I was always an average student. When I graduated from Nanyang Technological University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies in 2014, I didn’t have my career track planned out. While my peers had a high GPA, mine were just average. I only got a job two months after graduation, while most of my friends were hired before the school term ended. I had no idea what I wanted to do in life.
It took me about one and a half years to figure out what I wanted out of my career. In 2016, I decided to change my personal blog, jeraldinephneah.com, to a career and finance-focused one because I wanted to help millennials to be better prepared when they entered the job market.
There, I share my personal experiences (good and bad) and useful tips like salary negotiation, best job portals for millennials and lessons learnt from the corporate world. I don’t wish for anyone to feel alone during this journey of adulting. In times like these, I feel it’s even more important to future-proof yourself.
I speak from experience: I was anxious about my future at one point…wondering if I would be lost forever, and whether I could provide enough for my parents, buy my own home or retire comfortably one day. I tried my best to learn and plan my career. Things started to turn around for me in 2017 when I was working as an account manager at my second job.
I won the Rising Star Award at the Women Leading Change Awards. I was also one of the top three commercial account managers globally. I’m grateful to the seniors who guided me at work. Last year, I landed my dream job as a senior account executive with a cloud computing service company. Besides my blog, I also connect with young professionals through Ask Me Anything sessions on my Instagram Story.
The common questions are: How to have a secondary income, and how to convince employers that they have valuable skills in a weak economy? I always encourage fresh graduates to take a proactive role and leverage on career platform LinkedIn to connect with hiring recruiters.
I organise free LinkedIn and resume reviews through Google Hangouts to help improve the profiles of fresh graduates and young working adults.
So far, my best reward was when a young job-seeker told me he got an additional $500 a month in his first job after watching my IGTV video on salary negotiation!
I’m now working on webinars on topics such as how to best use LinkedIn, and on how young working adults can build up their professional network. I hope that these sessions would provide great insights for young job-seekers, so they can make better manage their transition from the classroom to the working world.
This article was first published in Her World’s July issue. Grab a copy today!