One Step Closer aims to reduce nation’s unemployment rate through free resume reviews, financial support, and workshops

·3-min read
Awatif Ghapar (left), a mentor checking an applicant's resume while Sharifah (right) has been partnering with industry leaders to conduct online workshops. — Pictures courtesy of Sharifah Hani Yasmin
Awatif Ghapar (left), a mentor checking an applicant's resume while Sharifah (right) has been partnering with industry leaders to conduct online workshops. — Pictures courtesy of Sharifah Hani Yasmin

PETALING JAYA, Sept 20 — Malaysian woman Jane (not her real name) did not work for two years because she had to look after her mother who was unwell in Perak.

The mother of two in her late 30s then decided to work and secured a teaching job, but that did not sustain her for long as the company didn’t have enough money to pay her salary.

Jane, who has IT experience background wanted to earn a living as her husband is in a low-income job and his salary was not enough to cover their household expenses.

But it was difficult for Jane to get jobs as she was competing with younger applicants who could do with a smaller salary.

Thanks to social enterprise One Step Closer that connected her with Talentcorp’s Career Comeback Programme, she was able to further equip herself through the upskilling programme in returning to the workforce.

Apart from helping mothers or primary caretakers get jobs, One Step Closer has also been helping fresh graduates and those who have been retrenched from their jobs due to Covid-19 by offering free resume reviews.

Founded by Sharifah Hani Yasmin and Lysha Teh in July, the duo had one aim in mind when they started the social enterprise — to reduce the unemployment rate one individual at a time.

Speaking to Malay Mail, Sharifah said that many couldn’t afford to pay for resume service in the country as many career coaches would charge a fee ranging from RM100 to RM1,000 which makes it inaccessible to many.

“Many youths, especially the 2020 graduates and those from the tourism industry were also unable to find jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We wanted to help reduce the unemployment rate and impact at least 1,000 applicants by the end of this year.

“Since July, we have partnered with over 40 volunteer mentors who are still working in various companies such as PwC, Coca-Cola, Sime Darby, Maxis, Michael Page, Lazada, Lenovo, TalentCorp, Sapura Energy to support us and offer their expertise to help applicants.”

She added that the volunteer mentors come from various backgrounds including in the Human Resource field.

Sharifah cited an example of a fresh graduate securing a job with PwC Malaysia after getting her resume reviewed for free by her mentor who guided her on how to refine her resume by highlighting and elaborating on specific key achievements.

The social enterprise has also been connecting with other organisations to offer workshops, and are looking to fund anyone in need of financial support for travel, relocation, or getting a new set of clothes for a job interview.

“Some interviewees have their interview locations at other states and not all have the means to travel from one state to another and pay for their accommodation and travel fees.

“Not just that, some applicants are even required to pay a medical check-up fee even before securing an offer letter from their desired companies.

“And that is why we came up with this Work Transition Grant idea to help applicants go for interviews and eventually help them secure jobs,” she said.

Anyone keen on knowing more about the social enterprise can surf over here.

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