Like many mothers, Shio had made the decision to quit her job after giving birth to her first child. She stopped working as a branding and marketing manager in the last quarter of 2013, three months after her baby arrived.
However, when she tried to re-enter the workforce five years later, she found herself rejected by some 200 companies whose doors she knocked on. Believing she had been eliminated from the job market demoralised her.
She turned to professionals for help, shelling out $200 for a two-hour career coaching session, a price she deemed "reasonable" after speaking with her coach.
"Many of us are comfortable with our own ways, so we are unaware of roles that we might be suitable for,∫ she says. "My career coach helped me identify my strengths and opened my mind to potential jobs that matched my personal strengths, roles that I had never considered initially."
After a face-to-face session and a few online sessions with her coach, Shio decided to give those job applications another shot, this time eyeing positions beyond what she was
"Technology has changed the employment market; many jobs have been automated. It helps to consult experts who can also identify our strengths and weaknesses and align them with market requirements."
With regard to how her life has changed since she engaged a career coach, Shio says: ™After learning my own strengths, I started applying to more varied roles, not just the ones I know are related to branding. I realised that there are actually lots of opportunities available for me.
"It's empowering," she adds.
*Not her real name
Where to Find a career coach
Workforce Singapore (WSG)
WSG is a statutory board under the Ministry of Manpower that oversees the growth of the local workforce. It offers services ranging from career guidance to workshops and events to recruit and retrain job-seekers. Career coaches conduct sessions via phone or e-mail, or face-to-face.
Services are free for Singaporeans. Appointments are on a first come, first served basis and subject to availability.
International Coach Federation
ICF is a worldwide non-profit association of personal and career coaches. It has more than 9,000 professional coaches from 70 countries, and more than 400 coaches and coaches-in-training in Singapore. The website offers listings of coaches according to your needs ± life, career, business, entrepreneurship, family and relationships ± and allows you to contact them directly.
Noomii is an online international directory that matches you with one to three compatible coaches based on your career goals and your location. You can then read reviews on the coaches and request a free 20min consultation before hiring the best fit.
Fees vary with the coaches' experience, background and training, but average rates are $80-$200 an hour.
This story was first published on Her World's June 2019 issue.