R: I’m an unemployed young woman in my early 20s due to a recent termination from a job in late April. My highest academic qualification is Higher Nitec in Business Administration, which I graduated from in April 2011.
T: What was your last occupation and you have told me that you were unemployed for 2 months, can you tell us more about this and also your job search experience?
R: My last job is a data entry clerk and I’ve been unemployed for nearly 2 months. I tried applying jobs online as well as attending job fairs but so far I still don’t get recruited despite telling the interviewers frankly why I was terminated.
My previous job was dealing with data entry work, cheque-sorting and doing other ad-hoc admin duties as assigned. I worked there for 10 and a half months and I was dismissed from my job due to my overlooking at one of my tasks which was to open a bag of cheques. This forgetful mishap later sent me packing on the very same night that it happened.
R: I keep on applying for jobs online, in the newspapers and keep a lookout on upcoming job fairs too. No I didn’t approach CDC for assistance.
T: Did you attend any interviews during the past few weeks and why do you think you are unsuccessful so far?
R: Yes, maybe there are people who are far more experienced and qualified than me, maybe employers favour foreign workers more.
What went wrong with me or is it that my resume is not up to mark so employers wouldn’t want to recruit me? Why does it take such a long time for them to respond? Even if they did respond, I always get told that I’ll be called back again once I’m shortlisted but to date I remain unemployed. Such empty promises. Despite me telling employers frankly why was I fired and what lessons I learnt from my termination, they still wouldn’t take me in. At the suggestion of my former schoolmate, I should lie a bit about my reasons for leaving my last job by saying that my contract with them has ended.
T: Tell us abit more about what you have learnt from your jobless experience and how it has impacted your family.
R: I learnt that I should treasure my job, save up enough money for life’s uncertainties in the future and be more careful when carrying out my tasks next time. My family keeps on pestering me to get a job soon and thinks that I’m being picky and not trying hard enough and fooling around, which is false.
My family is being unhelpful with me during this difficult period by assuming that I’m picky and not tough enough to last long in jobs. They even think that I’m not trying hard enough to secure a job. I’m not getting any richer staying at home and rot. I’m losing interest in life and lacking appetite to eat. None of my now ex-colleagues even bothered to call me up and see if I’m coping well or not.
T: What do you think you could have done to shorten the unemployment period?
R: I have no idea, maybe take up odd jobs like pump attendant or something? Or seek help like counseling for the unemployed?
T: Do you think that Singapore is now a more difficult place to make a living?
T: What do you think the government can do to alleviate the current employment situation?
R: Put locals first when recruiting workers into vacancies, reduce the foreigner influx (especially PRCs and Pinoys) and be more proactive in giving local jobless people another chance to work again to contribute to the society and economy.
T: Many people have blame foreigners for competing jobs with us, what is your view on this?
R: I agree with this statement as there is too much foreigners taking up positions that were once occupied by locals. In the past there weren’t many foreigners, now even when I visit the polyclinic, foreign workers are everywhere especially PRCs and Pinoys. They are really taking over every job vacancy here. I understand they are cheap labour and are hardworking and in the case of Pinoys, deliver excellent customer service, but they have to remember that they shouldn’t be showing off their competence and practise teamwork and integration in our society.
T: Lastly, whats your advice for those who are still jobless and feeling down?
R: Stay calm and patient and don’t give up. Keep on searching for jobs online, in the newspapers, attend job fairs, upgrade yourselves with new skills whenever possible. Also don’t try to kill yourself literally. Gather all the moral help you can and weed out the unreliable people in your life.
End of interview and thank you.
Editor’s Note: We will be seeing the writer for a discussion about her future employment need.