Do you hate having free time? Do you crave stress, tight deadlines, and being told what to do? Then you want A JOB IN SINGAPORE. Here in the lion city, almost any line of work pays big bucks*. And well it should, since the signing the employment contract denotes your last few seconds of free will. In this article, I examine the best ways to find a buyer for your soul (and a payer for your bills):
*Except for music, literature, or anything that requires more creativity than the average amoeba possesses
In Singapore, finding a job is best done through word-of-mouth. Networking and reputation count for more than paper qualifications. Hell, with the number of graduates we have, nice shoes and hair gel count more than paper qualifications. Wherever possible, always prize referrals over impersonal job ads. The five reliable ways to land a job are:
- Attend events
- Offer solutions
- Go through schools
- Frequent forums
- Talk to freelancers
1. Attend Events
I’m not talking about career seminars or job fairs. I’m talking about road shows and exhibitions. People from the same industry tend to congregate at these events, which makes them networking opportunities.
If you’re looking to become a car salesman, then drop by car shows. If you’re looking to be a game designer, then attend the cyber-games competitions. If you want to be a banker, then join the local Satanist Circle. Whatever it takes to get in touch with the right people.
When you attend these events, talk to people and collect name cards. Don’t immediately mention you’re looking for a job; just show an interest and strike up conversations. In a few days, e-mail the people you met and ask if they have an opening, or if they know anyone who’s hiring.
2. Offer Solutions
When you’re asked for work samples, offer solutions instead. By all means, show the samples you’ve brought; but you can back this up by asking:
“Why don’t you show me a task you’re facing, and I’ll show you what I can do? I’ll get back to you and you can evaluate my work.”
There’s two reasons for this: First, it ensures that there’s a follow-up. It gives you a reason to call them again, and to set up a subsequent meeting.
Second, it speeds your hiring. When you’re already working on a problem, or have part of a solution, employers will pounce on you. Whoever you’re helping will pressure the hiring manager, especially if they need the next half of your work.
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3. Go Through Schools
Time to go back to school. Visit your old poly or university, and check with the alumni club. Most of them have some sort of mailing list, like the Ngee Ann School of Film and Media Studies.
Old classmates studied the same subject as you, or at the very least slept in the same classroom. If they’re not already in the industry, they’re probably working in a peripheral field; both provide fast in-roads. But it’s old lecturers that provide the most help: Most of them used to work in the industry, or have trained entire classes of people who now work in the right places.
Being referred by an alumni member is better than going through a job agency. It’s free, and it’s a personal recommendation.
4. Frequent Forums
Take an hour a day to frequent industry related forums. You should do this whether or not you currently have a job.
By answering and posing questions, you’ll build an online presence. Forum interactions can be a prelude to e-mails and face to face meetings. Even better, forum posts announce your personality and skills to many potential employers at once. Forumites also re-post your responses elsewhere, drop linkbacks to your blog, and pay more attention to your post than they would your CV.
Forums also keep you up to date with market conditions. Archinect, for example, is more useful to an architect than most newspapers or zines.
5. Talk to Freelancers
Even if you’re not a freelancer yourself, get to know some. These people get around faster than the flu, and most have acquaintances in a string of workplaces. Whatever your career, they can probably refer you to someone.
Think of it this way: A freelance web designer makes websites for three to four companies a year. If she’s been at it for a decade, that’s 30 – 40 different offices, all in different lines of business. And unlike the recruitment officer at a job agency, the freelancer has actually sat her butt in those offices, and talked / lunched / skived with the employees there.
So visit local freelancer sites, and drop an e-mail to fellow job seekers. Help direct them to relevant leads, and you’ll find the favour repaid tenfold.
Do you have any tips for finding a job in Singapore? Comment and let us know!
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