Getting back to work after a long career break can be daunting and intimidating at times because you don’t know what to expect and you might not be prepared for the new developments and changes in the industry. On the other hand, with Career Trial, an initiative by Workforce Singapore (WSG), jobseekers who have been out of the workforce for a long time would be able to ease themselves back into the industry. This platform allows jobseekers to gain work exposure through a short-term trial with a host employer at a salary of $1,500 or more. Like a warm-up for rigorous exercise, the Career Trial programme reintroduces applicants to the workforce and equips them with the new skills that could help them contribute more to their host employers. This helps them boost their employability and also earn a salary to cover their basic necessities.
For one applicant who left her workplace because of familial commitment, she felt hesitant and apprehensive about returning to the Information Technology (IT) industry. In spite of her initial apprehension, she eventually found her footing and confidence after applying for the Career Trial programme. Today, she has secured a permanent job in the finance industry in an IT role and has never been happier.
“It was one evening when my two sons were helping me with the laundry that it made me realise how independent they have become. I quit my job to be a stay-at-home mom to manage the house and care for my children. However, they have now become more independent and have begun embarking on their careers. It was then that I started giving serious thought to returning to work.
I was nervous and unsure, after all, it was more than 10 years since I resigned from my IT job in the financial industry. I was worried that I would not be able to find a suitable role in any field. To prepare myself better, I did some part-time work for a few hours each day. The part-time work was a bit challenging at first – as having to adjust back to the working life took a bit more effort than I realised.
Regardless, I eventually got the flow of things. It helped me get the confidence and momentum of working again. In addition, the part-time work also helped me understand the child-care arrangements I have to make at home before going back to work. When I learnt about the Adapt and Grow Career Fair for the IT industry organised by Workforce Singapore (WSG) in the papers, I went to the fair to see if there were any job openings for me.
I was particularly keen to work for a technology firm as it is a familiar field. Thus, I attended the career fair in the hope of finding a role in the IT industry. There were numerous corporations and companies looking to hire, but I had my eye set on an IT role in a regional financial services company. When I learnt about the Adapt and Grow Career Fair for the IT industry organised by Workforce Singapore (WSG) in the papers, I went to the fair to see if there were any job openings for me.
I was particularly keen to work for a technology firm as it is a familiar field. At the IT Career Fair, I found a job with First Data. After sharing my concerns about going back to work after such a long hiatus with the HR personnel, they put me under Work Trial*, to help me integrate into their company. The HR management informed me that the programme acted as a reintroduction of the workforce. It was critical for me to adapt to the dynamic and everchanging workforce.
During the first two days of Career Trial*, I was shown how to generate reports using advanced Microsoft Excel skills. I was taken aback by how Microsoft Excel had evolved since leaving the workforce – you could do just about anything with the software now! I was relieved that the programme reintroduced this software to me as the tools I used years ago now have added or new functions that I was not familiar with.
Though they were hard to grasp at first, I was grateful to have had patient and helpful colleagues who were always willing to lend a helping hand. I was always asking my colleagues questions and had to constantly remind myself to be positive and not give up. My Head of Department and HR Manager was also very encouraging by checking in on me regularly to ensure I could cope. The experience showed me how much the workforce had changed – but it also highlighted my ability to adapt and gave me the extra boost of confidence I needed.
Today, I am a Project Analyst in the Project Management Office at First Data. I am energised to see First Data’s contactless payment products like Apple Pay in the market today especially with our recent focus to become a cashless society. I feel really excited to be part of the growing IT industry and I am grateful for the chance to rejoin the workforce!”
*Work Trial has been enhanced to Career Trial. Under Career Trial, participants will receive work experience with a host company, training allowance of up to $7,200, and retention incentive of up to $1,500. It is cost-free for companies onboard Career Trial to assess a job seeker’s fit before offering employment. All in all, Career Trial seeks to empower jobseekers who have been on a long-term hiatus to regain their confidence in the workforce. It encourages mature jobseekers that it is never too late to make a positive change in your life.