Recently I came across a letter written by Ms. Ong Bee Yong to the forum page in The Straits Times, titled "Help stay-at-home mothers return to the workforce".
She intended to return to the workforce and was having difficulties finding a course to upgrade her skills. Apparently the Skills Development Fund and Workforce Skills Qualifications are offered only to Singaporeans and permanent residents who are recommended by their employers and Ms. Ong obviously isn't eligible. Moreover, she found it difficult to attend courses because she was a stay-at-home mother.
I guess it doesn't require a rocket scientist to figure out that the longer a candidate stays out of the workforce, the weaker this person's industry domain knowledge becomes as it eventually becomes eroded by rapid technological and social changes sweeping across the globe. In addition, business ties with industry partners, ex-colleagues and clients become more distant with the passage of time. Thus, I applaud Ms Ong for her foresight and strong determination to find ways and means to stay relevant and in her quest to upgrade her skills. She has taken a very critical first step in the long journey back to the workforce where she would have to compete against countless qualified candidates who are currently actively employed. (See: The Best Way to Explain that Employment Gap in your Resume is ... not to have one. Huh?)
In her letter, Ms. Ong implored the authorities to rethink existing policies to cater to the needs of women who are in a similiar situation.
Ms. Ong, we would like to suggest that you consider the possibility of adding "volunteering" into your "get-back-to-workforce" toolkit.
MIndChic Club! is seeking volunteers for the following positions:
- Marketing and PR -> Blog about various aspects of hobbies, games and sports
- Marketing and PR -> Tweet about various hobbies, games and sports
- Media / Social Media -> Create Videos / Edit Videos
- Social Media -> Interest Groups Leader / Moderator
- Others - we are open to suggestions.
Even if you have just a few hours a week, we can work together to utilize this time meaningfully.
So what will you get in return for volunteering?
By volunteering with us,
- Moms who have been out-of-the-workforce for a long period of time can use this opportunity to build a portfolio of work to show future employers that they are still relevant.
- We will act as job referees and can provide a verbal and written reference for deserving Volunteers.
- In the process, you may even gain valuable contacts or re-establish old contacts.
- You might even find a job through your volunteer work with us.
Source: letter written to the forum (Straits Times) written by Ms Ong Bee Yong on June 29, 2011 Page A30.
Related Article: The Best Way to Explain that Employment Gap in your Resume is ... not to have one. Huh?
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by Richard Chai
My Right Eye is a Viewfinder