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New to the Workplace and Want to Advance Your Career? Try Mentorship.

We have all been there: the jittery mix of anticipation and excitement stepping into a new workplace, followed by a slew of hasty introductions to neighbouring colleagues from all walks of life, and then the awkward silence as you await guidance or direction on your first task on the job.

This familiar scenario will likely be what young workers to the workplace may face on their first day. But the working experience, or the transition from school to work, need not be a lonely journey. Fortunately, mentors in the workplace can help.

At the annual National Mentoring Summit (Nov 17) organised by Mentoring SG, Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth Alvin Tan acknowledged the need for employers to work closely with youths and young workers to help them better adapt to work demands. Mentoring SG is an island-wide initiative that promotes a mentoring culture in Singapore and strives to promote mentoring efforts.

Mr Tan, also the Minister of State for Trade and Industry, further suggested that corporates can consider working with partners, such as Young NTUC, to offer quality mentorships to youths of today.

Young union leaders Jonathan Chua (United Workers of Petroleum Industry) and Timothy Chan (Young National Instructors and Coaches Association) were among the 350 attendees at the summit.

“Youths need guidance when they are new in the workspace. That’s where mentorship can help them,” said Mr Chua. Mentors, he posited, often go beyond technical guidance and be a pillar of emotional support to youths or young workers.

“Young workers are often looking for assurance when they are starting out,” added Mr Chan.

This is in line with the NTUC Youth Taskforce Findings which reported that career mentorships with industry mentors can enable and empower youths in their career and progression. From mid-2022 to mid-2023, the NTUC Youth Taskforce engaged with over 10,000 youths across different institutes of higher learning to better understand their work-life aspirations.

On tips for youths seeking mentorship opportunities, Mr Chua said: “Be sure to do your due preparations prior to each mentoring session. Of course, it would be good to share some of your concerns or questions ahead of time.”

Mr Chan added: “Mentors should continue being generous with sharing their knowledge and expertise with the youths.”

Graduating youths looking to kickstart their career journeys can consider getting on board NTUC Career Starter Lab, a pilot initiative by Young NTUC and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF). Taking the form of an enhanced career trial model, youths can also partner with an in-company mentor, offering quality workplace mentorship to enhance their work experience and to help them integrate better into the organisational culture.

Join the NTUC Career Starter Lab and be part of Young NTUC’s latest pilot initiative with Singapore National Employers’ Federation today. We offer graduates and O.R.D.-ed national servicemen access to an attractive career trial programme with a host company and mentor. Perfect for youths like you who are looking to jumpstart your career!


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