Story by Jonathan Tan
If being out of a job and searching for a new one isn’t already emotionally draining, having to do so following retrenchment or dismissal can have devastating effects on a person’s confidence.
In a way, it’s a little like snoozing soundly and being rudely thrown out of bed. You’re disorientated, blurry-eyed and not sure of just what to do next.
With a focus on jobseekers in such sensitive predicaments, NTUC e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) employability coaches Jay Shree Mohan Pohumal Shivnani and Teng Soo Ling share how they recently helped two clients secure new careers.
Lending a Listening Ear
“I heard them out and let them share their experiences with me. Such clients usually have mixed emotions: shock, worry, fear of not getting a job, and anger at their dismissal,” said Ms Jay Shree, describing how she balances being sensitive to the emotional needs of her clients and guiding them towards being proactive in searching for a new job.
“In a tactful manner, I elicit how they think I can help them. I would let them come up with their own solutions and give them assurance so that they will commit to the solutions they come up with.”
Adding on, senior employability coach Ms Soo Ling said: “I don’t judge my clients, but look at their profile.”
Taking Stock of Their Careers
Naturally, processing what has just taken place is not easy, and may take a while. Having said that, it’s something a person eventually comes to grips with and overcome.
In addition to addressing their clients’ feelings, employability coaches will actively assess where their clients stand in their careers. In their recent respective cases, both Ms Jay Shree and Ms Soo Ling shared that each client did not quite know where to start.
“I encouraged my client to attend job fairs because he wasn’t sure what his next career was going to be. Doing so allowed him to see what kind of job opportunities were out there and what would interest him,” said Ms Jay Shree.
Ms Soo Ling observed that after spending the majority of his working life with the same company, her client was unaware of what was required of him in searching for a job and showed little awareness of the job market.
Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of recalibration, support and a little nudge in the right direction.
To help them pick up the critical skills that would aid their job search, the coaches recommended that their clients take part in one of the Employability Camps organised by e2i. Through the workshop, their clients gained new perspectives on seeking a new job, picked up information on how to better organise their resumes and also built new confidence with interview skills.
Making The Step Forward
Both the coaches’ clients had been open to and appreciative of the advice and help rendered to them.
“He took the advice seriously, was responsive and serious about looking for jobs. I checked in with him regularly for updates and he had been looking for jobs promptly,” shared Ms Soo Ling.
She added that through a referral process, her client was able to secure a new job in less than a month.
On the other hand, Ms Jay Shree shared that through attending job fairs, her client managed to secure employment for a role that he was interested in through an agency.
The process might have taken slightly over a month, but she shared a text message from him which read: “I don’t know how to thank you and the e2i team. May God bless you all.”