Having A Mid-Life Career Crisis? Here’s How You Make The Switch

Business Insider
Published: 22 July 14
By Ronald Lee, Managing Director, PrimeStaff Management Services

If you live in Singapore and are looking to switch jobs this year, it could be in your benefit to exercise a little patience and caution as the economic outlook turns hazier on the back of rising geo-political unrest.

“The economic outlook for 3Q2014 is likely to be less rosy than 2Q. Hiring will be mostly for replacement roles. We do not foresee a lot of new jobs being created,” says Ronald Lee, managing director of PrimeStaff Management Services, a Singapore recruitment agency.

Singapore’s overall unemployment rate is now hovering at about 2%, according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Manpower, and that’s expected to remain unchanged for the rest of the year as employers and job seekers continue to clash with regards to job and wage expectations.

However, if you’re determined to make that move for the sake of career advancement or a better salary, here are 6 tips that will help you nail the job of your dreams:

Never use the same resume twice. “Even if it’s for similar roles in the same industry, each company has specific requirements,” says Lee. “You can make yourself irrelevant if you use the same resume for different applications because you may be amplifying skillsets that are not valuable. You must customize your resume to fit what each company is looking for.”

Cover as much ground as possible. If you want to increase your chances of being shortlisted for a position, it’s best to go through as many avenues as possible. “Don’t just write in, contact a head hunter or use a recruitment agency too,” says Lee. “They would also know about other suitable positions you didn’t know about that might interest you.”

Don’t undersell yourself. After you’ve been called in for an interview, don’t blow it by being overly timid or humble. “Don’t say ‘I think I can do it.’ Be confident and say ‘I can do this very well.’ Back it up with your experience, the results you achieved and the testimonies you’ve received. Don’t worry about being seen as boastful or overly confident,” Lee says.

But don’t be too ambitious either. At the same time, it’s also a good idea to keep your ambitions in check if you really want the job. This is because some employers may conclude that you’re only going to stick around for the short term and move on if they don’t meet your aspirations.

“The company may not want or be able to offer you the position that you want in the future so it may not consider you and you lose out,” says Lee.

Don’t price yourself out of the market. Negotiating a suitable salary is probably the trickiest and most crucial part of any job interview because you don’t want to price yourself out of the market.

For a start, never state your minimum expected salary upfront because that could put you out of the running straight away. Instead, always be open to negotiations and ask about the overall package. “The employer may have a lower basic pay than what you had in mind, but may be willing to pay higher commissions or bonuses,” says Lee.

Different companies also offer different benefits, such as 20 days of annual leave versus the standard 14 in Singapore, while others may provide valuable allowances like mobile phone or transport allowances that add up.

Do your homework and know your value. Always do some basic research on what the market is currently paying for similar positions to what you are applying for so that you have a benchmark.

Also, make sure you know and understand the value of your experience and skillset to make sure you’re getting what you’re worth.

“If you believe that you should be paid more, you must be able to justify why you are worth more and back it up with the industry benchmark,” says Lee. “Employers will already be cognizant of this. If you are really worth a higher salary, they will not having any problems paying you.”

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