Career

PMETs Starting New Careers Should Turn to These 5 Resources for Help

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Joanne Poh

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When it comes to the job market, there is no mercy. One day you’re coasting on the high of being at a cushy spot on the career ladder, and the next you’re retrenched and coming to terms with the realisation that you’re no longer employable.

The vulnerability of our employment landscape to global markets means that mid career professionals are actually in quite a precarious position.

That’s why the government has decided to set aside $14 million per year for the next two years to help PMETs start new careers in completely different fields.

If you’ve been retrenched or reached the point where you’re completely sick of your work and want a change, here are five resources that can help you make the change.

 

WDA Professional Conversion Programmes

The Professional Conversion Programmes focus on helping experienced workers obtain new skills in order to take on jobs they were previous unqualified for.

There are actually several programmmes on offer, divided according to industry. Some programmes also come with attachments that let you get job experience. If you’re thinking of entering a new field this is definitely worth a look.

For instance, those who are interested in entering the intellectual property field can undergo training to become patent agents, while those who wish to become social workers can take a work-study programme offered by UniSIM and the Social Service Institute.

 

WDA Career Centre

The WDA Career Centre is designed to help people find jobs more easily and, if they’re not as employable as they’d like, offer the training they need to become more attractive to prospective employers.

The five Career Centre branches are staffed by advisers who can assess your current skills and resume, and give you advice on how to find a job in your field, or identify areas of employment you might have overlooked.

The help you receive might not be as comprehensive as what you’d get from a paid career counseller, but hey, it’s better than nothing.

 

Employment and Employability Institute

The E2i is another organisation running programmes that can help you enter a new field, so it’s worthwhile checking out the website to see if there’s anything that could be useful in your situation.

For instance, they’re currently running a career conversion programme for PMETs who wish to become property executives responsible for real estate and facilities management. Applicants will be matched up with potential employers, who will then pay for the 2 month training programme and offer them a job at the end of it. There’s also the promise that each property executive’s starting salary will be at least $2,500.

Currently, there are also training programmes targeted at helping people enter the marine industry.

 

Use your SkillsFuture credit

Just about everyone on the island knows they’ve received $500 worth of SkillsFuture credit. If you’re thinking about making a career switch, do yourself a favour and don’t waste your credit on a flower arrangement class. Instead, enrol in something that will help you gain skills you can use in your new field. $500 may not go very far, but it’s a start.

 

Go for professional career counselling

Let’s say you are truly clueless as to what sort of work to go into next. You just know you need to become employable in another field, and fast. If you can afford it, seeing a professional career coach can be one way to get your head out of the woods.

Some counsellers operate like shrinks and have a background in psychology or social work. These are the people you should see if you are clueless about what you want out of your career or have motivation issues. They’ll help you figure out what your goals are and what types of jobs would suit you based on your personality.

Other counsellers are geared towards helping you strategise to become more employable. These guys usually have years of experience in HR and headhunting, and are well-versed with the job market and what it takes to get hired.

While nobody likes to find themselves in the position of having to switch careers years into their working lives, don’t forget that there are far more resources than before geared towards helping you make the transition without facing financial ruin.

Are you a PMET who’s considering starting a new career? Share your experiences in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.