Sunday, October 30, 2016

Finding a job in Singapore (My Job Hunting Experience)

Hello beautiful people! Today, i'm sharing with you my job hunt experience. Yes, I've graduated from my university a while ago (read my last post in my uni journey here ). I began job hunting after i came back from my Taiwan trip in July.

Unlike those kiasu university students where they send their resumes half a year before graduating, i only started sending in my resume 2 months after my last exam in Uni.

The market right now: 
Everyone is telling you that the economy is very bad now. A lot of retrenchment. A lot of jobless people. Very difficult to find perm job at this period now. Honestly... When was it easy?

*Disclaim: I try to be as transparent as possible in this post to share but due to sensitive issues, some companies' names will not be mentioned.

Ok, i'm moving on to my story now!


EARLY JULY

So i was saying i only started sending in my resume when i came back from Taiwan. My first resume submission was by referral to Ernst and Young. I was very positive over it because it was direct referral so it means i could at least get an interview call right? No! I didn't get a call from them. lol. And i most likely know why too:

Reason 1. I'm not from NUS/SMU/NTU
Reason 2. My degree is banking and finance, not accountacy.
Reason 3. I don't have enough/relevant work experience

But it was okay because my interest is not in banking/accounting industry. So i continued looking around.

At that time, i really had no idea what industry i'm going for. I was fickle-minded: Today I look for government jobs, tomorrow I look for other industries. My objective wasn't fixed.

There were tons of open positions on Jobstreets, indeed.com etc but 90% of them were not of my interest. I also looked directly into companies that I'm interested in too.

It was only when i began searching more and more that I gradually found my interest - It is the retail industry! So after my application to a government job failed, i started looking into the retail industry. My applications were mostly to MNCs because I must consider the work environment as well as career prospects. I applied a total of 12 jobs on jobstreet and a few directly to company website. I didn't receive any calls for interview.

*Btw, just a side note, if you are applying for government jobs, positions stated for NITEC and above means you won't have a chance if you are a degree holder because your education level is too high for them. From what i heard, positions as manager are the positions you look for if you are a degree holder. 

Then i modified my resume. Somehow when you tell your friends about your job hunt experience, they will ask to see your resume and give you suggestions to improve it. I don't know why this is the case but you get all different kinds of suggestions. Absorb all of them but filter out those that don't apply to you. Do what you think is best for yourself.

Almost every few days, i will modify my resume and try to improve it. I even paid $5.00 to get a good resume template from the internet. The website is http://www.super-resume.com/

EARLY AUGUST

After about three weeks of hearing no news from any company, I looked for my friend who works in Recruit Express and asked him for job opportunity. I told him what kind of positions i'm interested in and the industry i'm interested in. My friend was really efficient, he called me a week later to 3 job opportunites. One was in a large beauty MNC company, one was in a well-known luxury fashion company and another a well-established marketing research firm. Suprisingly i was called for interview in all 3 companies!

My first interview was with the beauty MNC company (COM A) and second interview with the luxury fashion company (COM B) on the same day. To be transparent, the beauty MNC company was offering 3 months temp sales coordinator (office job) convertible to permanent while the luxury fashion company was offering 3 months data-entry temp job position. Both were equally interested in hiring me from the feeback i received. However, COM B gave the offer first when I was still waiting for COM A to arrange second interview with me. On persuasion, i took up the offer from COM B as there was a slight change in my position (to a better offer) - 1 month as data entry and 3 months as marketing assistant.

LATE AUGUST

And that was it, I began my first job after university. I was very excited to work in COM B because of the company's good working environment and its brand name.

When I was in COM B, i learned a lot of things and i was grateful that work is so peaceful in the company. I actually have not seen any politics happening in my department haha. But as the saying goes, you can't be working as a temp forever. You should be responsible to yourself. The pay that i was getting was also way way below the market degree pay rate.

LATE SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER

So after one month of working, i started looking around again in the midst of my temp job. 

As a normal human being, you start to feel nervous after a few times of failed job applications. In your mind you will be thinking, "oh my god. i'm still working as a temp staff. Little pay. I'm a degree graduate. How long will i be stuck as a temp staff? Why no perm jobs hire me? Why is it so hard to find something i like and get hired? why? why?! why?!!" (lol. ok abit extreme but roughly its like this)

After being selective to the jobs i applied previously, i began loosening myself and tried the 'mass send resume' method. I even start sending in resumes to startup companies. Anything that involves marketing role, i send. I also stop writing cover letters. Cover letters are a waste of time! I spent one hour writing up a cover letter and chances are the HR won't even bother reading it. Would you expect the HR to read 100 pieces of cover letter?

I didn't know what i was doing too. Perhaps i was too desperate to find myself a proper full time job. In my mind i was screaming: "I want my degree pay! I want to work properly! I need a sense of belonging!"

By then, i've sent close to 40 job applications.

This time round, I received interview calls from 2 companies in which i both went for the interview (surprisingly also on the same day. lol)

Ok fast forward... both didnt offer me the job. First interview was with an online clothing company and i absolutely have no interest to work in after seeing the location and work environment. Second company is a big company in the media industry but sadly the position i was applying wasn't really of my interest in the long run too. Both are permanent job position.

But no matter how many applications i sent to different companies, i still have this particular company that i really want to go to. My dream company!!!

