There’s an old saying, “Kindness is a gift everyone can afford to give.” Simple acts of caring and kindness can have a tremendous impact on a person’s life. PRA’s Talent Acquisition team in APAC discovered that this year as they participated in various PRA Cares initiatives across the region to give back to their respective communities. Our teams in China, Korea, Singapore, Australia have been busy with numerous activities. Last month, three PRA colleagues were involved in two sessions across two weeks, meeting and spending time with children at the Salvation Army Haven Children’s Home in Singapore. The Haven cares for children and young people who are unable to be cared for by their own families. Many have been affected by domestic violence and poverty. The PRA TA team was on site to listen and to offer advice.
Our Jamie Lee explains:
Since many of these children are in their teenage years, the aim was to spend time and explore ways to find jobs and a career. We also had discussions on their dreams about what they want to do with their futures. Our hope was to show them that there are a lot of people out there that care and are willing to help.
Initially the children were very quiet, reserved, and not willing to openly discuss their inner feelings or what they wanted to do. However, in time, they started to open up and it turned out they were just like any other children who enjoy the technologies of the latest smart phones and teasing one another! As we coached them on interviewing skills and CV writing, that was when the children started becoming more forthcoming on their career aspirations and dreams.
We split our sessions into two parts. In the first session, we started out by giving the children an introduction to who we were, what we did, and our role as recruiters at PRA – matching job seekers’ skills with jobs that give them a chance to shine.
After that, we got to know the kids better through interactions like round table introductions. We held one-on-one sessions with them, sharing interview skills and CV writing tips.
We got a little more in-depth in the second session, giving the kids an introduction to business networking with LinkedIn. We showed them how to create a LinkedIn account and how to leverage that network.
After that came some advice on ways to look for jobs through places like job portals and recruitment agencies. And finally, we offered tips on how to approach job hunting – like how to be open, confident, and, importantly, how to have and keep hope during the search.
Overall, it was a great experience. We were grateful that we were able to help the children prepare for their careers with not just simple skill sets on resume writing and interviewing, but also on avenues to search for jobs, building up on their LinkedIn profile, and general career advice.
By the end of the sessions, the children started to open up on what their career options were and some determined to work towards achieving their goals/dreams. All have their own dreams to grow up to be something good and special, be it a basketball coach, a chef at a well-known restaurant, or an owner of her own beauty salon. What we could do as mentors was encourage these dreams and to make them feel that someone out there cares for them and that anything is possible as long as they put their mind and heart to it.
We walked away feeling humbled and appreciative of our own privileged backgrounds and the realization we shouldn’t take anything for granted. We hope to be able to take part in more such activities be it in PRA or in our own personal capacities in the near future.