Photo Credit: CNA
Now that you’re done and dusted with your O-levels, it’s time to bring on the holiday break. As a typical Singaporean student, you might be thinking of applying for a part-time job right after your O-levels. However, there is a way to kickstart your working future on the right foot.
But before you apply for a part time position with several recruitment agencies, heed our advice first.
1. Determine your schedule
What’s a quick way to destroy your curated reputation before applying for a full-time job in your adult years? It’s ghosting your job after getting hired or your recruiter after several rounds of interviews. In fact, depending on the organization or recruitment agencies that you’ve applied to, it could warrant a blacklist.
Plan out the things you want to do over your holidays, and when your holidays are. Are you looking to go overseas for long? It’s best to push that to the first few weeks of your break. That way, you’ll have more time to work, which might just make you much more employable.
2. Figure out where it goes in your resume
Planning is the key to getting ahead in life. As someone in their mid-20’s, if I could go back in time and change one thing. It’d be to go back in time and work in jobs that will help me with my current career, instead of applying for positions just for the sake of filling in my holiday. Before applying for that part-time job, figure out what it’ll do for your future career.
Questions you should ask yourself before applying for a part time job in Singapore:
Does the role fit into your long-term career plans?
Each job that you apply for in life should be a stepping stone towards your dream job. Even if the part-time job is not in an industry that is directly related to your potential career, consider the skills that you’ll be able to learn.
Companies that offer good training should be high on your list. In Singapore, job applicants who are trained are more employable than those who are not. The most ideal form of training to receive is a mix of formal (i.e. courses) and informal (i.e. mentoring) training.
What is the company culture like?
Sure your salary will pay the bills - but good company culture allows you to explore more about the job. As well as prevent those dreaded job burnouts, which can lead you to squander future job opportunities. Put your cyberstalking skills to good use and research the different company backgrounds, to find one that best fits your personality.
Find out more about the importance of company culture during your job search here.
Do you know anyone else working in the same field and/or organization?
If you’re someone who needs friends in order to stay motivated in your job, you might need to consider if you have any acquaintances or pals working in the same organization as you.
Is the commute there reasonable?
How far is the workplace from your home? Since it’s a part time job, it might not be feasible for you to travel an hour or more. Additionally, if you’re going to be doing this for the next month or so, you might find it tiring to travel great distances.
Pro-Tip: If you’re applying for a position with some of the well-known recruitment agencies in Singapore, you can request for positions closer to your home.
3. Plan Your Future Career
Ok, it’s unreasonable to ask teenagers with little to no life experience or exposure to decide what they want to do in the future. However, all individuals do have an idea of what they want to do once they enter professional life.
It’s important to decide if spending your post O-level break working, volunteering, or interning will be the best course of action for you.
Other opportunities to consider instead of applying a part-time job include:
Internships: Internships are not only a good way to gain extra work experience. They’re also the perfect way to get a glimpse of the professional life all while getting paid!
Consider choosing an internship that relates directly to the courses you want to pursue in Polytechnic or even University. It’s a good way of finding out the internal industry operations.
Click here to learn more about the importance of internships from our ex-BGC interns!
Volunteering: If an internship does not sound as appealing to you. Perhaps you can try your hand with volunteering instead. With a number of organizations in Singapore looking for a helping hand, there’s a lot more industries and roles for students to play around with.
Alternatively, you can also consider volunteering overseas. Helping people overseas can be a lot more challenging than volunteering in Singapore. However, the rewards and accomplishments you receive will make up for any hardships that you’ve gone through.
Working Holiday: A working holiday allows you to work and explore a new country at the same time. If this sounds like the type of thing you’re after, you’d be glad to know that that work and travel programs are available in numerous countries (e.g. Australia and New Zealand). It’s a good way to fund long term travel plans!
What road you’ll pick depends greatly on the industry and career you’re looking to pursue. So pick well!
Experimenting around with various positions is one way to find out if your dream job and/or industry is suitable for you. You might realise that your dream job is not actually the right job for you.
From personality clashes (introvert vs extrovert) to toxic and tiring workplaces (and industries), there are a number of reasons that your ideal career might not be the “one” for you. As a recruitment agency, we’re no strangers to hearing candidates switching from one industry to another, to find the “right” job fit. So experiment! Make mistakes, and figure out if this is the right job for you.
Jumping into the wrong industry during your adult years is not only a miserable act. You’ll also end up suffering from burnout. Or worse, find it hard to leave or switch industries because you think it’s too late to do so (psst...it’s not!).
Read: Real Talk - I Left My Dream Job and Regretted It
5. Understand Your Responsbilities
Responsibilities suck! Even as an adult, you’ll find it tough to stick to your responsbilities. After all, we’re only human. But before you send out your resumes, you need to understand that you’re in it for the long haul.
If there are any red flags in the list of responsibilities, or duties that you feel you’re not willing to perform. It’s important to reconsider and decide if the part-time job is worth it. Additionally, it’s imperative that you understand the role of the part-time job fully before accepting the offer.
Pro-Tip: Don’t be afraid of asking the recruiter/hiring manager in-depth questions about the role.
Learn more about the types of questions you SHOULD be asking in Singapore job interviews here.
There you have it! A list of ‘5 Things You Need to do Before Applying for a Part-Time Job After Your O-levels’. Is there anything that we’ve missed out? Let us know in the comments section below!
Read More: Best Part Time Jobs While Waiting for Poly to Start