27 Jul 2015 12:00:00 AM

Verena Chin

Interview with Verena Chin who has completed the HEARTS Programme.

The HEARTS Programme is a skills training programme initiated by the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF). It was established as a means to up-skill women and increase the percentage of employable women in the labour market. For more information on the HEARTS Programme, visit http://www.hrdf.com.my

With a background in Bachelor of Communications and more than 10 years of key account management experience, Verena left the workforce in July 2013. Shortly after that, she joined the HEARTS Train-the-Trainer programme. She now works as a Business and Leadership Trainer in a Consulting Firm.

What were your reasons for leaving the workforce?

I was a Senior Key Account Manager and had managed a range of international and local hypermarkets, chain pharmacies and convenient stores in the FMCG industry. My work was predominantly client facing as I had to meet buyers often and it did not allow for much flexibility. It was quite difficult for me to juggle between work and family. So in July last year (2013), I decided to quit my job to give full attention to my daughter who had to undergo a surgery in December. I wanted to spend more time with her so that she is physically and mentally fit and prepared for this surgery.

Were you involved in other activities during this period?

I found out about the HEARTS Programme in mid – July 2013 and I decided to sign up in order to up-skill myself during this period. The timing was perfect as the courses were only for seven days. I was able to send my daughter for her medical check-ups while learning something new.

What were the reasons that encouraged you to return to the workforce?

I actually enjoy working life! It was something that I missed during my career break. Working made my life more fulfilling and it is challenging which gives me a sense of satisfaction for every achievement that I had accomplished. This is one of the reasons for my decision to return to work once my daughter has fully recovered from her surgery.

Does your current company provide you with flexible work arrangements?

I am currently working as a Trainer for a consulting firm and my job allows me a lot of flexibility. My boss is also very understanding. Sometimes, when I have an emergency at home I just work from home. I also have a working arrangement whereby I work only three times a week so I have two extra days to care for my daughter.
HEARTS programme allowed me to gain confidence to return to the workforce through networking and obtaining useful skill sets.
Verena Chin
Do you have any advice for other potential returnees?

Don’t give up. Believe in yourself that you are capable of coming back to the workforce even if you had given up climbing the corporate ladder for family commitments. Be very open-minded and pick up new skills when you can.

HEARTS gives opportunity to housewives to practise their networking skill and also provide moral support to one another to complete the course and be confident to re-enter the workforce. HEARTS programme had given me an option and opportunity to do something different than key account management.

My daughter is my biggest motivation as I believe in setting a good example for her. I would like my daughter to learn not to give up when she encounters any setbacks in life and to overcome these obstacles by trying new ways in order to continue achieving her goals in life.