Then my second baby came along, my son started primary school, and a decade passed. Now and then, I wonder when they both go to secondary school, and I am in my 40s, will any employers still hire me?
I look at a neighbor – let’s just call her Mdm Lim. She shared the same concern when rejoining the workforce, but her circumstances are different.
She will be 50 next year.
After quitting work to look after her parents in Apr 2011, she wanted to start work again in Aug 2011.
She used to work in a Sales/Accounts Development and had won Best Seller award.
She expanded market coverage overseas, increased branch revenue five-folds and was trained in Six Sigma.
She was doing well. But once she got out of work and want to return, it was not easy.
She wanted a job in accounts or procurement, and spent more than a year going to online job portals, headhunters and recruitment agencies without success.
She tried to start afresh, and change her line of work, but employers turned her down citing the lack of relevant experience.
I think the fact that she was close to 50, and do not have a degree, worked to her disadvantage.
Then some of her friends told her that it would be pointless to apply for jobs through newspaper ads or agencies.
Most HR will not give resumes with low academic qualification or applicants above 40 a second look. Mdm Lim then started to try approaching contacts for direct referral and attend job fairs that allow me to meet employers directly.
She attended courses here and there to improve herself. She felt those were useful.
She revised her CV, made it shorter, punchier, removed her age from the document and highlighted her skills and experience.
She sent out another round of job applications through her contacts, managed to get an interview and secured a well-paying job as a Sales Manager in less than a month.
I hope when I am ready to start work, it is not so hard for older workers to get a chance to meet employers.
While many employers may reject older professionals like me, I realised I must also do my part to be marketable.