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Been trying very hard to improve my career, but I feel stuck

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-09-2017, 03:40 PM
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Default Been trying very hard to improve my career, but I feel stuck

I'll try not to write a wall of text.

Have a BA in International Relations from the US. Went for exchange program in LSE and had internships in London and Singapore.

Gave up on working in Washington and came back to Singapore because Mom had cancer in 2015, and ended up working E-Commerce in a local hotel chain since 2016.

The pay is low at $2,250, workload is relatively easy when I can operate Excel and other data crunching software with my eyes closed. When I first came to this company, I knew nothing about hospitality and took the trouble of earning a Cert from Cornell University to learn industry best practices, but it was a double-edged sword. On one hand I have a pretty good understanding of how to anticipate demand and set prices appropriately, but on the other hand it opened my eyes to how inept, ignorant and clumsy my managers approach things. Worse still, I think my immediate boss is threatened by me and keeps me in the dark about a lot of things, and locks my access to a lot of functions which my co-workers have access to.

I'm pretty good at what I do now, and over the past 14 months I spearheaded revamp of our websites and scouted a vendor for Chinese mobile payments, negotiated the contract and deployed it. But no potential employer seems interested in me. I've already burned so many days off for interviews but I keep on getting rejected or silence.

Not sure what I should do next. I do everything I can, write follow-up emails or make follow-up calls, spend hours preparing for interviews but it all results in nothing. Is the job market really this awful, or is it just me?

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Old 06-09-2017, 05:33 PM
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It seems to me you are simply not good at playing the corporate game.

Let me put it to you directly even though you might not like it - it's going to be the same in 99% of any organization with sizable scale.

Do you really think everyone around you is really that stupid and nobody can see the obvious except your goodself? Chances are these people know exactly what you are on about and for their own interest choose to play the corporate game and act dumb on work matters to navigate the office politics.

You have 2 options really:

1) Be humble and start to learn how to play the real game. You might have impressive certs and excel skills, but that counts for squat in the real world. In skillsets that really matter for thriving in a large organization, you are a babe in the woods. This is evident by the fact that you seem only vaguely aware of the undercurrents in your present workplace despite working there for a year and also your poor interviewing skills resulting in no offers despite a decent CV and below market wages.

2) Remove yourself from the game and place yourself in situations where you don't need to play such games. Alternatives include taking up sales roles where pay is directly dependent on your own individual volumes, taking up freelance jobs whereby you are paid according to what you can deliver or join micro start ups where business is still building and everyone is trying to stay afloat and there is no time for such games.

Do not follow the worst and also most common path to failure - jump from company to company and insist on doing things your own "smart" way without properly managing stakeholders' interest, openly treat corporate politics with disdain, whine about how dumb your boss and colleagues are year after year without any tangible career progress.

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Old 06-09-2017, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWater View Post
I'll try not to write a wall of text.

Have a BA in International Relations from the US. Went for exchange program in LSE and had internships in London and Singapore.

Gave up on working in Washington and came back to Singapore because Mom had cancer in 2015, and ended up working E-Commerce in a local hotel chain since 2016.

The pay is low at $2,250, workload is relatively easy when I can operate Excel and other data crunching software with my eyes closed. When I first came to this company, I knew nothing about hospitality and took the trouble of earning a Cert from Cornell University to learn industry best practices, but it was a double-edged sword. On one hand I have a pretty good understanding of how to anticipate demand and set prices appropriately, but on the other hand it opened my eyes to how inept, ignorant and clumsy my managers approach things. Worse still, I think my immediate boss is threatened by me and keeps me in the dark about a lot of things, and locks my access to a lot of functions which my co-workers have access to.

I'm pretty good at what I do now, and over the past 14 months I spearheaded revamp of our websites and scouted a vendor for Chinese mobile payments, negotiated the contract and deployed it. But no potential employer seems interested in me. I've already burned so many days off for interviews but I keep on getting rejected or silence.

Not sure what I should do next. I do everything I can, write follow-up emails or make follow-up calls, spend hours preparing for interviews but it all results in nothing. Is the job market really this awful, or is it just me?
The job market isnt good, but by right with your current pay, somemore got good degree and internship should get something. Maybe you need to improve your social skills during interview. Reading your story come across as quite arrogant and tendency to condemn others. EQ & teamwork more impt than IQ in work. My 2c, no offence intended.

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Old 07-09-2017, 06:21 AM
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From an hiring manager's perspective -


Qualifications:

What university did you graduate from? Since you did not specify, the assumption would be some state university low in the rankings. Your LSE exchange program adds to your employability, but cannot help you if your BA is from a low ranked university. Taking an online certificate from Cornell does not qualify you for anything. It shows you have a willingness to learn more, but once again cannot help you if your BA is from a low ranked university.

A BA in International Relations from the US leads to nowhere. International Relation jobs require at least a directly relevant Masters degree. That is probably why you cannot get a job in Washington.


Relevant work experience:

You had internships in London and Singapore, but did not specify what they are about. Are they all coffee making "jobs"?


Current situation:

The fact that you are paid $2,250 means it is a diploma level job. How did you "spearhead" website revamps? How can you have the authority to negotiate contract. How did you have the IT skills to deploy it?

The most likely scenario is that you helped do all these from an admin and coordination point of view, but since you seem to be taking the credit for all of it, it sounds very bad for you.


Conclusion:

I think you are suffering from illusions of grandeur. You have an impression that you are very well qualified and capable, and so good that your managers are inept and are desperately trying to hold you down.

My guess is that you are a rogue operator that your managers have to keep an eye on to avoid randomly breaking things.
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Old 07-09-2017, 01:08 PM
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I am someone who studied an ir masters. It is a general degree that doesn't lead to particular jobs. Policy work for gov, political risk analysis, macroeeconomic analyst, social analyst are directly related jobs but as you probably shld have found out, competition is stiff for these jobs...many from gd schs with gd degrees.

Other options are journalism, pr, these will be easier to get into.

2.3k is a joke la. Seriously.
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:56 PM
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Say until so stylo milo maciam like you 1 person achieve more than all your co-workers in the co. combined. If really like that just quit, I'm sure any co. outside willing to pay you double current pay if really that satki.
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:24 PM
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The hospitality jobs here don't pay well, even in foreign chains. Why not try to get into a startup and then hop to bigger startups or even US tech companies thereafter?
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Old 21-12-2017, 06:18 PM
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Improving one's skills is really important now in digital age. As much as possible i think it is best to enhance our knowledge and skills to be competitive.

I just read this article that says according to research, "Employees fear for job security due to lack of digital skills in Singapore, Hong kong and malaysia - 58% of employees across these three countries went on further to explain that their current roles involved large amounts of repetitive tasks that could be automated, compared to the global average of 44%. Singapore employees were slightly more optimistic - five in ten (49%), stated that their jobs involved less repetitive tasks that could be automated compared to their counterparts in the region. Despite this, eight in ten (84%) Singapore employees still felt the need to learn more digital skills, surpassing the global average by 20%" (Source: employees fear for job security due to lack of digital skills

Point is, are we part of this 49% who are optimistic about our career and enhancing our skills or are we part of the 51% percent who feel stuck and don't want to improve our skills whether learning or digital. We all have a choice, to grow or not.
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