Written by: Xin Wei
So you're finally free after being in the military setting for the past two years. But with ORD comes many other challenges. You might be wondering how would life after National Service be like?
How would life after NS be like? For many, they were excited to leave the military setting and join the workforce where it is more relaxed and less regimental. For some, they would choose to go further their studies and pursue a degree in universities. For others, they would choose to upskill themselves before joining the workforce, or just travel around and relax. Some might not even think about how life would be like after NS, and they just let life take its own path. Whichever path you may choose, there are a couple of things that you should focus on to allow you to better adapt to civilian life.
As an HR recruitment firm, here are 5 things that we think that you could do before or after you ORD to better adapt to civilian life.
1. Upskill yourself
Even though during NS, you would get to learn a couple of skills, mainly soft skills such as communication, people skills, and leadership skills, which are all greatly transferrable when working in a corporate environment. However, when you join the working life, it would be more attractive to the companies when you have some hard skills that are relevant to their industries.
With the increase of online educational platforms available, such as Coursera and edx, you can easily upskill yourself at your own pace with your own choices of hard skills that you would like to learn. There are multiple choices of hard skills that can be transferrable from industry to industry, such as coding and programming, and digital marketing/social media marketing. With the increased number of skills that you gain, you would be giving yourself more job opportunities. If you do choose to go to university first before joining the workforce, having more skills will also allow you to become a valuable team member in the class. Which also can help you increase your GPA and knowledge.
Upskilling yourself can be done during the last lap of your NS journey, like the last month or the last few weeks before you ORD. But of course, please don’t neglect your responsibilities and duties in NS while focusing on upskilling yourself.
2. Anticipate change
The market is very volatile now with the pandemic still looming around. That is why it is important to be constantly up to date with the latest news with regards to the industry you’re interested in, or just the market in general if you have not made up your mind. With these changes in mind, you would then be able to better prepare yourself, mentally and skills-wise. If you do not anticipate change, you might lack behind while everyone is progressing personally and in their careers.
One of the ways you can keep up to date with the latest industrial news is by reading our articles. Here at BGC Group, we strive to keep you updated with the latest corporate news and the latest skills that are attractive in the tech and corporate industries because we care
3. Try out for internships in the corporate sector
Though it may be a little unorthodox to be doing internships outside of the academic year, like how you would while studying in Polytechnics and ITEs. It is a good opportunity for you to learn under the guidance of mentors. But with internships, you need to know what you are going to be learning over there because as much as there is guidance by your mentors in the office, you have to be responsible for your own learning.
There are a couple of benefits of taking up internships.
1. Learn the basics that are required for the job in the long term
2. Network and get to know the people in the industry
3. Build up your resume, especially for the people who were previously from Junior Colleges
4. Figure out what you like and what you don’t like since internships are short contracts with the company.
In all seriousness, when you do sign up for internships with companies, you have to be professional and know what you want to gain from the experience. After all, you are an additional responsibility for them to take care of amongst the mountain of work they have to do on a daily basis.
4. Be humble
Yes, you may have been an officer of a unit during your NS and you have the authority to call the shots. But when you are back in the corporate world or even during your studies, you have to learn to be humble. You are back to learning about the basics of corporate life (or modules of the university course), much like everyone else. As much as your parents and relative would have said that the corporate world is a “dog-eat-dog” world, times have changed. If you continue to have a mindset that because you’re an officer or someone of a high rank then you very “ups”, people might not want to work with you. Additionally, you might be causing discomfort to those around you.
One of the ways that you can be humble is to have higher EQ. This can be achieved in a couple of ways.
1. Listen to others: Not just hear what they are saying, listen and respond to them like how a fellow human being would.
2. Ask for help whenever you need it: you are human too, you too need help sometimes. Lose that pride and ask.
3. Ask for feedback from others on how you can improve yourself on a regular basis, this is to find out what others think of you too.
Being humble would also make you more hireable when you are interviewing for a job, and more approachable when you are working as a team with your fellow colleagues, or classmates when you are in university. Remember, it is good to be proud of what you have achieved, but that is a fine line between pride and arrogance.
5. Have a plan
Some people may feel lost at the end of a long 2 years of having things planned by the higher-ups. They don’t know what they would want to do next. Some just want to let life play out its own lines and parts and see what happens next. Sure, it would be good to sit back and relax and let life do its magic sometimes, but don’t make it a habit. You need to know what you want to do next in life, be it studying, or going out to work.
When you do not have a direction for your own life, the options and opportunities that are open to you would seem pointless, you might just end up settling with the easiest options. Every choice that you make will affect your future. You could start by stating down what is the ultimate goal that you want in life and make tiny goals along the way for you to achieve. With the end goal in mind, you would be able to make sound decisions that you wouldn’t regret in the future. Though, yes, you are still young, you can afford to make mistakes, but for how long more?
All in all, congratulations for reaching one of your milestones in life and completing your National Services. It was no easy feat, but you did it. Here at BGC Group, we believe in creating and celebrating milestones, and we would like to be part of yours too. With the wide variety of job opportunities available on our site, we can be sure that one of them would be suitable for you.
Like what you read? Check out our other article, Do I Really Need to Learn How to Code, and learn something new!