I held a Fine Arts degree with Honours from an art school in Singapore, with one year of work experience doing various tasks ranging from assisting graphic designers, being a photographer to administrative stuff in the media industry.
Currently, I have been jobless for two months after I quit a temporary job due to my dissatisfaction with work ethics and miscommunication from my superior who was new on his job and didn’t have much empathy for his workers.
Ever since then, I tried applying for entry jobs mostly in design along with some government jobs, but they were fruitless because I lacked the appropriate work experience needed for the job,
I believe many people will ask why I chose to major in Fine Arts instead of majoring in courses which will yield better financial return.
Well, when I was very young I have a strong flair with visual things.
I studied pictures when I couldn’t read nor understand the text and I was very into building and assembling things such as model kits and cars.
My favourite subject in secondary school was Design and Technology because I could use my creativity to design and create with tools and materials.
I made the switch to Fine Arts after studying a year of foundation in art school because I wanted to strengthen my visual language and get introspective with philosophical and social issues.
I was an autodidact and a multi disciplinarian; I learned design, photography and anything that I have the slightest interest with.
The downfall came after I was jobless and the depressing thing was almost every ad I looked for an entry-level job required related experiences (1 to 2 years minimal) and they have a long list of other requirements.
Even I tried the ‘shoot-CV-and-prey’ method, I got nothing.
I believed the “Experience needed” syndrome is rampant around the world and I wouldn’t be surprised if employers couldn’t get any suitable applicants if they don’t start to train novices like me.
I wondered if there is a huge communication gap between employers and job seekers nowadays.
My expectations are much lower than any average graduate; I want to learn and gain work experience and how am I going to contribute anything if a company doesn’t give a chance to train new employees?
My recent interview with the boss was pretty depressing for someone who said my ‘rojak’ experiences were not experiences at all, even though the job ad stated that the company (less than 12 employees) will give training to those new to the job.
He thought I was a job-hopper when he asked why I haeld 2 jobs in a one-year span.
My parents are consistently pressuring me to get a job as soon as possible, also mentioning that my degree was a failed investment at one time.
When I was working as a temp and they asked about my salary and I got ‘scolded’ for being paid so little.
I felt really useless and sometimes I wondered if my talent is actually a curse or I am really just plain unlucky?
Currently, I am exploring other options other than the design and media industry.
I sincerely apologize for my plight, I didn’t think of writing it at first but I’m tired of hitting invisible walls from all direction.
I hope you and readers of your page can shed some light on my problem.
Thanks for your mail and sorry to hear of your predicament.
Fresh new graduates have this problem of not being experiuenced enough to get hired and its really tough if employers do not give you a chance.
That is probably why the government is willing to take up the buck and hire many fresh graduates so that they have a good headstart and also the all-important work experience before they go back to the private sector and look for jobs.
I am glad that you are expecting lesser than other graduates so that you are able to get hired and gain experience.
Many fresh graduates from overseas actually intern for free in big corporations in the hope of getting hired along the way.
I am not suggesting that you work for free but this could be your last option if you want to start working.
I must also add that your arts degree will limit alot of your options in the job market.
Do you agree that your fine arts degree may be better appreciated if you look for jobs abroad? Just an idea for you to consider.
Nevertheless, you must always psyche yourself that you are doing something you love and not many people can say that for their work.
Many people actually hate their jobs but they have no choice as they need to pay their bills.
Not many people can say that they love their work and you may probably be the rare few!
I hope to catch up with you sometimes next week if possible for a chat.
Stay positive meanwhile and keep the chin up.
We are here for you.