Ending her contract job with HSBC as a senior analyst last November, Mina Koskinen thought she could use a break before starting to apply for jobs through online portals in February this year.Days turned into weeks, and before she knew it, the 38-year-old was jobless for half a year.
Even though she had some savings, it was not going to last. She started doubting herself if she could get another job and became uncertain of her future.
Equipped with a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems and a Master’s Degree in International Banking and Finance did not seem to help with her job search. She sent more than 20 resumes during this period.
At that point, she realised something was not right. In May 2016, she decided to reach out to NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) and U PME Centre for help.
She said: “In this day and age, you need a bit of networking, to go out and meet people instead of just sitting behind the computer and sending out resumes.”
Help On The Way
She was invited to attend one of the Change Management Workshops co-organised by e2i and U PME Centre. There, she was acquainted with e2i Senior Employability Coach Adeline Lim and received one-to-one coaching.
The first thing both of them worked on was Mina’s resume. It was five pages long and Adeline advised for it to be cut short. Her resume was cut into two pages and Mina was ready to get back into the job hunt game.
Mina also went through various workshops by e2i and U PME Centre. She was all praise for e2i’s two-day Executive Workshop, which she thoroughly enjoyed. Through the workshop, she met many other Singaporeans from various industries, some of which, were retrenched after working for their company for decades.
“The workshop was an eye-opener for me. I also received strong support from the group sessions. This is important for middle-aged PMEs (professionals, managers and executives) who are retrenched and realised the employment landscape has changed, and are uncertain how to navigate through the phase,” added Mina.
Still In Demand
Adeline realised that Mina’s experience and qualifications would also be suitable for other job types that are currently in demand such as data analysts. Mina was thus advised to open up her career options.
After doing so, Adeline found a suitable data analyst position for Mina at Standard Chartered, which she successfully secured in July 2016.
It was a steep learning curve for Mina when she started working in a role she was not familiar with.
“But I told myself that this is what I wanted to do. I just have to learn the way things are and I am willing to pick up new skills,” she explained.
Mina is grateful for the help she received from e2i and U PME Centre.
Mina’s advice to all workers who are retrenched and feel hopeless: “Be positive and work on your networking skills. Have a plan on what you want to do. There are avenues you can reach out to for assistance. You are not alone.”