I’ve always been the kind of person who changes plans every five minutes. I love planning my future, but what I love even more is to throw out those plans in favour of new ones. Naturally, my career was never meant to have a straight progression, and I am honestly not that surprised that, in the span of one year after graduating, I worked in two different countries, undertook three internships while jumping back and forth between industries, and finally got an offer for a full-time job.
My girlfriend, being Singaporean, asked me in our second year of university if I was willing to move back to her home country with her. I was hesitant at first, but after visiting the country and adoring it (and her family), I was excited about the adventure. I’ve always moved around, unable to stay anywhere for very long, so I started diving into my Singaporean job search.
Eventually, I managed to get an internship as a photographer and videographer. I spent the next three months working in an industry I knew nothing about, making some great friends along the way, trying an endless amount of tropical fruit juice, and getting to explore the country. The best part of it was how many new things I got to try – two of my colleagues even joined me for a pole dancing class.
However, the pay was not ideal, and our hours were long and irregular. I also realised that, while I was loving my time in Singapore and adored my co-workers, photography was not the right industry for me. I really missed writing. So, after the end of my internship, I decided to move on.
I didn’t have a lot of time left on my Work Holiday Pass, the visa that allowed me to intern and work in Singapore, so I had to find a job fast. Nothing happened for what felt like an eternity. And then, suddenly, I got two interviews. Just a few weeks before the end of my visa!
The second company was the one that blew me away. The woman who interviewed me was actually interested in my work, asked to read my blog and my previous articles, and made an effort to properly look through my CV. She was impressed with my enthusiasm and my genuine interest in writing about interior design and furniture. Then she asked me if I could intern, on decent pay, for the remaining two weeks of my visa, as she wanted to see what I was capable of before committing to hiring me full-time.
I was meant to be told at the end of the two weeks whether I was good enough for a full-time position, but ended up being offered the job after just three days. This was the best news I had received in months. It made me even happier to know that my boss was just as delighted with my acceptance of the job as I was with receiving it. The mutual appreciation and respect was new to me, and it meant a lot.
I am now anxiously awaiting my full-time work pass to be approved. This job offer has once again shown me that having a bunch of odd interests can come in handy, and that when life throws unexpected things at you, all you can do is say yes to opportunities and make the most of it. I never expected to find an actual writing job in Singapore. But thanks to the people who took a chance on me and gave me the opportunity to prove myself, I get to stay – and to plan (or not plan) a future with my girlfriend.
Written by Yaiza Canopoli – English Literature Alumni
Featured image – Rebecca Koh
Are you feeling inspired to explore work opportunities outside of the UK? Then the Global Opportunities Week is something you wouldn’t want to miss! Taking place between 17-19 February 2020, there will be individual ‘Working in …..’ sessions with Skype link ups to UEA alumni working across Australia, Asia, USA, Canada and Europe.
Discover more about the programme and see where you could go next.