Finding a job in Singapore – LinkedIn can, but the NBAS Network also can! We spoke to Christopher Skelton. Today, he is a Trainee Shipbroker at the Dry Cargo desk at Clarksons Singapore Pte. Limited.
Christopher came to Singapore for the first time in August 2017 for a one-semester exchange at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Christopher tells how he became fascinated by Singapore, the diverse people, and the position of the City-State has as a business hub in South East Asia connecting cultures and people. He wanted to come back! And so he did. In August 2019, he started his Master Degree at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.
After having completed his Master in June 2021, Christopher wanted to stay and work in Singapore. “It is not that easy to get a job straight out of university. Especially, if you are a foreigner in Singapore during the height of COVID resections”, says Christopher. Singapore has strict rules with regards to visas and employment passes. “When you are fresh out of school and have no work experience, it is hard to fulfil those.” On top of that, Christopher graduated in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, making things even harder. Stating that “it was and continues to be an up-hill battle, but it’s important to be persistent and be prepared to fail”.
Building a network in a global pandemic
Christopher did not despair. He realised there were things that you can do, even when confined. Making use of the technology available, he contacted people, managed to book coffee meetings, and engage with interesting people. “It is important that you expose yourself to the network and let people know that you are looking for a job”, says Christopher.
When looking for jobs in Singapore, LinkedIn is one of the most important digital channels to use. A quick look at Christopher’s LinkedIn profile reveals that he has given good attention to his LinkedIn. His LinkedIn has updated information, a good picture and he showcases obtained licences and certifications. In addition, he reacts and comments on posts, which shows motivation and interest.
Volunteering opens doors
Furthermore, Christopher realised there were other things he could do to meet people and showcase his dedication. He volunteered for NBAS! Christopher participated in events, produced online contents like podcasts and wrote industry insight articles.
“I performed volunteer work for NBAS which allowed me to leverage on a network. I gained exposure to the wide ranging Norwegian business community in Singapore and applied to the Clarkson traineeship position through the vacancy page.”
Tips for fresh graduates looking for a job in Singapore
We asked Christopher if there were any tips he could provide to fresh graduates. He says that when looking for jobs in Singapore LinkedIn and contacts should be one of the first things on your agenda. Make sure it is up to date and ready to be seen by anyone. Also, make sure you subscribe to all official government recruitment services, focus on a sector and don’t get fixated on getting the one imagined dream job. In the end, because of Singapore’s strict employment pass policy, it might be better to get a job in your home country and then ask to be transferred to Singapore. Be consistent and never give up.
NBAS offering recruitment services to its network
NBAS is constantly looking to expand our services to our members. Now, NBAS members looking to recruit can send the job description to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post it to the network.
“I am really pleased that you referred Christopher Skelton to me. I interviewed him and then arranged for him to meet some of the Directors in our Dry Cargo team. All of us really liked him and so we decided to make him an offer to join our company. Many thanks for your help again.”
Alice Thomson, Divisional Director, Human Resources, Clarksons Platou Asia Pte. Limited