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Jobseekers’ Diaries: After Covid-19 crushed my career as a flight attendant, I leapt into the tech world

In this instalment of Jobseekers’ Diaries, Mr Sam Tan, 26, describes how he negotiated a steep learning curve after he made the leap from being a flight attendant into the world of information technology.

Jobseekers’ Diaries: After Covid-19 crushed my career as a flight attendant, I leapt into the tech world

Covid-19 derailed Mr Sam Tan’s career as a flight attendant, so he moved into the world of information technology.

As jobs are a top concern for Singaporeans in the Covid-19 crisis, TODAY’s Voices section is publishing first-hand accounts from jobseekers in which they reflect on their experiences and what keeps them going.

In this instalment of Jobseekers’ Diaries, Mr Sam Tan, 26, describes how he negotiated a steep learning curve after he made the leap from being a flight attendant into the world of information technology.

I knew that it was only a matter of time before my career as a flight attendant would be derailed by Covid-19. 

A few weeks before Singapore imposed its circuit-breaker partial lockdown to combat Covid-19, the airline I worked for placed my colleagues and me on a “non-operations contract”. 

This meant that we were allowed to seek secondary employment as air travel juddered to a halt during the pandemic.

Although I graduated with an accountancy diploma in 2018, it was not easy to get a job in that domain. This was because I had lost touch with the industry and there were gaps in my knowledge. 

For instance, most companies were hiring candidates with data analytics skills, which I did not have then.

My experience hunting for a secondary job was frustrating. I was desperately applying for numerous jobs in a day, only to receive rejections weeks later. 

Most companies also did not have the practice of telling candidates whether they have been shortlisted; my applications were often met with silence.  

In June last year, I decided to enrol in a course leading to the SGUnited Skills Certificate in Cloud Computing and Architecting. 

I chose this course because there was a great deal of talk about technology advancing the transformation of companies, and I wanted to learn more about this. 

As information technology was an entirely new territory for me, I found it challenging to keep up with my peers. 

I had to work harder than everyone else. 

Throughout the course, I was actively searching for a job, but things started to pay off only when I received a Certificate in Job Specialisation for Data Centre Management under the course. 

Through the lectures, I learnt about Equinix and noticed a job opening at the digital infrastructure firm. 

Impressed by the employee reviews that were left on its Glassdoor page, I took a leap of faith and applied for a position that was relevant to my certification.

In February, I joined Equinix as a trainee. 

As a field operations engineer, I manage infrastructural installations in the data centres. This includes carrying out carrier circuit-testing to ensure seamless network flow between businesses and their customers.

This was a career path I never envisaged traversing. 

I am still trying my best to keep up and learn as much as I can, while adapting to the new industry and environment, including adjusting from irregular working hours as a flight attendant to having a fixed working schedule.

My journey as a jobseeker has been fraught with challenges, but I am grateful for the tremendous support I have received. 

My colleagues and supervisors at Equinix have been very encouraging and patient in helping me through this steep learning curve.

If you are in a similar boat, I strongly encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and overcome the apprehension of a new challenge. 

ABOUT THE WRITER: 

Mr Sam Tan Wei Rong, 26, is on an SGUnited traineeship as a field operations engineer at Equinix Singapore. His stint ends in July. Before joining the digital infrastructure company, he was a flight attendant with a Singapore-based airline for more than two years.

If you are a jobseeker with an experience to share or know someone who wishes to contribute to this series, write to voices [at] mediacorp.com.sg with your full name, address and phone number.

Related topics

Jobseekers' Diaries aviation flight attendant IT Equinix Traineeship

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