When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, many people from all walks of life were impacted and it struck especially hard for groups such as lower-income families with sole breadwinners, small business owners, the airline industry, taxi drivers, and many more. Times are changing and many people have switched careers to keep up with the economy. The government has also put together job-centric resources to aid career switchers, such as the many programs run by Workforce Singapore.
There are many people who have been impacted by the pandemic, and there is a high chance that you might know someone who falls into the categories mentioned above. Apart from verbalising concern and support, there are also empowering gifts you can give to these people you care about. In this article, we have included 4 gifts and the average costs of them, with some of them being free of charge!
1 Gift Cards
If you know someone going through a mid-career switch, chances are that they will be heading for job interviews soon. Show your support by giving them gift cards to purchase clothing that they will need in their new job or career! For example, if they require formal clothing, you can purchase a gift card from brands such as H&M, Cotton On, Giordano, Marks and Spencer, or Uniqlo. If they are joining a new line of work such as sports coaching, a gift card from Nike, Adidas, Decathlon, Puma or Asics might help.
Gift cards are a great way to show that you are keeping up with their career change and are supportive of their decision, as the gift card you purchase is directly related to the new industry they are joining. The value of the gift card depends on the brand you choose and the article of clothing you hope to purchase for them.
More often than not, mid-career switchers would have to improve their digital skills. Technology today is evolving faster than before — with many amazing devices and algorithms that simplify work. An example that our team often uses is Grammarly, which helps edit online documents, or using Microsoft Excel/Google Sheets, which we use to tabulate data.
A gift for the less tech-savvy is a subscription to such software – Grammarly, for instance, at $12.50 per month, can simplify their daily work process which could be especially useful if their new industry requires a bit more writing and editing than usual.
The device used also impacts productivity. You could purchase a gift such as a mouse or a mousepad. For more ideas, you can refer to our other article, Essential Gadgets to Boost Productivity and Comfort where we have curated a list of gadgets that can aid working from home.
Taking some time out of your day to spend with your friend or family member can be one of the most valuable things that you can offer. Ask them out for a meal to catch up on their progress, offer advice encouragingly with your experiences, reassure them if they need it, or congratulate them if they have succeeded!
With so many different ways to express your support to a loved one, it does not even have to be a physical meetup. With technology today, you can choose to catch up over a Zoom call or a Google Meet call as well, even though meeting virtually will not substitute meeting someone face to face.
During your conversation, be wary of overstepping boundaries and remain positive. The last thing some people need to hear is harsh criticism, even if they need it, try to do it gently and encouragingly. Offer them alternative ideas if you think a choice they have made could be improved. Our other article, ways to empower someone could be a helpful guide to maintaining good relationships with others without sounding too entitled or rude, which might happen subconsciously, especially when you care about the person a lot.
4 Curated Courses
If you know someone who is uncertain about the industry they want to switch to, recommend them to a course where they can learn more! There are many skills-based courses offered by both the government and private academies. The Singapore SkillsFuture Programme offers subsidised courses, you may find them here.
Alternatively, you can also purchase courses from academies such as HarvardX or EdX, where courses are curated by famous top universities. The curriculum is similar to the content that students from these colleges learn. Particularly popular among those who are into computing or programming is the CS50 course by HarvardX.
Gifting.sg has also partnered with Kimchi Xpress to release a culinary course curated and run by the kitchen staff for those who would like to try their hand at the F&B industry. It is a short one-day curriculum with a chance of future employment if the candidate’s attitude is good. Donors will be sponsoring the course materials for selected candidates so it would be free of charge for those who are going through the mid-career switch.
If you are interested in contributing to this cause, please head to the campaign page put this as link: gifting.sg/sep-2021 and if you are interested in taking part in this course, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
There are many people who are going through career switches and we hope these gift ideas will help you to empower them, or any other person you come across. If you have any other ideas for gifts, please feel free to comment below, or reach out to us to start a campaign!