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1. Why did you apply the Ambition’s Back to Work program?
I resigned from my job because of my family. I chose to take care of my family when they needed me most. During my 2-year break, I was a full-time mother and an MBA student. After I finished my MBA and all family business was settled, my quiet days reminded me of my businesswoman self. I started to contact trade partners and recruiters, updated my CV, researched potential corporates and monitored LinkedIn for vacancies; and then, I received the email from Ambition about the Back to Work program.
The program was exactly what I was looking for and the timing couldn’t have been better. Originally, I thought that I could ride on this program to get Ambition to place me to a job, but I got a lot more than a "job-placement" program!
2. How did you like the program overall?
I love this program so much that I told my friend in Singapore to check on Ambition Singapore office for the Back to Work program!
It gave me a chance to get assurance and support which I could not get in a normal social context. Apart from useful tips on refreshing our job hunting skills, the program armed us with confidence and peer support from other ladies with similar experience and concerns.
The most powerful session of the program was the personal branding workshop. This taught me how to best present myself on my CV and during interviews.
3. What did you learn?
I learned a lot from other participants in the class. Each of them had their individual strengths and personal remedies for tackling challenges they had come across on their journey. This session was particularly meaningful to me as I was able to learn from Tracy and the others how to similar situations in the future.
4. How did the Back to Work program help you with getting back to work?
The program taught us how to present our career break in a positive light. In Hong Kong, a career break is not favourable by employers. The program conveyed a clear message which was - 'taking a break in life is reasonable'. This boosted our confidence greatly.
Shortly after completing the program, I had several job interviews and I was able to better illustrate my career break as a productive and positive episode of my life. This changed the atmosphere and tone of interviews in a great deal and not long after, good news came.
5. Can you tell us more about your new job now?
I currently work in the same industry as my last role. I was offered a role as a Junior Manager at a startup. I am grateful to my hiring manager as he values my academic background and my experience. My boss continuously widens my work scope, empowers me with provides me with autonomy. Although my workload is growing, my boss gives me the flexibility to work at home so I can balance my work and family life.
At the moment, I have my own team where we cover the whole region. I am also responsible to draft our departmental development plan and inter-departmental communications on company structure and policies.
6. How did you find the transition from an extended career break to resuming your career? What are the main challenges?
It was quite difficult to adapt in the very beginning. The job requires multitasking with intensive communications and analytical thinking in a fast-paced environment. It took approximately 2-3 weeks to warm up and pick up the pace. Once I got into a routine, I was able to focus better and work more efficiently, allowing me to leave the office at a reasonable time to spend time with my family. With a flexible arrangement in this startup, I am able to have days where I can work from home.
7. Are there any pieces of advice you’d like to share with our future Back to Work program participants?
Enjoy your time during the Back to Work program! Make friends with your fellow classmates. This support group help you immensely and remember, you are never alone. Your determination, experience, and wisdom will guide you through moments of darkness to a brighter outcome.
If you're interested in joining our Back to Work program or know someone who might be, please click here for more information.
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