail. I have of course ploughed the internet quite thoroughly for the past few months  and many agencies have called me up.

The level of professionalism of these agencies is really very varied  and I would categorically  say that about 50% of them are not professionally competent.  Most simply try to match you to a job and close the deal. There is nothing much in terms of career advice that they can offer.

As for lowering expectations, I’m going for entry level jobs at about $2.4K (non tech) – $3K (tech).

 I believe that is quite reasonable since that is what I heard most  fresh grads will command now.

 However, I have also heard that they would rather hire fresh grads  since they are more mouldable and has more potential (i.e. more years that the company can milk out of) than an experienced job seeker like me.

As for the job-hopping bits. Actually during my time in Singapore, the work environment at the xxxx  was really quite bad. They were micro-managing and every tongue was  wagging waiting to put a knife on your back. The environment was predatory and unhealthy.

Most of the stints actually lasted¬† more than a ¬†year ¬†except for the internship at¬†xxxx ¬†but that’s because it’s an internship.

I am wondering if there is any advice that you can give me  in terms of areas that I can try to work towards or improve upon. And of course, if there are any openings that I can try out for.

Attached is my  resume. I sincerely thank you for your time and precious advice.

Regards,

Pauline (name changed)

 **************************

 Hi Pauline,

 Thanks for your mail.

 I will forward your resume to a friend who is doing IT recruitment. Hope that you can get something there.

 We are always competing against younger fresh graduates and cheaper hungrier foreigners so its a harsh jungle out there.

 Staying lean and adaptive is the word for the job seekers now.

 The IT sector frankly belongs to the Indian community who flocks to our island state for work.

 Many IT companies set up by foreign Indians tend to employ back their own kind.

 One good bet for you is maybe to try our government sector.

 Its easier than say of course as the new graduates will be there competing with you for government jobs.

 However, I see that your experience may help you to stand out from the rest of the fresh grads.

 Try to lower your expectations abit and work yourself up from there.

 Your short working stints in each job may have deterred most employers from calling you up for an interview. HR managers are afraid of job hoppers as it drained their resources and training budget.

 Do you network socially?

 The next job will probably come from connections that you build from social contacts.

 I find Singaporeans are rather inept at networking. They rather go home after work than stay out to build contacts outside.

 Go join a club or have a new hobby so that you can meet more people. People tend to want to help each other if they know them well enough.

 Take care and I will link you up with one of my volunteer career coach Reg.

 I will forward your resume to her also.

 I also seek your permission to post this mail on my site. I will leave out your name to protect your identity.

 Take care and never give up.

 Regds

Gilbert

 

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4 Responses to “Prolonged Jobless Graduate Lowering Her Expectations To No Avail”

  1. Anon says:

    Hi Gilbert,

    I am in the same predicament as the lady in this article.

    May I forward my CV so that you can forward it to your IT contacts?

    Thanks,

  2. Gilbert Goh says:

    Hi Anon

    Ok please forward to gilbert@transitioning.org.

    Take care.

    Gilbert

  3. [...] Prolonged Jobless Graduate Lowering Her Expectations To No Avail | Support Site for The Un… [...]

  4. Finance Jobs says:

    For fresh graduates, there is actually a pretty good platform called theheadstart.com.sg which targets only fresh grads and is published after the graduation periods. the next issue should be coming out soon

    For middle and high executive with more then 3 years experiance, u can try headhunt.com.sg

    U can also try job search firm like jobstreet.com or jobsdb.com

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