Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Thursday July 24th 2014

Writer’s sister switched career to community service at 60 years old

Hi Gilbert

I dropped by your website occasionally to get updated on what the job market is like for matured workers.

I have recently seen a lot of sad examples of unemployment among matured workers – which are very discouraging and decided to share my sister’s success story to encourage  matured workers  like us.

My sister, who is turning 60, has worked in the healthcare industry for more than 25 years.

She continuously upgraded her qualifications and was promoted to a managerial position.

However, a change in management compelled her to leave the company.

Deciding to take a bold step out of her comfort zone, she wanted to explore other career interests in community service.

Her friend suggested taking a WSQ Professional Diploma in Community and Social Sciences and she attended the 5-month course.

But she faced more hurdles after getting her diploma. It was not easy to write a resume and brush up on interview skills after more than 2 decades.

She attended a class which helped her to be succinct in bringing across her career achievements.

The search for a job in the social services sector was not smooth-sailing either.

More often than not, employers were concerned about her being over-qualified or curious why she wanted to make the career switch despite knowing that she would have to take a drastic pay cut.

She maintained the attitude that every interview was a learning experience and that talking to interviewers give her a better understanding of the gaps in social support for the elderly in Singapore.

She reiterated that she wants to contribute her service to the community and was not in it for the pay.

Her persistence paid off -  she has just started work in a social service agency!

She is learning how best she can help the under-served or under-privileged in the society.

It is not easy to make a career switch, and even more so when we are in our 50s.

I admire my sister’s perseverance in getting the right training, continuously applying and preparing for interviews, and her determination to follow her interest regardless of pay or what people say.

I would think as we live longer now, more and more people will start making career changes in their 40s, 50s, 60s.

Our society should progress in a way that makes it natural for not-so-young Singaporeans to find meaningful work, keep engaged with others, and contribute our experiences built over the years.

I hope we in Singapore can do this together, so that more can age meaningfully and gracefully.

Esther

Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death – Albert Einstein

Reader Feedback

5 Responses to “Writer’s sister switched career to community service at 60 years old”

  1. sal says:

    Uniquely Spore, age discrimination is a daily affair.Even though you can do the job, age is a hurdle . The authority should step in and put a stop to this act so that older people would not be disctiminate.

  2. Mac says:

    God bless her! She spends her lifetime helping others!

  3. Sinkie pawned Sinkie says:

    Singaporeans are very ageist people. Anyone above 35yrs old, we consider them as OLD and USELESS. That is the reason why you see more younger FTs working than elderly Singaporeans.
    Even the job doesnt require any physically demanding task.

    It is a vicious cycle. Today we can exclude these elderly Singaporeans, and when we are old, our younger Singaporeans
    will outcast us.

  4. sal says:

    Bad policies that discriminate local citizens need to be abolish…..age, sex, racial discrimination should not be tolerate.

  5. loh Eng kok says:

    Hi dear sir,
    Keep me informed all activities organised by your org.
    Tks.

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