Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Monday January 15th 2018

Young 28-year-old diploma holder never attend a single interview before – why?

Dear Gilbert,
I am age 28 years old and my highest educational qualification is a diploma.
Since my ORD in 2008, I have been helping my father at his shipping company.
The skills that I acquired  from working at my dad company are  only basic shipping skills and may not be enough for me to be hired in the open job market.
As my dad’s company is not doing well, I decided to look for a job to reduce my father’s burden and  not  to lead a sheltered life.
I want to prove myself that I can really work  independently to support myself and my family.
At first  I feel excited  as I have figure out some jobs which I want to do and in my mind  finding jobs must be easy.
I want to work at Starhub or Singtel  as a front counter serving people – you know attending to  people who want to buy /subscribe phone /tv/broadband so as  to train myself before moving on to a better job.
When I seriously start to  search for jobs online and in the newspaper for  the past three days, I  began to feel depressed  and worried.
I realised that I could not meet many of the  job requirements stipulated in the newspaper or online advertisements.
Moreover,  I find that shipping job vacancies pay so low that its difficult to survive but those are the only kind of jobs that I could apply as I have some working experience.
I am also caught in a bigger dilemma – I have not attended one single interview in my life as after my ORD I have been working for my dad shipping company all this while.
What should I do during an interview and how can I better prepare myself?
I am  not very good in academics but I am hard working, willing to learn and polite.  
I can’t sleep for past two night thinking about how am I going to find a job with my resume and my diploma – mobile wirless & computing  is already outdated since smartphone is invented.
Suddenly,  I feel so useless as I realised that my ideal jobs are those that I could not really fulfill  in terms of requirements.
I have also alway wanted to contribute  to Singapore by working for the town council, Changi airport or any government jobs but it’s out of the question now.
There are so many peoples who are more qualified than me and  as usual I am not so confident of meeting the skills required for the jobs.
 In the end, I think that the  shipping line  is my only chance of landing a job.
I want to expose myself to the working world again but who will be willing to hire me due to my lack of work experience?
Thanks for hearing out my worries.
A Man that is full of negative thoughts
Dear A Man that is full of negative thoughts
Thanks for your mail.
Its true that most of us after  ORD  felt abit lost especially when we are green horns in the area of job searching. 
We have no work  or job search experience and wish someone can guide us through the journey.
It will be worse if you don’t really know what you want.
So do take some time to find out abit more about what really interest you.
You have told me that you like to work for Starhub and Singtel doing customer service.
Continue to pursue that area of interest as we tend to do well in jobs that we really like.
I remembered looking for jobs for almost 6 months after my ORD in 1982 before I finally landed one with Mindef.
I was paid only $700 for the job but it felt like $7000 to me then as it was my first job and a big break through for me after a harrowing time looking for work.
It was a most stressful period  for me and I would have work for free if possible.
Like you, I also felt very useless and my self esteem took a dive to the rock bottom when I was still frantically searching for work.
Most of us also  find attending  interviews frightening and even after working for the past three decades, whenever I have an interview coming up, I will be uptight the night before and felt anxious hours prior to the interview.
The mere fact that we are being scrutinised and assessed by other people during an interview is already frightening enough and many people fail to perform well due mainly to nerves.
Learn to meditate a few hours before the interview or simply go for a short stroll in the park to relax those edgy nerves. 
Practice makes perfect and one can also learn much from books and job websites on interviewing skills.
You can also request for our coaching support and our coach will be able to guide you  on having proper interviewing techniques.
I am also keen to catch up with you at my office next week for a chat.
Will this be possible?
I seek your permission to post your mail on my blog so that we can learn from one another.
I have also attach my ebook How to survive unemployment for your reading pleasure.
Let me know and stay positive.
We are here for you.
Gilbert Goh
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Reader Feedback

7 Responses to “Young 28-year-old diploma holder never attend a single interview before – why?”

  1. Sal says:

    As long you willing to learn and acquire new skills…Its important you keep on trying until one day someone give you the opportunity. And its good to start somewhere and move up the ladder. Good luck…

  2. Jimmy says:

    Actually I’m confused over what is the underlying anxiety of this writer. The whole shipping industry is in a slump since 2008 and as someone working in this line, he would have known this since 4 years ago, so thats nothing new.

    In terms of looking for a job on the front desk or salesman selling plans for the telco companies, most of them no need prior experience and accept fresh NITEC or diploma grads, so not sure why the writer say he cannot meet the stipulated requirements listed on the ad. In fact for roadshows and service centre, the telcos have outsourced to contractors like Kelly, Recruit Express, Addeco etc who hire freshies by the dozens with almost no screening and only very basic interview questions.

    As for his diploma in mobile & wireless being outdated, I dont even know what this has to do with being a customer service officer or salesman. You just need to follow SOP, do up the data entry and answer basic queries, there is no need to be updated on the latest technology except on a very basic user level.

    Sounds like he’s just scared of attending interviews and coming up with excuses to not really go for the jobs.

  3. jj@39 says:

    It’s good for him to consider the pros & cons of his situation but if always worry too much also no good.

    前怕狼,後怕虎-scare of the wolf in front & scare of the tiger behind. Like that when is he going to leave his father’s shipping company? How is he going to achieve something big & better when working for others?

  4. 50plus says:

    Looks like you lead a very sheltered life of 28 years, and what you said are really incredible!

  5. charmer says:

    When I finished my national service, with no academic qualifications I join the fast food industry back in the 80′s. Interestingly the F & B industry is growing at an incredible rate with many new franchise chains opening up. I will urge this 28 year old man to consider the F & B industry that is likely to give him a chance to move up the career ladder. It is tough work !

    Alternatively go into sales which I also did from door to door to corporate sales. Both of which will expose you to the real business world and sharpen your commercial acumen.

    I agree with Jimmy, he needs to go out there and engage the market. The lack of experience should not be an issue if you are willing to start from the bottom of the ladder. The climb can be fast for one with the right attitute to reach the highest alltitude : )



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