Transitioning (T): First of all, thanks for allowing us to interview you online Shirley and can you provide us with some background information on yourself?
Shirley (S): I am 28 years old, female Singaporean. I graduated from NUS arts. I have been working in media-related jobs before I was unemployed.
T: What was your last occupation and you have told me that you were unemployed for 1 year, can you tell us more about this and also your job search experience?
S: My last job was a contract position in a broadcast company. I did not renew the contract and decided to enroll in a part time course to enrich myself. I intend to look for a job while I study, but unfortunately, up till now, I still can’t find a suitable job.
T: You have told me that you are currently jobless for more than six months, what did you do in order to survive? Did you also approach the CDC for assistance?
S: I mainly survive on my savings. No I did not.
T: Did you attend any interviews during the past 12 months and why do you think you are unsuccessful so far?
S: Yes I had about 8 interviews. I think there’re other more suitable candidates in terms of experience or expected pay. Another reason I think is because I am currently in a part time course, and some companies may think I can’t commit and timing might clash.
T: Tell us abit more about what you have learnt from your jobless experience and how it has impacted your family.
S: I learnt that looking for a job is indeed very difficult nowadays due to many unknown reasons, and we must find ways to add value to ourselves. I also learnt that if one door is closed, another will be opened, we have to be flexible and open to other opportunities, change industry if you are willing.
I have also spoken to a friend and he encouraged me to look for opportunities overseas. That is also an option. We do not have to restrict ourselves to Singapore.
My family is supportive and they understand my difficulties, so that’s good.
T: What do you think you could have done to shorten the unemployment period?
S: Networking more, friends may have recommendations.
T: Do you think that Singapore is now a more difficult place to make a living?
S: Yes of course. The cost of living has risen so much yet the salary of workers seem to remain stagnant.
T: What do you think the government can do to alleviate the current employment situation?
S: Ensure Singaporeans are employed first
T: Many people have blame foreigners for competing jobs with us, what is your view on this?
S: I agree that there are just too many foreigners that they are taking over the average Singaporean’s job. However, there are many job ads I saw that reject foreigners, and I know there are still many companies that will employ Singaporeans.
T: Lastly, what’s your advice for those who are still jobless and feeling down?
S: Never give up, you will find something. In the meantime, do things to enrich yourself, attend some courses, read more to build up your knowledge, esp motivational books. This is also the time to get your life sorted out, so that you can get ready for a new chapter of life.
Thanks and end of interview