From Retrenched To Hired Within A Month, And It’s All Thanks To Upskilling

29 Mar 2021 Posted in ⟨Stories⟩

Kylie Ang lost her job in mid-2020, yet landed a new job within a month. How did she do it? Read on to discover how she, determined to maximise her downtime, tapped on available fundings to complete a whopping 14 courses that supercharged both her skill sets and her employability. 

With 12 years of investment-related work under her belt, Kylie holds a wealth of experience in the field. But with the pandemic came an unexpected hit to her career, as the change in the investment landscape caused by COVID-19 resulted in Kylie losing her job as Portfolio Manager. 

Recognising the need to upgrade and update herself to keep up with the ever-evolving world of technology, Kylie followed a friend’s recommendation to begin her upskilling journey at NTUC LearningHub (NTUC LHUB). 

A Wide Breadth of Knowledge

Kylie took up a variety of courses ranging from technological skills in BlockchainCybersecurity, and Data Analytics to adaptive skills in Developing an Experimental Mindset and Agile Innovation

“I was always curious as to what Agile Methodology was. Agile is very applicable across different fields and would’ve been helpful regardless of what job I took next. For the tech courses, I felt it was important to keep myself current with what’s going on in the tech world, and with new products in the investment market as well,” said Kylie. 

A big reason why Kylie chose to upskill at NTUC LHUB? The trainers. “Many of the trainers are practitioners from their respective industries,” shared Kylie.

I think the lessons are conducted very well because I got to learn from practitioners in their respective specialisations and fields.

“In particular, I thought the trainers for the blockchain courses were excellent. They understood blockchain in and out, and could easily answer any question I threw at them. They shared their practical experience in the field which was far more interesting and useful than simply reading from a textbook!” 

And out of the many new skills she picked up, there were two things that stuck with her the most. For one, her certification conferred by ICAgile, as it was something incredibly useful for her resume. Secondly, the adaptive skill she picked up in adopting an experimental mindset, as it helped her improve her emotional intelligence and how she manages others. 

Kylie strongly believes in having a balanced mix of soft and hard skills. “You can’t just survive on one skill alone. In fact, sometimes soft skills are even more important than hard skills in order to do well in any field,” she said.

Transforming with Enhanced Funding

Naturally, costs would be a major consideration for those looking to sign up for courses, especially when out of a job. As for Kylie, she took full advantage of the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) Enhanced Funding, where she benefited from up to 95% course fee subsidies as well as training allowance at the time. 

“It was terrific and it’s actually very encouraging, especially during this COVID period, where many people have lost their jobs or are in between jobs. With this IBF funding, combined with SkillsFuture Credits, it means that people can still have continuous learning without the burden of having to pay for these courses,” she mentioned enthusiastically.

I would like to encourage those who are in between jobs to seize this excellent opportunity during the downtime to take up courses and make full use of available government funding.

Not one to keep a good deal to herself, Kylie has since recommended many of her friends to NTUC LHUB, who have similarly leveraged the IBF funding to enhance their skills!

Gaining More than Just New Skills

Kylie did not just enhance her job-ready competencies through training. In fact, attending the courses had a significantly positive psychological impact on her. “It really improved my mood, so when I went for interviews, I would feel more relaxed and less stressed,” reflected Kylie.

Kylie believes that by actively participating in training, one will feel they are not cut off from the rest of the world while looking for employment. “Staying at home is good but staying at home for too long will create a mental strain. It’s important to get out there, be it virtually or in a real classroom setting to interact with the outside world.” 

Apart from lifting her day-to-day mood, it also instilled confidence in her to speak with others during interviews, in part due to the interactive nature of her training. “During the courses, you get to go into breakout rooms and have discussions. I think it’s an excellent opportunity for anyone to showcase and practice their presentation skills, which are essential,” she said.

With her eyes set on achieving her career goal of gaining recognition in her industry, Kylie is still keen on improving her skills in areas such as people management, and understanding human behaviour. When asked what advice she has for others who were retrenched like her, here was what she had to say: 

“You only fail when you give up, so don’t give up! Keep upgrading yourself and keep yourself active, especially your mind. If you do take part in courses, take it as a platform to actively participate. Practice and showcase your skills, because only with practice comes perfection, and with perfection, it is easier to achieve your goals in life.” 

Since 2004, NTUC LearningHub has upskilled over 21,000 organisations and achieved over 2.5 million training places across more than 500 courses with a pool of over 400 certified trainers. We are the leading Continuing Education and Training provider in Singapore and we are here to transform your lifelong employability.

For more information on how we can help, visit our Virtual Roadshow or talk to our friendly Course Consultants by reserving a Virtual Live Advisory appointment today.

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