Like most other fresh graduates, Ong Jin Xian’s first instinct was to start her job search in an industry that she was familiar with. 

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Ong Jin Xian, Operations Executive Trainee at ST Logistics. Source: ST Logistics

With her brand-new business degree in logistics and supply chain management, this meant looking for a full-time position in the supply chain sector.

Unfortunately, the job market was not buzzing with optimism because of the pandemic situation.

“There was no call back,” the 26-year-old recalls. “I made my mind up to keep my options open and expanded to other industries such as F&B.”

But this was to no avail either.

With the clock ticking and the gloomy job market forecast, Jin Xian started to feel anxious about not being able to secure any job opportunities in the months ahead.

Jumping at opportunities

Then she noticed a logistics and supply chain management opportunity under the SGUnited Traineeships Programme.

Though it wasn’t a full-time position, Jin Xian decided to give it a shot.

Now an operations executive trainee with ST Logistics, Jin Xian says that her experience has been insightful and an eye-opening one.

As a national logistics and supply chain company, ST Logistics manages Singapore’s national defence supply chain needs. Unfamiliar defence-related jargon, as well as brand new operational processes were among the challenges that a fresh graduate like Jin Xian faced.

Be brave and open to alternative opportunities, like this. It may not be a permanent role right now, but you may get a chance for a rotation. Gain experience for the short term and try again.
Jin Xian, on advice for jobseekers in this current economic climate                                                    

“It is a fast-paced environment, and my fellow colleagues dish out instructions quickly and very often,” Jin Xian explains.

But she has developed a sense of mission to work in a sector related to Singapore’s national defence. “It excites me to learn new things, especially since it’s related to my own home country,” she adds.

Workplace support

Steep learning curve aside, Jin Xian appreciates the good staff benefits which make her feel valued in the company.

As a trainee, she is given opportunities to interact with the senior management professionals during her stint. For instance, the trainees under ST Logistics are able to interact with the CEO during a sharing session. During the session, the CEO will check on the trainees and ask them to share their experience as trainees. 

As an employee, I do get certain benefits that really makes me feel like I am a valued staff of the company. Especially in this COVID-19 period, the company ensures that we get masks and vitamins to keep us in good health.
Jin Xian, on her experience working in ST Logistics 

Even though the traineeship will only be a year-long, Jin Xian is determined to learn as much as she can to grow and be career-ready for a future in logistics.

Mid-career workers are welcomed

Another group of jobseekers who may want to give the logistics sector a go are mid-career workers like Chelsea Ng, who made a successful career switch to the sector.

Chelsea used to work as a store manager at a local pharmacy. But when her father fell ill in August 2017, she left her job to take care of him.

After almost a year later, her father’s condition improved, and Chelsea looked to re-join the workforce.

Wanting a fresh slate for her career, Chelsea explored joining other sectors and noticed that the local supply chain industry was growing.

She secured a position with ST Logistics as the Senior Executive (Pharmacy) handling Healthcare Clean Room Operations. 

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Chelsea Ng, Senior Executive (Pharmacy) at ST Logistics. Source: ST Logistics

Despite the skills gap and the limited knowledge in backend processes of supply chain, she says she was able to use some of the skills she had acquired in her previous role, particularly in the B2C arena.

In addition, her familiarity with medicinal terminologies and quality processes are some transferrable skills and knowledge that she could apply in her new role at ST Logistics.

Learning is never a challenge

To help support her transition into her new role, Chelsea was placed in the Professional Services Programme (PCP) for Supply Chain Professionals to equip her with the relevant skills sets and knowledge.

Through the programme, she was also able to meet individuals from various backgrounds and experiences, which helped to expand her network in the sector. “Be open, and always find ways to be relevant to your company. Never be afraid of learning new skills as a personal challenge,” Chelsea says.

Logistics – welcoming jobseekers with different backgrounds

While logistics may seem like a daunting industry to enter if you’re unfamiliar with supply chain management, it is in fact very welcoming of jobseekers with different backgrounds. 

As at end-September, there were more than 2,100 available openings in the Logistics Industry. The logistics industry is also welcoming of mid-career switchers, with over 250 individuals entering it through career conversion programmes. 

For job and training opportunities in logistics:

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