How I switched job industries and got a massive pay jump, with no experience
Interested in making a career transition to Fintech, but have no experience and unsure how to do so? This article details my experience doing so, and I hope that it would assist you in making the career switch today!
Retrenchment in the height of the Pandemic.
It was April 2020, the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Working in the Sports & Events Industry as an Operations Executive slowed down as sales weren’t coming in due to the lockdown.
The company could only support me till May 2020 and unfortunately had to let me go by then, making my future uncertain. Fortunately, I had been submitting job applications months before the pandemic hit. I managed to secure a job at a governmental education institution in Singapore, leaving me jobless for only a month as I relied on my emergency savings to tide me through.
Going into my new job in June 2020, I was aimless and unsure whether this job would be permanent as I was bound to a 1-year contract with a slim opportunity for extension.
As this job was on a contractual basis, it bred uncertainty and cast doubt onto me as I constantly found ways to prove my capability to my co-workers.
It was extremely stressful to do so as I had to work out of my comfort zone and learn things that I never was interested in to live to see another day.
An opportunity arose in September 2020, and I decided to take the plunge to unknown depths — reaching out for that shining bright light at the end of the tunnel.
The shining ray of light through upskilling
3 months into my job, I learnt that the Singapore Government was rolling out measures to upgrade and upskill workers impacted negatively by the Pandemic.
The upskilling initiative focused on helping workers interested in making career transitions when the COVID-19 situation improved.
In my contractual role, I discovered a new interest and passion for Blockchain and Cryptocurrency. This ties in perfectly as the Government has earmarked the Fintech Industry as one of the industries in demand and is growing exponentially.
I decided that enough was enough and that I had to take control of my life and, eventually, my future.
I figured that I was only 27 years old then, and I’d rather suffer and work hard for the next 3 years now than lamenting on what I should have done when I am in my late 40s.
I eventually signed up for a full-time course designed to give me a 9-month crash course in Fintech, thereby imparting highly technical skills like web development, programming and even project management experience.
Going into the course, I didn’t know what to expect or what I could achieve — but it was a step into the darkness I was willing to take.
It takes only ONE
Working and studying full-time was not an easy task. I had to learn how to multitask during the workweek while also listening to the important pointers raised when lessons were ongoing.
Ever had a meeting with your managers while your lecturers are speaking? Been there, done that.
I am extremely thankful that I was working from home then, and the mode of delivery for the course was fully online — which allowed me to juggle between both commitments to the best of my ability.
As the course was scheduled to run from September 2020 to June 2021, I didn’t give up hope and continued to apply for jobs in the hopes of moving on to a role that would fully utilize my skillsets and experience.
However, it was all for nought. More than 300 job applications, several interviews led to final interviews, which also led to nothing as I was ghosted, ignored and left wondering what was wrong.
One day in February 2021, I woke up with an epiphany and found out what I was doing wrong all this time. I read articles from The Woke Salary Man, like finding out why I was underpaid and pinpointed the problem.
My mistake? I ‘sprayed’ my job applications to hundreds of employers with a generic resume and the usual ‘Dear Sir/Mdm’ emails and ‘prayed’ for the best possible result.
It was like the lottery. When the hiring manager called me back for an interview, I shouted for joy — but that was it, no job offers, nothing at all.
I decided to try something different. It would take some patience and time to do so — and I had both (my contractual role ends in June 2021).
Firstly, I had to build my portfolio to make sure I was credible and had works to show my potential employers the knowledge and experience I had. I decided to start writing articles on my personal experiences and interests in Cryptocurrency. That is why you see this Medium page right now because it was one of the factors that contributed to a job offer 😊.
Secondly, I conducted extensive research on the major players in Cryptocurrency and found out who their hiring managers were. I wrote personalized cover letters to them, and the cover letters elaborated my personal vestments, knowledge and experience with Cryptocurrency and Blockchain. Still, think cover letters are not important? A cover letter was what proved me to several potential companies I applied for — like Paxos and, eventually, my current employers.
Lastly, all it takes is patience, determination, grit and commitment to your cause (and a little bit of luck). I could have easily told myself after 2 weeks to stop writing articles because I wasn’t receiving any responses from the jobs I applied for. Still, I soldiered on and wrote different articles relating to Cryptocurrency.
A month later, my wife sent me a job advertisement on a Job Ads Group in Telegram advertising that Hodlnaut is looking to hire for a Social Media Manager. I already knew of the company because I wanted to use one of the services they provided , earning interest on your Bitcoin, Ethereum or Stablecoin deposits.
I jumped at the opportunity, edited my resume and cover letter to suit the job description and also included a link to my ePortfolio and Medium page with high confidence that I would receive a response because this time around, I wasn’t a ‘sprayer’ (or a machine gunner in this case), I was a Sniper with a ‘one hit, one kill’ mentality.
Within 3 days, I went through 2 rounds of interviews with my eventual colleagues. I got offered a position in an industry I never thought I would be in when I first started working in 2018, or even 10 years ago.
2 weeks into the role, I have never been happier and grateful for all the opportunities presented to me. I face new challenges every day in an ever-changing and evolving landscape called Cryptocurrency, and I am glad to be at the forefront of it all.
I hope this article has inspired you to take the next step forward, even if it is into the darkness, to explore and eventually score a better future for yourself.
From when I was young, my dream was to live a fulfilling life by being able to experience tribulations and come out a better person. I had my fair share (cancer, retrenchment, having no money), but with the right characteristics, you will be able to push through barriers.
I want to end this article with this quote I learnt from Zack, a character from Final Fantasy: Crisis Core (even games inspire you!):
‘Embrace your dreams. No matter what happens, never ever let it go’