“I don’t know what my passion is”, “I want to quit,” “I’m only working for the money.” These are some common phrases heard amongst young working adults. Today, there is an increased prevalence of young adults finding themselves entrenched in jobs they cannot wait to get out of. Many aspire to achieve much in their careers but lack direction and guidance in their choices.
Accessing Available Support
To guide young adults in their career path, Young NTUC organises various career-related programs like Youth Career Network and Learning Is Triggered. At the core of these programmes is Career Guidance.
“No matter how long you’ve been in the workforce, it’s good to have a mentor you can turn to for advice,” Catherine says. Catherine Cheong used to be a HR professional and has successfully pivoted to a Data Private Specialist in a Chemical Manufacturing multinational. She served as a Career Guide for some years for a church and other VWOs before joining Young NTUC as a mentor in 2021. Despite her busy schedule and the occasional need to work overtime, she makes time for her mentees.
What to Expect
According to Catherine, the regularity of the sessions is mentee-led and she speaks to them based on their availability. The first session is about an hour, and would be a time of introductions and clarification of expectations. In subsequent sessions, she helps mentees tackle career concerns, dodge common mistakes made, and gain realistic job expectations. Catherine values helping mentees uncover triggers of their pervading thought processes and concerns. She shares, “Often, dissatisfaction stems from issues within the mentee’s desires and expectations and the solution isn’t always to change jobs. Thus, uncovering the root cause is important.”
A key part of her role is to listen. She notes that mentees appreciate an avenue where they are heard and this enables deeper trust to develop between both parties. Moreover, she does not make conclusive decisions for her mentees but facilitates their journey in charting their own career path. Through Catherine’s guidance, a university mentee experienced a pivotal moment in his career direction—when he discovered his niche interest in the biotech industry. Today, he is serving his internship at a biotech firm in Singapore.
Catherine became an NTUC member when she entered the workforce 20 years ago. She lauds NTUC for always going above and beyond to help its members with their many schemes like the Union Training Assistance Program (UTAP) funding. Personally, she volunteered to be NTUC’s Career Guide because she benefited from the system as a mentee, and wants to give back to others.
“I went through my fair share of struggles and don’t want my mentees to make the same mistakes,” she asserts. In her journey as a Career Guide, Catherine testifies to learning different things from each mentee.
Sow into others and start your journey as a Career Guide today!
Don’t Do This Alone
It is never easy to chart your career pathway, especially with the increasingly competitive job market. The good news is, you don’t need to chart this path alone. NTUC Career Guides are ready to provide the personalized support you need for your journey into professional fulfillment and success.
Want to join us as a Union Leader? Sign up to be a member and experience our events and activities. Express your interest to be a leader so you can play a more active role in planning. Like Catherine, you too can be the voice for your generation. Connect with Young NTUC today and subscribe to our Digi-Fam e-newsletter to access career resources, support networks and our latest updates!