Issue 118 | Jul-Sep 2019

Guided into Career Success

Ms Choo Hui Jia (Arts & Social Science '16)

Ms Choo Hui Jia had her reservations about seeing a career counsellor. But she’s glad she decided to do it because it taught her how to turn the negative into positive.

Choo Hui Jia-1

Like many of us did at her age, Ms Choo Hui Jia didn’t think she needed career coaching. Such services, she felt, wasn’t meant for someone a fresh university graduate who is ready and willing to enter the workforce. “Most of my peers didn’t seem to need career guidance to get their jobs,” the NUS graduate shares. “I thought it was mostly for people who are older or wanted to make a career switch.”

It’s not surprising she was hesitant to take it on. Yet, the 25-year-old found that during her job application process, she often met with difficulties at interviews. “I wasn’t sure about how to present myself and couldn’t build rapport with my interviewers,” Ms Choo says. “My nerves got the better of me and many times, I fumbled when answering questions.”

After a number of unsuccessful interview attempts, she decided to give career coaching a try anyway. Thankfully, she did. 

Giving Career Coaching a Try

It was during this time that the mistakes she made came to light. “During my sessions with my assigned career coach, we went through my performance at my previous interviews,” Ms Choo recalls. “She also conducted a mock interview session with me to prepare me for upcoming interviews.”

“These sessions really helped me become more aware of myself and taught me cues to look out for at interviews.”

One example she cites is when her interviewers ask her what her weaknesses are. “I used to tell them that I am ‘naïve’ at times,” she says, which her coach revealed puts her in a negative light. In order to help her portray a better version of herself to prospective employers, her counsellor advised her to use the word “non-confrontational” instead, which she adds is “more accurate and positive, turning my weakness into a strength”.

With the coaching, Ms Choo has since become more confident in tackling her job interviews. In fact, they went so smoothly that she also received offers from two companies. It has certainly changed her mindset towards career coaching. She says, “WSG career coaches are very experienced and can advise us on how to navigate our interviews.”

“I would encourage others to consider career coaching if they are facing difficulties securing a job,” she adds.

Find out more about Workforce Singapore's (WSG) Career Matching Services and make an appointment with a professional career coach via WhatApp at +65 8814 8261.

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