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Jobseekers’ Diaries: My months-long job search has been futile so far, but I’ll never give up

In this instalment of Jobseekers’ Diaries, Ms Cindy Daphne Cho, 58, describes being out of work in the last seven months, after her company closed the department she worked in to focus on other parts of its business. Though her job search has been unsuccessful so far, she is determined to press on.

Jobseekers’ Diaries: My months-long job search has been futile so far, but I’ll never give up

Ms Cindy Daphne Cho, 58, has been looking for work in the last seven months, after her employer closed the department she worked in to focus on other parts of its business.

Cindy Daphne Cho

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, Ms Cindy Daphne Cho, 58, describes being out of work in the last seven months, after her company closed the department she worked in to focus on other parts of its business. Though her job search has been unsuccessful so far, she is determined to press on.

Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.

Everyone has his or her unique set of problems, but I always believe that the onus lies on oneself to take steps to overcome them.

Last year, I was working in sales and marketing at an information-technology solutions company, where I supported its joint venture to manage some events.

In March this year, six months into the job, the department I was in folded as the company decided to focus on its mainstay of providing IT solutions for companies.

Armed with a phone, and more than 30 years of experience chiefly in secretarial work, I started my job search by tapping various online job search portals.

I would apply diligently for up to 30 jobs daily. These are for administrative roles that I’m familiar with across different industries.

I also considered jobs in the food-and-beverage sector, since I had done a two-year stint with a food operator.

On top of these, I connected with former clients and colleagues via phone and professional network LinkedIn, and received replies from some who said that they would share my profile with prospective employers.

I also made the effort to call prospective employers to enquire about job postings.

The past seven months have been disappointing as I hardly made progress with my job search.

Aside from my own efforts, I reached out to various government agencies, including Workforce Singapore’s Careers Connect centre, to see how they could help.

I was put in touch with career coach Glenford, who has been supporting me in my search.

For a start, he helped rejig my resume to make it more presentable, up-to-date and relevant, so as to position myself strategically for the roles for which I was applying.

Occasionally, he and his team would also tell me about suitable job openings. I also took the chance to update him on the jobs I applied for, and he would reach out to prospective employers whom he knew to put in a good word for me. I’m appreciative of this.

In the meantime, I have been helping my ex-business associate to run events on a freelance basis.

Over the weekends, I also help my friend with stock-taking for her online clothing business.

These help keep me busy, while also bringing in some income.

Age might seem a hindrance to many mature workers like me, but I will not let it hinder my pursuit of my next full-time job.

I am telling myself never to give up and to keep pressing on.

Cast your net wide and expand your network. Find different ways to deal with the challenges faced.

That’s the advice that I would like to offer jobseekers who may be in the same position.

ABOUT THE WRITER:

Ms Cindy Daphne Cho, 58, spent the past seven months looking for a job, but to no avail. With more than 30 years of experience mainly in secretarial duties, she is still searching for work and hopes that knocking on various doors would pay off soon.

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.

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