Re-inventing job search to help individuals get results.
What’s your story?
JobS-ME – Job Search Made Easy. True to its name. I launched JobS-ME in August 2015 to help ambitious mid to senior professionals get their next ideal job fast.
With over 11 years of experience in the Singapore recruitment market (from student internships to executive level) and talking to job seekers on a daily basis, I realized that the majority of professionals put their careers on auto-pilot until an external event shakes them up. Throughout my recruitment experience, I came across professionals who are great at their work but don’t know about the changing recruitment landscape or managing their careers. I bring the expertise to re-invent job search, to help individuals get the desired results much faster.
What excites you most about your industry?
Honestly, I see myself at the cusp of a few industries – recruitment, coaching and training. With the changes happening in the economy and businesses, people are slowly but finally realising the importance of investing in themselves to reach their full potential. Being able to create impact and shifts in people’s lives, along with the privilege of witnessing the manifestation of these shifts is the most exciting aspect of my work. For example, when people progress to the next level in their career and get a role in which they feel fulfilled or get employed after taking a career break, that excites me the most.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in the city of Taj Mahal, Agra, in India and moved to Singapore at the age of 18 to study at NUS. So, I am an Asian through and through. My business is registered in Singapore and I have served clients across Asia. With one of my partners, I help companies do cultural induction training for expats to ensure that they understand the cultures across Asia – which gave me an opportunity to understand our cultures at an even greater depth.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore. Can you believe that it took me a few hundred dollars and less than 3 hours to get my company set up in 2015? Where in the world can we get an efficiency like that?
There are so many other factors that make Singapore one of best cities in the world for business – meritocracy, accessibility, government support for businesses, opportunities, availability of high caliber talent, being a regional hub, infrastructure, safety and convenience. The list goes on.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
To take genuine interest in people’s lives and in helping them. It may sound counter-intuitive to running a profitable business, however, if you focus on creating impact and a massive impact, that’s when the business does well too.
Who inspires you?
My mum and my husband. They have always encouraged me to do better in all aspects of life. They are my biggest critics and also my number one fans.
My clients. My work gives me the opportunity to know fantastic people across various walks of life and become a part of their lives. I am always inspired to be more, so I can support them better.
If you are looking at business icons – Gary Vaynerchuk. He just talks sense and comes with a truckload of energy. I listen to at least 1 video of him every morning to get the frame of mind correct.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
“Extreme self-care is the most selfless act.”
You may want to read it again as it may come across as a contradictory statement. One of my coaches asked me to practice it for 2 weeks and that totally shifted my perspective. I am able to ‘be’ and ‘give’ so much more when I take care of myself including my health, mental well-being, finances, emotions, everything. Even for clients, only when they take care of their careers and in which direction they are going, that’s when they produce the best results at work. However, I would like to differentiate self-interest and self-care. Self-interest would be just focusing on the salary hikes whereas self-care would be gaining new skills, and the salary hike would be a by-product
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Learning to say ‘No’. Something I still struggle with from time to time. There are always signs when I meet clients initially but I tended to ignore them when I started the business. Now, I am upfront and tell the prospective clients that I would not like to ‘take their money and not create any impact.’ When people expect miracles, or have very strong notions of what they can or can’t do, or only blame others without taking responsibility, I know that we may not be a good fit. This is something with which I help my clients too. Not saying ‘yes’ to the first opportunity that comes up for them however, deliberating on their direction and making an informed choice especially when they have been in the market for a while.
How do you unwind?
Music. Cooking. Creating movement – biking, swimming, jogging and dancing. And, taking regular travel breaks.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Japan – love love love the food. Amazing culture. So much to offer.
For quick getaways, Bangkok. It has everything on offer – great culture, food, shopping, nightlife, massages.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The 4 hour work week by Tim Ferris. I started my business after reading this book. In fact any professional can benefit from various aspects of this book.
Shameless plug for your business:
JobS-ME is a training, coaching and consulting company helping professionals in Singapore get their next ideal job fast. We provide one-to-one programmes for mid to senior level professionals with a promise to take them from career anxiety to career certainty, from seeking jobs to being sought after and from job frustration to satisfaction.
Apart from our individual programmes, we also train and coach at Workforce Singapore (formerly WDA), SMU, NetExpat, some polytechnics. Being passionate about all things related to career, I enjoy speaking at conferences and writing articles on this topic
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.