Giving thanks to our everyday heroes this Christmas
Written by Mark Bao Xin
It's already the month of December and the year 2020 is steadily coming to a close where the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be our lived reality and not a thing of the past. As we progress onto Phase 3, many individuals in their various roles have perhaps adapted to the newer measures. The rapid response to the outbreak includes stepped-up measures that involve all industries and sectors in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of the community.

That said, the spirit of Christmas reminds us all to show thanks to our everyday heroes who have contributed in their various capacities, taking calculated risks to maintain our new normal! Their roles are the moving parts placed together in a well-oiled machine that function together, allowing us to live in the new normal. We thank you all for your service!
Meet our everyday heroes!
Susana (55, Housekeeping Attendant)
"One thing I love about my job is forming meaningful connections and good relationships with my colleagues on top knowing that it is an industry I'm very much comfortable and confident in!"
Meet Susana, a cleaning professional in the housekeeping sector who secured her current and previous jobs on the FastJobs platform. She shares deeply of her passion for her work, the industry, and how she's thankful to be able to support her teenage children with her career.

Aware of the underlying perception of cleaning jobs to be menial and unglamorous, Susana believes the industry is much more than meets the eye. Having to manage people from different aspects of life including employees and guests requires experience, and Susana hopes for others to be more aware of the importance of the sector beyond just scratching the surface.

Susana is perhaps one of the many staff members in the various job roles- concierge, planners, porters, etc who are fronting the revitalisation of the hospitality industry and keeping up with the additional responsibilities in combating the virus whilst maintaining service excellence and a smile on their faces.
Food for thought
When shown to your clean and impressive room on your staycation, do recall how such an impressive turndown service would only have been possible only with the expertise of people like Susana!
Rosli Salleh (Security Officer at Fervour)
"I do feel exhausted but in order to achieve success, sacrifices have to be made and massive adjustments are needed to ensure we juggle well with full-time work and studies in the evening."
Meet Rosli, a Security Officer with a fiery passion for learning. The relevance of cybersecurity in the pandemic is renewed with cybercriminals capitalizing on the pandemic, resulting in the spike in phishing, ransomware attacks and may potentially threaten Singapore's economic interests. Such was the case for Rosli who, as non-IT personnel, saw an opportunity in the crisis and was motivated to join an industry with a growing demand for cybersecurity expertise.

Rosli's go-getter attitude has served him well in his previous jobs and his constant motivation to never stop learning will only bring him further. As such, he is currently attending a Cybersecurity course as he continues to learn new skills to elevate his credentials and employability even when the going gets tough. He also cautioned that the importance of being relevant in the digital age, a necessary dosage of upskilling as times change.
Food for thought
If your experience working from home is seamless and goes without a hitch, it's all thanks to the amazing IT guys like Rosli who keep your access safe and secure!
Janica (18, retail sales assistant)
"I find assisting customers by delivering helpful and friendly service most meaningful. To be able to be of help to them really brings me joy."
Meet Janica, a first-time retail sales assistant who enjoys her role of merchandising, stock-taking and inventory replenishment. She shares further that while one may think that the retail industry has no entry requirements, having good emotional intelligence in approaching customers is a skill that is required for the job. These are soft skills to acquire with the trade and its experience.

Other than Janica, there are many other employees within the retail industry to be thankful for as they serve us at the frontline while we do our Christmas shopping. They rigorously upkeep sanitation measures and ensure social distancing adheres to all in a bid to keep everyone safe!
Food for thought
With us being back at physical storefronts and having assistance from staff like Janica is truly what makes any shopping experience complete!
Sherlene (19, Service Crew at LiHO)
"Even though the long working hours for F&B can be tiring, it is very rewarding when customers understand that we are putting in our best effort to cater to their orders."
Meet Sherlene, a 19-year-old who has chosen to be a part of the food and beverage crew at Liho. She shares her experiences of being in the service line. Although a demanding job with long hours, Sherlene finds it meaningful when customers are able to appreciate the effort the staff put into making the drinks and demonstrate patience during long waiting times when the store is crowded. Having direct contact with consumers on a day to day basis, she enjoys being able to interact with them with friendly ones, sweetening the work process.

There are many other roles within the F&B industry with more services being increasingly restored. Be it the attendants, the service crew or the delivery drivers whose roles allow us to enjoy the meals we love! Give your thanks to your server or other F&B staff during your next meal with a warm "Thank you" and a giant smile!
Food for thought
Without our dedicated retail personnel like Sherlene who serves up our favourite food and drinks, perhaps most of us will be incredibly sad with little to suffice those bubble tea pangs!
Saravanan (Operations Manager)
"You need to set your own timeline and keep to it, factoring in time for your family as well."
Meet Saravanan, an efficient Operations Manager in the Maritime industry who always anticipates all sorts of challenges that he may face in his workplace. The family man speaks about the importance of balancing work, his family, and his ambition to learn.

In light of the pandemic, Saravanan has taken the opportunity to further his learning through SkillsFuture Singapore in keeping up with the dynamic trends to better understand the needs and evolving protocols required of the industry.

The maritime industry is also one of the industries ensuring minimal disruption to Singapore's ports, keeping global supply chains operating efficiently. Many individuals in the logistics industry mobilized amidst the festive months as many of us have turned to online shopping for our Christmas gifts. Their collective effort has allowed us all to receive our packages at the convenience of our doorstep, just in time for gifting.
Food for thought
Spy your frozen food brand in NTUC that never seems to run out? That is because our food security is kept intact with our supply linkage well-maintained with the help of an amazing maritime sector!
Wrapping up 2020
This year has been packed with many challenges but has also reflected the innate strength in all of us to be resilient and adaptive with the tides of change where many have perhaps like Rosli or Saravanan have taken the leap of faith in upgrading their skills and embarking on new challenges in their career.

As you go through your day, express your gratitude for anyone you deem an everyday hero for their service today! Any gesture of kindness goes a long way, with a nod, a smile (although behind a mask) or a simple 'thank you' will touch the hearts of our heroes.
Looking to learn a new skill?
Here are some courses in sectors that may be suitable for you:

  • Healthcare and Community Care
  • Construction/Facilities Management
  • Manufacturing
  • Transport and Logistics
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Tourism
  • Security, and more

More course options available on FastLearn here.
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