Pennie | Digital marketing

A CAREER UPENDED BY THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION

For more than a decade, Pennie enjoyed a growing career in marketing and advertising. When she had children, she took a few years away from the workforce to focus on family—confident that she’d find her footing again when she was ready to return.

As she began her job search, it did not take long for her to realize that she was reentering an industry that had been fundamentally transformed in her absence. “Of course, in the last five years, digital just went BOOM. And my knowledge and my skills did not match the job requirements.”

Unsure how to navigate this new world, Pennie began to apply even for junior-level positions. She sent over a hundred resumes to no avail. “I was very competent in conventional advertising, like print, radio, and television, but you know, most companies have moved their advertising budgets into online communications. I was missing the relevant skills, which is the digital marketing portion.”

She was in the midst of her search when COVID-19 deepened her predicament.

PENNIE HAD A PLAN

Undeterred, Pennie knew she needed to try something different. “The realization was I really need to upgrade. I need to acquire the skills that are relevant for the jobs that are out there.” She soon came across the SkillsFuture Work-Learn Bootcamp, a collaboration between Generation, SkillsFuture Singapore, and Institutes of Higher Learning.

The first week was tough, and Pennie wondered how she’d fare: “I wasn’t very confident in going into digital because the change was huge.” She was overwhelmed by the amount of new information and an intensive syllabus.

Pennie reflects on how quickly things turned around, though: “The lecturers were actually very encouraging. I would text them and they would respond immediately.” They didn’t doubt her potential for success, and she realized she shouldn’t either. Using Generation’s growth mindset approach, she began to welcome all the new challenges each day brought.

Before graduating, she also took full advantage of the support of industry experts to update her resume and prepare for interviews, crafting a strong case around her unique blend of hard-won experience in advertising and the new skills she had recently acquired.

FROM DIGITAL NOVICE TO DEEP EXPERTISE

Pennie was invited to three interviews with Generation employer partners. Three weeks after graduation, she received two job offers and accepted one in the fashion industry, which was particularly appealing to her.

Recently, when Pennie needed to hire a digital marketing associate, she hired a Generation graduate, who is part of her growing team today.

Pennie reflects: “Before I embarked on this two-month course, I knew next to nothing about digital.” In her final interview with her current employer, she happened to see the notes her hiring manager had left behind on the table. Scrawled on the page under “strengths” it read: “Vast knowledge of digital marketing. Excellent grasp of social media. Strong command of online platforms.”