My dream company is actually the very first interview i went to through recruit express (but didn't get a second interview) - the beauty MNC company. I don't know why but the moment i went to the receptionist counter that day in their big office, i knew this is where i wanna work in. I just have this very strong feeling that someday i will definitely be a part of this big family. So whenever new jobs open in this company, i will send in my resume directly.

Not that I have no interest in other companies though.. haha don't mistaken my words. But i would like my very first official full time job to be in this company.

Ok story goes on to how i land myself into my dream company.... woohoo!

One day, I was looking for more job opportunities and came across this agent who has luxury job opportunities so i contacted her. Shortly after 3 hours she contacted me and offered me a perm job opportunity which, very coincidentally, is at my dream company. LOL. I was so happy i immediately said yes and i play the waiting game again (wait for interview call).

Immediately after the call, i went into the company's website and see if there any more new job openings. And wooh, i saw another new job opening and its opened for fresh graduates too! So i quickly applied via their website. Both are perm positions, same positions but for different brands in the same company. So i'm going to call the job application through the agent as job X and the one i applied directly as job Y. So now, i have 2 job applications pending in the same company.

One week later, i received a call from their HR asking me to go for interview for job Y. I was so happy! If you are in the job hunting process, i know you will understand that feeling. Its like u won a jackpot, just by receiving an interview call. lol.

After the first interview, they said they will arrange a second interview with me if i'm selected. I told them i would be in Korea for a week in the next week. They told me they will wait for me if i'm really selected. So the waiting game continues...

A few days after my first interview for job Y, i called my agent to check out on job X's update as i haven't receive any interview updates from my agent. My agent told me there were alr 3 candidates in consideration and they were no longer accepting new candidates as we applied late. Job X was opened for quite a while already.

A week later, the HR called me, just a day before my Korea trip. She told me i was selected for second interview with my hiring manager and asked me if i can come for this interview before i fly to Korea. My flight was 12pm and we scheduled interview at 9am. I would have one hour with them before i rushed to the airport. Initially I was quite nervous whether i would make it on time for my flight but i really want this job and i felt that reaching at the airport at 10am is just nice. Shouldn't be a problem! Plus, if i do the seond interview after i come back, it might be too late because the hiring manager might have decided on other candidate.

Everything happened so quickly. Suddenly, my interview was over and i was on the air plane flying to Korea. haha.

On the 4th day of my Korea trip, i received a call from the HR saying that my second interview went very well and she would like me to do a personality test. So that night, i completed the test and waited for their reply again.

By this time, all my friends and family were saying that i'm confirming getting hired. I was really nervous and couldn't wait for their reply!

A day after i came back from Korea, on a Monday, the HR called me and said,
"I'm really impressed by you. I've been waiting to tell you this good news. Are you ready?"

I said, "yes i'm ready!"

She said, "So we would like to offer you this position as xxx, it is a permanent position and monthly pay is xxx. Are you accepting this offer?"

I said, "omg thanks so much! yes of course i've been waiting for your call!"

Guys... honestly i couldn't feel my heart at that moment. I was beyond happiness. It felt better than winning Toto. (even though i've not yet won Toto). lol.

As they wanted me to start asap, i have to tender my resignation on that very day and serve my two weeks notice. Felt super nervous to tender because i've never done it before and i feel quite bad for quitting halfway in my current temp job. But then again, i have to be responsible for myself. So i bucked up my courage and tendere. My two weeks' notice start officialy from that day. 

So yes! I found myself a good job in my dream company! What i wished for came true. I really didn't give up in sending my resumes to them. I kept trying whenever new positions are opened. 皇天不负有心人. After three months of job hunting, i finally succeeded. Not only did i get a perm job, but it is in a company that i wish to go to and pay is really not bad. I'm gonna be cheesy here but i'm gonna say this, i will work hard!

I also think i'm really lucky this time. Had i not contacted this agent, I wouldn't recheck out the company's website. I wouldn't find out about job Y. I wouldn't have applied the job. And just so lucky this job was posted for only a few hours. Just so lucky the HR called me a week before my Korea trip. Just so lucky my trip was booked in the afternoon so i have time for morning interview. Just so lucky my flight to Jeju was delayed so the HR managed to call through and let me do the personality test that night. Also very lucky this position is not opened because someone quitted. Someone was promoted and thus this position was opened. Also lucky that my first official job is in my dream company. So much luck here i'm feel so blessed!

I'm also very grateful in the things i learned in my current company. It was an eye opener for a fresh graduate like me. I honestly feel quite sad to leave this company. Feelings grow as we stay, but we have to move on and become better each time. Thank you for teaching me so much stuff! Deeply appreciated.

So next month onwards, I would be embarking on my new journery as a working adult. I'm really nervous in what's about to come but i'm keeping it really positive here.

To sum up: 
- I applied close to 40 job applications over a period of 3 months.
- Took 3 months to find myself a perm job.
- Most of my interview calls were jobs I applied directly to the company's website.
- I stopped writing cover letters after 10 job applications
- I tried mass send resume method but didn't really work
- Persistently looking for a job you have passion in is better than finding a xyz job just to be paid.
- I had a total of 5 interviews before landing myself into a perm job
(excluding interviews i went for job Y)
- Although i feel disappointed when i don't receive a call for interview, i choose to remain positive.
- I'm really lucky to be hired in my dream company.

In the second post, i will be sharing the interview questions i was asked and what i do to improve my resume. I hope all of these will help those who are looking for a job and to land themselves in their desired job.

Will end my post here. xoxo!
Finding a job in Singapore (part 2)

No comments:

Post a Comment